It is Sunday. We dig out a big chuck of hay for our little furries. We added some other nice hay such as Momi Hay, Oxbow Hay today as a treat. It is part of our daily routine these days.
Eating hay is actually very important, so unlike what chinchilla shops said eating just the pellets is not good enough. Hay is actually the primary diet of chins (roughly 75%), the pellets are basically like supplements to add the vitamins and minerals into the diet that the hay may be lacking.
On average a chin should eat about 2tbs of pellets and a handful worth of hay per day. Although a chin could live off a pellet only diet for awhile, it will end up with teeth issues, as well as digestive issues. They need the hay to properly grind the molars down, and the added fiber in the hay for proper digestion.
But what constitute a good hay? What is your major concern?
When buying hay, the biggest concern is mold. When hay is cut it has to stay in the fields until it is dried out. If it is baled with too much moisture it will mold and rot.
Sometimes you can’t tell this from the outside that nasty is brewing within the bale.
It gets worse when the temperature is high and so is the humidity. If hay is not baled too tight, you can put your hand between the flakes and see if is warm. Warm / Moist = BAD. If your hay have contact with water in the bag, throw them. Always keep your hay cool in the dark and away from heat.
We kept our hay in air tight plastic containers but the hay turned bad.
In Singapore, we also have another problem when keeping hay. We like to put them into air tight plastic containers. The only concern is temperature is high in those containers and moisture get trapped in them. Warm / Moist = BAD.
The date on the bag is next year but Milky not eating his hay.
One problem with hay is is can vary from brand to brand but also from season to season, it’s a crop so it’s effected by the weather.Although it may have been good in the past you could have gotten an old bale or one from a bad harvest (according to your chin). Also make sure if she has been eating from this bag for awhile and suddenly not wanting to eat it make sure it hasn’t gone bad.
My chinchilla or rabbit played with their hay.
I do agree that most chins like the play with their hay. Our friends chinchillas and rabbits will often take all the hay out of the hay hold in search for the perfect stand. For me, I don’t refill/change the hay daily though, I give enough for a day at a time.
I have unlimited hay supply in her rack. But she threw many out on the floor.
If you offer too much at once it can cause rabbit or chinchilla to not see the hay as as valuable, they can afford to be picky because they get fresh stuff everyday. Cleaning up hay is inevitable, they rarely eat every strand but they should be eating a good chunk of it. We understand that many owners pained to see their expensive hay get chuck on the floor and get step on. But it is much cheaper than not feeding enough and had to pay a visit to the veterinarian.
He threw many out on the floor. I am not feeding him hay.
To many owners, their chinchillas and rabbits are picky hay eater too. We tends to feed more pellets and stop feeding them hay. As they did not get enough hay, some rabbits developed malocclusion problems as early as 3 months and chinchillas 4-9 months. Try mixed and match different brands to keep him interested.
I find a lot of brown hay inside the bag. I started to sort them out.
As far as color goes, Hay is hay is hay. Green, brown, yellow. If its a late cutting after the grass had turned brown, usually in drought or the last cutting in the fall. Yellow or light brown was cured in the sun for longer than the green. White or light brown may be because the bale was the top one in the sun. It should smell fresh and not musty.
Everything else you already know
– fresh smelling ( not moldy )
– weed free
– green hay is nice, but hay left in sun (sundried) will bleach yellow.
It’s still good it’s just not as pretty. I’ve had my chinchilla turn up his nose at green hay for his higher quality yellow hay.