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Thread: Hoping to get clarification on hay for my guinea pigs

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    Cavy Slave
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    Hoping to get clarification on hay for my guinea pigs

    I read the threads about hay, the brands and where to buy. I am new to this and feel like I have been an awful owner so far. We have had them for about a month and it all seemed so simple when we bought them. The more I read, the more I realize I do not know. I will post a few questions in other subs as I have quite a few questions and need help.

    My questions:
    Is the hay sold on Amazon such as Oxbow or Small Pet Select the same product as going to the online stores I found linked here? I would prefer to buy from Amazon for simplicity, but would prefer not to get a lower quality product by going to Amazon. I noticed Oxbow comes in a plastic bag and read here that the bagged ones may have been on a shelf for a long time.

    I looked at Sierra Valley and the notes state that their 2nd cut had dry weather and is not as good as it usually is. Should I skip them and go with the other options?

    i like the hay listed on the Small Pet Select site. My plan would be to get the 2nd cut Timothy hay, but I see some listed as a special treat that I can mix in. There is Oat Hay as well as gourmet that can be added to the Timothy. Is that worth doing? Is it a special treat or just a marketing gimmick? They also list Alfalfa hay for pets under 1 year old. Should I be using Alfalfa instead of Timothy?

    we bought our first hay from Petsmart where we got the pigs and they were eating it up like crazy. We were adding carrots in once in awhile and have read that they should be given vegetables every day and to go easy on carrots. Now that we are adding vegetables, they aren't eating much hay. I don't know if it is due to it being mostly stalks now or the fact they are holding out for the veggies. Our one active pig would jump and run around when we put new hay in their holder, but he doesn't do that anymore.

    Thank you in advance for any help or suggestions.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hoping to get clarification on hay for my guinea pigs

    A few dditional questions... on the Select Pet site, she has all kinds of dried fruit, toys and such for the guineas. Do you recommend any of those?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Hoping to get clarification on hay for my guinea pigs

    Please don't post in other places -- keep all your questions about your guinea pigs here. It's easier for us to follow what's going on with them.

    Hay is hay is hay. Brands don't mean a thing, except that some companies choose better hay for sale, while others, like Kaytee, obviously don't put much premium on selling a good product. I don't know which brands are sold on Amazon, but Oxbow from Amazon is the same as Oxbow from anywhere else.

    The two best hay vendors, in my opinion, are Small Pet Select and American Pet Diner. You can buy cheaper hay, but you can't buy better hay. And whichever you choose, it will be less than half the cost of what you'd find in a local pet store. I usually buy Small Pet Select unless I can find a really good deal on APD.

    By far the cheapest way to buy hay is to find a local farmer. You can buy a whole bale for what you'd pay for a few pounds at a pet store. But not everyone has good local hay.

    Some people swear by second cut timothy, others by third cut. I stick with second cut because third cut isn't always available, and if they've gotten used to third cut they sometimes balk at going back to second. You can do what you like about adding other kinds of hay, but they're not necessary. To my way of thinking, the only real reason to feed another kind of hay is if you yourself happen to be allergic to timothy. And I'd skip all the other stuff -- it's not necessary.

    Pigs under six months need extra calcium. You can get that by feeding a good quality alfalfa pellet -- the only ones we recommend are KMS Hayloft and Oxbow. Or you can supplement their timothy hay with some alfalfa. Or you can feed some calcium rich veggies. But there's no need to do all three.

    Once they're six months old, you should switch to a good timothy pellet, again KMS Hayloft or Oxbow, and cut back to 1/8 cup per pig per day. Adult pigs should get about a cup, or a little more, of veggies. You shouldn't overfeed veggies, because they'll come to prefer those over hay. And hay is by far the most important thing in their diets -- it's what keeps their teeth ground down and their GI tracts moving normally.

    Here's some recommended reading for new pig owners:

    https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...nea-pig-owners
    https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...ur-guinea-pigs!
    https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...eat-vegetables

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hoping to get clarification on hay for my guinea pigs

    Thank you so much for a detailed post. The bad part is I want to spolil the, so bad that the extras all seem worth it.

    When i I said post elsewhere, I mean other boards he in this forum such as cage, pet interaction, shy piggy, biting piggy and lots of other stuff I have questions about.

    Thank you again. I really appreciate it.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hoping to get clarification on hay for my guinea pigs

    One more question.... sorry... my wife said to put a small brick below the water, so if it drips, the brick absorbs the water and the pigs can wear down their fingertips walking' on it. I just saw a suggestion to put several inn the cage as a walkway to help the nails. Is that worth it?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Hoping to get clarification on hay for my guinea pigs

    I'm not much impressed with the bricks. To me, it's just way easier to clip their nails.

    And I know what you meant about the other places to post. But it's still easier for the rest of us to keep up with your pigs if you put all the posts about them in this thread.

    You can spoil them. They'll never turn down food, so walk by and offer them a blueberry or two, or a bit of an herb they like. There are plenty of suggestions on here about homemade entertainment, such as toilet paper rolls stuffed with hay (cut them lengthwise first, so they don't get stuck), fleece forests, etc.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hoping to get clarification on hay for my guinea pigs

    I actually like being able to post everything in this one thread. Makes it easier on me. Thank you for the suggestion.

    I looked through hundreds and DS and hundreds of pictures and I was impressed what others have done with their cages, toys and ideas. Some are very creative. My goal is to start getting them out of their cage way more often and making their cage a great place to play and have fun.

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    Cavy Slave CupcakeCavy's Avatar
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    Re: Hoping to get clarification on hay for my guinea pigs

    The most cheap place to get large quantities of hay would be from a local farm store or farmer. Just make sure you look at the hay beforehand to make sure it is good quality.

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    Cavy Slave CupcakeCavy's Avatar
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    Re: Hoping to get clarification on hay for my guinea pigs

    Also I would say do not buy any hay that has other bits mixed in with it. It is generally not very healthy for them.

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