Whats the best hay to feed guinea pigs – part 2
Guinea pigs love the choice and variety when it comes to eating hay. Its important to keep them stimulated, so try putting hay in empty toilet rolls and cardboard boxes with a doorway cut out. All the poops you see and there are loads that accumulate in a period of time are mainly from them eating lots of hay. So its always important to give plenty of the stuff. Now people might ask how long can they survive without hay, well it wouldn’t be that long at all, maybe a few hours at most. A sign of them maybe being ill or not being given enough hay always shows up when they go to the toilet, if the poops are smaller than usual or a slightly different colour then change what your doing. The consequences of not feeding enough hay are major health issues and costly vet bills. Their teeth will be starting to grow too much and not gaining enough fibre to keep the digestive system moving in the right direction. We call this gut statis which means that they are just not pooping which is very dangerous. Hay is like air we all breathe it has to be always provided to them. If they maybe have not eaten enough hay through not being given the right amount or another reason don’t panic just provide the right amount straight away and they should catch up with what they haven’t eaten.
Whats the best hay to feed guinea pigs. I have mentioned about this obviously in my last post on this topic, but I just want to really answer this in detail. Always check the reviews on the internet on the hay that your looking at, because other guinea pig owners can give you the heads up if its any good or not. But the best will be of great quality and of course Timothy hay is known to be the one that is fed a lot.
So you might be thinking well how much is it that I actually need to feed, whats the right amount. I will give you a little tip to what I do and thats doing a particular size of hay pile to match up with the amount of time and how many of them are in the playpen or in their individual homes. So if their in the hutches lets say for 14 hours it will be three to four piles made up of up to eight handfuls on each pile, this is just a rough estimate that I go by. Then for the other eight hours they will be in a playpen so I will put enough for four guinea pigs. Making a line of 3 foot long and lets say 10cm high, its just about making good sized piles of hay. There is no magic formula to doing it but its always best to give a bit more to cover the period of time.
There is no doubt that looking after guinea pigs can get quite expensive sometimes so if you haven’t got enough funds then guinea pigs are not the pet for you yet. You need to be getting a decent amount of hay in over the whole of their lives which will be one of the biggest expenses. Thankfully not every single brand of hay is overly expensive. Most of my hay is purchased on the internet as its easier when you are buying in bulk.
Now talking about Timothy hay there are three different cuttings that are sold. The first is taken from the top of the crop which is softer, then the second is what most people go for which is a medium softness and colour. The third is the hardest cut from the bottom.
Guinea pigs can eat hay like a machine, always amazing how they can eat such long pieces but they do. They probably eat hay for about 16 hours a day with their set of teeth that include four incisors at the front and smaller teeth further at the back of the mouth.
So I have been talking about hay a lot, I think its a fascinating subject and hopefully you have enjoyed reading this article.