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Thread: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

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    Cavy Slave
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    Question My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    I got a guinea pig less than a month ago, she's gaining weight and being more active than when I got her but she doesn't eat as much hay as other guinea pigs I've seen around (by around I mean, people posting here and / or Youtube users with guinea pigs). Last week her weight was at 540 grs. And this week she's at 630grs. She eats 1/8 cup of pellets every day and a cup of veggies.

    *Also looking for a guinea pig sister for my GP. Still can't find the right one, tough choices.

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    Thanks!

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    What brand of hay are you feeding? Can you post a photo of it so we can tell you whether it's quality hay or not?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    Quote Originally Posted by pinky View Post
    What brand of hay are you feeding? Can you post a photo of it so we can tell you whether it's quality hay or not?
    I'm feeding her Oxbow Timothy Hay, she used to sleep on it. Now that I put it on a hay rack she doesn't eat a lot. Maybe I have unrealistic expectations of the amount she should be eating.

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    Cavy Slave Nazgul's Avatar
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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    My piggies didn't eat a lot of hay when I used a rack. I tried several different options - store bought hay racks, a hay bag, and a bent-wire rack. Same results.

    So, recently, I decided to just try plopping piles of hay in the corner of their cage. It was great not only because my piggies LOVE sitting in their hay, but - more importantly - they started eating more!

    It is a very messy process and you will have to refill more often (since they poop and soil the hay that's flat on the ground), but it works great. And you can avoid most, if not all of the mess by using a hay box or something similar. I myself plan to invest in one eventually but for now, the system still works just fine. (extra mess aside, )

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    Post a photo of your hay rack with the hay in it. I have to agree that they seem to prefer piles of hay. Mine devour their hay when it's in a pile.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    Quote Originally Posted by Nazgul View Post
    My piggies didn't eat a lot of hay when I used a rack. I tried several different options - store bought hay racks, a hay bag, and a bent-wire rack. Same results.

    So, recently, I decided to just try plopping piles of hay in the corner of their cage. It was great not only because my piggies LOVE sitting in their hay, but - more importantly - they started eating more!

    It is a very messy process and you will have to refill more often (since they poop and soil the hay that's flat on the ground), but it works great. And you can avoid most, if not all of the mess by using a hay box or something similar. I myself plan to invest in one eventually but for now, the system still works just fine. (extra mess aside, )

    That's a really good idea. What I just did using your suggestion was to turn her Igloo that she doesn't use anymore upside down and put hay in it. Hopefully she'll eat more. If not I'll put in the floor and keep trying different options. Thanks!

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    Cavy Slave mamaduck71's Avatar
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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    No hay rack for my piggies. Just a big pile in there cage. I end up going thru a lot of hay, cuz when they are eating they are also peeing and pooping in it which in turn, that i hay they will not eat.
    They love hiding in it.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    Quote Originally Posted by mamaduck71 View Post
    No hay rack for my piggies. Just a big pile in there cage. I end up going thru a lot of hay, cuz when they are eating they are also peeing and pooping in it which in turn, that i hay they will not eat.
    They love hiding in it.
    I guess my guinea pig is not the only one she also has a hay ball thing but I don't think she gets how it works

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    Quote Originally Posted by Nannub View Post
    That's a really good idea. What I just did using your suggestion was to turn her Igloo that she doesn't use anymore upside down and put hay in it. Hopefully she'll eat more. If not I'll put in the floor and keep trying different options. Thanks!
    Don't flip your pigloo for hay. If it's one of those with the squares on top that stick up in a circle, you'll have depressions where they can injure their legs or feet if you flip it.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    I had only a hay rack for years, but after Chester began having dental issues, he stopped eating hay altogether.

    I have a litter box in both the loft and on the main level and began putting a light layer of hay over the litter. My kids love it because they can do two things at once. Both of them frequently go to the litter box after their morning and evening meal for toilet needs AND to eat hay. The litter box contains the hay debris and I find that overall, we use less litter and not much more hay. When the hay is fresh, Maya will jump into it, burrow through, and often fall asleep there.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    Quote Originally Posted by pinky View Post
    Don't flip your pigloo for hay. If it's one of those with the squares on top that stick up in a circle, you'll have depressions where they can injure their legs or feet if you flip it.
    yeah I put it back in the cage on the right way like 15 minutes after I did that. It was kinda dumb. Thanks for the advice!

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    Cavy Slave Icarus_Hermes's Avatar
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    My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    Mine love hay piles too. If she still doesn't eat a lot, try switching up the type of hay. One of my pigs didn't eat a lot when I only bought Oxbow timothy, then I tried orchard and he went nuts for it! He loves bluegrass too. The only timothy he goes crazy for is KMS 3rd cut.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    I got a small bag of National Geographic hay mixed up with some other greens. Like parsley and dandelion flowers. Does anyone know if it's safe? It's has some kind of pellets in it.

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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    Parsley and dandelion are fine. I probably wouldn't feed it to them every day, but it's fine as a treat. Of course, they might like it fresh even better. Mine go crazy for dandelion greens.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    Quote Originally Posted by Icarus_Hermes View Post
    Mine love hay piles too. If she still doesn't eat a lot, try switching up the type of hay. One of my pigs didn't eat a lot when I only bought Oxbow timothy, then I tried orchard and he went nuts for it! He loves bluegrass too. The only timothy he goes crazy for is KMS 3rd cut.
    I got Orchard Hay, my gp went nuts over it!!!! Omg I'm so happy! She's been more active these days, munching on it all night long.

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    Cavy Slave Icarus_Hermes's Avatar
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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    Yay, glad to hear it! Always fun to find a picky pig's favorite!

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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    In addition to the hay piles, pigs tend to like orchard grass more since it's a sweeter hay (and a little stringier/softer). Brand is definitely important too. See how the hay smells and looks. Does it smell sweet? Is it green? Check for these and if your hay isn't checking out, that could be the issue too. However, I've never had issues with Oxbow.
    @Nannub I don't quite know about their hay but National Geographic's other animal products are junk. Their pellets are horrible, so I don't think their hay would be much better.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    Brand is definitely important too.
    Sorry, but brand is never important with hay, except in a very general way. Hay is hay is hay, and the quality has more to do with the growing/harvesting/storage conditions than the name of the company who's distributing it. Very few, if any, of the large hay suppliers for pets grow their own hay. They all buy from farmers whose raise huge quantities of hay, and the farmers sell to whoever's paying the best price. It's entirely possible that a farmer sells one year to Oxbow and another to Sweet Meadow Farm -- same hay, different name.

    You want dry, green, sweet-smelling hay. You're more likely to get that if you buy large quantities of hay at a time, because the hay is packaged in a way that keeps it from drying out. The flip side of that is that you can't see what you're getting, the way you can in a small cellophane bag. But that small bag is way more expensive, and is much more likely to dry out than hay packed tightly in a box.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: My guinea pig doesn't eat much Hay

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Sorry, but brand is never important with hay, except in a very general way. Hay is hay is hay, and the quality has more to do with the growing/harvesting/storage conditions than the name of the company who's distributing it. Very few, if any, of the large hay suppliers for pets grow their own hay. They all buy from farmers whose raise huge quantities of hay, and the farmers sell to whoever's paying the best price. It's entirely possible that a farmer sells one year to Oxbow and another to Sweet Meadow Farm -- same hay, different name.

    You want dry, green, sweet-smelling hay. You're more likely to get that if you buy large quantities of hay at a time, because the hay is packaged in a way that keeps it from drying out. The flip side of that is that you can't see what you're getting, the way you can in a small cellophane bag. But that small bag is way more expensive, and is much more likely to dry out than hay packed tightly in a box.

    thanks for the advice @bpatters . My pig has been eating more hay now that I got Orchard Hay. All the Oxbow Hay i got smells so good! I got Kaytee a while ago and had to return it, I got straw-like hay.

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