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General Why is Kaytee such a bad brand?

CrazedHoosier

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After getting my first Piggy, it didn't take long to notice that there was a common dislike towards the brand Kaytee in the small animal community. I'm not exactly sure why yet. I have their Timothy Hay and their food, but I'll be changing from Kaytee to Oxbow in the next week because of all the things I've heard. First off, I know their food is bad for adult piggies because of the alfalfa based pellets, but other than that I see nothing wrong with the company. What makes it so bad? What makes Oxbow better?
 

bpatters

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Because their food is junk. The calcium levels are too high.
 

Kenna18155

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And the hay is expensive over time compared to other sources. They also sell toys and treats such as nut/seed chews that are just plain dangerous.
 

ClemmyOddieIndy

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Their foods also contain ethoxyquin, which has been shown to be carcinogenic. Quality brands such as Oxbow don't contain that.

I didn't know it had ethoxyquin in it. That's pretty bad when there are safer preservatives available.
 

aqh88

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Kaytee pellets are heavy on corn. Corn is a low quality ingredient that encourages fat storage. That's why it's fed to cattle for the fat marbling effect in the meat. An oil is even used to make the fat potential worse. Given the short ingredients list aside from majority of it being corn there is also a lot of molasses and salt. Ethoxyquin is dangerous to the point it is not allowed in human food and I believe not for feeding to several animals used as human food. That is pretty much all that makes up this food. The rest is a multivitamin/mineral mix you could go buy for any type of animal. As pointed out the mix may not even be suitable for more specific guinea pig needs like calcium if we were to look at the nutritional analysis. Vit c in these cheaper foods also tends to be less stable and less guaranteed to meet guinea pig needs. The supreme diet pellets contain fish meal. Meat most definitely does not belong in guinea pig food. Fish not intended for human use is already treated with ethoxyquin before transport.

Overall kaytee has just proven over and over again that they value cheap materials for a higher profit over health of peoples' pets. The ingredient quality is always up for question even in the ingredient that seem ok on paper and many of their other products are downright dangerous.
 

PiggyG

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It's all crap. After switching brands, I am ashamed to say I bought anything Kaytee brand. Their hay is brown and dusty and just not good. Get a good quality hay and you'll definitely see the difference.
 

CrazedHoosier

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I think I may have a couple of their chews. Should I be weary of them? Also, is there anything wrong with their hay?
 

mufasa

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The hay might depend on your area, time of year, or how much your local store stocks/sells. I was buying Oxbow hay, but lately it's been brown and horrible and the Kaytee has been looking green and fresh so that's what I've been buying. I did get one bag of Kaytee that was thick and stemmy, but otherwise it's been superior to the Oxbow. I suspect the Kaytee moves more quickly than the Oxbow and that's why it's always fresher. The girls, of course, refuse to eat any hay of any brand that doesn't meet their exacting standards.
 

MLT2007

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Try Small Pet Select hay. Since your user name contains "hoosier" I assume you're in Indiana. SPS can ship to anywhere in Indiana in 1 day. I order mine and get it the very next day. It's pretty spiffy. Their hay is really good quality and they always send emails for free shipping, X% off, etc.
 

SpazticNerd

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I had no idea that everyone frowned upon Kaytee brand... I don't buy their pellets but I buy their hay and, with my other guineas, I used to buy their chews. I think now that I have Coffee Bean, I don't want her to have anything that isn't as good for her. But I haven't really seen the Oxbow brand...
 

ClemmyOddieIndy

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Hay is hay. If it's fresh and green and smells good it's fine no matter the brand. In my opinion, the best thing to do is to find a local large animal feed store and buy from them. Depending on where you are and the time of year you can get at least one bale (if not two or more) for the price of a small bag. If bales are too big, many feed stores also sell hay in large bags that is about twice the size of Oxbows large bag for reasonable too.
 

Paula

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Kaytee has several different formulas - some contain ethoxyquin, some do not. Similarly, some formulas are what I'd personally consider pure crap, others are fairly similar in many ways to foods that are recommended as acceptable. The moral of the story for the OP is, research on your own what makes a food "good" or "bad," and then educate yourself on the ingredients commonly used in feed and make up your own mind on what you want to feed and what you don't. This is a good website to get you started on basic definitions, though there are definitely others out there that cover more in depth - http://agr.wa.gov/foodanimal/animalfeed/definitions.aspx.

Once you know what makes a food good or bad, you can start comparing ingredients yourself rather than relying on what anyone here or in any other community might assert. I personally have found excellent feeds available locally that I'd never have even considered back in the days when I only asked here what was good and bad and I do not consider Oxbow a "good" food for a variety of reasons. The same is true of Kaytee - I wouldn't feed it, but that's after doing my own research and forming my own conclusions rather than relying on someone else's opinion for the decisions regarding the diet of my animals.
 

foggycreekcavy

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Chews and packaged treats are generally bad for guinea pig, no matter who makes them.

I agree with ClemmyOddieIndy about the hay. If it looks fresh and green, it's good, no matter who packages it.
 

CrazedHoosier

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So, is it still okay to feed my Piggies Kaytee pellets for a few days until the Oxbow gets here? Their ages are 3 months and 6 months. Would it be better off just going on a full veggie diet for a few days?
 

foggycreekcavy

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They should be fine until you get the Oxbow.
 

mufasa

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Gack! I bragged about Kaytee hay the other day, but I'm halfway through my last bag and the hay in the middle is awful. The other bags were fine, and this one looked fine from the outside. You never can tell completely, no matter what the brand, since you can't see what the whole bag looks like. Still, I usually do find with being picky and choosing bags that look green and fresh from the outside.
 

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