Hay Rack Help

SweetClementine

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I've had my guinea pigs for 3 months now, and so far, they've been really awesome. They've settled into the rhythm of things really well. They're great at having their nails trimmed and they're not at all afraid to explore and exercise. But their hay rack is being a bit problematic for me. It's the hay rack that came with the cage I bought. They tend to spill huge mountains of hay all over their cage which isn't fun when it comes to cage cleaning day. It's not their fault they need to eat their hay, but it's a waste and I was wondering if there are any tips or any better options you have. I'm new to this and some advice would be great. Thanks!
 

Reenie

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Hi, and welcome to the forum. Hay mess and hay waste are pretty much a part of guinea pig ownership I'm afraid, but here are a couple of things I do to keep it to a minimum.

Underneath their hay rack I have a litter tray lined with newspaper. This catches a lot of the hay that gets dropped. In a separate area I also have a litter tray lined with paper and filled with hay, which again keeps most of the hay together. When I change the paper, I lift off any clean hay, change the paper, put in fresh hay then put the hay that I lifted out, on top of the fresh...a kind of stock rotation if you will lol. This works relatively well in one of my cages, however in the other, they tip the tray, so the hay goes everywhere. Another thing some people do is to have an area of the cage sectioned off for hay, either by splitting the cage, having a loft area, or using a storage box with a door cut in it (make sure edges are sanded down so they're not sharp). I hope this helps!
 

Veggies Galore

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:agr:


I ditched my hay racks and hay balls a long time ago - after the threads linked on the first post in this thread ......

Potentially Dangerous Cage Accessories And Toys

I use hay trays nowadays - or just give it them loose .


I was watching one of my sows rummaging on some loose hay last night . She was clearly happy munching away - and then she kinda scratched at the top layer and had another rummage . It was so lovely to see this natural behaviour .
 

Hoppity.K

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My 3 girls love their hay trays. Heidi especially popcorns & jumps in it with such happiness. They too burrow their head in the hay & spend ages in there munching & rumaging. They are messy, they don’t care that hay gets everywhere. They are also expensive as we top up the hay & remove any soiled hay. But they love their hay tray :love: x
 

Kylie80

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I made my 2 some hay bags which they have loads of fun with, some days they will eat from the holes in the bottom and other days they like to stretch up on there hind legs and eat the hay from the top opening which freaks me out a little but it doesn't seem to hurt them. The hay bags keep the hay mess in one area. I also have a bowl that I put shorter cut hays in that are not suitable for the hay bags but it's a bit messy.
 

acapae

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I use a rat-sized corner litter tray as my piggy hay tray. It's on the ground so natural eating position, and being triangular there's a nice long side so they can eat next to each other. But being triangle-shaped it's pretty much too small for either of them to actually sit inside re. minimal risk of them peeing on the hay before they've had the opportunity to eat it. This is what I use for the special forages and more costly hays - the normal meadow hay just gets dumped in a pile on the floor since it's so cheap (I buy it by the bale) that a bit of wastage doesn't impact.
 

RescuedGuineas

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I've found that the amount of hay wasted varies a lot with the type of hay.

I'm not sure if it's due to our hay box set up: I use different (softer, cheaper) hay in their sleeping area but have a separate hay box with their eating hay in it.
We use a hay box made out of an empty cereal box with a wide rectangular hole cut out at the bottom so they can get the hay out easily but they can't actually climb into the box! We clip the cereal box to the inside of the cage bars with bulldog clips so it doesn't move, and it's about 2 cm off the floor so easy for them to reach the hay. I put a plastic tray underneath lined with newspaper so the girls can munch at the hay and the tray collects any spilt hay, poops etc. I just refresh the newspaper daily and compost the hay that has been widdled on!

But back to the differences in hay waste: when I fill the hay box with "softer" hay like the Nature's Own bagged hay, or Burgess Excel Timothy with Marigold, they seem to pull it out and sit in it, whereas the Ings hay from Hay and Straw, which is a bit "stalkier", they seem to eat without pulling loads of it out and wasting it. Perhaps it's because they're searching for the tasty marigolds in the Burgess Excel? Who knows how a guinea pig's mind works!

Good luck with finding a solution that works for you - I think it's just trial and error really.
 

Julia Rafferty

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My pig’s head got stuck in a hay rack when he was younger so I ditched them and now he won’t even go near one.
 
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