If your guinea pigs don’t like vegetables, they can be replaced with pellets or a different vegetable, but hay cannot be substituted in their diet because it is toxic to them.
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Importance of Hay in Guinea Pig’s Diet
Hay is high in nutrients and fibers, and guinea pigs require a lot of it to keep their digestive systems running smoothly and efficiently.
Guinea pigs, like horses, are unable to absorb all of the nutrients from their diet at once, and as a result, they break down the majority of their food in their cecum and colons.
They excrete this in the form of poop, which they immediately consume again. They have an ingenious and effective system that works flawlessly for them despite the fact that it may sound a little gross to you all.
Guinea pigs require a large amount of hay in their diet, as a lack of hay can result in health problems associated with their cecal formation in the long run. It also impairs their ability to absorb water, resulting in dehydration and a serious life-threatening situation for them.
Hay also contains silica, which helps to naturally wear down the molar teeth of your guinea pig.
It is possible for your guinea pigs to develop dental problems such as overgrown teeth if they do not receive enough hay. These dental problems can be fatal in some cases.
How much hay do guinea pigs eat per day?
An adult guinea pig can consume between 90 and 100 grams of hay per day, depending on its size.
Making the decision to provide fresh hay at least twice daily will be a wise decision. You can set up 1-2 piles of food around their cage so that they can forage and eat.
Keep plenty of hay available in their cage at all times to ensure they have a healthy diet.
How much hay should you get?
Choosing which hay to buy and how long it will last can be a difficult decision, and I completely understand how difficult it can be.
So, today, I’ve decided to share some of the most popular and best feed for your guinea pigs, ranging from high-end options to the most cost-effective alternatives available.
Please keep in mind that the information provided below is for a single guinea pig; however, you can adjust the numbers to fit your pack size by using the following as a guide:
Hay For Guinea Pigs: Types, How Much & Why Feed It
Why is my guinea pig not eating hay?
Several factors could be contributing to your guinea pigs’ failure to consume an adequate amount of hay. Here are a few examples. Let us take a look at some of the most common reasons for this condition:
They don’t have easy access to hay.
Many people are tempted to use some unusually designed hay racks, which while they may look great, may not always be the most practical solution for their needs.
Some of the hay racks are in the way of your guinea pigs being able to get to the hay. Some hay racks, such as hay balls, pose a risk of getting your guinea pig’s head stuck in them, so use caution when using them.
As a result, while using something different may make your guinea pigs stand out, it may also make them less likely to eat their food.
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Before you learn more,here are some hand-picked supplies for your guinea pigs that you must add to your wishlist today:
The hay is of poor quality.
Hay constitutes the majority of your guinea pig’s nutritional needs. It provides your guinea pigs with the most essential nutrients, such as fiber, which they require in large quantities to survive.
It is not a good idea to provide your guinea pigs with low-quality thin vacuum-packed hay because it is not nutritious. It’s important to care for the health and longevity of your guinea pigs. If you care about their health and want them to live a long life, you should educate yourself on the importance of good quality hay and provide it to them whenever possible.
There are a few things you should look for to ensure that the hay you are buying is of high quality for your guinea pigs.
- Dry, first cutting hay
- Mixed texture; neither too thin nor too coarse
- Green, fresh free from any molds
- Even better if it contains seed heads
Your guinea pig is having some health issues.
Guinea pigs are prone to dental problems, which can make it difficult for them to consume their food properly. As we all know, guinea pigs have an ever-growing tooth that needs to be worn down on a regular basis in order to keep it under control.
Their molar teeth can sometimes overgrow and form a bridge shape over their tongue, making it extremely difficult for them to eat food.
It is difficult to tell the shape of a molar just by looking at our guinea pigs, which makes it even more difficult to determine.
We are often unable to figure out what is causing our pet to not consume enough food, which is one of the main reasons for the high number of deaths among guinea pigs.
If your guinea pig is not eating its food properly, it is recommended that you seek expert veterinarian advice as soon as possible.
The proportion of their diet is incorrect.
When our adorable guinea pigs wheek and beg for food, we are prone to getting carried away by their cuteness. As a result, we end up providing them with a plethora of tasty treats in their diet.
Many people are also tempted to throw in some extra vegetables into their cage, which, while it may have a negative impact on their health in the short term, will have a long-term impact in the long run.
Guinea pigs aren’t bothered by the 80 percent hay rule, or, to put it another way, they don’t have any control over their food intake.
If you end up feeding them additional treats such as carrots and bell peppers, they will be more than happy to eat them.
We should, on the other hand, only provide them with unlimited amounts of hay and serve vegetables in small portions.
Buying Premium hay vs Cheap Hay?
It is always a good idea to purchase hay of high quality for your guinea pigs. There are some fantastic brands out there that process and pack hay in small badges, ensuring that the product you receive is of the highest possible quality.
Purchasing a premium quality hay bag for a pair of guinea pigs or two may be a good option because the cost is not prohibitively expensive in this case.
However, if you have a large number of guinea pigs with you, it can become prohibitively expensive. In the event that you have more than four pigs, you should consider purchasing economical and large packs of hay, as they can consume a 24-pound bag of hay in less than a month.
For those who have excellent contacts with farmers, they may also opt to purchase feed from them. If you do decide to go with it, make sure to investigate the hay and ensure that it is of high quality.
How long does hay last for?
If you can properly store the hay, it will last for a long period of time (up to a year) on your shelves before going bad.
The feeding of guinea pigs should not be delayed for more than a week after it has been stored in the refrigerator. According to research, hay that has been stored on a shelf loses its nutritional value as time passes.
As a result, it is recommended to purchase and use hay in small quantities as and when required. I prefer to purchase a bag of hay that will last me for a month and purchase another one in advance just to be on the safe side and ensure that I do not run out of hay anytime soon.
How to store hay safely?
You should have no trouble keeping your Guinea Pigs’ hay stored in an upright position when not in use. Generally speaking, there are three major things we must protect our hay from. In this case, the factors are rodents, sunlight, and moisture.
In order to ensure that the bag does not contain any moisture, it is best to store it in a cool, dry location after sealing it. Simply ensure that any other rodents, such as mice, are unable to gain access to the hay.
The second most important thing to remember is to keep the feed stored away from direct sunlight as much as possible. Direct sunlight can cause the hay to become extremely dry, causing it to lose some of its nutritional value in the process.
The third and most important factor to consider is whether or not there is any moisture in the hay or the bag in which the hay is stored.
When there is a lot of moisture present, hay can become moldy very quickly. As a result, make certain that the hay is stored dry and free of any moisture.
Also, if the hay becomes moldy, avoid feeding it to your guinea pigs because it can cause a variety of diseases in them.