One side effect of rising energy and heating costs - an increased
demand for wood pellets - is taking a toll on rabbit lovers who like
to use the pellets in litter boxes. That's because, as wood pellet
stoves have become more popular, the pellets have become both more
expensive and more difficult to find.
In Pursuit of Hoppiness asked its friends on two online chat groups -
HopLine and 3bunnies - to provide the names and addresses of places
where they regularly purchase wood pellets. (You'll find that list at
the end of this document).
Why wood pellets? First of all, even with the recent increase in
prices, they are less expensive than traditional pet litter. They also
work well, being very absorbent of both urine and odors. Toss some hay
on top of the pellets in a litter box and you're all set.
People also were free with some common sense advice for shopping for
Topping the list was the notion that, although we are just beginning
the summer months (editor?s note: well, when this was written!), this
is a good time to buy extra pellets. If you usually buy a couple of
bags at a time, buy four next time and set two aside for use in the
winter, when pellets are likely to be scarce.
"People have to realize they need to stock up now if they want to use
them through the winter," said Denise Leonard, a member of the House
Rabbit Connection Board of Directors. "There's just no way around
it. Come fall, they just won't be available."
Another tip: Call ahead to make sure the retailer has pellets in
stock. Not all retailers keep them in stock year-round. Some retailers
also like to sell only to regular customers or, in cases where the
retailer sells pellet-burning stoves, to people who have purchased the
stoves. However, you may have luck with these retailers by explaining
why you want the pellets and by pointing out that you are buying a
There are a few things to know about wood pellets. You should only use
pellets that do not contain an accelerant. Also, according to the
House Rabbit Society, unlike wood shavings, wood pellets are not toxic
because the phenolic compounds are removed during their
manufacture. However, if your rabbit shows an interest in chewing on
the wood pellets (which is unusual), manufacturers warn customers to
use softwood pellets instead of hardwood pellets (certain types of
hardwood can be poisonous).
As for the list of vendors, it is limited only to the specific
retailers that were submitted to the newsletter. In the case of chain
retailers that are represented on the list, such as Agway and Home
Depot, try checking with your local store about the availability of
Leonard also had a suggestion for storing extra pellets for people who
have limited room indoors - an outdoor rubber storage bin. "They stay
very dry inside and should hold 10 to 14 bags ? but they also run $150
for a smaller unit. But they are durable, look nice and also can be
used for storing lawn furniture, cushions or garbage cans."
In fact, Denise and fellow HRC board member Deb Young are taking
matters into their own hands. They are teaming up to purchase wood
pellets in bulk, which they are willing sell to other rabbit
people. They note that they are selling the pellets only for use in
litter boxes, not for people to use as a source of fuel.
"We - particularly Denise - scour the market, looking for the best
price per ton and buy as much as we can at a time, usually one to two
tons," Young said. "We just got so sick and tired of trying to find
pellets last winter and then paying outrageous prices that we decided
to ensure we don't get robbed this winter. I have the room to store
them, Denise's husband has a honkin' huge truck, we both still have
strong backs, and so it all works."
"The only thing is, the price hasn't gone down all that much from
winter given the price of oil, so this is going to be an expensive
wood stove pellet winter," Young added.
For more information on purchasing wood pellets for rabbit litter
boxes, Young said people can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What follows is a list of wood pellet vendors as provided by HRCs
members and friends.
147 Meriden Road
144 Shaker Road
E. Longmeadow, MA 01028
Bernardston Farmers Supply
43 River St.
Blazing Hot Stoves
43 Falls Ave.
Cedar Mountain Stoves
2198 Berlin Turnpike
CJ's Pellet Depot
Two locations (call ahead):
(860) 982-0277 (cell)
Dean's Stove & Spa
120 W Main St.
320 S. Pleasant St.
1458 Riverdale St.
W. Springfield, MA
Granby Country Grain
108 W. State St.
Hazen Fence and Stove
133 North Granby Road
L.R. Hawthorne & Son (Agway)
97 North Maple St.
McKenney Electric Co. Inc.
100 Northampton St. (Route 5)
Phelps & Sons Inc
1258 Hartford Tpke, Vernon Rockville, CT
46 Springfield Road (Route 20)
Squire Lumber & Hardware
5 Squire Ave.
Turnpike Acres Pellet Stove Shop
185 Miller St.
Tractor Supply Co.
67 Palomba Dr.
Valley Home & Garden Center
16 Railroad St.
Valley Fireplace & Stove
287 Spielman Hwy.
Valley Fireplace and Stove
220 Albany Tpke
Westfield Home Depot
1111 Southampton Road
288 Union St. (Note: New address!)
Westfield Home & Garden (Agway)
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