Straw as bedding?

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mummyemily

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Hi, my boys are "wintering out" in their hutch this year but I am wondering if I should change the bedding in the "bedroom" they are currently on paper and hay so they can snuggle and keep warm, but i am worried about the eating urine soaked and soiled hay? they have timothy hay to munch on in the eating area which they love but they are still eating a large quanity of hay they are sleeping on and using as a toilet i thought I might try straw as an alternative but not sure?
In the summer months they have a large cosybed and fleece
Any thoughts on straw?
 

lauralucy

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piggies should not have straw at all its a lot coarser than hay and can cause injuries to eyes etc. i wouldnt worry too much about them eat wee'd on hay mine seem to like it now and then. they wouldnt eat it if they didnt like the taste :))
 

Sodapops

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Hi mummyemily,

Using straw as a bedding type is not a good idea for piggies. Straw is quite corse and can be quite harsh on their feet - further to this is that because pigs are quite low to the ground it can cause accidents like eye pokes.

Straw also promotes mold growth once wet, which is also very bad for the pigs (and humans), so I wouldn't recommend it as bedding - it also isn't very absorbant

Have you tried buying or making a hay rack? By using a hay rack, they will always have a supply of clean fresh hay to eat (if you are worried). I tend to use cheaper hay in their toilet area (mine are indoor piggies but do have a litter tray filled with shavings) and the more expensive hay in their racks. ;)
 
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what do you use as bedding then? Ive used straw and had no problems with it... i heard its a good insulator hence why I use it.. and the one i use is quite a soft one.. not stuff like you get from a farm (really coarse and hard)

Esther x
 

Sodapops

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I use fleece as my choice of bedding for my piggies - but like i said mine are indoor piggies - so this may not work for those that live outdoors.

Ive also used shavings - and i only swapped to fleece because while the initial outlay was pricey in the long run it was way cheaper for me and my circumstances - plus i hated the fact that the shavings got dragged around the house.

However much incorrect advice my local P@H have given me over the months, the one thing they did tell me was never to use straw for my pigs - either as a bedding or for them to eat.

Ive read numerous forums about the ill effects of straw both as bedding and as a food - i don't have any experience with straw, but i'm sure those with more experience will be along to detail the exact reasons why straw should be avoided and the fact there are better alternatives out there.

I only go by what i read and personally the stories ive read would make me think twice about using it as a bedding type for my piggies - i'd rather not take the risk (however big or small).

Everyone has different preferences - it wouldn't do if we were all the same - what works for one don't necessarily work for another ;)
 

Pebble

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Some straw is coarse....but I use barley straw which is very soft..(P@H finely chopped barley straw is great as a "litter"...and I also buy bags of long length soft barley straw from my local garden centre for them to burrow in..I have never had an eye poke problem with this..and although they still eat it, it lasts longer in their bedroom area than hay.

Actually I find Oxbow Timothy hay is much coarser than straw and have had several eye poke injuries this last year as a result of switching to this from meadow hay in their eating area..... so have reverted back to meadow hay.

HTH
x
 
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