Hay (again)

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Post   » Tue Jan 29, 2002 2:44 pm

Until recently I supplied my pigs with Oxbow Western Timothy hay. However, having been disappointed with the quality over the last few months, I decided to try a bale of generic grass hay from a local feed store. It looks and smells nice, better than the coarse brown Oxbow of late and certainly MUCH less expensive, but my picky pigs won´t touch it.

I´ve been offering only the new grass hay for three weeks now, and they haven´t eaten more than a few mouthfuls between them. Of course I give them pellets and vegs, same as before, but now they´re cleaning out every last crumb of their Cavy Cuisine pellets and wheeking for more.

I´ve never been one to give in to picky animals. With my other pets I just hold out until they´re hungry enough to eat whatever they´re given. However, I´m concerned that the pigs aren´t getting enough fiber to keep their digestion running properly and also that their teeth aren´t getting worn down sufficiently.

Suggestions please?


Post   » Tue Jan 29, 2002 3:21 pm

I picked up Oxbow at a retailer yesterday and it was very fresh and green. They´re really enjoying the Oat Hay over the timothy or bunny brome.

Maybe try mixing it with a tiny bit of the hay they are used to?

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Post   » Tue Jan 29, 2002 3:33 pm

Do you know what kind of hay you bought?

It seems different hays appeal differently -- even at diferent growth times. If you have determined they like orchard grass, for example, or timothy -- maybe you need to ensure that is what you get by the bale. It is always possible they are eating more than you think but hard to tell.

I get orchard grass by the bale and put fresh hay on the top of their litter trays over the shavings. Nina just hangs around waiting for me to put the clean tray down and always jumps in, joyfully chomping away. I think there are some other varieties of grass that appeal to cavies. I don´t remember what Kleenmama uses, but it is very green and soft.

So find out what grass hays you have in the area and get feedback on how popular they are with gps. For what it´s worth, there is a page on selecting and storing hay here:


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Post   » Tue Jan 29, 2002 5:04 pm


I don´t have a solution but have noticed the same problem with both the Oxbow and APD hay. The last time I received a shipment from both (last week and probably 2 months ago, respectively), I received poor quality hay.

Considering the expense, I am really disappointed.


Post   » Tue Jan 29, 2002 6:04 pm

Thanks for your suggestions.

Usually the Oxbow Timothy has been great - green, soft and the pigs loved it. But I´m not going to pay a premium price for stalky brown hay!

I´ve identified the new grass hay as primarily Bermuda. The House Rabbit Society have some useful pictures and descriptions of nutritional value at their web site. It´s supposed to be good for bunnies and looks nice and green with a very soft fine texture. I tried Oxbow´s Orchard Hay and the finicky little devils wouldn´t touch that either!


Post   » Tue Jan 29, 2002 6:45 pm

If the hay is bad and not what they advertised, complain. Send it back.


Post   » Tue Jan 29, 2002 6:49 pm

Remember last summer was a desaster for farmers. It was hot and dry, so the hay is of a lesser quality. Our hay is not bad, but really not what is usually looks like.

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Post   » Wed Jan 30, 2002 5:33 pm

American Pet Diner has wonder hay and yes rather pricy but I think that is why two of my pigs developed malocclusion cause of the quality of the oxbow hay was not that good and they didn´t eat it very well, so I went back to APD hay and everyone is doing very well since then.

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