Sunday, August 22, 2010

Farm Fresh Hay Database

As dedicated owners, we all know by now the vast importance of hay in our rabbits' diets. And while many of us have realized the advantages of bypassing the retail pet-superstores and going directly to local farmers selling bulk quantities of high quality, organic grass hays, it's true a good hay source isn't always easy to find. Many rural farms don't have websites or advertise in traditional media; news of their products and services tends to spread solely by word of mouth. Thus, those new to rabbit companionship, or even new to an area, may not be in the know about quality hay sources in their cities or towns.

I experienced this recently when I relocated from Boston, MA to Lafayette, IN, and was forced to find a new hay source. After weeks of unhappily buying miniature bags of tough, straw-like hay from a nearby pet store, I found out (due to sheer luck) about a local farmer selling organic timothy hay. Sure enough, the next day I brought home a fresh bale of organic second-cut timothy hay, all for a grand total of seven dollars. It's clear-- cutting out the packaging and shipping costs simply results in a better product at a cheaper price. What's not to love?

As I've been talking to other rabbit owners in the Lafayette area also seeking quality hay sources, I realized how helpful a nationwide (or even international!) database of organic grass hay farmers would be. The plan here at The Rabbit Advocate is to start a user-contributed database of farmers in all parts of the world selling quality grass hays. So, now it's up to you. Please send in your local farmer's contact information (with their consent) including name, website (if available), address, and phone number (if applicable). This way, others can find out about great hay sources in your area, and rabbits around the world will have ample quantities of delicious hay to munch on. I'll add them into the below database as they come. Those that have websites are linked. Hopefully we can make this as comprehensive a list as possible. Thanks in advance for your contributions!

UNITED STATES

Indiana
Dotson Farm and Feed: 2919 North 9th Street Road, Lafayette, IN 47904. Hay pickup call first (765) 742-5111


New York

Farmer Dave: 28 Fox Meadow Court, Orchard Park, NY 14127

7 comments:

Lyndal Khaw said...

I actually don't have a recommendation but just wanna say great idea Mary! I would LOVE to find one in Northern NJ and would love even more to pay $7 for a bale of hay.

Elaine said...

Where was the place you went to when you lived in Boston? I live in Boston and am looking for place to buy hay for my chinchillas.

The Rabbit Advocate said...

Hi Elaine!
That is a toughie. When I lived in Boston I bought my hay from Sweet Meadow farm for a long time before I found out they were breeding and selling baby bunnies... With so many homeless rabbits at shelters, I thought this wasn't exactly socially conscious and chose not to support them any more. I then started ordering my hay from Farmer Dave (listed within the post) which was great hay, though there were shipping charges involved. There have got to be some good farms in Mass though... Agway (http://www.agway.com/) also has some locations in MA and sells (usually) good quality hay for affordable prices.. Hope that helps!

Eurymylus said...

Let me know if you find or hear of any good local hay suppliers in Minnesota!

Anonymous said...

Just came across this post in 2012... Any luck finding something in northern NJ?

The Rabbit Advocate said...

Have not had any suggestions about hay in either Minnesota or New Jersey. Please send me an update if you find a great place!

Anonymous said...

Boston area, the best source I've found is MSPCA Nevins Farm which is in Methuen. A rather large bag (bigger than any available at pet stores by a factor of two), costs $4.00 and all the profit goes to the shelter.