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Thread: Quick hay questions

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    Cavy Slave
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    Quick hay questions

    I feel like I'm overthinking this, but here goes: I want to have a hay room/area where the pigs can play, nap, eat, climb around, etc. I prefer not to just throw the hay down on the fleece, I'd like to keep it contained somehow. I've seen people using plastic Sterilite containers (and similar) and was just wondering if you do this, what do you use? And do you need to cut openings, or use a bridge to get in, etc? I think I've seen people also using shallow litter boxes.

    Also, do you put anything on the bottom of the container? Or is it ALL hay?

    thanks!

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    Administrator lissie's Avatar
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    Re: Quick hay questions

    Any plastic tray will work.
    Some people make them from extra coroplast.

    If the lip is low enough, you do not need to cut an entrance. I think they can easily jump over 2 to 3 inches. If it's taller, you will need a bridge.

    You need bedding under the hay. Hay is not absorbent and will become a soggy mess. I like wood and paper pellets.

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  4. #3
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Quick hay questions

    Thanks so much! Quick followup - could you post the specific wood and/or paper pellets and where to get them? Thanks again!

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Quick hay questions

    After trying many different types of bedding and pellets, my favorite is Petco's So Phresh line.

    https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcos...animal-bedding

    I have a litter pan on the main level and in the loft. The pan came from WalMart and was marketed as a "kitten litter pan". The sides are less than 4" tall and my boys have been able to easily jump over the sides since they were quite small. When they were babies, I started them with the pressed paper pans and simply cut a doorway in it.

    I put a layer of litter in the pan and then hay on top. They love being in the litter pan where they can do two things at once. If the hay becomes soiled with poop and pee, then it is changed. I generally remove wet and soiled litter, spray with Cage Clean (old name) and then put a very light layer of fresh litter over that before adding hay.

    Don't even consider one of those useless corner litter pans. I have never had a cavy who would get in one. The litter pans should be large enough that an adult cavy can stretch out in it.........and believe me, they will.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Quick hay questions

    Regarding litter pans, I have happily found a source of the pans that I use and just ordered more. They can be ordered from Amazon or Chewy.

    https://www.amazon.com/Van-Ness-Smal...ten+litter+box
    https://www.chewy.com/van-ness-cat-l...small/dp/55352

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    The very small pressed cardboard type can be purchased at many pet stores.
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    Re: Quick hay questions

    Thanks spy9doc! By the way, with that litter pan, do you cut an entryway into it, or do you use a bridge for them to climb in, or ???

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Quick hay questions

    Quote Originally Posted by chickpea222 View Post
    By the way, with that litter pan, do you cut an entryway into it, or do you use a bridge for them to climb in, or ???
    Read my previous post. Cavies are better jumpers than you give them credit for. If yours are very small, start with the Nature's Miracle pressed cardboard/paper one that already has an entryway. The blue plastic one requires no modification. My boys have used it since they were quite small. The only modification I made was to glue flat weights on the bottom so that it couldn't be moved all around the cage.

    Chip will move anything around the cage that he can handle. Before I discovered my current pellet bowl, I watched him pick up the edge of the ceramic bowl in his teeth and slide it all around. Now that he can't move the pellet dish, he moves the tunnel over to the dish so that he can eat in private. He's such a little rascal!

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    Re: Quick hay questions

    Thanks again, sorry I missed it in the previous post. Yes, I have quite the jumpers - one can jump on top of a large pigloo with no problem, so it shouldn't be issue for her. The younger one may have a problem, but I'll see how she does. I'm excited to provide a hay room/area for them, up until now we've only used a hay rack, so I can't wait to see how they react!

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    Re: Quick hay questions

    I've given up on a hay rack, but have still left one in the loft. They occasionally pick from it, but why have to work at it when they can just hop in the litter box, munch to their heart's content, and take a nap while they're at it?

    Yes, quite a bit of hay is wasted by putting it in the litter box, but it is worth it to me considering how important adequate hay consumption is to their well-being. My previous cavies didn't eat nearly enough hay and Chester developed the worst malocclusion the Vet had ever seen. Of course, part of the issue may have been genetic, but nevertheless repeat dental plannings and accompanying anesthesia probably ultimately claimed his life.

    My boys absolutely LOVE fresh hay! They get so excited when we tidy the litter pan with fresh hay. They can barely contain themselves and compete to see who gets to the litter pan first. They don't fight over it and the other one will pick around the edges and wait his turn. If the box were large enough for both of them, I have no doubt that both would be in there together.

    Keep us posted as to how your new arrangement works for you.

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    Cavy Slave Kelsie's Avatar
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    Re: Quick hay questions

    @chickpea222, I just wanted to add my two cents to your hay question. I purchased the Cavy Cafe from the Cage Store here on this forum. It works wonderfully for containing the hay and allowing my two pigs to eat at the same time. What I did was put it at the end of my 6X2 C&C cage and I put a 2X1 fleece liner in first and then put a little rug from Ikea in on top of the liner. The rug catches most of the hay and I can easily shake it out. Now I do use a corner litter pan for the hay but both of my pigs are able to get to the hay without any problems. The lip on the kitchen is only 2.5" so my pigs just jump in and out with no difficulty. It does make a little more laundry for me because I change the liner and rug everyday.

    I took this idea from another member and it has worked out perfectly for me. My pigs can scatter the hay all over and most of it stays in the Cavy Cafe.

    I was always afraid of hay racks and I once tried to use a hay bag and my small pig jumped into it. Fortunately I was able to get her out without any injury to her but that ended that idea. Since I discovered the Cavy Cafe, I would never use anything else.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Quick hay questions

    Spy9Doc -- Was it the bedding or paper pellets that you like/use from the SoPhresh line? I picked up some of the bedding the other day and am waiting to use it (have to still get the new cage set up!) -- but I did see the paper pellets right next to the bedding and was wondering which one to try, or which one you used.

    Kelsie -- what a great idea! I made myself a kitchen out of leftover coroplast, but I was thinking of purchasing the Cafe for the new cage setup. I was thinking of using the Cafe for their actual eating area (with food bowls, water, and a hay rack), and then I found the perfect sized Sterilite bin just today at Target, so I was going to use that in the loft for a very large hay box. It's 6 inches tall, though, so it's either cut an opening in the side or use a wooden bridge (or coroplast ramp). I like your idea of a fleece liner at the bottom of the box, and just thought I'd ask -- is that something you purchased also? And is it the standard fleece layered with uhaul pads? Thanks!!

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    Cavy Slave Kelsie's Avatar
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    Re: Quick hay questions

    @chickpea222 ---Yes, the liners are ones that I have purchased from various sellers on Etsy. They are just standard fleece with either U-haul padding or Zorb. The dimensions are 2"X1" and they fit perfectly into the Cafe. If you are handy with a sewing machine you could probably make your own. I just don't have either the talent or, to be honest, the ambition to make my own. Lol!

    There are a few sellers on Etsy that make really nice high-quality liners. If you decide to go that route just check the reviews. I don't want to mention anyone in particular but if you would like the names of Etsy sellers that I purchase from just send me a PM.

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    Re: Quick hay questions

    Quote Originally Posted by chickpea222 View Post
    Was it the bedding or paper pellets that you like/use from the SoPhresh line? I picked up some of the bedding the other day and am waiting to use it (have to still get the new cage set up!) -- but I did see the paper pellets right next to the bedding and was wondering which one to try, or which one you used.
    I initially tried both and neither the boys nor I liked the paper pellets. I suspect that they didn't like the feel of them underfoot and I felt that they were noisy. I have been using the crumbled paper type for 3-4 years and have never looked back.

    Occasionally someone asks if the baking soda in the litter causes respiratory issues? Never in all the time I have been using the litter have we had any hint of a respiratory problem. That doesn't mean that it couldn't happen, but I think that it is a low probability.

    I always buy the 40L size and it costs around $21 with tax at my local stores. After trying other types over the years, I have been very satisfied with SoPhresh both in terms of quality and the price point. Also, note all the great reviews.

    https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcos...animal-bedding

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