alfalfa vs timothy hay for guinea pigs
All guinea pigs, regardless of age, should be provided with a constant supply. Another aspect to be concerned with is the high calcium content. However, it is advised to feed Alfalfa infrequently and/or in smaller quantities and it should not make up the majority of a Guinea Pigs diet. It has a better range of minerals and trace elements than single grass hays. With these risks in mind, it is important that you limit Alfalfa Hay consumption. Buy on Amazon. Your email address will not be published. (source). It is imperative that you look after the health of your Guinea Pig by feeding them correctly and appropriately. They do get bored of hays quickly. Whatever age your guinea pig is, grass hay (such as Timothy hay) should always be available in the cage. It is not a grass. So, is Alfalfa Hay good for Guinea Pigs? With its high energy and nutritional quality, Alfalfa Hay is predominately used for growing animals, breeding animals, and those that are underweight and struggling to consume enough nutrition. While Alfalfa Hay seems like an appropriate solution to fill this requirement, consider that it can actually be too calorie dense and contain too much fiber for them. It should never replace Timothy Hay nor should it ever be overfed. Alfalfa hay and timothy hay are different nutritionally Alfalfa hay and timothy hay are both forage sources commonly used in rabbit and guinea pig diets. Additionally, Alfalfa is great at regulating and preventing a Guinea Pigs teeth from growing out too long and large. (Alfalfa is good for baby guinea pigs). For a normal, healthy Guinea Pig, if you over supply Alfalfa Hay they can run into a range of negative side effects and symptoms. Timothy is a meadow grass that is both nutritious and flavorful, and it is highly recommended by veterinarians. We are pet enthusiasts and love sharing everything that we learn about them! I use the alfalfa king timothy hay, i love it smells delicious drool . Your guinea pig should eat a pile of hay as big as his body every day. This puts Alfalfa in the pea family which is a high protein plant family. I'm thinking about buying a bag of oxbow's Timothy hay. Since Alfalfa hay is too high in calcium, it should only be given to adult cavies as an occasional treat. The point of providing alfalfa hay is to give the guinea pig calcium since alfalfa is very high in calcium. In unique circumstances, it can prove to be particularly effective and an ideal feed. Alfalfa contains higher concentrations of protein and calcium compared to timothy hay (Table 1). We should feed our guinea pigs with alfalfa hay if they are up to one year of age while the matured ones should be supplied with timothy hay daily. Alfalfa vs. Timothy Hay-based pellets. Joined Feb 6, 2011 Messages 6,598 Reaction score 241 Points 730 Location West Midlands, UK. Sammy and Lucky currently LOVE alfalfa king timothy hay, if I put the other timothy hay we have in their hay rack it gets ignored until I put some alfalfa king in. As it is generally less palatable, your Guinea Pig will also not overeat. Guinea Pigs have a low Calcium requirement and they are prone to bladder stones which can form with Calcium excess. Can Guinea Pigs Eat Rhubarb? Alfalfa hay can be a good addition to a pig's diet. Traditionally, Alfalfa Hay is used to feed working Horses. Orchard hay has a soft but broader leaf than Timothy hay. Alfalfa Hay can be a great, wholesome addition to your Guinea Pigs diet. This can include but is not limited to weight gain, intestinal issues like colon obstruction and bloat. But should we feed it? Vitakraft Timothy Hay is all natural, hight quality, and overall … You do not want to your Guinea Pig to have the opportunity to, or too much access to eating it. Alfalfa Hay can be a great, wholesome addition to your Guinea Pigs diet. The difference between Alfalfa and Timothy hay is one that often confuses many rabbit and guinea pig owners, especially first-timers! Pet Educate strives to be the definitive online resource to help you learn everything that you need to know. Meadow Hay vs Timothy Hay. If your guinea pig is an adult, do not use alfalfa hay as it is higher in calcium and calories. Ill, Baby and Pregnant Guinea Pigs are perhaps the most appropriate. A little goes a long way. There’s an exception: young guinea pigs who are still growing and require that extra calcium (this means those 4 months or under – guinea pigs grow up fast), as well as pregnant or nursing sows can have alfalfa hay in moderate quantities, but it should not be overdone. Guinea Pig Ringworm: Treating & Preventing Ringworm in Guinea Pigs. Legumes are higher in calcium and have a calcium/phosphorus ratio with more calcium than is recommended for most guinea pigs. It is lower in protein and calcium than alfalfa hay, so it makes a better staple for adult rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs. If your guinea pig is older than 6 months then definitely stick to the Timothy. It can also be fed to baby buns less than a year old and used to entice even the pickiest little bunny to eat their greens. Alfalfa is recognized as a premium food source because it provides the most nutrients when compared alongside other hay sources. However, again do not use this type of hay exclusively for bedding. Its naturally very soft and Guinea Pigs are known to enjoy it in this context. Meadow Hay is made from grass that is harvested from pastures. So I was going to get a 4.5kg bag for them but I'm worried they will get bored of it. I actually get my supply in bulk for a great price on Amazon, Viking Farmer is the Alfalfa Hay brand (available on Amazon, This is why I shop for my hay from Amazon, a trustworthy suppler where I purchase in bulk at a discount, Can You Give A Ferret A Bath? Alfalfa is rich in calories and contains a lot of calcium and protein. Pellets that contain alfalfa are recommended to be avoided, although they can be useful in small amounts for sick guinea pigs or those who you might be having difficulties with in eating their regular diet. My pigs live in polydome calf hutches, which are … Peteducate.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. With that being said, Alfalfa Hay can be a great addition to your Guinea Pigs diet. Guinea pig pellets are made from one of two primary sources: alfalfa or Timothy Hay. This fat bulks up the young guinea pig. For those cavies, you could mix half Timothy and Alfalfa. Its packed full of vitamins and minerals, and Hay of course should make up the majority of a Guinea Pigs diet. Higher fiber - Promotes more chewing activity. The alfalfa hay contains high fiber and calcium, which is suitable for young, growing, and nursing guinea pigs. This is because of their huge requirement for energy and vitamins/minerals like Calcium which ensure they remain strong and powerful. These cheap, inappropriate and harmful products should be avoided entirely. Your guinea pig should have unlimited access to high quality grass hay. It should never replace Timothy Hay nor should it ever be overfed. In unique circumstances, it can prove to be particularly effective and an ideal feed. Alfalfa Hay is therefore most suitable and beneficial to a young growing Guinea Pig or during particular phases whereby extra nutrition is required – like to a female during pregnancy. It’s also higher in protein than the other more highly recommended hays for guinea pigs like Timothy hay. Good quality Timothy hay is an absolute must. Pet Educate is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Joined Jul 27, 2010 … Timothy hay is a diet staple. Guinea pig hay is one of the most important foods for a guinea pig and comes in many different types including Timothy, Meadow & Alfalfa. It’s an excellent source of these vital nutrients for young and nursing piggies, but provides too much of a good thing for adults. If they are given pellets with alfalfa hay it should be safe to give them timothy hay. It's best to have them eat timothy than nothing. Alfalfa hay may be fine for breeding guinea pigs and for young guinea pigs (< 4 - 6 months of age) that need the extra calories and calcium but for adult pet guinea pigs the extra calories can cause obesity and the high calcium can lead to bladder stones and sludge. Other great contexts include a young baby Guinea Pig that is growing or for a female during pregnancy (when they require more energy and access to nutrients). Another way you can use Alfalfa is as bedding. Guide: What Are The Best Leafy Greens for Guinea Pigs. For these reasons, alfalfa hay is not recommended for guinea pigs. It is actually part of the legume and pea family and is native to warmer temperate climates. Can alfalfa hay be fed to pigs? When looking at which type of hay to feed a … Yes; it is safe and healthy to feed a Guinea Pig Alfafa Hay. Alfalfa pellets are suitable for young, growing and pregnant guinea pigs. Our Timothy hay for guinea pigs is hand-selected for freshness and available in three cuttings. Alfalfa hay is high in calcium, which they need during this growing phase as their … Orchard hay. The Timothy hay contains a balance of fiber, protein, calcium, and other nutrients which is suitable for the daily diet of all guinea pigs. One such food in this category is from Science Selective and should be treated with caution – this and any other food containing alfalfa is not a food for the vast majority of guinea pigs to be eating as part of their staple diet. There are also some other cases whereby you can increase the amount fed or it is even preferably to regular Timothy Hay. As a Guinea Pigs teeth continuously grow throughout their life, if this is left unchecked it can become painful and dangerous for them when they eat. What You Need To Know About Rhubarb Toxicity. It’s very easy. This means it can contain a variety of grasses, plants, flower heads and seed heads. Baby guinea pigs should be fed a mix of Alfalfa hay with Timothy hay in it. More is not better for them and in fact the opposite is true. Sometimes these might be labeled as “guinea pig and gerbil food”, and alfalfa can be a main ingredient. Instead, the most popular, recommended and safe hay for regular feeding is Timothy Hay (I actually get my supply in bulk for a great price on Amazon). Alfalfa Hay consists of around 63% water, 30% carbohydrates (as fiber), 4% protein, and around 1% fat. This is better suited to a Guinea Pigs needs and will allow them to eat ab libitum (as much as they want and require) without posing any risks to their health. Alfalfa does contain benefits when fed appropriately to your Guinea Pig. Unlike Timothy hay and other hays that should make up the bulk of a guinea pig’s diet, alfalfa hay is not a grass hay. I have never considered pigs wasteful of hay, but then, I’ve never thrown it on the ground for them to eat. If you are suffering from … UNLIMITED Timothy Hay is recommended for guinea pigs. Alfalfa has increasingly become a common ingredient in some commercial guinea pig pellets. As such, you can soon see why it can be problematic when given to your Guinea Pigs in excess. It is always preferable to start with very small amounts and see how your Guinea Pig responds. As you will likely know already, Guinea Pigs require a lot of hay and experts recommend that they should consume as much as 80% of their diet from this food source. Your Guinea Pigs diet is paramount to their health and preventing illness; how you feed them will ultimately be reflected in their happiness and well-being. Now that doesn’t mean that that’s the only hay that they can eat. It is particularly high in energy and as such is used for a variety of animals including horses, dairy cows, beef cattle and sheep. It is also provides a lot of the B Vitamins, along with Vitamin C, D, E, and K. It also contains Phosphorous and Zinc. Alfalfa is particularly high in calcium, which presents a health issue for guinea pigs. It is abundant in plant proteins, chlorophyll, carotene, calcium, and other trace minerals. Alfalfa is very high in calcium and while that is good for humans its not so good for guinea pigs because they get kidney stones from too much. Some low quality commercial foods often contain alfalfa. It is lower in protein and calcium than alfalfa hay, so it makes a better staple for adult rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs. After your guinea pig is about a year old and fully developed (see notes), a timothy based pellet, which provides less calcium, may be a good choice. Specifically, what it is and its nutritional content. Timothy hay is considered the Gold Seal of hay for Guinea Pigs. Which hay is best for guinea pigs… Meadow Hay or Timothy Hay? If you have discovered Alfalfa Hay then you may be wondering if it is safe, healthy and even a preferable food source for your Guinea Pig. Alfalfa hay can be given to guinea pigs under a year old or pregnant, but it is not a substitute for timothy hay. If you are looking to get some, this is the one I recommend. Alfalfa is particularly high in calcium, which presents a health issue for guinea pigs. Alfalfa is given to young guinea pigs because it has fat in it. Whether your furry friend needs an oat hay, a legume hay (like alfalfa) or a grass hay (like Timothy or orchard), you’re guaranteed to receive a product that’s the freshest you can find anywhere. You just need to ensure that you provide it in measured and limited quantities. A prime example of this is following illness, injury or infection. Even then, you should monitor how much and when it is provided, and be sure to reduce consumption when the Guinea Pig returns to a more stable state. Timothy hay based pellet - Lower protein and better mineral balance than alfalfa. Senior Guinea Pig. I decided to conduct some research into the topic and here is what I have been able to find. Alfalfa Hay is a specific type of grass. It’s also higher in protein than the other more highly recommended hays for guinea pigs like Timothy hay. My guinea pigs enjoy eating these pellets. Ill, Baby and Pregnant Guinea Pigs … It has the proper amount of nutrients and fiber that the need to keep healthy. Small Pet Select Timothy Hay is a premium-quality timothy hay prepared in small batches by fellow animal… [What You Need To Know]. Besides, the main purpose of hay is fiber. Alfalfa hay should therefore be limited and used within specific contexts. That means these pets should eat a portion of hay the same size of their own body every day! Viking Farmer is the Alfalfa Hay brand (available on Amazon) that I was recommended by my vet for my Guinea Pigs. Meadow Hay. Should Guinea Pigs Eat Clover (Trifolium)? For all small herbivores – that’s rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas and degus – hay should make up around 80% of the diet. As this article has stated, Alfalfa Hay is nutrient and energy abundant. We will then take a look at the health benefits and any risks of feeding this as a major component of your Guinea Pigs diet. It prevents obesity, dental disease, diarrhea and boredom. Nutritionally speaking, however, they are very different. % Magnes. Be sure to select a pellet specifically formulated with Vitamin C for guinea pigs. Alfalfa is idea for pregnant guinea pigs and very young baby guinea pigs up to 7 months, but it has a very high calcium content and so is not good for piggies to eat after that. Start once per week and then work your way up over time. Timothy is a great everyday hay for adult buns, while alfalfa hay should only be fed as a treat hay because of its high levels of calcium and fat. I feed good, leafy alfalfa hay, at about a quarter the price of pellets, or soft, leafy orchard grass hay. However, a lot of pellets from the store are alfalfa hay based. This is a hay that is made from a legume: alfalfa (you’ve probably seen alfalfa sprouts for sale – same plant). Contains natural vitamin E. This product is the most affordable pellet guinea pig food I could find where Timothy hay make up most of its ingredients since it is the first one listed. The clear risk therefore with overfeeding Alfalfa Hay to your Guinea Pig is over-nutrition which will lead to obesity and weight management issues. Vitakraft Timothy Hay Sweet Grass. Re: Is alfalfa hay or timothy hay better? It provides a lot of calcium, vitamins, minerals, protein and fibers that support their digestion and support their dental health. Timothy is a meadow grass that is both nutritious and flavorful, and it is highly recommended by veterinarians. For these reasons, alfalfa hay is … Guinea Lynx' HAY CHART All Hay Sun-cured Values in % or Ratio Dry Matter % Crude Protein % Calcium % Phosph. Contains flaxseed - Great Omega-3 fatty acid source. The best way to feed Alfalfa hay is to add small amounts to their feed. For young Guinea pigs under the age of 4 months and pregnant or lactating mothers, Alfalfa hay is also recommended. This is always very concerning to see as we know that guinea pigs should not be eating alfalfa and certainly not as a staple part of the diet. This is why I shop for my hay from Amazon, a trustworthy suppler where I purchase in bulk at a discount. They really should be moved onto Timothy Hay which is much better for guinea pigs and should be their staple diet after 7 months. Chewing it gently grinds away at their teeth and ensures they are reduced. [Is Is It Possible & Safe], Can Hamsters Eat Chocolate? Another name for alfalfa is lucerne which is a common name for it in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Alfalfa hay is supposed to be a supplement and may be provided *alongside* another type of hay, but NOT replace it. How long should baby guinea pigs eat Alfalfa Hay? This is because overfeeding it will supply too much nutrition and can cause obesity and weight management problems. For a Guinea Pig this weight can be hard to reduce, and it also adds stress to their small and delicate frame. It is particularly effective if your Guinea Pig has lost a substantial amount of weight (like following illness), or if it is being fussy and refusing to eat. Required fields are marked *. Due to its high fiber quantity, when an appropriate amount is provided it can support their digestive system and help them to extract nutrients from the rest of their diet. They struggle to excrete calcium and if it persists for too long and remains unopposed, issues with their digestive system. If your guinea pig is young and under 6 months old then alfalfa is a good choice. Timothy hay is a popular type of grass hay, often considered the “gold standard” because of its nutritional profile. But like many pet foods out there, cost cutting and use of cheap ingredients can result in poor nutrition for our pets – and this can be the case with guinea pig pellets that contain alfalfa. mikulinek Teenage Guinea Pig. Other similar pellets have alfalfa listed as the first ingredient which is not healthy for adult Guinea pigs. Most guinea pig pellets are alfalfa based. Alfalfa in particular is high in energy whilst also being more palatable than grass hays. Hay is absolutely vital to the digestive health of your guinea pig. Yes, however the amount that can be included in the diet depends on the nutritional quality of the alfalfa hay as well as the age and physiological status of the pigs. Sometimes you may see it called “Lucerne” , particularly if you live in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand. Therefore we gave our piggies alfalfa pellets, endless timothy hay, and occasionally an alfalfa cube. It is a great way to support and improve their nutrition. We will help answer any questions that you may have and provide as much information and research that we can to help you take the best care of your pet. Your email address will not be published. Let us know take a closer look at Alfalfa Hay. Once they are 6 months we are switching to timothy based pellets as well. Unfortunately this can lead to people thinking it’s safe and healthy to feed these pellets, after all we like to think that food manufacturers have the best interests of our guinea pigs in mind, and that their research into ingredients is reliable and trustworthy. November 4, 2018 by adminguineapg. Contains stabilized vitamin C - Remains active longer than traditional vitamin C. Contains probiotics - May promote GI tract health. Everything I read said alfalfa til 6 months. Ultimately, with Guinea Pigs, food is fundamentally important. 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