can guinea pigs eat Horsehage?

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just wondered if there is any reason why I couldn't give them Horsehage as bedding/to eat as it's loads cheaper than buying small bags meant for rabbits/gp's
:))
thanks
 

katiepops

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Hi welcome to the forum
I've not heard of Horsehage before. I've just googled it, it looks like it's just grass so I can't see any reason not to. I wondered if it might be too rich for them?
There are a few people with horses on here, they might know.
Anyone?

I've just bought a big bale of hay from a local farm for £6.00 and it's much nicer than the pet shop stuff.
 

Teejay

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Hiya, old post I know, but I'm interested in this myself! Horsehage is a brand name for regular haylage, although I think Horsehage make different types of haylage (Timothy, Rye, etc). Haylage is cut grass which is part dried and then sealed in plastic.

I used to have horses, and one of them had to be kept on a low-sugar diet, and, after lots of analysis of hay vs haylage, haylage came out lower in sugar.

The analysis of the different varieties is on their website: http://www.horsehage.co.uk/analysis.html

Would it be suitable for GPs? I'd love to feed Pudding and Squeak on Horsehage.....the smell is divine!

Tracey
 
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We got told by a farmer that haylage was when hay was cut sooner than normal hay and wasnt far from silage but hasnt gone that far or something like that. I personally wouldn't give it to my piggies, but I'm not expert!
 
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Doeylicious

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We got told by a farmer that haylage was when hay was cut sooner than normal hay and wasnt far from silage but hasnt gone that far or something like that. I personally wouldn't give it to my piggies, but I'm not expert!

Your farmer is right :)

Haylage is, as Toadflex says, between silage and hay. It varies in quality and 'wetness' as most hay does, Horsehage is a fairly decent national brand. We use a local supplier here so don't see so much of it.

I wouldn't feed it to piggies myself, it can be quite strong for horse's guts if they are prone to colic and guineas, whilst anatomically quite similar, are more sensitive - I feed my horse the odd bounty bar (read - she steals it off me!) but would certainly never let the guineas have any!

If you ever want a whiff TeeJay, you can pop up my yard and stick your head in the giant bale in the barn lol! It does smell yummy!
 

Juniper

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“Horsehage†is the brand name for the original ‘half-hay-half-silage’ that was developed by the Westaway family in Devon (Marksway Horsehage).
That particular brand is completely unsuitable for cavies – although I believe it is still the market leader for horses. It smells lovely but it is far too damp, soggy and strong flavoured (it’s meant to be) for cavies and most won't eat it.

Obviously other farmers/hay producers jumped on the bandwagon and produced their own ....but had to call it ‘Hay-lage’ as the word ‘Horsehage’ was patented.

We feed a local brand (Cravenbale) to our pigs but you can only do that if you are also feeding a horse/other animals or share a bale with a friend as the bale has to be used within 5-7 days of opening the packaging. We have never had any problem/unexplained illnesses when feeding it to our pigs but it needs introducing slowly in small quantities.
Haylage is a much more predictable crop than hay – especially in wet summers – and can be good quality when ordinary hay is very dusty.
 

Doeylicious

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Forgot about the short shelf life, thanks for mentioning the Juniper, it is pure evil when it goes off...definitely bad for tummies.

The way the hay has been this year we are lucky to have haylage for the horses, had a really bad lot from our usual farmer :(
 
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It's a terrible year for hay :(

I know a friend whose guineas get haulage when hay runs out and they are fine on it, but I'm glad that Juniper posted that info as I didn't feel happy about feeding it to mine without knowing what the difference was.

Mine get Grazeon or JustGrass if hay is short, which they love, but there's no substitute for good quality meadow hay
 
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I use readigrass and Herbert seems to like it. But I dont give it too my horses lol Readigrass is basically haylage which is high in moisture and is cut and baled earlier than hay
 
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Haylage is partially fermented - which gives it that smell - so I personally wouldn't give it to pigs. I fed it to my horse who had dust allergy issues. It is also extremely rich compared to normal hay.

Readi-Grass is not haylage, it is dried grass, and is more comparable to hay in consistency, but richer on a nutritional basis. I know of people who feed readigrass to pigs, and I believe you can buy it in small amounts packaged for pigs/bunnies.
 

CiaraPatricia

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Could you not just get a big bale of normal hay? :) Or on zooplus.de (the german site) you can get 14kg boxes of hay for about €15 and it's good. :)
 
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