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Piggies not eating from the hayrack - help

mayamoo

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This past weekend we decided to install a hayrack in our piggies' cage. It's a bent grid hung on the side of the cage. Up until that time, I just dumped a big pile of hay in the cage every day. We are switching to fleece so I wanted to find a way to keep some of the hay off the floor.

With the new hayrack, they are barely eating hay. I filled the hayrack grid 3 days ago and it's barely half gone (which is probably less than one handful). Before, they would go through two very large handfuls each day.

I know they can get the hay because the rack isn't very high at all (it's only ~ 2" off the ground hung vertically on the cage wall). Could they be telling us they don't like the rack? Anyone have a similar experience?

Thanks!

PS - We have two piggies who also eat a healthy diet of KM pellets and lots of veggies. :)

Edited to add example: It's like this hayrack but we have the sides sealed off they can't crawl inside.

Hay loft completed - Guinea Pig Cage Photos
 

JD In Van

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I tried the same thing for me it didn't work very well.

My boys like to eat off the ground and like to nose around in it and rub up against it. So I use the boxes that sandwich bags come in, and stuff that full of hay, they like to eat out of that and it's just the right height and they can dig through it (when it gets low on hay one of my guys even likes to climb into it). I also give them a fresh little pile of hay in each of thier pigaloos (which I put on litter trays cause they pee in them constantly) every day.
 

mayamoo

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I was hoping they would get used the hayrack. However, I don't want them to be without hay so it looks like we will switch gears. I like your idea of the sandwich baggie box. I just threw one in the recycle bin today. Maybe I will leave the hayrack up as well. Who knows, maybe they will eventually like it.
 

JD In Van

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I'd leave it up and see if they'll get used to it. In the mean time the sandwich box has worked pretty well for me to keep the hay off the fleece.
 

Fudgenrolo

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I tried the same thing for me it didn't work very well.

My boys like to eat off the ground and like to nose around in it and rub up against it. So I use the boxes that sandwich bags come in, and stuff that full of hay, they like to eat out of that and it's just the right height and they can dig through it (when it gets low on hay one of my guys even likes to climb into it).

Have you got a pic of this? It sounds like an interesting idea... :)
 

Wodentoad

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JD, Awesome Idea! I had not thought of this, and I have one sitting empty on top of my microwave.

I'm going to toss it in there, full of hay right now!
 

TallulahBear

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We just switched to fleece and I too wanted to keep as much as possible off the fleece. I use 12 pack soda boxes for our hay. I used to just stuff it full and sit it on the bottom of the cage but since switching to the fleece I've been clipping to the top of the cage so that it sits vertically in a litter box. It works okay, but I found that no matter what my piggies love to root around in the hay and the box so they still make a mess. Hehe.
 

Wodentoad

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My two younger ones pounced on it!
 

ferndalezoo

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I would suggest leaving the hayrack in place, while ALSO offering them another source, such as the stuffed box idea. It took my 4 guys a while to take to the hayracks, but after a month or so, they love them and use them easily.
 

JD In Van

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My two younger ones pounced on it!

Glad they liked it.

The other nice thing is they're fairly small and you can have two of them easily (which is good when your piggies are territorial) but it's also easy to take out and put on the floor for floor time too.


Fudgenrolo> Literally it's a ziplock bag box stuffed full of hay. If I can when I'm home I'll snap a picture though.

The litter trays are cafeteria trays (the kind you'd see at McDonalds or in the food court) which are perfect cause they're about 18" long by 12" wide... which fits the hidies I have almost perfectly. I just line them with news paper and drop a couple handfuls of hay on it and then replace the hidies on these little nests. At night they munch on the hay while they sleep in their respective houses and in the morning I dump the whole thing and replace a new. Hay's cheaper then bedding for me where I am so I don't mind throwing out any left overs.
 
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ShaunaMuse

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I tired the bent grids and my boys couldn't stand them. So I put some hay in the litter box so they can munch but the biggest section of their hay is in the middle of their pens. Its a little plastic bin with holes all over it so the boys can pick the hay off the sides or just jump in. It sits on a cafeteria tray so the hay doesn't get every where. With this set up all I have to do is pick up what little bit of hay they drag out and then go dump it all and refill.
 

Fudgenrolo

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Sometimes you know things get lost in translation even when we're speaking the same language! lol

What is a Ziplock bag box? Is it like a lunch box? I'm from the UK....

Like this:

Lock and Lock storage container but bigger? :)
 

Dichotomy83

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hmm....i recently bought a hay rack thing almost identical to this:
http://www.vagavalley.co.uk/bunnysupplies/Shop/IMGP3734.JPG

and my boys dont seem to like it much either!! Ive seen them both eat from it, but the two of them together go through WAY less hay then my ONE pig did (before his cagemate came) when the hay was just in a bowl.

how much hay should each pig eat daily, roughly?
 

mayamoo

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Thank you for the ideas! The ziploc box was a huge hit. After I put it in the cage, the two of them tried to move it down the ramp. It was really funny to watch. Silly piggies, the box won't fit - that didn't stop them from trying.

Also, I caught Cutie eating from the grid hayrack this morning. I hadn't refilled the ziploc box yet and she was growing impatient. So they can eat from it, they are just spoiled!! :)
 

JD In Van

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I'm glad it worked out. My boys drag them around and even into their houses when they can... which doesn't leave enough room for them!
 

Porky's Mom

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Mine will eat reluctantly out of their hay rack, but prefer mass quantities of hay they can lay in, roam through, and munch. I have 2 big litter pans at either end of their cage. Both have little in them. One has 2 bent-grid hay racks over it, when they eat out of. And the other one I fill with a big layer of fresh hay. They love to lay in it and play in it (as is said in the hay section of this site!) as well as eat it.

I too have found that they like to dig it out of things like the Ziploc bag boxes. I have a rollin the hay thing from our first pig that I recently put back in the cage and they like to tug the hay out of it. They eventually get frustrated and just eat the hay in the litter pan.

Good luck with the hay and your piggies!
 

distancel

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I'm definitely going to try the sandwich bag box idea, my girls also do not like eating from a hay rack, they want the hay on the floor to make a mess.
 
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