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Thread: Best hay and pellets?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Best hay and pellets?

    Hey everyone! I'm new to owning guinea pigs, and I've been trying me best to get them the best food I possibly can but I want to know what other people out there use to make sure I'm doing okay! I currently use this hay and these pellets. I think the pellets are just fine, as I followed the advice to buy plain pellets without any additions like dried fruit and stuff. However I'm wondering if there's a better hay brand to buy. My piggies really enjoy the grassy bits of the hay, and not to much the tough stems, so I want to find a brand that contains more grassy bits. Any advice?

    Here's a bonus pic I got of Miso sniffing around, but it looks like he's rocking out:
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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Best hay and pellets?

    The hay is fine but the pellets are garbage! In fact, almost everything Kaytee makes is not suitable for cavies.

    The preferred pellets here on the Forum are either Oxbow or KMS. You want to buy pellets that are high in protein and low in calcium. And, the form of calcium used should NOT be calcium carbonate/limestone which has been implicated in causing stone formation.

    You will spend a fortune over the lifetime of the piggies if you buy hay from a pet store......in those small bags, plus it is likely not fresh. Most of us buy our hay in bulk from Small Pet Select, KMS Hayloft, Sierra Valley Hay, and one or two others. Consider that most hay is harvested around September and the seller has that one crop for the next year. Timothy hay is the most popular, with others of us using Orchard grass or Bluegrass. Timothy is known for provoking allergies so orchard or bluegrass is an alternative.

    Use the Search function on the Forum. You will find a wealth of information in previous posts. BTW, welcome to you and the fur babies!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Best hay and pellets?

    Ditto @spy9doc. Pet store hay is the worst quality and the highest price. Hay from a local farmer is the cheapest, but it's not available everywhere. Online hay shippers are much cheaper than the pet store, and the hay is much better quality.

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    Re: Best hay and pellets?

    @bpatters @spy9doc Thank you guys so so much! I had no idea the pellets were trash. I'm going to order new pellets and hay from KMS Hayloft. What size of pellets would be a good idea to order if I have 2 guinea pigs? I want to get the best bang for my buck without getting too large of a bag that I won't be able to use it all before it becomes too old

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    Re: Best hay and pellets?

    I order 25 pounds at a time for my two. I use KMS pellets, and just store them in gallon-sized plastic bags until I'm ready for them.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Best hay and pellets?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    I order 25 pounds at a time for my two. I use KMS pellets, and just store them in gallon-sized plastic bags until I'm ready for them.
    That sounds like a reasonable criterion to me. Ordering 25 lbs at a time ensures that you shouldn't have to order too frequently, and yet they won't have time to become stale. Keep in mind that pellets are designed to disintegrate easily, and your boys will drink water as they eat pellets and carry the water in their mouths to the pellet bowl. You will end up tossing some pellets because they disintegrate in the bowl.

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    Re: Best hay and pellets?

    @spy9doc @bpatters Perfect, thank you! I'll do the 24lbs of pellets. And I haven't noticed any pellets disintegrating in the bowl due to water so far! I'll keep an eye out for that. How much hay do you guys usually order at a time?

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Best hay and pellets?

    The short answer is that it varies. Keep in mind that the hay crop is not always consistent and some years it is better than others. Most of us usually post regarding the quality of a particular seller's hay after we receive it. You might do a search to see what we've posted this year. I often order no more than 25 lbs until I see what the quality is at that time. More to the point, I find that 45lbs. will last nearly a year for two cavies.....but again, that is variable. I gave up on the hay rack and put hay on top of the litter in their litter boxes (one in the loft and another on the main level) so we go through hay more quickly.

    If you have no allergies, then you might like the 2nd cut or even 3rd cut Timothy hay. My husband/partner is wildly allergic to Timothy so I generally buy Orchard grass or Bluegrass. When the quality is good, I think that there is nothing better than bluegrass from KMS. When it is good, it is green, long-strand and smells devine........and the boys adore it.

    If you look around, you can often find coupons for Small Pet Select which many people like.

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    Re: Best hay and pellets?

    @spy9doc Thanks again for all the info! Is there any other reason to get 1st, 2nd, or 3rd cut hay besides allergies? Do pigs prefer a certain cut?

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    Re: Best hay and pellets?

    Is oxbow hay good?

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    Re: Best hay and pellets?

    Quote Originally Posted by stayarctic View Post
    Is there any other reason to get 1st, 2nd, or 3rd cut hay besides allergies? Do pigs prefer a certain cut?
    As previously mentioned, I don't use timothy hay at all. I have to use either bluegrass or orchard grass.

    Your best bet is to go to the three websites I mentioned and read what they have to say about all their "cuts". Good way to educate yourself! Below are the three sites. Note that each site may offer "sample sizes" as small as 1 lb. so that you can see what your boys like the best. Don't get alarmed that the shipping is so costly. It's still less than buying hay from a pet store that is likely inferior in quality.

    https://www.kmshayloft.com/

    https://shop.smallpetselect.com/

    http://www.sierravalleyhay.com/

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    Re: Best hay and pellets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff williams View Post
    Is oxbow hay good?
    Jeff......please read this thread in its entirety. Yes, Oxbow hay is fine.

    As one new to the Forum, please spend some time reading through previous posts to get up to speed with the current discussions. Use the "search" function......the box adjacent to the magnifying glass. You will find the answer to almost any question you may have.

    BTW, welcome to the Forum! How about posting an intro plus pics of your cavies?

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