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Rack Vs Litter tray

FatNfluffy

Active Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
35
At the moment i have a large litter tray which is full of hay and a bowl of pellets. Beside the tray are two water bottles.
Ive heard some people say that the racks are easier and the pigs prefer them, so what are the pros / cons with hay racks?
thanks in advance for any posts
 
Hay in a rack can't get peed on, assuming you prevent the pigs from jumping in the rack (which you should).
 
Guinea pigs are made to eat off the ground, in my opinion there should always be that option & not force them to always reach up for their hay. Most pigs will also absolutely LOVE burrowing under the hay, sleep in it & run through it. But yes, it will get peed on & you will need to change it often & spend more money on hay. But if that money isn't an issue, having both options for your pigs is really nice.

With hay racks, you need to make absolutely sure there isn't a chance for a pig to jump/squeeze into it as this might hurt them. If they have hay available on the ground as well, this isn't usually an issue.
 
I make my hay racks by bending them in a U shape, and then mounting them vertically. With this configuration the pigs pull hay out from wherever they want (anywhere from foot level to the highest they can reach) and can munch off of hay on the ground all day. I must say that, more often than not, my pigs decide to stand on their hind legs and reach for the highest pieces of hay instead of going for the ones at nose level.

I do agree that you should provide them a pile of hay for fun/lounging, most of which will probably go to waste. My pigs get a big pile in their kitchen area that they love to nap in.
 
My pigs are quite lazy , it would be hard for them to reach up every time :)
They have a £30 allowance a week so i can always buy more timothy hay, but most of the community is divided with racks / if they are needed or not , cant make up my mind!
 
If you build a U shaped rack like I described, your pigs can choose to eat from the bottom of the rack forever, and the hay from above will just drop down. It is essentially the same thing as a "hopper" system, except it provides the option of eating from higher if the pig wants. The same as if you just put a big pile in front of the pigs face, except the pig can't crawl in and pee in it. That, plus a pile of hay somewhere, ensures your pigs have plenty of urine-free hay to eat, plus plenty to play in.
 
I make my hay racks by bending them in a U shape, and then mounting them vertically. With this configuration the pigs pull hay out from wherever they want (anywhere from foot level to the highest they can reach) and can munch off of hay on the ground all day. I must say that, more often than not, my pigs decide to stand on their hind legs and reach for the highest pieces of hay instead of going for the ones at nose level.

I do agree that you should provide them a pile of hay for fun/lounging, most of which will probably go to waste. My pigs get a big pile in their kitchen area that they love to nap in.

I think most pigs are like that. No matter if it's a hay rack or big pile of hay, the best & tastiest part is always at the very top! My point is simply that I personally dislike many of the pictures on here, with hay racks forcing pigs to aways reach up, or angle their heads upwards which must be uncomfortable considering they munch on hay up to 20-21 hours a day.
 
Here is a picture of my hay rack just to illustrate, since I know I fail miserably at describing a visual thing in term that could give someone even the most remote of ideas of what I'm describing (guess who the scientist in the room is :eek: )

[GuineaPigCages.com] Rack Vs Litter tray


The rack is on the left. And that is my neutered boar Buddy demonstrating the most efficient napping spot in the cage for those who want to eat without expending any energy.
 
i have something similar. i bend a grid into an "L" shape, stand it up vertically, and attach one side to the side of the cage. i place it near the back right corer of the cage, so it ends up looking like a 3-side grid square (get it? :crazy:). anyway, they can access the hay from outside the vertically attached grid, or come in through the open side and hide and snuggle in it as well. the 3-sided grid space keeps the hay at least a little contained and gives 2 seperate spaces for hay eating to avoid any bickering. :D
 
Both! I have a litter tray that has a hay rack in it - that way they can eat/sleep on the hay and have fresh hay that hasn't been spoilt in the rack :) Its good exercise too if they like to reach up and get hay out of the rack.
 
i don't have a hay rack at the moment, but i just "installed" a kitchen and litter area. i am using yesterday's news as the litter and i have a large bowl of hay inside the area which i fill constantly throughout the day.

needless to say i am amazed at how clean the cage is now. they are mostly pooping and peeing inside of the litter area as they eat hay. there isn't loads of hay spread around the fleece. there is still poop inside of the huts, but the rest of the cage is untouched.

i think if you have a litter tray area with a hay rack or a bowl of hay, it'll work fine!
 
I just expanded my boys' kitchen area from 2x1 to 2x2. They have a coroplast hay rack that reaches across one side with two small plastic kitty litter boxes underneath with bedding and hay in them, so they each have one, as i noticed that with just one, only one seemed to use it at a time and i didn't know if that was because of space or them being territorial, so now we'll see which it was now that they both have their own spot! I cut the litter boxes out on one side so they could hop in, but left a two or three inch lip on the bottom and it REALLY helps keep the bedding and hay from getting out as they go in and out. Before with no lip on it they just seemed to drag it all out with them every time!
 
I think most pigs are like that. No matter if it's a hay rack or big pile of hay, the best & tastiest part is always at the very top! My point is simply that I personally dislike many of the pictures on here, with hay racks forcing pigs to aways reach up, or angle their heads upwards which must be uncomfortable considering they munch on hay up to 20-21 hours a day.

I totally agree. I think it would be very frustrating for the pigs if they could see and smell the hay in the hay rack but not reach some of it. I have hay in a holder that is piggy height. They can grab hay from the side or eat it from the top. I also leave a big pile for them. This is where they get to display their pigginess. They sleep on it, dig in it, fling it around, pick out their favourite bits and are so excited if I add a little extra even though they have a huge pile. Like you said the best part is on the top. I figure if I am going to keep them mostly on fleece they need something to satisfy their natural instincts which if foraging.
 
Hi, I too have a u shape hay rack and wedged it into a large litter pan. Also in the pan I put the wood pellets. They hop in, use the bathroom and eat clean hay out of the hay bin. What ever hay does fall in the littler pan is not much and none gets on the fleece at the same time. Two for one deal.:p
 
Right now, I just put a pile of hay in the litter area twice a day. That way there is always fresh hay to eat but also some to lay around and pee on :) If I can ever get over to BB&B I'm going to pick up that metal utensil holder that I've seen a few of the members on this site have. That way I can take the holder out, refill it and place it back in the kitchen area with less hay getting everywhere. Of course I'll still give them hay to pee on (they seem to love it so) but hopefully I'll waste less since KMS is now out of bluegrass for the rest of the season :(

@Kieri - I'm about to order some yesterday's news. I started the kitchen area by using compressed paper pellets packaged as rabbit litter and love it! But the yesterday's news is more cost effective. I hope I like it as much :)
 
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