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Hay Timothy hay recommendations?


New Member
Cavy Gazer
May 29, 2024
I did a search for this but was hoping for some updated recommendations. I currently have two picky piggies who clearly prefer timothy hay over anything else I've tried. I worry a bit about them because they are satins that we got from a rescue they were surrendered to by a breeder, and the girl in particular is hard to keep weight on. They are both active and healthy so far, but as they are getting older I really want to be sure she is happy with her food (the boy is a fat little dude and seems tougher than her). The rescue was having trouble adopting them out as apparently most people don't want to take home pigs that might develop satin syndrome, so when we showed up and said we will take the ones no one else wants, she basically shoved them at us!

For hay, most recently we explored orchard grass, but that was a fail. I have horses and we have some fairly nice orchard grass at the barn right now so I thought I would try that on them. They like to sleep in it but not so much with the eating!

Yesterday at my barn we got a delivery of western alfalfa so I asked the hay guy to throw on a bale of 2nd cut orchard to see if the pigs would like that better than the other orchard we have, which is from a different supplier (horse hay gets very complicated, lol!). Nope- it's nice and soft to sleep in but they were both unenthused about the taste. After they ate up all of their evening veg they cleaned out their Oxbow pellet bowl and only nibbled at the hay. Usually it is the other way around! The alfalfa guy sent two bales of the orchard, so I have A LOT of it, but luckily my two horses like it, and I can use it for trailer hay along with the alfalfa (picky horses, too- they have hay preferences depending on the situation 🙄😆).

I have been getting 25lb boxes of 2nd cut timothy from Small Pet Select and until the last batch we've been happy. This batch just wasn't as nice as previous ones- more stalky, not as sweet-smelling, etc. They like the seed heads quite a bit, and they obviously prefer the stalkiness to the soft, long strands of orchard, but this stuff just wasn't as nice as I'm used to from them. I was trying to find recs for other brands to try but decided to ask here. I will probably end up buying from SPS again and hope that the last batch was just a natural variation in quality, but if anyone has other brands to try please let me know! Thank you!!
I’ve always used Oxbow hay with my Guinea pigs. I usually use the mix of Timothy and Orchard grass but I bought a 50lbs box of Timothy hay last year and it seemed really good quality; a nice mix of softer strands and hardier ones. My Guinea pigs really enjoyed the texture variety too, and I wasn’t that worried about eye pokes most of the time.
Hay can be a hit or miss proposition no matter who you buy it from. It mainly depends on the weather conditions where it's grown, and they vary widely across the country.

I always had good luck with SPS, and I've known people who reported a bad shipment and SPS replaced it. American Pet Diner also usually has good hay.
I usually buy Oxbow and generally the hay is good. My girls also prefer timothy. Neither seem interested in orchard grass even though it’s nice long strands and fragrant. I bough the timothy/orchard mix and there’s a lot of waste.

What they consistently like are the Oxbow timothy stacks. They are chopped, compressed rounds of hay and my pigs love them. They’re a little more expensive per ounce, but less waste.

I have also tried Full Cheeks from Petsmart when I’m in a pinch and low on hay. The timothy is green and fragrant and the pigs like it, but they prefer the Oxbow stacks.

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