Meadow/green hay advice please

Sally Newbie

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Hi
So our first guinea pigs live outside and have had meadow hay, Excel pellets and up to 50g veg each per day. The hay is from our local store and quite pricey. I have been looking at Natures Own website - I quite like the look of this company as it's UK based and trying to benefit local farms and the environment. Haybox may also be like this but I can't see any mention of it on their website.
So Natures Own do meadow hay but they also do Sweet Green Hay and 5-A-Day Timothy Hay. Our guinea pigs have the same hay for bedding and eating. My logic for this is reading many posts on this forum, I don't want them to have a superior,more expensive hay for eating and then they won't eat their perfectly good meadow hay! I've also read here that they might pick through all the yummy bits of the Timothy Hay and then not eat anything else! And a greater risk of haypoke with the Timothy. So I am doing my research!
I'm wondering about the sweet green hay? What is it? Could i use this as bedding too? Does anyone else use a mix - is it worth it or better to just stick to one type of hay so that they don't ignore it in favour of the superior one?
 

Siikibam

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I’ve no idea what it is. I give the piggies soft Timothy hay. What does the description say? You can do a mix if you want, it’s up to you.
 

Lanie

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I have not heard of sweet green hay either I mix my boys hay up so that they don’t get bored. I buy 7kg bales of meadow or Timothy hay from EBay. They are both organic and are from local farms and are really good quality soft, green and fresh.
 

Piggies&buns

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My understanding it’s a fancy name for meadow hay with a slightly different drying process.
I use haybox meadow and haybox timothy - meadow for bedding and eating ( with a deep pile that they tend to dive into for eating), then two separate handfuls of Timothy in different areas. They eat both equally (actually are preferring the hay box meadow at the moment as it is so lovely and green). I prefer to give them variety.
They can get haypoke in any hay, but timothy is sharper.
They will always pick through it though, regardless of what hay you give them.
 

piggieminder

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Mine don't like the sweet green, they have always been happy with the ordinary meadow from Natures Own. Their Timothy is very fine and fluffy and is more like a treat hay with extra bits in (flowers, dandelions, carrot?) not like the hard stalky Timothy from Hay Box. I have been buying N.O. meadow for bedding and eating for years but when Rusty got a slight overgrown tooth problem I got some Hay Box Timothy, it solved the tooth problem without needing to be filed by the vet. I now give them a handful of Timothy each twice a day. A mixture of hays keeps them interested and munching. You get free postage if you spend £20 with N.O. so why not try a mixed order and see what your piggies prefer.
 

Sally Newbie

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Thanks everyone. I think I will get the Natures Own Meadow for bedding and eating then. I didn't really want to get the Timothy Hay due to the haypoke risk but it sounds like that would be better for reducing the likelihood of teeth problems. It also sounds like the Haybox Timothy will be better for this purpose than the Natures Own Timothy?
 

CrestedPiggies

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Mine have the sweet green hay and the 5 a day from natures own (they never eat the flowery bits that are in it though!). I've not tried their meadow hay though as I get that from a local pet shop. They also like their hay cookies, so it's easy to make up a £20 order and get free next day delivery :)
 

Sally Newbie

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O.M.G! I have just looked at the price of Haybox Timothy hay! Perhaps they could have a mix of the Natures Own meadow hay and the sweet green hay for interest and no Timothy?
 

piggieminder

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It lasts a long time only giving a handful as a feed hay once or twice a day. A 5kg box lasts my 6 3 or 4 weeks. They are fine without Timothy, I didn't feed it for years as my partner is allergic to Timothy. We have found the Hay Box one is the only one he can tolerate, I feed it in the morning when he has gone out and last thing at night when he has gone upstairs. There is no waste with it so it's all gone by the time he is around the piggies.
 

Betsy

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I buy Meadow Hay from my local Horse supplier. It's £5 or £6 (can't remember there was a price change last time I went) for a huge farm bale. It lasts my 4 piggies around 4 months and they love it. I used to have it as bedding before I switched to fleece and it lasted around 4-6 weeks. I have a 24sqft hutch (12sqft on two levels).
 

Piggylove82

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My oigas are also outdoor pigs.

I buy all my shavings and my hay from Nature's Own. I love that I'm buying it straight from the farm and there's no greedy middle man! I used to buy meadow hay for their beds from Just for Pets, which have branches in the West Midlands.
Sometimes it was coarser, nothing really bad, but I had had hay pokes, or near misses with my pigs. The quality could vary bag to bag, sometimes fairly green, others not so much.

So then lockdown came and I started ordering from Nature's Own. Their 5 a day Timothy Hay had been a hit with my pigs (from The Range) for years, but then I discovered their Sweet Green Hay...

My pigs love it! I used it in their hay bags to begin with while I still had meadow hay to use up then I started using it in their beds. It's so soft and not spiky at all. It's clean, not dusty and some of the pieces are like blades of grass with full soft grass seed heads. It's just beautiful. It's very different to any of the meadow hay I've ever used (although I haven't ever used Nature's Own Meadow Hay).

So now my pigs have Sweet Green Hay in their bedding areas, which they often eat, and I vary up whether I put the same in their hay bags or if I give them Timothy. I think they can get used to the same hay in their hay bags, so I change it up, depending on my stock levels and if I feel they've got a bit used to one or the other. But having said that, sometimes they just prefer to eat what they're lay in rather than munch from a hay bag!

So for me, the Sweet Green Hay is a constant for bedding areas. So much easier to use too! It separates so well pulling a handful from the bag. It's not spiky or dusty. And either Sweet Green or Timothy for their hay bags for eating.

Sometimes the Timothy they haven't eaten from their hay bag (rather than throwing it away) I add to their bedding area, and then they decide to eat it! Such lazy piggers 🙄.

Incidentally, Nature's Own are in the process of trialling 'green' packaging on these hays, which can be composted. So that's also a big plus.

I'm just a fan of Nature's Own now, and sharing my experience of it. As a side note, my pigs aren't keen on their hay cookies, but do love the Sweet Green Flower Salad and the Sweet Green Herb Mix!

Good luck with what you decide!
 

Betsy

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If it Vine farm stores, just had 2 bales of new soft green hay delivered, cost £12 for the 2,its lovely made hay. Worth every penny. X
Yes it is the Vine Farm Stores. Just started a new bale I got just before Lockdown as I got 2 beforehand. It is lovely stuff my piggies agree with you!
 

Sally Newbie

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What's the website for the Vine Farm Stores please as I've googled it but don't think I'm looking at hay suppliers who deliver?!
 

teddymouse

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What's the website for the Vine Farm Stores please as I've googled it but don't think I'm looking at hay suppliers who deliver?!
Think its only poole area, l get it delivered for £per bale,as l have been a regular customer for many years and they've looked after and supplied all my animals feeds, plus the owner lives in my village.
 

artcasper

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I buy my hay from Natures Own - the meadow hay and the timothy hay.. mine love it, its always fresh... I did try the sweet green hay but it didn't go down too well and made me sneeze quite a bit..

The delivery is free over £19 or £20 always on time and a lovely company...
 

Sally Newbie

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I think my worry is about keeping their teeth down and an earlier post felt that the Natures Own timothy hay was a bit too soft for that?
 

Betsy

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Think its only poole area, l get it delivered for £per bale,as l have been a regular customer for many years and they've looked after and supplied all my animals feeds, plus the owner lives in my village.
Having the owner living in your village is always a bonus! Its not what you know its who you know!
 

VickiA

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Mine have HayBox meadow hay on their hay trays. Then twice a day I give them a big handful of Supreme Science Selective Timothy Hay. It’s like a treat to them. They scoff it all. I buy it in a bag off Amazon once a month.
 
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