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Thread: Going Through Hay Fast

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    Cavy Slave LemonySnickers's Avatar
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    Going Through Hay Fast

    I order Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting Timothy Hay through Amazon, the 25 pound option. I ordered a batch last month on the 10th and I just ordered again today because I am getting low. I have one guinea pig, and I feel like I am going through hay quicker than I can keep up. How much hay do you guys give your guinea pigs? I tend to give Snickers a bit more than I think he needs because I would rather overfeed him than underfeed him, since he's getting up there in years, but I feel like there's just so much I throw away and that makes me feel awful. I hate wasting hay. I think part of the reason this batch went so fast is because there was a lot of dust and small pieces I had to toss, but still. I usually just give him a large fistful on one side of his cage so he can forage through it, but I'm wondering if I should use a manger so it stays cleaner longer? But then I feel like he doesn't eat as much when he has to pull it out of something. I don't know. Thoughts?

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Going Through Hay Fast

    I view hay as the cheapest and most nutritious essential that cavies need........in an unlimited amount. Their teeth grow SO rapidly and if you have a cavy who doesn't eat enough hay, he invariably will end up with wonky teeth which are expensive to keep ground down and with the risks associated with the dental procedure and accompanying anesthetic. It is probably the cheapest item associated with cavy care.

    I long ago discontinued using any sort of hay rack for the cage. And as you pointed out, I too have observed that they just don't eat enough hay from a hay rack. I have a litter pan (kitten litter pan) which has a layer of litter over which is a generous layer of hay. My cavies absolutely loved being able to do two activities at once.........use the toilet and munch on hay. Now before you (or someone else) goes "ugh" about mixing the two activities, keep in mind that cavies eat their poop for added nutrition.

    With this setup, you just have to be conscientious about keeping the hay relatively clean because poops don't always fall through the hay onto the litter below. I sometimes thought about changing the setup, but Sparky loved his litter box SO much that he would frequently sleep in the box. I thought it was a small concession on my part to permit him to have something that brought him so much pleasure.
    Last edited by spy9doc; 02-22-20 at 12:23 pm.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Going Through Hay Fast

    Ditto @spy9doc. Saving money on hay is a false economy with guinea pigs.

    That said, I did discover that if I regularly stirred up the hay pile in my cage, the pigs would eat more of it. But I always made sure there was plenty in there.

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Going Through Hay Fast

    I stir up the hay a bit and top it off with fresh. That starts the foraging process all over again and she picks through the whole pile. I throw out the old hay at the end of the day. I toss it in the corner of the back yard and the wild rabbits are eating it.

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    Re: Going Through Hay Fast

    I stir up the hay like ItsaZoo and mix in new fresh hay daily. I typically will completely clean it out twice a week when I am cleaning the cage and put all new fresh hay. However, I feed hay unlimited. I do not skimp on it, I always have new fresh hay available for them to eat. Like the posters stated above, it keeps their teeth from overgrowing, which can cause a LOT of issues.

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    Cavy Slave SSLee's Avatar
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    Re: Going Through Hay Fast

    I do put hay in a basket but that doesn't save any hay as I see Lily pull it out and discard until she finds the perfect strand of hay. She then uses the pulled out hay to line her litter pan so she can lie down and nap. For the bits and pieces and shorter strands, lately I have been putting it into a larger ceramic dish and the other piggy, Felicia likes to dig through it. I think I throw out at least 1/3 of the hay that I buy for my girls. For one piggy, a 25 lb box that lasts about 1.5 months does seem a lot.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Going Through Hay Fast

    A pile of hay is the best way to get them to eat more hay and hay more often. We don’t like having to work for our food, neither do they. Completely change the hay once a day and a few times a day add a handful of fresh and mix it up they will think it’s new and eat more ! Yes I have a single pig and I buy hay in bulk. It would be great if you could buy just all their favorite pieces of hay, that would be ideal and much less waste, but it’s just not reality. So yeah, you will USE much more than they eat a day. But it isn’t wasted, it is necessary.

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    Re: Going Through Hay Fast

    Quote Originally Posted by LemonySnickers View Post
    I order Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting Timothy Hay through Amazon, the 25 pound option. I ordered a batch last month on the 10th and I just ordered again today because I am getting low. I have one guinea pig, and I feel like I am going through hay quicker than I can keep up. How much hay do you guys give your guinea pigs? I tend to give Snickers a bit more than I think he needs because I would rather overfeed him than underfeed him, since he's getting up there in years, but I feel like there's just so much I throw away and that makes me feel awful. I hate wasting hay. I think part of the reason this batch went so fast is because there was a lot of dust and small pieces I had to toss, but still. I usually just give him a large fistful on one side of his cage so he can forage through it, but I'm wondering if I should use a manger so it stays cleaner longer? But then I feel like he doesn't eat as much when he has to pull it out of something. I don't know. Thoughts?

    Snickers is a cute name!!! omgosh! what a cutie!!!

    I still have a large bag for my two boys. i give them timothy hay in the morning, and evening when i get home from work.
    i give extra in the evening because I feel like in the morning it's not enough. Plus there is a dish of pellets for them as well.

    If you're home, you should probably get a hay dispensing thing, and always keep it full. i have one. my boys poop a lot though after giving them that much hay! but its healthy poops

    GIVE THEM ALL THE HAY! they love hay, its essential to their diet.

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    Re: Going Through Hay Fast

    Quote Originally Posted by Guinepigmom_2.0 View Post
    Snickers is a cute name!!! omgosh! what a cutie!!!

    I still have a large bag for my two boys. i give them timothy hay in the morning, and evening when i get home from work.
    i give extra in the evening because I feel like in the morning it's not enough. Plus there is a dish of pellets for them as well.

    If you're home, you should probably get a hay dispensing thing, and always keep it full. i have one. my boys poop a lot though after giving them that much hay! but its healthy poops

    GIVE THEM ALL THE HAY! they love hay, its essential to their diet.
    Guineapigmom_2.0 you said it best! Give them all the hay! haha

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    Re: Going Through Hay Fast

    Quote Originally Posted by PippathePig View Post
    Guineapigmom_2.0 you said it best! Give them all the hay! haha

    Hahahha ALL THE HAY equals healthy poops and healthy poops equals happy guinea piggies and happy mama

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    Cavy Slave LemonySnickers's Avatar
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    Re: Going Through Hay Fast

    Thank you for all the responses. I will try stirring up the hay or adding handfuls throughout the day. I always find it amusing when Snickers decides to start eating his hay when I am spot cleaning...as soon as I start cleaning it up, he's suddenly interested. Piggies, am I right?

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Going Through Hay Fast

    I have the same situation. Lacey will be snoozing when I get the little broom and dust pan out. Before you know it, she's jumping at the broom to chase it away and gobbling up hay that she wasn't interested in a minute ago. And if I leave the broom in there when I empty the dust pan, she struts over to gives the broom a bite or two just to let it know who's boss. The smallest member of the family is the one in charge.

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    Re: Going Through Hay Fast

    I’m a single piggy mama and Abby may not be interested in the hay at all, but soon as I come sit with her she eats it like there’s no tomorrow. Does she think I’m going to steal or maybe hay eating is a social affair to her. Who knows. That being said she will eat her lettuce with me there, but give her a carrot or piece of fruit she drags it into her pigloo. Carrots and fruit are SERIOUS business! Can’t even trust mom not to steal, even though I was the one to give it to her in the first place!

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    Re: Going Through Hay Fast

    Quote Originally Posted by petluv View Post
    I’m a single piggy mama and Abby may not be interested in the hay at all, but soon as I come sit with her she eats it like there’s no tomorrow. Does she think I’m going to steal or maybe hay eating is a social affair to her. Who knows. That being said she will eat her lettuce with me there, but give her a carrot or piece of fruit she drags it into her pigloo. Carrots and fruit are SERIOUS business! Can’t even trust mom not to steal, even though I was the one to give it to her in the first place!
    That is quite hilarious!

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    Re: Going Through Hay Fast

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaZoo View Post
    I have the same situation. Lacey will be snoozing when I get the little broom and dust pan out. Before you know it, she's jumping at the broom to chase it away and gobbling up hay that she wasn't interested in a minute ago. And if I leave the broom in there when I empty the dust pan, she struts over to gives the broom a bite or two just to let it know who's boss. The smallest member of the family is the one in charge.

    LOL dust pan showing it whos boss LOL LOL too funny

    Mine once they hear the bag crinkle...their noses are up and sniffing it out and all of sudden i get big running circles around the cage, popcorning, and then they come and grab it form the hay bin..crazies even after giving their medicine they go nuts. The hay is happy hay hay hay

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Going Through Hay Fast

    That's what I love about guinea pigs, they make us laugh every day!

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    Cavy Slave MerryFriarTuck's Avatar
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    Re: Going Through Hay Fast

    I think hay eating is definitely a social affair for piggies! With my boys, especially Friar Tuck, if I pet them a bit and then fluff and stir up their hay pile they dive right in to munch and graze They really like it when I pick certain pieces out of it with them, like extra soft grassy strands or hay buds, and offer it to them.

    I used to have hay racks, too, but Friar Tuck didn't eat out of them near as often as his hay pile. And Robin Hood's favorite game is pulling all the hay out of them at once, then walking away without eating any of it .

    I give them each a big handful/fistful or two of hay in a pile, in the morning and at night, and fluff it up throughout the day. Luckily we have a tortoise who eats their old uneaten hay, so we don't throw it out! Some people put the old hay out for wild rabbits and such instead of throwing it away, too.

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