Global Pet Expo 2014: Harvest Stacks From Oxbow

Oxbow Harvest Stacks
Andrea Serio, Vetstreet

Need hay, but have no place for it to stay? Oxbow Animal Health has the solution, and we got a sneak peek of it at Global Pet Expo 2014. Check out their new Harvest Stacks — compact, easy to feed, neat little discs of compressed hay that come in boxes of six discs. Containing the same high-fiber Timothy hay, free of artificial additives and binders, that Oxbow has traditionally sold in bags, Harvest Stacks take up a quarter of the space that loose hay does — a great space saver if you live in a small home or have limited storage space. These compact discs are also terrific for traveling with your pet.

The hay in each disc is equivalent to approximately half a 15-ounce bag of loose hay, so a full box of Stacks is equivalent to 35 ounces of loose hay. Harvest Stacks also produce 80 percent fewer dust particles than loose hay — a significant difference, especially for pet owners with airborne allergies.

Harvest Stacks come in three different flavors — plain Western Timothy, Western Timothy with carrots and Western Timothy with chamomile — so your pet can have some variety in his diet. Harvest Stacks are also easy to serve: All you have to do is pull on opposite sides of the disc until it loosens into an S-shaped bundle that you can then place in your pet’s cage. The compressed shape of the hay encourages pets to interact with it and tear it apart.

Who Needs Harvest Stacks?

If you have a rabbit, guinea pig, chinchilla, prairie dog or certain tortoise species, hay should be the mainstay of your pet’s diet. Hay is critical for these pets, both to help wear down their continuously growing teeth and also to provide fiber essential for bacterial fermentation and digestion in their gastrointestinal (GI) tracts. Rats, degus and small rodents, such as hamsters, gerbils and mice, also love to play, hide and nest in hay. Harvest Stacks is a convenient way to meet both your pet’s digestive and behavioral needs.

Without adequate fiber, rabbits and rodents commonly develop gastrointestinal stasis, a slowing down of food passage through the gastrointestinal tract that can ultimately lead to changes in intestinal bacteria, excessive gas production, little to no appetite and pain. Without treatment, GI stasis can be life-threatening.  With Harvest Stacks, these pets are assured the high fiber they require to help prevent this often-fatal condition.

Reasonably priced at $13.99 per box, Harvest Stacks are a terrific alternative to large bags of loose hay. They are available at large pet stores nationwide and are a novel way to provide critical nutrition to herbivorous pets.

To see more of the great products we're discovering here, check out our Global Pet Expo 2014 hub.

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