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Hay Fresh hay rotation?


Cavy Slave
Jan 18, 2012
I know, another food-related thread by me in such a short amount of time >< sorrysorrysorry

On to things, though. I bought a hay rack for Frey a while ago, and noticed the amount stayed pretty much the same. So, I ditched the hay rack and in one corner of her cage put in a decent pile of new hay from the bag. She loved it, and ate more hay in one day then I've seen her eat since I've had her. I've been doing this now, but noticed that I'm going through hay a lot faster.

Should I be tossing out these piles daily and replacing them? Or would sifting it so unused hay from the middle become exposed, tossing the top and bottom layers, and adding to that be ok? She does like to play in the pile and bury herself in it and rummage around, so I of course don't want her to eat anything she's soiled on so I didn't know if the latter option was safe.
Oh, forgot to add one more question:

Regarding daily changing and the freshness of the hay, should I be adding a small handful of new hay in the mornings and evenings or is that one pile through the day considered fresh enough?
Throw out any hay she's peed on, of course. And that pretty much precludes sifting the pile if she gets in the middle of it and pees in there. There are dozens of hay rack ideas in the photo galleries -- you can probably come up with one she'll be happy with. But you're right, they do go through more hay if it's not in racks, because so much of it gets wasted.

"Fresh," when you're talking about hay, is a relative thing. Most farmers get two cuttings a year, maybe three, out of their hay fields. So anything you buy after about October has been probably been sitting in storage somewhere, and you won't start getting really fresh hay again until summer. So the loss of freshness between morning and night in your cage doesn't really figure into it. Somewhere in the galleries is a picture of someone with a herd of pigs who just turned a whole bale of hay up on end in one corner of the cage, fenced it in with grids, and just let them eat it from the bottom. I thought that was a great idea, but since I have to order mind online, I don't want to throw that much hay away.
So long as your hay is clean, and you remove the wet, and poopy bits, I add hay to my pile. I sift it daily to get any poops out (otherwise they go mouldy if they get pee'd on) and I scrape out the bottom wet stuff. Once a week I chuck every scrap out, and start fresh, I decided to not mind how much hay he needed to go through...

I also used to change the placement of my hay piles but don't use a hay rack.

In fact recently I made one half of Maximus von Lichtenwalder's bottom story abode a hay paddock. The other a grass turf paddock. Upstairs is all fabric and no food.
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