HAY FOR GUINEA PIGS
Hay makes up 80% of a guinea pig's diet and they should always have an unlimited supply of hay at any time. Good quality hay helps with digestion, prevents obesity, and even dental disease as stalkier hay helps trim down the teeth during the chewing process.
Different types of hay available for consumption.
- Alfafa Hay
- Timothy Hay
- Orchard Hay
- Oat Hay
Younger guinea pigs aged anything below 6 months old would ideally require Alfafa Hay which is high in calcium and helps build their bones. They should however be weaned off during the 5-6month mark which can be done by slowly mixing in Timothy Hay to help them get familiar to the hay itself.
Alfafa Hay can also be fed to pregnant ladies that require the excess calcium to rebuild the bones and increase their nutrients intake especially after giving birth. Adult guinea pigs should not consume as much alfalfa as it is high in calcium and would cause bladder stones in the long run.
Adult guinea pigs aged 6 months and above would ideally require Timothy Hay which is high in fibre and would help with their digestion. There are 3 different cuts of Timothy Hay that have different textures and uses.
It is recommended for piggies to be fed hay that has the highest fibre which would be the first cut option, but most piggies do refuse stalky hay, hence the 2nd cut would be the next best option for their consumption instead.
Orchard Hay is a good substitute for piggies with owners that are allergic to Timothy Hay itself. Orchard Hay is the next best option to Timothy Hay as it not only smells nice, it has the highest fibre content next to Timothy Hay.
An option that some owners choose would be to actually mix the Timothy and Orchard Hay to form a blend. This helps piggies get used to the taste of both types of hay while getting a high fibre content that would help with their digestion process. Orchard Hay is also at times more expensive compared to Timothy Hay.
Oat Hay can be given as an extra type of hay on top of offering the primary Timothy or Orchard Hay. It has a crunchy texture and savoury flavour and aroma that is able to help stimulate a guinea pig's appetite and encourage hay intake. It has a lower fibre content, hence not being able to replace the primary hay types.
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