Hay feeder cardboard box

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Hi all
I am thinking of turning 2 of these boxes into hay feeders. Is white cardboard safe? I am planning to put 1 at each corner of the hutch with a circle in each side for the guinea pigs to get the hay out of. We can take the lid off and put more hay in. The boxes are too small for them actually to get in so my logic is that any hay in there will be fresh and not weed on as they will only be able to put their heads in to get it out.
We have been putting in 4 handfuls a day for 2 guinea pigs but of course they just tread it all down into the bedding and I don't know which is clean and which has been peed/pooed on. I don't want to use hay racks/hay bags as there are too many horror stories on this forum on what can go wrong (occasionally I know but I can see it does happen). We have used an obscene amount of hay in only 1 week of having them and when we cleaned out the hutch for the first time there was just way too much hay on the floor.Some may have been fresh/some not but of course we don't know so it all got removed.
Advice welcome please!
 

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VickiA

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I think the box itself will be fine. They will probably still have a nibble at it and re-shape the holes. I would also expect that they will still try to force their way into it, so if it is on the outside of the hutch please ensure it is secure. If it's on the inside of the hutch you can expect to see them climb on it and tip it over to get into it. Piggies are naturally inquisitive.
Hay wastage is really part and parcel of guinea pig keeping.
Hay bags/boxes/trays can help to reduce waste, but you will still find that they pull it out and walk over it and wee on it.
As hay makes up the largest amount of their diet I would just give them unlimited hay and accept that there will be wastage.
 

Piggies&buns

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As long as the hole is big enough to be safe (getting head out being the harder part as the ears and hair pull the opposite direction) or just enough for them to pull hay through with just their nose/mouth in the hole?

I personally do just put the hay on the hutch floor and by clean out time there is quite a layer of hay. I get through 20kg of hay (15kg of meadow and 5kg of Timothy) in a month.
 

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Thanks @Piggies&buns, I know you have been putting they hay on the floor which we have been doing and I think we would be getting through your amount of hay if we keep this rate up - about 4kg in just over a week - but we only have 2 guinea pigs and I am sure you have more?! Yes, wil put a big square hole so no getting stuck!
 

Piggies&buns

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Thanks @Piggies&buns, I know you have been putting they hay on the floor which we have been doing and I think we would be getting through your amount of hay if we keep this rate up - about 4kg in just over a week - but we only have 2 guinea pigs and I am sure you have more?! Yes, wil put a big square hole so no getting stuck!
As long as it is safe then trying the box is a good idea to try.
I’ve tried using trays of hay. I used to use hay racks but they just pulled it all out and still peed and pooped on it. Being outside piggies, needing the warmth, enjoying snuggling into it, there is always going to be wastage.

I have two piggies! A rabbit as well but he doesn’t get through as much as the piggies do (he is much tidier and eats every strand of hay which is put in one corner of his hutch and as he is litter trained there just isn’t the wastage you get with piggies)

They will need a thick layer of hay throughout autumn to spring time to keep warm, so you will get through a lot of hay as the year goes on
 
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Yes, we had a rabbit before these 2 so this is why it's a shock how much hay these 2 have and that the rabbit pooed in one corner whereas these 2 is all over! Like yours, they may still pull it out of the boxes. I think I just want a thinner layer on the floor on top of the megazorb. We shall see, going to do the boxes on the next dry day so we can watch to see if safe.
Puff is completely confident on the grass now and after 3 15-min days we gave her 1/2 hr today. No sign of tummy upset so far. Cheese looks out,watching Puff eating away, and they wheek to each other but she is scared of the ramp. Puff half the time doesn't bother w the ramp and leaps in and out of the hutch!
 

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I definitely use more hay in winter than in summer but still get through loads in summer. Their hay is about a foot deep in their hutch in winter! I couldn’t cope without haybox deliveries on subscription!
This is also why I keep them half on fleece in summer to try minimise the usage and even it out a bit for during winter!

I’m glad Puff is enjoying being on the grass! Have you put cheese down on the grass yourself? She may realise the ramp isn’t so scary when she sees what fun she can have!
 

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Well.....we haven't tried to pick them up yet. I don't want to scare them. She is certainly interested in the fun Puff is having and they will have loud conversations where she leans out of the hutch and Puff comes and touches her nose and chats back!
 

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Well.....we haven't tried to pick them up yet. I don't want to scare them. She is certainly interested in the fun Puff is having and they will have loud conversations where she leans out of the hutch and Puff comes and touches her nose and chats back!
Try herding her into a carrier, or snugglesack. And then you can just put the carrier down in the run and she can walk out so no handling will be required. This is how I transfer my boys from shed to run all the time
 

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I don't know if I'm brave enough yet! The carrier is pretty big, I think it would scare her if we put that in the hutch. I think she might be scared of the shoebox tunnel I attached to the ramp (see pic) which I did as people on here said piggies didn't always like ramps so I made it into the tunnel. which worked for Puff along w carrot bribes. I think I might take the top off and so she can see all the way down and see if that helps.
 

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