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Apr 6 12 2:27 AM

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My 2 boys have always been rather picky when it comes to their food. When I first got them I spent heaps of time and money trying them out on every veg and fruit said to be good for them. In the end they settled on 3 veg and no fruit.

I've had the same problem with hay. When they got too old for lucerne hay, which they love and it cost me only $3 for a 3.5 kilo bag at my local produce, I started looking for timothy hay.

I could only find Oxbow timothy hay at a pet shop 1 hour's drive away from me. Time, petrol and $40 for about 800 grams hay later, it all got thrown out because after the first try-it-out-nibble they wouldn't touch it. As one of them is a dental piggie, I had to have hay they would eat.

I put them back on lucerne hay for a temporary measure until I went back to that pet shop and tried the Oxbow timothy hay cakes. Time, petrol and $26 for about 800 grams later, it too got thrown out as nope, don't like that either.

The only other non-lucerne hay I could find was the Peter's pasture hay that sells everywhere and cost me only $5 for a 2 kilo bag. Yup, they loved it! But I wasn't sure how good it was for them as it is not a green hay. Then Peter's came out with their timothy hay at $17 for 1 kilo bag and it is readily available so tried that. Nope, won't touch it, it too got thrown out.

Next was oaten hay at $13 for 2 kilos which I found at only one pet shop. Yup, they love the stuff! But it's not a green hay.

So, found meadow hay online from an out-of-state supplier and ordered 2 kilos for $25. Nice and green, so of course the boys don't like it.

Looks like they only like hay that is yellow coloured!
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#1 [url]

Apr 6 12 10:50 AM

I read somewhere that you should try new foods ten times with guinea pigs. It's an arbitrary number, but the point was to give them time to get used to the food. I used to let them try things once or twice and think they didn't like it, but when I left it in their cage they would have a nibble when they got bored. That's how I discovered they like cucumber, even though they wouldn't touch it at first, which is very convenient for me as I take a cucumber as their "water bottle" if we go out for short trips.

Since you live at Bayside, you may be okay with travelling to Capalaba Produce? I used to feed my two piggies their grassy hay, which they sell in small packs (taller than a backpack) for $3.50. I haven't been there in a while, so prices and stock may have changed. Please call and check beforehand if you decide to try it. The quality was okay. Nothing breathtaking. Does grassy hay count as a green hay? Maybe it's the same as meadow hay -- I'm not sure.

Anyway, your boys are still young. I remember when mine were fussy like that -- just realised they've grown up a lot...

edit:spelling!

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#2 [url]

Apr 6 12 10:04 PM

I have left the vegies they don't like all day and the hay they don't like for several days, without giving other options so that they might be forced to eat what I put out. But no good.

Because the youngest one has teeth that regularly overgrow (born with a deformed jaw so the teeth don't align properly)I panic when a day goes by and he has barely touched his hay. The older boy is not much interested in any hay but loves any kind of chaff in his mix and his teeth have always been beautiful.

I do regularly go to Capalaba Produce but the only hay they have at the moment is lucerne because apparently it's not the season for other hays. Presumably as autumn progresses they will get some.

I don't mind wasting hay but not at $40 for less than a kilo! So, for the moment I am persevering with the cheaper green meadow hay by mixing it up with the yellow oaten hay. Over time I will introduce more of the green and less of the yellow in the mix and hopefully they will end up eating mostly the green hay. Mind you, it really is a pain trying to mix these hays as they both came compressed so I am always making hay mess everywhere, but as you know we will go to any lengths for these furballs.

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#3 [url]

Apr 6 12 10:21 PM

I personally wouldn't worry too much about using Peter's Hay or yellower oaten hay (Peter's is a rye grass hay, rye grass and oaten hay are both acceptable grass hays for piggies I believe) because I think the teeth issues trumps the need to have fresh, green hay. Certainly, if your piggies are getting plenty of nutrients from other foods I imagine hay, as long as wears down the teeth and provides fibre, is doing its job. Fresh grass wears down the teeth as well, and few piggies turn their noses up at that. So hay + fresh grass might be an option for you. Especially if you're piggies are fussy little brats who don't eat a lot of veggies or anything else. ;)
You might want to try looking up safe weeds and other plants to feed your pigs? I think it helps to try different things, and obviously if you can pick stuff for free (provided it hasn't been sprayed with anything) that's going to be a better option for you, financially, if they decide they don't like it.
I was once told by a vet that piggies come with a lot of "baggage" food wise, so if they're not used to certain food/veggie, you just have to keep chopping it up, and putting it in their cage fresh each day until they get the taste of it. But I would definitely try feeding different kinds of grasses and other forages.

Good luck!

Jessica (& pigs).

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#4 [url]

Apr 6 12 11:25 PM

Good advice on the weeds - fresh grass is a winner at my place and a perfect replacement for hay. Often hay is almost always yellow with a tinge of green sometimes (which is the nicest hay!).

-=[[ Lynlee ]]=-
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There are 1000's of homeless guinea pigs in rescue shelters all across Australia that NEED YOU!!

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#5 [url]

Apr 7 12 8:39 AM

Thanks Jess. That all eases my mind about the hay. I do give them grass regularly as I have a lawn and with all the rain we've had lately it is quite lush. And when it is too damp to put them on the lawn, I go out and cut some with scissors to the amusement of the neighbours. And, oh yes, grass is definitely their favourite food!

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#6 [url]

Apr 8 12 5:50 AM

D'oh. I completely posted when I was half asleep.

Alfalfa is much tastier than any grassy/timothy hay. I forget how I found that out, but I'm pretty sure it's not by tasting it. I think mine didn't immediately fall in love with Oxbow at first. So long ago now.

Anyway, this is why alfalfa is good as an appetite stimulant if your piggy is not eating. (Haven't yet tested this myself).

Also, be careful with an oaten and wheaten chaff mix if you see one. Last I checked it had molasses in it (probably not a lot).

$40 for 800g of Oxbow is a lot! Pet Cafe has it for cheaper but that's in Greenslopes (and elsewhere). I know for sure Greenslopes had 1.13kg? (the larger bag) for $29.95 about a month ago.

Please keep us updated with the latest in your hay saga!

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#7 [url]

Apr 8 12 11:37 AM

Alfalfa should only be fed to pigs under 6 months of age, or if they are pregnant. It's far too high in Calcium to be fed to adults.

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My Current Babies: Emma + Fizzy (aka Fizz-Wizz)
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#8 [url]

Apr 8 12 12:06 PM

True, and excuse me if I didn't make that clear, but if piggy is not eating (such as not getting much critical care down) and losing a lot of weight, I would feed them alfalfa to avoid liver issues and stasis and to keep their weight up for a short period, perhaps a few days. Hopefully, as an appetite stimulant, alfalfa will get them eating other things again. It may lead to calcium issues, so it is about weighing up the situation. Of course, there are other things to try as well, such as B12 injection.

I suppose it is unorthodox, but after reading about it being an appetite stimulant (and knowing that it is supposedly tasty), I've kept it in mind as something I'd try if piggy wasn't eating anything.

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#9 [url]

Apr 9 12 11:02 PM

hayfever wrote:

Also, be careful with an oaten and wheaten chaff mix if you see one. Last I checked it had molasses in it (probably not a lot).

$40 for 800g of Oxbow is a lot! Pet Cafe has it for cheaper but that's in Greenslopes (and elsewhere). I know for sure Greenslopes had 1.13kg? (the larger bag) for $29.95 about a month ago.



I make my own mix to which I add chaff (there are 2 places I can get just bags of chaff) so no worry about molasses.

The $40 for 800 grams Oxbow was at Pet Cafe Mt Gravatt. At that time they only had 400 gram bags at $19.95 and I bought 2 bags to reduce the need for the 1 hour drive to that shop.

At the moment they will dig into the oaten and meadow hay mix whenever I remove the old batch and put in a new one. When I've changed the batch they rush right over. Hazelnut the healthy teeth pig munches on it for about half an hour and Peanut Butter my dental boy will munch for almost an hour and then they both leave it alone until I change the batch again - no idea why. So, I'm changing it several times a day now, so a lot of wastage but this hay is not so expensive. Might give the Timothy hay a try again but mixed in with the yellow hays they like.

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#10 [url]

Apr 10 12 1:56 AM

Sorry when I said an oaten and wheaten chaff mix, I meant a chaff composed of oaten and wheaten hay, not a (guinea pig food) mix with oaten and wheaten chaff. I have to be careful not to confuse terms! The few produce stores I have been to sell a wheaten and oaten pre-mixed chaff.

Yes, believe it or not, a mixture of chaff had molasses in it.

As for Pet Cafe Mt Gravatt, I can't find that location on their website. Perhaps it was a different store? Greenslopes usually has lots of 1.13kg, but Cleveland/Redcliffe is probably closer to ring, IF you do decide to try it again, but as said earlier, meadow and oaten hay with supplemented with grasses and weeds should be alright for them.

http://petcafe.com.au/customPages/store-contacts?subSiteId=1

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#11 [url]

Apr 11 12 12:27 AM

Ooops - it was Pet City Mt Gravatt. For some reason when I was searching for Oxbow products that was the only pet shop that came up. The actual Oxbow Australia site only gave me vet practice outlets, none anywhere near me.

So, thanks very much. I now know about Pet Cafe! Have found their online site and the Cleveland shop will be great for me.

And I will have to be careful when getting my chaff to make sure it is only chaff. Why in the world would they put molasses in chaff!

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#12 [url]

Apr 20 12 10:29 AM

Oh, so glad there is another person who's sort of southside (sort of, I take what I can get) I can share hay hunt knowledge with! I had a bit of hay saga myself, hence my nick!

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#17 [url]

Apr 24 12 12:08 AM

i am at Alex hills. i get my hay from Rochedale produce. I try not to buy from capalaba produce becuase firstly THEY SELL GUINEA PIGS and two they don't have grassy hay.

let me know if you could like some hay from me.

Katy
...........................................................
Radish and Little Foot
Rocky and Liam

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#18 [url]

Apr 29 12 12:42 PM

They do sell guinea pigs, but I bought hay from them from time to time as I only have two (bad me) and they sold grassy hay in small bags at least until the end of last year.

I'm not that far from you. Can I get some hay from you too when I next need some? Or come with you to Rochedale Produce if you need help?

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#19 [url]

May 2 12 2:37 AM

my email is [email protected] and i am acutally going to get more hay this week from rochedale produce.

Katy
...........................................................
Radish and Little Foot
Rocky and Liam

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#20 [url]

May 2 12 6:08 AM

I still have a fair bit of hay. Email you shortly.

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