View Full Version : When to replace hay?

09-29-05, 07:02 am
Hi guys,
I would love to have your opinions. I give my piggies KM hay as needed. It seems they pick through it and only eat certain pieces. When I check them it is all gatherered around the cage but they do not seem to eat the leftovers. If I throw the leftovers away and replenish it with new hay, they dive into it. If not, I go back later, and it is still uneaten and strewn around the cage floor.
My question is do you guys throw a lot of hay out everday (could it be soiled, thats why they are not eating it?) My cavy friends say I waste a lot of hay by throwing it out and I should just keep it there and not replenish until its gone. They say the pigs will be forced to eat it! Is this true, or do you guys scoop up old leftover hay everyday and give them new hay? Am I spoiling my pigs and wasting hay? Would love your expert opinions? Is what I am doing normal or wasteful? Thanks guys.:?:

09-29-05, 08:42 am
Try putting most of the hay in hay racks to prevent the pigs from peeing and pooping in the hay, and leave a little bit for them to play in.

What you are doing is what I also do. I got through two small bags of hay in about a week and my mom isn't going to be happy when she finds out!
I think it is unfair to make a pig to eat soiled hay - it would be like stuffing bread down the toilet and telling you that you can't have a nice piece of bread until you eat that one.

Try the hay rack suggestion and see how things go.

09-29-05, 12:50 pm
I don't fill their cage until the hay currently in it is dirty or there is very little left. First they'll pick through what they really love and then they'll go back throughout the day or half a day depending how much they were given and get the pieces they passed up the first time. After they've peed on it or it's obvious they aren't going to eat any of what's left I scoop out the wasted hay and add more. Wasted hay left in the cage will create mold both from the hay itself and because it won't let the bedding underneath dry. I didn't have that problem when using wood pellets because they are so absorbent but since I switched to shavings it's a big problem.

09-29-05, 02:06 pm
I think we all have that same problem. I personally think its the smell that attracts the piggies to new hay. After leaving the hay in the cage for a few hours the smell disappears and the piggies lose interest.

There is nothing like putting some fresh hay in their hay rack. They go nuts.

Sometimes I will let it go for an extra day and not replenish the hay and my piggies will nibble on the hay that has fallen onto the cage floor.

We do spoil them.

09-29-05, 02:27 pm
LOL Nismo is picky with his hay, first he'll pick out all the little bushy pieces, like the ones that have the little heads that crumble apart. After he picks all those out, he'll eat a few other pieces. I like to put lots of hay out, and the hay that falls off the rack I'll clean out like almost everyday, the stuff in the rack I try to leave in and just put new hay. Eventually the stuff on bottom falls through the cracks so there is a rotation of new hay all the time :P

09-29-05, 03:00 pm
I scoop out all the leftover hay every day and replace it with fresh. It is wasteful but I get my hay for so cheap, it doesn't really matter. I just want them to be happy.

10-03-05, 06:04 pm
I stick most of their hay in make shift hay racks i made out of toilet tissue rolls and small tissue boxes... There's also a big pile of hay on top of their pigloo that they'll yank down to eat when their hay racks run low.

The hay that I toss around the cage is for play and comfort.. (I only waste about a handful of hay for this purpose) they NEVER eat the hay tossed around. They wee and poop on it and kick it around. If they want to eat, they go to the tp rolls or the tissue box. The tp rolls have mixtures of orchard grass and oat hay and the tissue box is stuffed with timothy.

I used to just toss it around their cage and noticed they would leave lots of it untouched and when it was time to clean, I'd know why.. most of the hay was soiled and I didn't blame them for not eating it.

You can make hay racks out of anything if you're trying to cut costs... plus I think the piggies like it that way. They look like they're having fun while trying to eat the hay out of the tp rolls and tissue box. you can use cardboard boxes, tubes, old plastic cups, old cookie tins, etc... just be creative and make sure they can't choke or be harmed by anything you're using.