What is meadow hay?
Meadow hay is a grass hay and is very popular with guinea pigs. It is one of the types of grass hays that piggies can eat along with orchard hay, timothy hay and alfalfa hay.
Meadow hay is that which is mix of dried plants that includes grass, sticks, flower, seed heads and legumes.
In order to be packed, it is harvested and dried with little processing compared to other types of hay.
It often mixes commercial crop grass with other varieties of wild grass.
Why is meadow hay important for guinea pigs?
Meadow hay is extremily good for guinea pigs as its long fibers stimululte their insides and help keep up gut motility.
Chewing on grass hay helps to grind down a guinea pigs teeth which keep growing and the constant chewing is healthy for them.
75% of your guinea pig’s diet should be hay and although many guinea pig owners use Timothy hay, meadow hay can be fed to guinea pigs.
They can never have enough of it, and and their hay bundles should be topped up regularly.
It can also be used as a bedding as it naturally mimics their natural grassy environment. Indeed, it is a much better bedding material than shavings which are often sold in pet shops because it is much better for their health.
What is the best type of meadow hay for guinea pigs?
The best type of meadow hay for guinea pigs is that which is green. The greener the better and more tastier for guinea pigs. If it looks dry and yellow then don’t get it. Make sure it isn’t too stalky as well.
Timothy Hay v Meadow Hay
Timothy hay tends to be higher in fiber than meadow hay and contains just one type of hay, where as meadow hay contains lots of different types of grasses and flowers.
They are both as good for guinea pigs as each other, but Timothy hay tends to be more expensive than meadow hay.
Timothy hay tends to be harvested and cleaned before being put into short strands, where as meadow hay is just harvested and then packed as it is. It is not processed at all and tends to have taller strands.
What is the best type of meadow hay to buy?
If you can buy meadow hay for your piggies directly from a farm then it tends to be better than that which is purchased from pet stores. It tends to be greener and less dusty. Don’t go for hay that is smelly, damp or mouldy as it can harm your guinea pig.
But if you have no access to a local farm, the small pet select or oxbow are good suppliers of quality hay.