Where People & Piggies Thrive

Newbie or Guinea Guru? Popcorn in!

Register for free to enjoy the full benefits.
Find out more about the NEW, drastically improved site and forum!

Register

Wasted hay - is there a better hay rack?

jasonnovak

Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Oct 29, 2007
Messages
12
I've had several different hay rack types - a horizontal one suspended a few inches off the ground (like a V from a side), a vertical one (like a V from the top), and just putting a pile of hay on the ground it always seems to end up with a lot of wasted hay - probably at least 75%. They just don't seem to have an interest in eating it once it's sat out for more than an hour - but if I put of some fresh hay they'll immediately start eating it. Is there a better hay rack that may help - I thinking maybe something more enclosed to keep that "fresh" hay smell. Is this fairly common behavior?
 
I'd try, if your able, to put out smaller amounts more frequently thru the day.
 
If they're pulling all the hay out, just put the hay rack up high enough where they can only pull it through the openings at the bottom. I use a little shower caddy thing, there is a picture of it in my album. It works really well, and just hooks onto the cage.
 
My guys used to do that also. I figured out they were pulling out the dryer hay to get to the pieces they liked so I'm going to find them better stuff. I found out today that it was 3rd cut and drier???
 
Mine like the hay coming from the box better than what's in their hay rack, but I don't think it has anything to do with the "fresh hay smell," because a box lasts me about six months. It can't smell too fresh by the end of that time.

I wouldn't put a pile of it on the floor unless you're putting it out for them to play in -- that does waste a lot of hay. But look through the hay rack photos for ideas -- you may find something that will keep it contained better than what you've got.

The thing I find the funniest is that my two will sniff and poke around in the pile of hay until they find the one strand that obviously smells and tastes better than all the others. I'd think that hay is hay is hay, but what do I know? Not much, obviously.
 
I don't use hay racks anymore, pigs look happier when it's on the ground. Why not just buy cheap hay by the bale.
 
I use corner litter boxes in my cages for hay. Once in awhile, they climb right in there but they LOVE hay so I think it probably makes the experience even better for them. I buy Oxbow Orchard Grass by the 50 lb box through Pet Supplies Plus and pay just over $60 which includes tax and everything. I just pick it up at the store when it comes in. It's cheaper than having it shipped to my house. I transfer the hay into those large brown paper yard waste bags to allow air to circulate in the hay to keep it fresh. It usually fills about 5 of those. I have velcro on the sides of the plastic hay bins and the cage to hold them in place. You can line the bins with newspaper if they pee in there. Not all of mine do so I only lines those in the cages that have a guinea pig that likes to lay in there. This is very easy to maintain and clean. I just empty each day and refill throughout the day if they eat it all.

Wasted hay - is there a better hay rack?
 
The thing I find the funniest is that my two will sniff and poke around in the pile of hay until they find the one strand that obviously smells and tastes better than all the others. I'd think that hay is hay is hay, but what do I know? Not much, obviously.

That's what I always found hilarious too! It's like searching for, than picking out, a single particular noodle out of a pile of spaghetti! Silly little piggies! :p
 
Because, pandaloki, a lot of us live where no suitable hay grows, and we have to buy it online. It's too expensive to put it down for them to play in.
 
I feed my pigs Kaytee timothy hay - it's all I've really found available locally. Seems like varying quality, sometimes more grass-like and sometimes more straw-like, which they don't seem to like as much. Maybe worth ordering something more expensive if they actually eat more of it.

I still have the horizontal V in my cage, when I first put it in they'd eat from the bottom, but then would ignore it until I put new stuff on top of it and they'd ignore the stuff below until it got of out reach. I think think that's why I switched to putting it on the ground ... since they ignore the old stuff anyway at least the new stuff goes right on top in easy access. I don't pull all the old hay out daily though, maybe that will help
 
Jasonnovak, you'll get much better hay from Kleenmama, Oxbow, Sweet Meadow Farm or American Pet Diner. And probably cheaper than the Kaytee crap. You have to save up enough to buy the first batch, but if you figure out the cost per pound, I'd be very surprised if they're not all cheaper than Kaytee.

What most people don't think about is that pet stores add the cost of shipping into the price of the item, and just charge one price. Places that sell on line price their item at whatever they think it's worth, and then add shipping on top of that. If you're close to them, the shipping charges are cheaper than if you live far away.

With hay, KM is on the west coast, SMF on the east, APD in the middle, and Oxbow buys from all over. So you can surely find one of those that has reasonable shipping costs.
 
I crunched some numbers and basically if you were to buy KM's 45lb (or was it 50? The biggest one they have available), you pay half the price of if you were to buy the same amount from Kaytee. I just have to save up enough to get it in bulk, but basically it is the better buy that way. 👍
 
@sleepingchild, you might be able to find somebody in your area that would be willing to go halves with you on an order.

@bpatters, I think they believe we hid one really good piece in the pile and it's a race to see who can find it!
 
Just a follow-up, I did find a place in town that sold something besides Kaytee - though not one of the brands recommended. ZuPreem Nature's Promise western timothy hay. A little pricy at $10 for 40oz, but it seems a lot softer/darker/less straw-like than the kaytee stuff usually is. Now that I have some choices I did some reading and I think this is 2nd cut vs 1st cut kaytee stuff and they normally like 2nd better, though I know they liked the seeds. It's hard to tell but I think they like it better, though not by a whole lot. I also wonder about orchard grass, but in my brief reading that may only be an occasional food?

I put a horizontal rack back in but wasn't get as much use as when I put it on the ground, I think it's harder to get it through the grids and one of the shower holders with only vertical bars may work better.
 
I'd say that $10 for 40 ounces is way more than "a little pricey," since my very high grade KM hay only costs me about $1 a pound, and that includes shipping. Your hay is $4 a pound.
 
I just got my Oxbow western Timothy hay and Orchard grass from Pet Food Direct and it was MUCH, MUCH cheaper and even more important, WAY better quality than the Kaytee bagged crap my two boys came to me with. PFD had free shipping if you spent a certain amount-i think $49-up to 60 pounds of shipping weight, so all my shipping was free. I checked a few places, ran some numbers and decided on one. Check it out for sure, i think you'll be surprised, it's just that you have to pay all at once so it seems expensive!
 
try using a cereal box with a rectangular hole at the bottom and hook it on your cage by ziptie
 
I have tried a few different hay racks, and for me I prefer to provide hay loose in a pile. I can tell the pigs enjoy this more, because they get to sleep in it, sit in it, AND eat it.

I feed my guinea pigs hay about three times a day: before I leave in the morning, when I get home (I am gone about seven hours), and before I go to bed. What really works for me is to put a modest pile (just enough for them to eat in the time span I will be gone) on the floor of their cage. I've come to know well the eating habits of my guinea pigs so I know how long it usually takes them to eat X amount of hay. This way I waste very little hay. Don't get me wrong, they have plenty of hay to eat, just not a large surplus. Not too much, not too little. If you can do the same, then you can save a lot on hay. And I'm usually home most of the day, so I'm able to see if they are running low and can add more as needed

I also cover my "kitchen" area with a towel - that way the hay doesn't get on the fleece as much.
 
Status
This thread has been closed due to inactivity. You can create a new thread to discuss this topic.

Similar threads

B
Replies
2
Views
742
4boipigs
4boipigs
gpihgos
Replies
2
Views
207
gpihgos
gpihgos
gpihgos
Replies
1
Views
528
ItsaZoo
ItsaZoo
KirbyFan8910
Replies
3
Views
872
ItsaZoo
ItsaZoo
fairypig
Replies
2
Views
271
ItsaZoo
ItsaZoo
Top