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Hay Switching hay caused a stool change

Rynn21

Active Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
38
Due to timothy hay being extremely dusty regardless of where I’ve gotten it since Sept. of last year, I finally got tired of using a homemade sifter to remove the dust (took hours every day). I got orchard and I didn’t consider this outcome. Their stool has been the same color as always, but now really soft/mushy and sticks to everything. It’s been about two weeks on the new hay. I contacted skinnypigs and she said sudden hay change, especially to a richer hay, can upset their stomachs. I hadn’t thought of this because before they had timothy, mid last year they got bales that were timothy and orchard. No stomach issues.
Now my questions are has anyone had this problem and are there any suggestions to help? I hope it CAN improve.
It’s created quite the daily spot cleaning ordeal.
 
I'm almost thinking it might be something else. You could try supplementing them with a probiotic, such as Benebac. I switched both of my boys to Orchard Grass permanently some time ago, but for a different reason.
 
I'm certain it's the hay. Their diet hasn't changed in over a year (except for hay) and it's happened to every one of them (have thirteen, with males and females in separate rooms and not all in the same enclosures). They've been off veggies for three days now, giving childlife vitamin c each day, and have been given benebac.
 
Rather than sifting hay, you can try rinsing it. You'll have to be very conscientious about not leaving it in the cage very long when it's wet -- it will mold quickly and cause even more problems. If it turns out to be the hay, you could try ordering from another supplier.
 
Rather than sifting hay, you can try rinsing it. You'll have to be very conscientious about not leaving it in the cage very long when it's wet -- it will mold quickly and cause even more problems. If it turns out to be the hay, you could try ordering from another supplier.

I'd rather them be on orchard. Timothy isn't great from any supplier lately, and the allergies are insane. Mostly trying to find out if anyone else has experienced this. I've seen a few comments about switching cold turkey, but other than that--nothing.
 
Allergy season just makes it all so much worse! With 13 pigs, I imagine you have to do things on a different scale than I do with one boar! We've had good luck by running a Honeywell HEPA air cleaner near the pig cage. It runs 24/7, mostly on a lower setting but I crank it up to Turbo when adding hay to the cage and during cleanings. My husband has terrible grass allergies and I've found that rotating or mixing Timothy hay with Orchard Grass and/or oat hay helps somewhat as well - just less T hay floating around in the house. I also started keeping the large bag of hay outside and transferring hay to a plastic dogfood bin/container outside seems to help. Standing outside (hopefully in a nice, stiff breeze), open the big bag and grab a handful, shake it out, and put it in the smaller bin, repeat and bring it inside. If my husband does this task, he has to wear an N95 mask (we all still have those around, right?) :=)
 
Allergy season just makes it all so much worse! With 13 pigs, I imagine you have to do things on a different scale than I do with one boar! We've had good luck by running a Honeywell HEPA air cleaner near the pig cage. It runs 24/7, mostly on a lower setting but I crank it up to Turbo when adding hay to the cage and during cleanings. My husband has terrible grass allergies and I've found that rotating or mixing Timothy hay with Orchard Grass and/or oat hay helps somewhat as well - just less T hay floating around in the house. I also started keeping the large bag of hay outside and transferring hay to a plastic dogfood bin/container outside seems to help. Standing outside (hopefully in a nice, stiff breeze), open the big bag and grab a handful, shake it out, and put it in the smaller bin, repeat and bring it inside. If my husband does this task, he has to wear an N95 mask (we all still have those around, right?) :=)

Maybe you want to look into just using orchard and see how the piggie does. Maybe it won't be as drastic of a change as with our herds.

Oh yes, thirteen guinea pigs is quite a lot, especially when they're not all in the same enclosures. So many abbytudes and dramatic sows. Don't get me started on the boars. 😂
It all started with Covid hoarder rescuing and has decreased to thirteen sanctuary piggies.

We usually keep our hay bales in the garage (it's a separated garage) and bring in the amount we need with bins. Orchard has definitely been better for allergies. I never get allergies and the quality of timothy has even led to headaches. We're probably going to get an air purifier this week. According to some farms, it's the fact the hay at the end of the year isn't the best quality so it leads to more dust. I had contacted the company who supplies our local feed store with the mini bales and they assured me they found out the issue was one of their farmers and it has been resolved. We'll see how true that is. For now, we've been sifting timothy and mixing it 50/50 with the orchard. It has helped the stool, but not 100%. We're hoping they just have to get used to the orchard in it with time.
 
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