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HAY AND LUCERNE Grass hay is one of the most important dietary supplements you can provide your guinea pig. Grass hay is responsible for keeping a cavies front incisors and back molars down. It also helps guinea pigs digest their food and keeps their digestive system healthy. Grass Hay should be available to your cavy 24/7. In the wild guinea pigs spend the day grazing and foraging on grass and plant matter. As a guinea pig owner you should make sure your guinea pig has hay available at all times. A hay rack should be included in any cage, this will ensure the hay remains off the ground where it could otherwise be soiled. There are a number of variety's that can be fed to your cavy these include: wheaten, blue grass, meadow, oaten, barley, and Timothy. Timothy and meadow hay are prime examples of excellent grass hays, and are recommended daily. A cavies teeth continue to grow through out its life. To ensure your cavies teeth do not overgrow grass hay is given. It will ground down the back teeth (molars), and keep the front incisors trimmed. Grass hay is also a good source of fibre and other nutrients. A guinea pig can eat an unlimited amount of hay and not become overweight. Lucerne hay is different to grass hay. It contains much higher levels of calcium,carbohydrates and protein. The level of calcium in Lucerne hay may contribute to the development of bladder stones in older cavies if it is given in conjunction with Lucerne based pellets. Lucerne hay and Lucerne based pellets should never be given together as the calcium levels will be too high. Lucerne is a also high in protein. Adding this type of hay to foods that have a high protein content such as lupins, soy beans, and mixes will cause an inverse ratio potentially leading to an imbalance of bacteria in the digestive system causing severe digestive upset which could lead to other health issues. Cavies need a diet high in fibre with adequate/correct protein levels. Grass hay is fed daily as it has a low protein content and a high fibre content which is designed to meet the daily nutrient needs of guinea pigs. Guinea pigs with a medical condition or cavies susceptible to developing stones should not be fed Lucerne hay. Grass hay is the best staple for your cavy. It will keep your cavies teeth properly ground, and is a healthier choice in the long term. However Lucerne hay can be given to young, nursing and pregnant cavies. The level of calcium will help aid in the development of bone structure and growth. Lucerne hay should be stopped and grass hay should be slowly mixed in and introduced to young cavies at the age of 6 months.
Guinea Pig Hay Bale   