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Thread: Grass and Hay Question?

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    Cavy Slave CathiiPiggie's Avatar
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    Question Grass and Hay Question?

    I've heard that you can replace most of the guinea pig hay with fresh grass and forages. Is this true? If so, it would help because my mum is allergic to hay, and having less in the cage would be beneficial. But we wouldn't do it if it was not good for the pigs.

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    Cavy Slave CathiiPiggie's Avatar
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    Re: Grass and Hay Question?

    I've a feeling it's a no, but I would like some opinions!

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    Cavy Slave iamsnape's Avatar
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    Re: Grass and Hay Question?

    As far as I'm aware you can feed them grass/forages but it isn't a proper replacement for hay as they need it for their digestive system and to keep their teeth down....so you couldn't cut out hay all together, if that was the question. Here's a link with a bit of info Guinea Pigs and Hay

    I know peewee on here (PeeweesPiggyPalace, I think) makes some cool hay bags that stop the dust/hay getting everywhere. Postage from America to the UK isn't cheap but it might help with problem?

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    Cavy Slave Cavylier's Avatar
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    Re: Grass and Hay Question?

    Yes, you can replace hay with grass. It is essentially the same thing except grass has more vitamin C as it's not sun-cured. Everyone uses hay as it is more convenient storage-wise; grass is perfectly fine.

    However, all grasses are not nutritious so you would have to give them the same species (timothy, meadow, bluegrass, bermuda, etc. - the usual stuff) but in grass form so that you know that the nutritional content is alright.

    I have fully replaced my hay with grass as we don't get good hay here and the one we did, gave my piggy a URI. You have to do it gently, though - start by giving them a handful of grass and increase the amount slowly or the increased water intake can cause diarrhoea. However, the pigs absolutely love to eat it!

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    Cavy Slave madelineelaine's Avatar
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    Re: Grass and Hay Question?

    you can replace hay with grass. I'm waiting for a mod to come on and confirm it

    There has been debate about whether grass grinds the teeth down the same way, and some people believe it does a better job.

    You need to slowly introduce them too it, if they aren't used to it. My pigs are used to large quantities a few times a day (they always have hay though, incase the grass runs out)

    You can try growing wheat grass too. It's cheap and easy peasy.

    If you don't introduce the grass slowly then it can cause some tummy upset, so you need to sorta faze the grass in, hay out.

  6. "Thank you, madelineelaine, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave cavy_jdas's Avatar
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    Re: Grass and Hay Question?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cavylier View Post
    However, all grasses are not nutritious so you would have to give them the same species (timothy, meadow, bluegrass, bermuda, etc. - the usual stuff) but in grass form so that you know that the nutritional content is alright.
    This is also important because they need a long-strand grass/hay for keeping their back teeth ground down. So choose the fresh variety of one of these.

    And if you cannot get fresh year-round, be sure to transition slowly on and off each season.

    So to your question - yes, fresh grass is a fine replacement for hay as long as you are choosing an appropriate variety, such as timothy, meadow, orchard, and are slow in any diet changes.

  8. "Thank you, cavy_jdas, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave Cavylier's Avatar
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    Re: Grass and Hay Question?

    As for being confirmed by mods:

    By @lissie : Can I use grass instead of hay every now and then? + More questions..
    By @Ly&Pigs : Grass instead off hay?
    By @bpatters : Can I sub hay for something else??

    I've linked their names so that if there has been any research to prove otherwise, they can tell us. As long as your grass is free from pesticides/fertilizers and has not been grown near a road (where pollution can accumulate), you're good to go.

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    Cavy Slave madelineelaine's Avatar
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    Re: Grass and Hay Question?

    I use grass from my yard, which is fine too.

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    Cavy Slave CathiiPiggie's Avatar
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    Re: Grass and Hay Question?

    Thanks for the replies - my mum will be pleased to hear
    I will look into it. We have grass growing all year round in our garden, but I don't expect it is Timothy or Orchard grass. My previous pigs have never got sick from it, but I don't know if it's very nutritious. Maybe I can grow some?

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