Types of Guinea Pig Hay
When considering the question What can guinea pigs eat, it’s important to know that hay is an essential part of the guinea pig diet. Hay for guinea pigs needs to be provided in an abundant manner, so they can have hay at all times. Quality fresh hay supplies guinea pigs with essential fiber and nutrients which could prevent digestive problems all the while helping maintain the guinea pig’s dental health.
Many wonder, what type of hay do we provide? Which hay is best for guinea pigs? Can guinea pigs survive on hay only? Well, 80% of a guinea pig’s food must consist of good quality hay and must have an unlimited supply for them to munch on. This means guinea pigs need hay in their cage. Keep hay off the floor to avoid it from being soiled by your piggies' urine since guinea pigs can’t and won’t eat soiled hay.
You can put it in a guinea pig hay feeder like a hay rack, a cardboard box, or any other method you can think of! Hay feeders for guinea pigs are helpful because they can help reduce the amount of mess and wasted hay overall.
Quality hay for guinea pigs should be fresh (green in color and sweet in smell), should be as dustless as possible (fine dust will make them sneeze) and contain no additives. Do not always opt for the cheapest variant, but always check the quality. And most importantly! Do not give them chemically sprayed guinea pig hay.
Peanut, Tofu, and Dumpling enjoying fresh timothy hay for guinea pigs from GuineaDad Nourish Series – Timothy Hay
However, not all types of hay can be fed to guinea pigs. There are two types of guinea pig hay: grass hay and legume hay. Some have wondered, can guinea pigs eat grass, but don’t realize that hay is a type of grass, or a form of it! The former is rich in fiber and low in calories, calcium, and protein, which makes it the best type of hay for guinea pigs. The latter, on the other hand, is the opposite.
Legume hay could lead to urinary stones and cause your guinea pig to get fat. Urinary infections can become pretty uncomfortable for your guinea pig, and in some cases fatal. It’s important to make sure you don’t feed too much calcium to your guinea pig. Legume hay (also known as alfalfa hay) should not be provided as a cavy’s primary food source. Fat guinea pigs tend to have more health issues than those at healthy weights. It’s important to achieve healthy weight to improve overall health.
Sick guinea pigs, pregnant sows, and pups could benefit from the extra nutrients, but otherwise healthy guinea pigs that consume legume hays may detrimentally affect their well being. Always consult your veterinarian first before adding legume hay to their diet if you are unsure.
Two Types of Hay Carried at GuineaDad
Timothy Hay for Guinea Pigs
What is Timothy hay? Timothy hay for guinea pigs is a popular choice among guinea parents. Its fragrant smell and taste makes it a guinea pig favorite as well! Not only does Timothy hay provide the right balance of fiber, fat, and protein for our piggies, it is also easy to find. It is composed of the stem, leaf, and seed head of Timothy-grass.
Guinea pigs can get lots of vitamins and minerals from the leaves while munching on the stem helps wear down guinea pig's teeth. Many consider Timothy to be the best guinea pig hay for guinea pigs given the balance of nutrients and the texture to aid guinea pig's digestive and dental health. When getting hay for guinea pigs, be sure to check that it is free of dust and mold. To properly choose the best Timothy hay for guinea pigs, make sure that it is green, fresh, dust-free and has a hint of a sweet smell!
Be sure to check it out:
Here are some reviews of GuineaDad's Timothy Hay:
Orchard Hay for Guinea Pigs
Orchard hay for guinea pigs is an excellent choice for guinea pig parents that are allergic to timothy hay or are wanting to provide some variety into their diet. This is another favorite amongst guinea pigs and for good reasons. Orchard hay has a sweeter smell and a softer texture than typical timothy hay. The nutritional value of orchard hay is on par with timothy, only being slightly lower in protein, but has an exceptional fiber content.
To compare timothy hay and orchard hay, orchard hay consists of a broader leaf and the texture is softer, allowing for guinea pigs to eat with ease. The sweet, aromatic fragrance of our orchard hay will surely be able to entice even the pickiest of eaters amongst guinea pigs, and help out piggy parents that have an allergy to timothy hay.
You can check it out by clicking on the image below!
Here are some review of GuineaDad's Orchard Hay:
What Makes GuineaDad Nourish Series - Hay the Best Hay for Guinea Pigs?
Our Nourish Series - Timothy Hay and Orchard Hay differ from the start. At GuineaDad we solely focus on the health of guinea pigs. From the initial design and planning process we spend not weeks, or months, but over a year to design, test, and complete the packaging alone so that it provides the stimulation to the guinea pig's body and mind.
That was only the start. During the process of looking for the perfect crop, we go out to see for ourselves and send samples to get tested to ensure the nutritional content meets a guinea pig's needs. If the crop is able to pass these qualifications, they are then picked to be run through our state of the art filtration system to ensure minimal dust, which irritation and harm, gets to your guinea pigs. With our patent pending packaging design, it ensures guinea pigs receive more of freshest and highest quality hay while leaving guinea parents with even less to worry and clean. You can read some of the raving reviews of hay!
Other Types of Hay Guinea Pigs Can Eat:
Meadow Hay for Guinea Pigs
It is made from long strands of grass, leaves, flowers, and seed heads from the meadow. Due to the inconsistency of the content, some guinea pigs like the mix, while others do not. Meadow hay may be more suitable for forage usage due to the mixture of flowers and other plants. Like orchard and timothy, if you do end up trying meadow hay, make sure it's green!
Oat Hay for Guinea Pigs
This hay is not commonly used to feed guinea pigs, but this hay has long stems with oats attached at the end and tends to be a yellower color than other types of hay. Since oat hay isn’t talked about as much, you may be wondering, is oat hay good for guinea pigs? It contains a higher amount of fiber, fat, and protein than most of the others in the list, and should only be fed once in a while. The added nutrients could be beneficial to sick piggies, but always consult your veterinarian first.
Bermuda Hay for Guinea Pigs
Another uncommon type of hay is Bermuda hay, a high quality hay. Bermuda hay is a very good source of fiber. It contains a moderate amount of protein and has a little more calcium than Timothy hay. Bermuda hay is commonly given as feed for larger animals.
(Peanut enjoying her GuineaDad Nourish Series- Timothy Hay all for herself!)
In the end, you have to be careful when choosing what type of hay will be a staple in your guinea pig’s diet. Timothy hay and Orchard hay are two of the best guinea pig hay types given to adult guinea pigs for they boast high fiber content and are truly suitable for guinea pigs.
As with everything in life, do not make the pick just based on the price, but base it on the quality and needs of your piggies. When you do the math and compare the price and quantity of hay you get in our GuineaDad Hay Box and GuineaDad Hay Bars (in the packs of 3 and 5 respectively), and compare them to the amount of hay you get in bags, the price actually comes out cheaper with ours.
Because we take the extra care to microfilter out the dust and debris from our hay, we’re able to ensure that the product weight is 100% hay, whereas other products might account for dust in their product weight.
Make sure that your guinea pig always has unlimited access to hay for them to live a healthy life and to avoid any health issues. If your guinea pig has special needs, be sure to consult your veterinarian to make sure they are getting the proper choice. Happy feeding!