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Old 07-28-2017, 02:36 PM United States
voxleo voxleo is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Sunny So. Cal
Posts: 17
Chinchillas: 3
Default 3 chins vs 50lbs hay- how much to keep on hand?

So despite the tempting price of timothy hay at Trickee Tack, I had a very difficult time motivating myself to make the 50 mile trek there and back just to spend less than 20 bucks for a couple of flakes even if the boys DO love the freshness of it compared to the stuff I can get at the much closer supply store nearby. The time it takes to get there in traffic just made it much too daunting without some other necessary errand to run in that neighborhood. By the time I figure in gas and time, it almost becomes just as economical and far more convenient to get the 9# box close by. In order to make it worth the trip, even if each flake were 7-8 lbs I would still have to buy three or four of them and lose some of the freshness in storing most of it until it could be used, and freshness was the main reason I would even bother to go at all.

But I couldn't justify spending $35 bucks on only 9lbs of not-SO-fresh hay nearby once I learned that the 50lb boxes of Oxbow hay were actually pretty good quality and seemingly fresher than the smaller quantities available from the retailers nearby and would save me trouble of going anywhere at all with free 1-2 day shipping to my door. That meant that I could get more than 5x the volume of hay for just $15 bucks more than the box I was buying local, and it would probably be fresher too. I figured I would just try it out and see, expecting that there would be a lot more waste with discarding less desireable bits due to the higher volume equating less quality control.

BUT I didn't count on Oxbow quality being so good that nearly all 50lbs of it is green and fragrant and almost as appealing as the farm fresh flakes I was so reluctant to drive to get...

Now I am trying to figure out how much of it I should actually even attempt to store for my boys vs maybe listing a couple giant bags of it in a local ad or something, because I don't even have this much room to keep it, and I doubt they would be able to eat it quick enough for it to stay tasty fresh by the time they got even half way through it.

I don't really know how long my boys take to go through a pound of hay on average because I always seem to buy varying sizes depending on whatever is convenient at that time, and I don't have any idea how long it might keep either. I was considering trying to unload maybe as much as half of it, just for the sake of not having space to store much more 25 lbs, as it would still be an economically better value than what I'd been getting before even if I gave it away at no cost, and certainly if I sold it for maybe a buck a pound while it's new and fresh...

How much of this makes sense to try to keep on hand for my 3 chinchillas to be able to still enjoy it before it gets too "stale" to be worth it? I purchased 2 flakes before, and they went through both quick enough that stale or spoil didn't figure into play, and I would have not minded to have another on hand vs .going to get more, so I figure at 3 flakes worth of hay I come out close to even on storage time and cost per pound without the hassle of the drive. Trouble is that might be anywhere from as little as 20 lbs or as much as 30lbs depending on variable flake weight, so I'm not sure where that leaves me in terms of deciding how much of this to keep. I might have trouble finding the space to store more than 30 lbs here anyway, but I COULD store the remaining 20-25lbs about a mile away at my mom's if it made sense to do so in terms of it staying edible that long. Or I could try and unload it with a local ad, or maybe find some use for it in the garden as straw mulch or something...(I do have a neighbor with chickens. If they use hay for anything maybe I could barter with them in exchange for some chicken poop fertilizer or occasional fresh egg?)

I guess my main query boils down to this: With 3 chins, how long would it take to go through 25-30 lbs of hay? Should I bother to try to hold on to more than that or does it make more sense to see if there's anyone who might use what I can't easily keep here? Or is 25-30 lbs already probably more than is usable before its too old? Anyone got thoughts on this?
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Old 07-28-2017, 06:08 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Alberta
Posts: 1,580
Chinchillas: 2

My two guys seem to go though roughly 12-15 pound of hay a year, so about half a pound or more worth each a month. A 50lb hay bale is normally around 10-12 flakes worth, depending on the baler setting used (making them roughly 5lb or less each), if that helps, since you bought flakes before.

It really depend on how it's stored and how it's packaged, baled hay in a cool dry place (like a dry barn on a farm) hay is good for about a year to two years. It generally goes stale from the outside in, so the out hay exposed to the air will go stale before the hay in the middle. So basically the bigger and fewer the bales the longer they are good for. Hopefully I've made sense. Also storing large amounts of hay you want to store it in an open cardboard box or paper bags, not a plastic bag, so it can breath and doesn't trap moisture.

I would probably keep half and either sell or trade the other half, that way everyone ends up with fresh hay.
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Old 07-29-2017, 09:11 AM United States
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ticklechin ticklechin is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: modesto CA
Age: 52
Posts: 8,087
Chinchillas: 2

I buy 2 bales of alfalfa a year from the local horse hay dealer and about 40 lbs of timothy for 3 chins, they are hay pigs and use the hay for entertainment also.

“When I buy cookies I eat just four and throw the rest away. But first I spray them with Raid so I won’t dig them out of the garbage later. Be careful, though, because that Raid really doesn’t taste that bad.”
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Old 07-29-2017, 10:29 AM
Snickers Snickers is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: So Calif
Posts: 1,825
Chinchillas: 35

voxleo - I sent you a private message. but where do you live in SO CA?Here is my email address:
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Old 07-30-2017, 10:20 AM United States
Godofgods Godofgods is offline
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Harrisburg PA
Age: 32
Posts: 2,637
Chinchillas: 6

you can try ordering from small pet select. There hay has been quite the rage lately.
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