I feel like I’m doing something wrong

Jesse's pigs

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As the title reads, I feel I’m either doing something wrong or missing a trick 😂😂 is it just me that seems to go through a mountain of hay daily or is it normal? I only have three piggies (two boars in one cage) and my other boar in the other cage AND yet I throw a bag full of hay away a day. I give them fresh hay in the AM with their cage clean out (I clean the entire cage daily- shake the mats lose of hay/poop and sweep everything up and out) and then more in the PM. Then the next morning everything in the cage is removed and I start again. I know some people that give jay boxes and just pick out the wet bits but I don’t know if this is ok as tbh my boys either leave the wet bits or those they’ve decided aren’t good enough for them (tho this is apparently a lot😂😂)

I don’t use hay racks etc as my hooligans always seem to poke their eyes out 🤦‍♀️ So I just give piles on the floor
 

Bradshaw Piggies

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I also have a lot of waste hay. I probably end up wasting more than they eat! But I would much rather it this way and throw stuff out, than them not have lots of hay unlimited.
I don’t like the idea of hay racks (only personal opinion) as my piggies also like sleeping and hiding in the hay. Plus I don’t want a hay rack to slow down rate of chewing.

my horses are the same - very wasteful!
I think it’s just part and parcel of pet owning!
 

Tara95

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I feel like I'm throwing alot of hay away too and this has only started to deeply concern me since haybox messed up everyone's deliveries.🚚. I pretty much ran out of hay and was waiting (and still am) for the Piggies favorite haybox hay to arrive. I was forced to go to pets at home and the guinea pigs refused to eat this hay so I had to shop elsewhere in a panic.

This experience has taught me not to waste as much hay as I really could've done with it those initial first days when they were refusing to eat the pet shop brand. I do feel there needs to be a mid point. Before this experience, I was topping up their hay about 5 times a day. (There is 5) but now I feel this isn't necessary because I don't know how long my current batch will last me and I don't know when the hay box will arrive. I feel like I always need to have an emergency bag or two as well after this experience. So yes I'm being a bit more stingier with their hay until the proper stuff arrives.
 

Little Ones

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Our youth cage (14 month old and almost 4 month old) finish almost all their hay and I rarely throw it out in significant amounts but I do with our retirement cage (two 6 year olds).
I have their hay on vet bed and they both like to lay in it and get all cosy. I find older piggies sleep where they eat a lot more, sort of like a power nap, and then they wake up and keep munching like nothing happened. The youngens don’t lay in theirs like the oldies do so we probably overcompensate and put more in for them. Either way, the oldies seem to have a mountain of hay that’s thrown out each morning. I thought about putting it in hay bags to cut down on wastage but they really enjoy laying in it and I think at their age, pulling from a hay bag/rack should be more enrichment rather than the only way to get the food they need. The oldies also have a hay roller thingy. Like a cylinder wooden thing with bars around it that you put hay into, so they can eat from it and roll it around. I feel like that’s an easy form of enrichment for them but they can also easily eat from the hay pile if they’re too tired for the hay roller, it’s a big hit though.
I’ll probably use the hay bags for my youth cage when our youngest pig gets bigger. Right now I don’t trust him with anything that has a gap in given he’s a small lad. Like I said though, we don’t have any wastage from the younger pair so who knows how I’ll choose to feed it them in the future.
The hay wastage with the oldies is a shame as we feed them orchard grass hay so it isn’t entirely cheap and it’s really nice and good quality, but all the hay keeps them happy and I never have to worry about their hay being empty.
 

piggieminder

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I think throwing away loads of hay is part of piggy ownership. It's bedding, it's enrichment and it's for eating. With 6 piggies I throw away more than they eat. I have to agree since the Hay Box debacle I'm trying not to waste so much of the expensive timothy hay and use more of the cheaper meadow that I use for their hay boxes they like to sleep in as I need to not spend so much on hay for a while.
 

anyar.dris

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I have 3 piggies as well, 2 sows and 1 neutered boar. I throw a lot of hay as well. A 2.5kg box of meadow hay lasts for 12-14 days. That's excluding the Oxbow timothy and orchard hay. Those are eaten less (or rather slowly) and on the racks, but the meadow hay is on the flour, so they poo and pee on it as well as being eaten.
 

SquiglyPiggy

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I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong you just have hungry piggies! How big is the bag that you go through in one day? My piggies sleep and poop on the hay if I put it in a pile on the floor, which ends up with a lot of wet hay like you said, and they don’t eat it. We’ve started putting it in a big shallow bowl, so that it’s still similar to a pile so they eat the same amount, but they can’t pee or poop. It leads to less waste here. Idk if that works for everyone’s piggies, I know certain hay things like racks and hay bags slow the eating, as we saw with our piggies. But it depends on the pig.
 

Pigwhisperer

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Thing is, they snuggle up in it as well as eating it so it's not just food.

Mine won't eat from a hay rack so that decision's made for me.

It does feel annoying to throw it away but if you think of it as used bedding rather than wasted food it's a bit better.

I would like to compost it all and that would feel even less wasteful but I don't have anywhere to do it.
 

Piggies&buns

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I agree with everyone else - hay wastage is part and parcel.

I have two piggies and three rabbits. All are bedded fully on hay and then have more fresh hay thrown in a few times a day for eating. It obviously means the eating pile muddles up with the bedding so their bed gets thicker as the week goes on - I dont use racks either (used to use them for the piggies, but have never used hayracks for rabbits in my 30 years of keeping them). They are fully cleaned out once a week but any very wet areas are removed daily. I use some of it to mulch my plants (bit of free piggy and bunny fertiliser!) and then the rest goes into my green waste bin.
 

Hath

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Definitely, there's lots of wasted hay if you don't want it stinking your house. My boys are all different in how often they need topping up. As long as they're eating enough and aren't losing weight then I let them pick what they like.
I use the small green compostable bin bags for the twice daily clean, as it makes me feel better about not using more plastic to clean the pigs...
 

alpacasqueak

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I’ve noticed much more ‘hay wastage’ now I’ve got two piggy cages and four pigs. The chinchillas (well mine) liked a clean bed and pooping area away from hay, they’d drag it out in favour of a smooth surface without the stuff! Strictly for eating, so I didn’t waste anywhere near as much with 2 chins and 2 pigs, these 4 piglets definitely waste far more than they eat!
But I love watching my porkies in a big hay pile too so it’s half my fault really! :))
 

Claire W

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I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong and it’s all part of piggy ownership. I have the ferplast plaza 160 cage and fill the 40cm section with puppy pads and hay. I also throw a lot of hay away but I’d rather do that and know they have enough to eat and play in than not. I’m also not a fan of hay racks
 

Eriathwen

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Nothing wrong at all! :) its part of piggy ownership, I think of it as an investment, I may go through over 10kg of hay per week with 20 piggies but its still cheaper than dealing with dental or digestive issues from them not getting enough! 😅 its extremely important enrichment too for them.
 

Hath

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I think as long as the prices stay as low as they are we're OK :)) Especially now, when we can buy such a good quality hay for reasonable prices!
 

flowerfairy

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I spend about forty pounds a month on hay (ings from hay and straw) for 5 guinea pigs and 6 rabbits (well 5 rabbits atm but will soon be 6 again).
 

Merab's Slave

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Hay waste is a normal part of piggy ownership.
Mine get plenty of hay scattered over the floor of their cage, more in these colder months.
They burrow under it, slept on it as well as generous quantities of wee and poop.
They also seem to eat a small mountain every day but still there’s waste.
 
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