View Full Version : Alfalfa Hay vs. Timothy Hay?

02-06-03, 04:00 pm
I read somewhere that you should give your piggy Alfalfa Hay until they are a year old. Others say that they should only receive Timothy Hay? Is there really a difference? Any Advice? My piggy is 9 months old. Also I was wondering if anyone knows if it is better to use Cedar Shavings or Pine Shavings? I find the cedar is softer, but the pine is more absorbent. My piggy has been sneezing a lot and I was wondering if the hay or shavings may be the problem.


Ginni and Zoey
02-06-03, 11:05 pm
hello, i always have timothy hay, but also have alflafa hay. i think of it as tim. hay is more healthy for them and the alfalfa is a treat but also good. both are good to have, i say tim. is a must.

about bedding PLEASE DONT NOT USE PINE OR CEDER!!! this is harmful to you small animals and the sneezning could be a URI cause by the bedding, if you use pine make sure it it kiln dried if not sure call the number on the back but it should say. i think you should take you guinea pig to the vet for the sneezeing and because of the bedding you are useing. i use kiln dried 100% woodshaving it was only 6.40 at petsmart and it HUGE! Care fresh is another good chioce some peolpe think the best but i find it to much money. there are a few other SAFE bedding for your guinea pig some even use fabrics, easy, safe, and cheap :) please do not buy pine or ceder. Almost everyone one the board will agree dont buy pine or ceder

i hope i help, and please dont think i was trying to be mean. :)

02-08-03, 09:47 am
alflafa hay has more calcium than timothy so can cause problems. I think alflafa is given untill the pigs are 6 months old (or pregnant or sick) and then they should have timothy

02-08-03, 11:22 am
ALWAYS give Timothy Hay. Supplement young or pregnant or lactating cavies with Alfalfa hay. Add the Timothy. Do not give Alfalfa exclusively. Young cavies only need alfalfa hay until they are about 4 to 6 months old.

02-09-03, 02:07 am
Thanks for your help. We are now giving her Timothy Hay. About the bedding, I live in a smallish town and the closest big city to me is 2.5 hours away, I checked all of the local pet stores and they do not have any carefresh, or pine that is kilm dried. What about Aspen Shavings? Does anyone have any other options? The only pine I could find was from Wal-Mart and that was air-dried. I will not be able to get to the city until the beginning of March. What should I do until then?

Trish and Lambourguinea

02-13-03, 07:45 pm
I have heard of Aspen shavings before, and I believe they are kiln dried. What I do for my kids is have a layer of kiln dried pine shavings covered with full (non toxic) sheets of newspaper, which is then covered with a mixture of blankets, towels, and fleece. Every day I spot clean the shavings, replace the paper with clean, and replace the blankets, etc. (with my second set). Then I wash the first set and use it for the next day. A bit of work, but well worth it. They also have a ton of toys, hideaways, plastic stools, and log tunnels, among other things!

Please keep a very close eye on your pigger. They can go downhill very fast! If your pig is "coughing" or "sneezing" often or has any discharge from it's nose/eyes a vet check and antibiotics might be in order.

As for hay and pellets, try to feed a timothy based pellet, and (an unlimited amount of) timothy hay to reduce an excess of calcium which can cause kidney stones. (Alfalfa is very high in calcium) Also make sure you are feeding plenty of leafy greens/veggies high in vitamin C, as gps cannot manufacture their own. Some good examples are romaine lettuce, kale, spinach (occasionaly), parsley, dandelion greens, and bell peppers.

Hope this helps! Good Luck!