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General How much do you spend on hay?


Cavy Slave
Apr 14, 2011
Hi everyone, I'm just wondering how much you spend on hay a month per guinea pig? We adopted two girls in April and have been surprised by the amount of money we spend on hay. Please don't get me wrong, our girls are obviously here to stay, but never would I have thought that hay of all things would be adding up to so much a month. Our girls are relatively picky and will only really eat Zupreem. Compared to bedding (2X4 cavy cage), high quality pellets etc. the hay seems to be the major expense. I'm just really surprised.
Where are you buying the hay? Any hay you buy in small packages at a pet store will be far more expensive in the long run than order larger quantities or buying it by the bale at a local feed/farm store.

I live in an area where we can't get good grass hay, so I order mine from (broken link removed). I pay about $45-$47 for a 45 pound box of hay, making it about a dollar a pound. Depending on where you are, you can also get good hay from (broken link removed) or (broken link removed). Some places will also order larger quantities of Oxbow for you.

The absolute cheapest place to get it is from a farmer or feed store near you if you can find good quality grass hay there.
I buy it at petsmart, not the smallest size bag, but the largest they have, 40 oz (1.13kg). I've tried other brands, specifically one produced by a local farm that's high quality, but my piggies don't like it. Honestly they don't really like any other brand but love ZuPreem. I'm also in Canada so slightly more limited online ordering options.
Well I was certain Kleenmama's shipped to Canada as well, but i just checked the site and they no longer are apparently. But that really is the best hay to buy for your pigs, it's nearly always perfect or close, and I get 15lbs for about $25-30 and it lasts a few months easily.

There are some petstores, my local pet supplies plus store will order the huge 45lb boxes of Oxbow, but it's nearly twice the price at about 75$ Oxbow is good quality a lot of the time though, if I run out of hay waiting on a shipment I get Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay.

I would also recommend Oxbow Cavy Cuisine pellets they are sold in petsmart. You have to ween the pigs off their old food because they are picky little things. Just mix it like 75% old food/ 25 % new food for a few days then even it out 50/50, and so on until they are completely switched.
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I special order 50 lb boxes of Oxbow Orchard Grass at Pet Supplies Plus and it costs me about $60.56, which includes tax. I have 7 guinea pigs so I go through it faster than someone would with less pigs. They also sell 25 lb boxes of timothy hay but the smallest quantity of orchard grass is 50 lbs at my store. I prefer orchard grass to timothy hay.
Hey pinky, how fast do you go through the 50 lbs? I have 9 guinea pigs and I'm wanting to see if buying in bulk would be alot cheaper for me.
I'd do Oxbow over Zupreem. And I'd try having them go cold turkey rather than weaning them off if you can get them to go for that.

Pigs eat about 2-4 pounds of hay a month if it's not put down for them to play in. If they play in it, they waste more than that.
Hey pinky, how fast do you go through the 50 lbs? I have 9 guinea pigs and I'm wanting to see if buying in bulk would be alot cheaper for me.

I estimate I go through the 50 lbs in about 4 months. I overlap my orders so I don't run out. I'm very generous with the hay so I know I use mine up quicker than most people probably would because I keep freshening the hay and tossing the old stuff. All of my pigs are big hay eaters. They graze all day. It's much cheaper buying in bulk and the hay is much fresher than the bagged stuff. You just need space to store it. I take most of it out of the box and store it in yard waste bags.
Hmmm, I'm going to have to see if I can order the large quantity bags somewhere or thought a pet store. Currently I think I pay around $15 with taxes for the 40 oz bag and I go through about 3-4 a month and I'm not even overly generous with hay. I do think it's a bit crazy to be spending about $50+ a month of hay alone so that's why I'm trying to find an alternative. I'd hate to change for something they don't like much as they really have a very significant preference for zupreem and will "beg" for hay if I have another brand in there instead. They love their hay and graze all day long and it's not even wasted for nesting/bedding at this point and I'm still spending that amount of money on it.

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. I didn't want to complain about the expense involved, but really have felt there must be another way while still providing my piggies with what they actually like.
Where do you order from? I just found out I have enough money to bulk order today so if I could get a website I can order it today! :DD
Anyone in Canada found a good online place to order from?
Zupreem is not a particularly good pellet. It's second and third ingredients are corn and the fourth is beet pulp, all of which are very high in sugars and not good for guinea pig digestive tracts. Another of its main ingredients is dextrose, which is just another name for a sugar.

Kristen, you're very close to (broken link removed), and they practically mow the hay and mail it to you. You won't find any better hay at the price than that.
Cross posted! Anyway, my girls eat oxbow pellets, not zupreem. Zupreem Nature's Promise Western Timothy Hay is what they love though.
You ought to be able to find really good hay in Canada without having to order online -- after all, Canada grows a substantial portion of the world's hay!

Have you checked with farm/feed stores or horse farms to see if you can get any locally? Or tried rabbit rescues? There's one somewhere in Canada that sells hay, but I can't remember its name or where it is.
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For 2 rabbits, 5 guinea pigs, with some waste (I dont use hay racks) and sometimes as bedding for rats I spend about $4 a month on hay. I get 50 pound bales for $4 from a local farmer.
I thought my $50+ a month on hay for 2 piggies was very excessive..... Hmmm. I've been looking online nexttag, wag.com, amazon.com, csnstores and so forth, and could order online for at least 1/4 of the price if I lived in the US, making it more reasonable. Problem is I'm in Canada though and most online stores won't ship and those that do have costs (and then I have to pay import fee).

But thanks for the suggestions about trying locally produced hay. I have tried 4+ other brands with our piggies (all good quality hay), 2 from local farms, other brands in stores when zupreem has been out, but like I said, they're not into it and beg for "their real hay".

Of course that would be a way to cut costs if I jsut switch, I'm sure our girls wouldn't be eating nearly as much hay then, but I don't feel that's the right thing to do here. I've ended up using the other hay for bedding until the bags have run out and still get zumpreem for them to eat because they have such a significant preference. But $50+ on hay a month for 2 guinea pigs? Well we have kids, a dog and so forth, it's just a bit unbalanced honestly to be paying that much for hay.
Rabbits Online Forum has information about places to buy hay in Canada. And you're spending more in a month than I am in six months, so yes, that's very​ expensive hay.
If you buy hay locally, it's probably a good idea to have it tested or really look at it to see what's in it. I bought a bale from a local farmer who told me it was meadow grass and maybe a tiny bit of alfalfa. When I really examined it, I found it to be full of alfalfa. There was no way I was going to feed that to my guinea pigs, so I donated it my my local shelter that gets in a lot of bunnies. They said they would only feed it to bunnies or guinea pig pups
I also wanted to mention that if anyone shops at Pet Supplies Plus, they have a birthday club that you can enroll up to 3 pets in. They send you a $5 gift card on their birthday. It's a nice way to save $15 a year on something.
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