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Hay Timothy Hay

muppetslayer14

New Member
Cavy Gazer
Joined
Jun 14, 2024
Messages
2
Hello everyone,

I just joined as this forum popped up first on my Google search. I have been struggling with hay for a long time and I'm at my wits end to the point where when the times comes that my two piggies cross the rainbow bridge, I won't be getting any more. I have fostered and adopted for years but every one of my piggies have struggled with dental problems and I have every reason to believe it's the garbage hay they're forced to eat. Oxbow has a monopoly on all, and they sold off to Manna Pro which is a Chinese company, yet they get away with their dirty business because the hays are grown in Omaha. By the time they cut it, ship it off to China for packaging, then send it back here, it's yellow and stale. Not to mention they're allowing it to grow too long before cutting it so those hard yellow pieces are only suitable for horses and pigs. They can use every excuse they want to - weather, fires, whatever, but I see right through it and they need to be closed down.

Then there's small pet select. Aside from their ridiculous prices, they send one nice box with a small discount for first time customers, then after that they send boxes where a good inch in the bottom is not just dust they could have filtered out, but actual sand which weight the box down. I've even read some people found roaches in there.

I tried Guinea dad next. Reasonable price and beautiful hay - twice. Then they send me some dried up orchard hay, mostly brown and CLEARLY not Timothy hay, but when I complained they were rude, said I waited too long to call them and they would only replace it, not give me a refund. Then they turn around and send me the same garbage, telling me it's "winter hay". Hay doesn't grow in the snow, so how stupid do they think I look. My friends in the UK have mediocre weather all year round and their piggies all have nice fresh green hay.

This is unacceptable and ridiculous, and I'm pretty well enraged. I've read your comments on other posts about hay but does anyone have any updated information on where to get good hay? I simply cannot afford for my pigs eat 20% of the bag and toss the rest out.

Thanks.
 
Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry it's under such frustrating circumstances.

I have always fed my boys Oxbow. It's difficult to get anything else here in Canada. But I can say this. I agree with the dental problems with Timothy hay. I had three pigs in a row with dental issues, and one whom required several procedures over an almost two year period. Between my experiences with those boys and other extensive reading I've done, I stopped feeding my boys Western Timothy and switched to Oxbows Orchard Grass. Now sometimes they almost seem to switch it to Timothy hay when Orchard grass supplies seem light, but it's almost always soft, green and smells good. Best of all my boys LOVE it. There are bags that aren't the best but the good vastly outweigh the bad. And......no dental issues whatsoever since the switch. I have a theory on why, but it's just that. A theory. but it was enough to make the switch.
 
Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry it's under such frustrating circumstances.

I have always fed my boys Oxbow. It's difficult to get anything else here in Canada. But I can say this. I agree with the dental problems with Timothy hay. I had three pigs in a row with dental issues, and one whom required several procedures over an almost two year period. Between my experiences with those boys and other extensive reading I've done, I stopped feeding my boys Western Timothy and switched to Oxbows Orchard Grass. Now sometimes they almost seem to switch it to Timothy hay when Orchard grass supplies seem light, but it's almost always soft, green and smells good. Best of all my boys LOVE it. There are bags that aren't the best but the good vastly outweigh the bad. And......no dental issues whatsoever since the switch. I have a theory on why, but it's just that. A theory. but it was enough to make the switch.
Thank you very much for the info. I have fed my pigs that hay in the past and them read a bunch of comments across the internet about how it isn't hard enough to keep their teeth filed down, so it scared me into switching back. They will eat pretty much every other type of hay but only pick at Timothy. I will go back to the orchard with a bit of the others thrown in (botanical and meadow, I believe they are). I should have trusted their instincts. Thanks again.
 
I agree the hay quality has dropped. And I have tried several other premium brands besides Oxbow and they are hit and miss. Unfortunately, my pigs don’t care for orchard grass. What they like best are the Oxbow Stacks, which are chopped hay compressed into rounds. It’s supposed to be less dusty and seems to retain the freshness the way it’s packaged. I just notice less waste.

I have also had some luck with PetSmart’s Full Cheeks brand. It seems to be green and fragrant, but sometimes it can have a lot of stalks as opposed to leafy parts.
 
We stopped using Oxbow and have used Small Pet Select for over a year now I believe. I agree that there is a lot of dust in the bottom of the box. We haven't found roaches, but we've found crickets. Just a product of the industry, like sticks and so on. We've had a couple of bad boxes but they always sent us new boxes when we complained. They're expensive, but when you have 4 guinea pigs, it's easier to pay $50 for 20 lbs every month than to buy numerous bags from the pet store.
 
I'm also tried many different brands of hay. Currently I'm using SPS for orchard, Grandpa's Best mini bale timothy, and Rabbit Hole's meadow hay. The worse is the SPS hay which has a lot of brown hay and a 1-2 inches of small unusable pieces at the bottom of the box. Once I am done with the SPS box, I will try Grandpa's orchard hay. Orchard is the staple hay for us, as timothy gives me really bad allergies. Knock on wood, I've had guinea pigs for 6 years and none had/have dental issues.

The best hay I've used is locally grown hay. I met a rabbit owner on the NextDoor site who goes to buy hay at a local farm. After filling up two large garbage cans full they had a good size garbage bag of hay left and gave it to me for my two pigs. That hay was long, lush, and fresh smelling. Unfortunately I don't have a car and a bale is too much for two guinea pigs.
 

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