In a non-descript Rancho San Diego parking lot, a group of people known as the Hay Elves busy themselves. This group of dedicated volunteers spends two Saturdays each month packing hay for the San Diego House Rabbit Society.
The main component of the rabbit diet is hay. The National House Rabbit Society advises rabbit owners to provide fresh hay for their bunnies. The San Diego group accommodates this need by buying three to five hay varieties in bulk, then mixing and packing the hay into family-friendly quantities.
Hay mixing and packing is more art than science. The Hay Elves demonstrate the technique by taking random hay flakes and separating and mixing the varieties of hay into a large heap. A sprinkling of alfalfa rounds out the mixture and then the packing begins.
When fresh hay is packed into a standard cardboard moving box, it has a tendency to spring right back out. Experienced Hay Elves know to leverage the corners of the box to hold the hay into place, so the box can be packed full.
On any given hay-packing Saturday, the Elves might mix and pack eight to twelve hay bales. This translates into 100 to 120 boxes of hay. The hay boxes are then transported to the House Rabbit Society store in Kearny Mesa, where grateful bunny owners may purchase them for ten dollars per box.