Can I feed my piggies - Bermuda hay

Prasiddha

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Hi friends!

Like you guys know I live in India. We don't get thimothy hay in surplus here. I was buying itonline in amazon till date. But it was already costing a lot for me since it was being imported. I had initially two which increased to 4 and now I have 8 piggies. I was providing them Timothy hay, Bermuda grass (handful), Timothy based pellets (only this month I am giving them alfalfa based pellets since fluffy gave birth and her pups are in their weaning period) and fresh vegetables. Now since it is costing too much, I want you guys to advise if I can substitute Timothy hay with Bermuda hay. I am have a local farmer here who could provides me good quality Bermuda hay for very economical rate. I tried it with my piggies and loved this hay.
Please find below Bermuda hay nutrition value compared to Timothy hay:
Timothy Hay Analysis (average)
Crude Protein – 6.0% – 10.0%
Crude Fiber – 30%
NSC – average of 12% (range 7% – 18%)
DE, Mcal/Lb. – 0.7 to 1.0
Calcium – 0.38%
Phosphorus – 0.17%
Ca:P Ratio – 2.2:1

Bermuda Grass Hay Analysis (average)
Crude Protein – 7.0% – 10.0%
Crude Fiber – 28%
NSC – average of 12% (range 7% – 18%)
DE, Mcal/Lb. – 0.7 – 1.0
Calcium – 0.43%
Phosphorus – 0.16%
Ca:P Ratio – 2.7:1

Feel free to provide your inputs. It could make a happier living for my piggies.
 

Prasiddha

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And friends it isn't Ca:P but it is calcium phosphorous ratio
 

teddymouse

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the nutrients in grass are transfer agents,meaning what fertilization in the soil will be picked up by the growing grass . if its cut at the flat stage of growth it will have more stored ,so higher nutritional quality and the same grass will have decreased nutritional quality in its round stage of growth(seeding). so if you are going to analysis every bale of hay, you will find not a lot of diffeance in them.
 

Prasiddha

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@Wiebke sorry to disturb again. But any inputs from you!?

Also from other senior members.

Anyone from India? What type of hay you guys are feeding your piggies!
 

Wiebke

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I have not come across Bermuda grass hay before as it is not available here in Europe, Australia or North America, but it sounds reasonable to me! It is certainly worth giving it a try.

Timothy hay is the lowest in calcium content and easiest to digest, but you can keep your piggies equally well on other hays or a mixture of hays as long as it is not alfalfa/lucerne.
Alfalfa (which is a legume rich in calcium and protein) should only be given to pregnant, nursing or severely underweight/malnourished piggies in the early stages of recovery.

Please keep in mind that the ca : ph ratio of what you feed is largely dependent on the hardness of your water and the amount of calcium in your pellets; they are actually the two biggest contributors - but they are the two factors that get often overlooked when you compute your diet.

Our diet recommendations are majorly tailored for the UK, which to a large extent is a hard water area; we had to work things out mostly by trial and error over the last decade. The US based ca : ph diet for instance was a huge fail here in the UK because it didn't allow for water hardness and pellet composition, which until recent years was very high in calcium, too.
If you live in a soft water area, you have more room to play with the calcium content of your hay and veg.
If you get lots of milky/white powder pees, you know that you are too high in calcium. The odd white pee is not an issue.
 

Prasiddha

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I have not come across Bermuda grass hay before but it sounds sensible to me! It is certainly worth giving it a try.

Timothy hay is the lowest in calcium, but you can keep your piggies equally well on other hays or a mixture of hays as long as it is not alfalfa/lucerne.
Alfalfa (which is a legume rich in calcium and protein) should only be given to pregnant, nursing or severely underweight/malnourished piggies in the early stages of recovery.
Thank you will give it a try and see if it is working out. When I was searching online about Bermuda hay I found it not having too much calcium.
 

Prasiddha

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Since I was provided lot of alfalfa based pellets and one or more handful of grass I felt was the reason for the powdery pee from fluffy. Once I reduced the pellet intake and grass level I find difference in her pee. We are in a soft water area. So I think I might give a try with this type of hay for a week and decide if I could make this their staple food. Let me hope for the best. Thank you @Wiebke for all your support. Means a lot.
 

Wiebke

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I would recommend to feed less alfalfa based pellets to your other piggies once they leave Fluffy; she can stay on more a bit longer as she has got a lot of ground to make up.
We recommend 1-2 tablespoons of pellets per guinea pig per day. That gives you more space to play with high calcium veg like kale or other brassicas, which are a good source of magnesium and vitamin C. They are OK to feed if you introduce them in small amounts to allow the guts to get used to them and always feed them as part of a veg mix. Magnesium is not something that is covered by pellets but it is present only in higher calcium veg.

Nutrition is quite a minefield... :yikes:
In the end it is down to you to figure out what works best for you by trial and error because a lot depends on what is available where you are and making the best of it.
 

Prasiddha

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I would recommend to feed less alfalfa based pellets to your other piggies once they leave Fluffy; she can stay on more a bit longer as she has got a lot of ground to make up.
We recommend 1-2 tablespoons of pellets per guinea pig per day. That gives you more space to play with high calcium veg like kale or other brassicas, which are a good source of magnesium and vitamin C. They are OK to feed if you introduce them in small amounts to allow the guts to get used to them and always feed them as part of a veg mix. Magnesium is not something that is covered by pellets but it is present only in higher calcium veg.

Nutrition is quite a minefield... :yikes:
In the end it is down to you to figure out what works best for you by trial and error because a lot depends on what is available where you are and making the best of it.
This magnesium fact was new to me. Will take it into note and provide them a combination of diet that consist of essential nutrients.
Thank you :love:
 

Wiebke

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This magnesium fact was new to me. Will take it into note and provide them a combination of diet that consist of essential nutrients.
Thank you :love:
Give them a little cabbage once or twice weekly as part of their daily veg mix. ;)
 

Prasiddha

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Does this look like good hay.. my piggies are eating it .. tried out making hay at home.. it is soft and dry not moisture. Should I dry it more ?
 

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