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Brands The Healthiest/Best Type of Hay


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Jun 20, 2022
Sorry if this has been asked before, but what's the best/healthiest type of hay? I'm currently using Oxbow Timothy hay for my boys, and I'm wondering if meadow or orchard hay is better? And if it is, what brands can I use? I'm kind of worried that my boys might get haypoke or something from the piles of hay they have. And, there is so much advice floating around on the internet that I don't know what to trust.
Thank you in advance.
You'll definitely get varied answers here too. I feed only Timothy hay, but my pigs don't really like anything else. Other people here prefer other types of hay.

As for brand, I've used Oxbow for a long time in the past, but due to having a hard time getting it and sketchy quality months ago, I switched to Small Pet Select. I've tried other brands, but nothing from a pet store can compare to Oxbow's quality. Other pet store brands are either too brown, or the pigs just won't eat it.

Switching to an online brand of hay was a great choice for me, with 4 boars. I can order huge boxes that last me a month.
Thank you for replying. How do you feed your pigs? I'm always worried that my guinea pigs will get haypoke from the loose piles of hay they get.
Any grass hay will do, and as @4boipigs says, pigs have preferences. Most people use timothy, because it's readily available in most places, but orchard grass, meadow grass, bluegrass or brome will all work.

Pigs can get hay pokes from hay racks just like they can from piles of hay. My pigs LOVED the piles of hay, so that's what they got.
Thank you:)
( Also, how do you link a reply to your reply? Sorry if this sounds confusing)
Thank you for replying. How do you feed your pigs? I'm always worried that my guinea pigs will get haypoke from the loose piles of hay they get.

I give them big piles/it is loose on the floor of their cage. They have a designated kitchen. My boys have buried themselves in hay and love to play in it. Haven't had any issues yet.
My guinea pigs all get oaten hay because Timothy hay is not grown in Australia, neither are most of the more common hays in the US. My options are limited to Oaten or Wheaten and both myself any my guinea pigs prefer oaten so that is what I stick with.
I've gone back and forth on hay brands. I used to be a Small Pet Select fan and a KMS fan, but lately, I've been sticking with the Oxbow Timothy/Orchard Grass combo from Chewy in the 90oz bags -- overall cost (product plus shipping and not making Bezos rich -- for me) and product quality over time.

Sometimes it's a little more stalky leaning more towards the Oat hay, but regardless, over a year, it's been the most consistent quality. They are by far the biggest player, with more access to various hay suppliers with the HIGHEST TURNOVER -- and I think that is absolutely key -- who also sells on Amazon as well as Chewy, so they are very attuned to reviews and keeping their hay fresh as much as possible.

Hay is a seasonal item and can vary greatly by season. I almost never bail on a brand just because a few shipments weren't perfect. If you do that, well, it's like playing the lottery in my opinion. No guarantees, and sooner or later, your new-found great brand will end up with the same issues.

My system is a BIG LOOSE hay pile in my kitchen area which uses my Hemp/Wood Pellets combo for bedding.

I've never ever had an issue with hay pokes. Far, far, far better for them to have loose hay than to worry about hay pokes.

Also, I would pretty much never buy hay in a pet store anymore at all. They just can't turn their inventory faster than a big supplier ordering online. That means staler, browner hay -- pretty much no matter what.
Thank you all :)
( I think I'm going to try a variation of the hemp/wood pellets combo and/or the kitchen idea, thank you CavySpirit and 4boipigs for the idea)
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