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Thread: very picky eaters, eat 20% of hay, the rest thrown out.

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    Cavy Slave
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    very picky eaters, eat 20% of hay, the rest thrown out.

    I have ordered fresh hay from a reputable source.

    My guinea pigs poke around in the hay pile, appear to be looking for certain strands of hay while ignoring others. After a while they are done and won't eat from that pile of hay any more. They may call for food even when they have a good sized pile of hay. If I clear that pile and add more hay from my supply then they start picking through it again. I end up throwing out about 70% of the hay because they are only interested in eating 30% of it.

    Is this a normal ratio of eating out of the pile? If they get hungry enough will they eat the rest of it? Does this mean that the hay is not good quality?

    Robert

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: very picky eaters, eat 20% of hay, the rest thrown out.

    Totally normal. All guinea pigs are like that.

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    Cavy Slave Kelsie's Avatar
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    Re: very picky eaters, eat 20% of hay, the rest thrown out.

    My pigs do the same thing. Sometimes I can trick them by adding just a small amount of new hay and mixing it into the hay that I gave them a few hours earlier. They think I gave them all new hay and they start eating it again.

    It doesn't always work though and I do toss out quite a bit of their hay. I admit I often feel frustrated when I see perfectly good hay going into the trash but I try to just consider it part of the cost of owning guinea pigs.

    I do notice that they tend to eat all of the hay that I give them right before bed. In the morning their hay bin is considerably picked through. I think they know that during the day I will refresh their hay so they act picky and want all new hay every couple hours.

    They definitely know how to play their owners and I wouldn't have it any other way. The excitement they get from a new pile of hay just makes it all worthwhile.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: very picky eaters, eat 20% of hay, the rest thrown out.

    Thanks - @Kelsie. I was wondering if perhaps some pieces of hay are more nutritious or aromatic than other pieces. I will try to fake them out by mixing in some new hay. It is good that they eat the hay if they get hungry enough, that would be better than them going hungry if I am away at work.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: very picky eaters, eat 20% of hay, the rest thrown out.

    My young boys do the same. They spread it out everywhere, pick through what they want, and play in the rest. The split second I gather it all back in and pile it up in the corner, they're in it thinking it's all new hay, munching happily. They're just silly, I think.

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    Re: very picky eaters, eat 20% of hay, the rest thrown out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guinea Pig Papa View Post
    My young boys do the same. They spread it out everywhere, pick through what they want, and play in the rest. The split second I gather it all back in and pile it up in the corner, they're in it thinking it's all new hay, munching happily. They're just silly, I think.
    I am trying some of these techniques. I am trying to figure out if they can truly identify which hay they want to eat out of the pile or if it is a novelty thing.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Artista's Avatar
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    Re: very picky eaters, eat 20% of hay, the rest thrown out.

    Yup. My last one and current one eat the "good" pieces. Now mind you i take the time to sort through each strand while watching tv so no debris, sticks, browns, yellows... and still not all gets eaten. I think the reason is after sitting for long and having been sat on and such it's viewed as old. They dont get its the same box. So when you put a new batch in they think better. If they stop rating the hay, take it out and put new batch in. Mine didn't buy my just putting it back in. You want them to eat a lot of hay so do what you have to do or there will be problems requiring an exotic vet.

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