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Hay Warning re paspalum (grass) also known as bahia or dallis grass or hay

Jenberra

New Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
2
PLEASE DO NOT FEED PASPALAUM, BAHIA, OR DALLIS GRASS OR HAY TO YOUR GUINEA PIGS

I tried feeding my girls a grass growing in our yard and they loved it. So I belatedly decided to check if it was OK for them to eat. In Australia this grass is called paspalum.

I'm really glad I took the time to look it up - an extremely toxic fungus can develop on the seed heads in autumn. As this fungus has caused problems for farmers with their cattle developing "staggers" after eating paspalum, agricultural scientists have run research trials on guinea pigs and found that low doses of the toxin can lead to nervousness/trembling and falling over when the piggies try to run. In high doses it can cause death.

Luckily the plants I've been feeding my girls don't have seed heads yet, so they should be fine. However I'm definitely going to stop giving it to them.

A search of Guinea Pig Cages showed queries about bahia/bahaia hay and paspalum in hay. This FDA link (broken link removed) indicates the toxin remains dangerous in hay for many months after it has been harvested.

The following link may help with identification - this is for one species only (paspalum dilatatum or dallis grass), but I believe the others have similarly structured seed heads, which are pretty distinctive: (broken link removed).

Please please please don't feed this to your piggies!
 
Thanks for the warning !! Really appreciate your research
 
In the US, some varieties of paspalum also soak up inordinate amounts of salt from the soil and water around them. I'd avoid all varieties of it, myself.
 
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