View Full Version : Hay and Pellets - Help me Melbournians!

01-11-06, 10:40 pm
Hi all,

I'm in Melbourne and i used to have cavies back when i was a kid and i was thinking of giving it another try. I've realised that i made a lot of mistakes when looking after the poor buggers. (i.e. wire bottom, feeding iceberg lettuce, etc, good thing that they were picky eaters which is probably why they didn't have too many problems... who said guinea pigs are dumb??) But having become older and supposedly wiser (pfft :rolleyes:), i've done some research before i dive in and i'm also trying to find the best food possible while i'm at it.

First things first, Hay. I used to just buy the hay from Pets Paradise but i have no idea what kind it is. Either do the people who work there (surprise surprise) and it's about $10 for a decent sized bag (50cm x 120cm?). Anyone know what kind of hay it is? Another place is the petshop at Victoria Market and has hay that looks pretty good. Greenish and quite grassy (vs straw-like). This one is about $5 for about the same sized bag?

Secondly, pellets i've found are mostly if not all for both rabbits and guinea pigs. I'm not too sure if that's a bad thing but in the end i think its down to the ingredients. I've found a couple different ones that are relatively cheap except for the Pets Paradise ones which ironically are very good, with both timothy and alfafa based pellets. The Peters brand ones in Safeway (oops, and Woolworths for you non-Victorians ;)) are lucerne based which is apparently a different name for alfafa! I might use these ones for when the pigs are still young but once they get older then i'll have to switch. The Victoria market shop i mentioned before also has cheap pellets but they dont have the nutritional information. I think i also saw some Oxbow timothy ones there too but was something like $18 for a 1kg bag?? I would if i could but when it comes down to buying my dinner or theirs.... :sad:

Anybody know any big petshops or places in general that would have relatively cheap/good Hay and/or stock good pellets? I read the thread started by Walrus_2001 about food in Sydney and you guys seem to have it pretty good up there.

Oh, also does any body know if a place called "Mega Pet Wharehouse" is good? I heard it was ok but it'd be nice to have some conformation before i give it a trek. lol

Any help would be great guys!

01-12-06, 02:49 am
hi, um I'm not sure if you have to have pellets but I'm not really sure. I think the timothy hay is what your looking for. by the way what pets paradise did you go too? You could always try the pet store in chadstone, they might know more.

01-12-06, 07:31 am
Pets paradise has timothy hay its in a red bag for $10. Do you know any feed stores? Feed stores sell orchard grass which is similar to timothy hay in bales. Any grass based hay is best. Ring up a few places in the telephone book or do a quick search in your area on the net.

Feed stores usually have the hay you need.

Pellets: Australia doesnt really have any good pellets nutrionally, you have to know what is in them. Feed stores may have some for sale which you can choose yourself, i.e fill up a bag full of pellets and check the fibre percentage. Otherwise I just give mine hay and veggies and have cut out pellets completely. Pellets are an option not a must.

Sorry that I couldnt give you better advice since im in Sydney. I have to travel all the way to camden which is around 45 mins away to get my hay by car, which isnt too good lol.

Remember hay must be soft, green, fresh, with no sharp bits in it. Pellets must be plain with no seeds, colours, preservatives or flavours.

Please read these two links as they have everything you need to know on selecting the right hay and pellet type:



The Magic Taco
01-12-06, 09:20 pm
My pigs like the Pet Paradise stuff.

01-13-06, 07:38 pm
The feed store idea was great Fluffball, i browsed through the yellow pages and found one relatively close to my house but i have yet to check it out. Hopefully i'll find something i'm after.

And i was thinking about getting the timothy hay from Pets Paradise, but it's a tad on the expensive side for such a tiny bag. (I hate being a student... sooo poor :weepy:) But it does look good tho... i never knew hay could be so green!

As for pellets, they're more of a time saver. It's probably just as cheap to feed them solely on random vegies but it's the washing and preparation that might be a little tedious, especially if i want to quickly run out of the house in the morning when i'm late to uni or the like. Hopefully the feed store i found might even have some pellets, otherwise i think i'll look a little harder before i choose one.

Thanks guys for your help, anybody else got any other suggestions? lol

01-19-06, 07:45 am
Hi again!

I was just at woolworths and I found these packaged veggies for sale. They are around 3 dollars each for 500grams of lettuce. It is all pre washed and has all different types of lettuce in it and no ice burg. Just give it a quick rinse before giving it to the gp's.

Maybe you could buy them and feed your piggies a pack when your on the run. But always have red capsicum on hand to give them as well and corriander as their source of vitamin C. Just thought it may save you some time.

I do hope they have them in Melb!:cheerful:

01-20-06, 12:36 am
Those mixed green packs are a really good idea, especially if i'm in a hurry. I'm sure they have them in Safeway (our version of Woolworths. At first i thought you guys were strange "pfft, Woolworths? Who calls it that??"... and then i realised that we're the minority... whoops! Anyway!) Might be a tad on the expensive side tho.. I might take some time to mix up some daily portions of random vegies after uni when i'm looking for an excuse not to do homework lol . But but the fact that they're already prepared and pre-washed does sound tempting... We'll see!

If i'm going to mix, then lettuce seems to be the most economical veggie, $1-$2 for a pretty sizeable head. I think i'll mix some endives with coral or some other combination along those lines, and change the combination every time i mix them. Should be more than enough actually, i'm predicting that they'll go off before my pigs munch right through them. And every day/other day i'll throw in some cucumber, carrots, tomatos, etc? Oh, and i'll make sure i'll get plenty of capsicum and coriander (ew, both of my arch enemies... :yuck:... weird tastes these piggies have).

I've got no problems looking for lucerne (= alfalfa) based pellets, they're actually pretty good. For now it's ok cos my pigs are still young, i just go to Safeway and pick up a box, around $3? I forget.. but they do last for quite a bit tho. The only other pellets i can find that aren't lucerne based are Pets Paradise Timothy based ones, pretty darned good if they weren't $14 for a 2kg box!! :eek:

When my kids get a bit older i might just switch off the pellets all together and have a complete mixed vegie diet. Is my plan sound? What do you guys normally feed on a day to day basis?

I think i've got hay covered, the large bags they have at the Victoria Market Petshop are pretty good, and for $5.50.

And is it just me or is there a certain lack of melbournians on this forum, everybody seems to live in Sydney! :weepy:

01-21-06, 07:32 am
lol I do think the majority of aussies on this forum are from sydney although we do have some from QLD as well.

Daily I make a basic mix. This is what I feed every single day 2 times morning and evening. This is for 4 piggies:

It constists of:

1 cos lettuce
1 red capsicum
1 yellow capsicum
1 bunch of corriander
7 Endive leaves
seven blue berries (if I can afford them)

Then I add in every other day:

4 cherry tomatoes
4 baby carrots
Frill lettuce ( few leaves)

ocassionaly treats they get these once a month
four slices of apple, 4 slices of oranges.

But the basic mix is what I give them all the time and then I just addd things in. I feed them timothy hay every day. Ive been a bit timid in trying other veggies mainly because my my baby girl Flopsy does get gas often. This can result in bloat which is extrememly bad since guinea pigs cannot pass gas in any way, it just builds up and they are always in pain.

Unfourtunately my vet knows nothing, and prescibed her no drugs to help her at all even though the X ray showed a massive build up. I treated her myself though but she still has a small amount left in her stomach, which is why I only give them a basic mix of veggies. Im rambling on again lol :crazy:

I dont give them pellets because basically I cant find any good ones! If you put your lettuce mix in a container and cover it in gladwrap as well and put in the crisper draw of your fridge it will last around 2 days.

Goodluck on everything! :cheerful:

03-03-06, 10:47 pm
Thse are a few things that I've found that my Pigs like

Watermelon (especially on hot summer days)
Seedless Green Grapes
Sultanas, we sometimes add a few to their daily vegie mix
fresh Parsley
Carrot Tops (we buy the Dutch Carrots from Safeway, as they come with the tops, just remember to give thema bit of a scrub before you feed it to them)

And if you are planning on keeping them outside, on hot days (anything over about 28-29) try wrapping a frozen drink bottle (we use old washing detergent bottles that have been washed several times) in an old tea towel and putting it in the cage, they will snuggle up to it and keep cool.