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10 Best Hays for Guinea Pigs 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove

Guinea Pig Eating HayMost knowledgeable resources recommend that you supply your guinea pig with an unlimited supply of timothy hay that they can eat at their leisure, but they don’t say anything about what brand it best. To most people, a bag of hay is simply that, but there can be quite a bit of difference from one brand to the next.

We have chosen them popular hay for guinea pigs to review for you to help you learn about the subtle differences between brands. We’ll tell you about the brands our pets liked and which ones they didn’t. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide that will explain a few things about timothy hay so you can look at two nearly identical bags of hay and see a difference.

Join us while we take a close look at timothy grass and discuss the difference between cuttings, alfalfa, dust levels, and more to help you make an educated purchase.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorite

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Oxbow Western Timothy Hay Oxbow Western Timothy Hay
  • High in Fiber
  • 100% al-natural
  • Reduced dust
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Kaytee Natural Timothy Hay Small Kaytee Natural Timothy Hay Small
  • High fiber
  • Low protein
  • 13-pound bag
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Rabbit Hole Hay Second Cut Timothy Hay Rabbit Hole Hay Second Cut Timothy Hay
  • High in fiber
  • Reduces digestive impaction
  • Wears molars evenly
  • Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay
  • Mess-free bag
  • High in fiber
  • Orchard and oxbow blend
  • Kaytee Timothy Hay Wafer-Cut Kaytee Timothy Hay Wafer-Cut
  • All-natural
  • Sun cured grass
  • The 10 Best Hays for Guinea Pigs – Reviews 2021

    1. Oxbow Western Timothy Hay – Best Overall

    Oxbow Western Timothy Hay

    Oxbow Western Timothy Hay is our pick for the best overall hay for guinea pigs. This product is 100% natural, and the company uses an extraction method that produces a less dusty food product for your guinea pig. This food is naturally high in fiber and good for your pet’s teeth. All hay is hand sorted before packaging.

    The only downside we could find while reviewing Oxbow Western Timothy Hay was that quality would suffer from time to time. We figured this was due to it being a natural product.

    Pros
    • High in Fiber
    • 100% al-natural
    • Reduced dust
    • Hand-sorted
    Cons
    • Sometimes quality varies

    2. Kaytee Natural Timothy Hay Small – Best Value

    Kaytee Natural Timothy Hay

    Kaytee Natural Timothy Hay Small is our pick for the best hay for guinea pigs for the money. This brand of timothy hay that comes in a 13-pound bag. Its high in fiber and low in protein and calcium, so it helps prevent urinary tract problems.

    The downside to this budget brand is that the quality isn’t always consistent. One batch of Kaytee Natural Timothy Hay will be green, while the next batch is brown. Because of the quality changes, your pet’s desire for it will also change.

    Pros
    • High fiber
    • Low protein
    • 13-pound bag
    Cons
    • Quality changes by the batch

    3. Rabbit Hole Hay Second Cut Timothy Hay – Premium Choice

    Rabbit Hole Hay Second Cut Timothy Hay

    The Rabbit Hole Hay Second Cut Timothy Hay is our premium choice hay for guinea pigs. The brand features thin stems, seed heads, and leaves for a balance of roughage and nutrition that is high in fiber and low in protein and calcium. This balance also helps promote side to side chewing in your pet that allows molars to wear down evenly.

    Most of our guinea pigs seemed to enjoy Rabbit Hole Hay Second Cut Timothy Hay, and the only problem we feel is worth mentioning is that it was a little dusty Towards the end of the bag.

    Pros
    • Balance of roughage and nutrition
    • High in fiber
    • Reduces digestive impaction
    • Wears molars evenly
    Cons
    • Dusty

    4. Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay

    Oxbow Orchard Grass

    Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay is high-quality hay for guinea pigs that our pets love. They run right for this high-fiber food and often pass up the veggies. This hay promotes weight loss and comes in a mess-free bag that helps prevent spills. This hay is a blend of orchard and oxbow hay and is said to provide a sweeter teste for your pet.

    What we didn’t like about Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay was that it is somewhat inconsistent in quality, and every few batches are especially dry. We like the mess-free bag, but despite it, we found a lot of dust in the air when getting close to the bottom of the package.

    Pros
    • Mess-free bag
    • High in fiber
    • Orchard and oxbow blend
    Cons
    • Inconsistent quality
    • Dusty

    5. Kaytee Timothy Hay Wafer-Cut

     

    Kaytee Timothy Hay Wafer-Cut

    The Kaytee Timothy Hay Wafer-Cut is the second kind of guinea pig hay on this list from the people at Kaytee. This kind features the same high quality, all-natural hay, but is processed using a different style of cut. This wafer cut produces a thinner product that some pets may enjoy. All grass is sun-cured and high in fiber.

    The downside to Kaytee Timothy Hay Wafer-Cut hay is that it is very dusty. The dust is likely to be one of the first things you notice about this brand, and we bought several packages that were all the same. Some packages were a lot greener than others, so there is not much consistency besides the dust. Also, our guinea pigs did not seem to like this brand as much as many of the others. We feel the dislike has to do with the wafer cut.

    Pros
    • All-natural
    • Sun cured grass
    Cons
    • Dusty
    • Inconsistent quality
    • Wafer

    6. BM Hay Company No Mess Timothy Hay

    BM Hay Company No Mess

    BM Hay Company No Mess Timothy Hay arrives in a unique no-mess box that allows you to dispense your guinea pig hey without getting it all over the house. The hay inside the box is high in fiber and low in protein and calcium. This hay will help keep your guinea pigs teeth clean and manageable as your pet ages.

    The problem with BM Hay Company No Mess Timothy Hay is the same as many other brands. The quality can vary from batch to batch because it is a natural product. We also found most batches contain a lot of dust.

    Pros
    • Box container
    • High fiber
    • Low protein
    Cons
    • Dusty
    • Varying quality
    • Some pets don’t like it

    7. Higgins Sunburst Break-A-Bale Timothy Hay

    Higgins Sunburst Break-A-Bale

    Higgins Sunburst Break-A-Bale Timothy Hay is a unique brand of precut and compressed hay. They handpicked each strand to ensure quality, and because they are precut and compressed, there is no dust in the package to spill into your home.

    The downside of Higgins Sunburst Break-A-Bale Timothy Hay is that as your guinea pigs tear apart the miniature bales of hay, they can make quite a mess. We also felt that these compressed cubes were very dry, and we wondered if we should increase moisture in other ways.

    Pros
    • 100% timothy hay
    • Precut and compressed
    • Handpicked
    • No dust
    Cons
    • Messy
    • Dry

    8. ZuPreem Nature’s Promise Western Timothy Hay

    ZuPreem Nature’s Promise Western

    ZuPreem Nature’s Promise Western Timothy Hay is a brand that emphasizes safety and high-quality grass. All hay used by ZuPreem is tested and monitored for pesticides and other harmful chemicals. The hay is sun-dried and not processed in any way to preserve the nutritious value

    The downside to ZuPreem Nature’s Promise Western Timothy Hay is that its very dusty. The hay is also very dry and seems to be adding more dust. Several of our guinea pigs would not eat this brand.

    Pros
    • Premium timothy hay
    • Tested and monitored for pesticides
    • Sun cured
    Cons
    • Dusty
    • Dried out

    9. Vitakraft Timothy Sweet Grass Hay

    Vitakraft Timothy Sweet Grass Hay

    Vitakraft Timothy Sweet Grass Hay is the second brand this list to feature compressed hay. This brand is easy to feed your pet as its already portioned and shaped. This hay contains no preservatives or pesticides and comes in a handy recloseable bag.

    Despite the reclosable bag helping to preserve freshness, we found Vitakraft Timothy Sweet Grass Hay to be one of the dustier brands on this list. The same goes for the hay. It was very dry and almost crumbly. Most of our guinea pigs would not eat this brand.

    Pros
    • Compressed pet-sized bails
    • No preservatives or pesticides
    • Re-closable bag
    Cons
    • Dry
    • Dusty
    • Pets wouldn’t eat it

    10. Rabbit Hole Hay Alfafa Hay

    Rabbit Hole Hay Alfafa

    Rabbit Hole Hay Alfafa Hay is the last brand of hay for guinea pigs on our list. This brand is a good treat for your pet, and you should mix it in with greens of a growing pet.

    The downside to Rabbit Hole Hay Alfafa Hay is that you only get a small amount per purchase. It uses alfalfa grass, which is not good for guinea pigs because it contains a higher amount of protein and calcium. This food is better for younger, growing guinea pigs that can still use the protein and calcium.

    Pros
    • Good treat
    Cons
    • Small size
    • Alfalfa
    • Higher in protein and calcium

    Buyer’s Guide

    Let’s discuss some of the things you should consider before making a purchase.

    Types of Hay

    There are several common types of hay that you are likely to run across as you shop for your guinea pig, and we would like to go over a few of them here.

    Timothy Hay

    Timothy hay is one of the most popular and well-known types of hay to feed a guinea pig. It’s readily available and is a favorite among guinea pigs. Timothy hay is available in three cuts. The first two being relatively inexpensive and easy to find. The type you get will depend on your pet’s taste.

    • The fist cut contains the seed heads
    • The second cut is the soft leafy green hay
    • The third cut is the leafy greens grown and harvested later in the season

    Many farmers plant other fast-growing grasses alongside third cut timothy hay and harvest them at the same time to increase their crop, so pure third cut timothy hay is usually expensive and hard to find.

    Orchard Hay

    Orchard hay is a little bit harder to find in the United States and is much more popular in England. However, it is an excellent substitute for timothy hay and is equally nutritious and beneficial to your guinea pig. Orchard hay is usually identifiable by its greener color when compared to timothy hay. Many American brands mix orchard hay with timothy hay.

    Meadow Hay

    Meadow hay is an essential type of hay to look for because it encourages foraging behavior in your guinea pig. This type of hay often contains herbs and other types of wild plants that guinea pigs enjoy eating and often do in the wild. We recommend making sure to add some of this type of hay to your pet’s diet.

    Guiniea Pig Eating Hay
    Image Credit By: New Africa, shutterstock

    The downside to meadow hay is that it contains a little more calcium than the other types of hay so far. We don’t want to add too much calcium to your guinea pig’s diet, or it can create health concerns, but every now and then, meadow hay makes a great treat.

    Ryegrass

    There are several more types of hay available that you can give your guinea pig, but the last one we want to talk about is ryegrass. The reason we want to mention ryegrass is that it is the most popular hay found in pet shops.

    It’s ok to feed your guinea pig ryegrass, but you must introduce it into their diet slowly to avoid digestive problems caused by the high amount of gas created by consuming this grass.

    How to Choose Hay

    Here are a few tips that might help you choose a high-quality hay

    • It should be free of seed heads, weeds, and other litter.
    • You should not see any mold or dust.
    • It should smell like fresh-cut grass. It should not smell musty.
    • The hay should be pliable and soft
    • It should be green and gold, not one uniform color

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    Conclusion

    When choosing a brand of hay for your guinea pig, we recommend keeping it simple and sticking to the buyer’s guide. Oxbow Western Timothy Hay is our pick for the best overall hay for guinea pigs, and it satisfies all requirements with flying colors. It’s high-quality timothy hay with a low dust content your pets will love. Kaytee Natural Timothy Hay Small is our pick for the best value, and this brand is similar to our top choice, it’s just in a smaller package.

    We hope you have enjoyed reading over our reviews and agreed with our results. Hopefully, our buyer’s guide has answered any questions you may have had and will serve as a checklist when making your next purchase. If you have found it helpful, please share this guide to choosing the best hay for your guinea pig on Facebook and Twitter.


    Featured Image Credit By: PHOTO FUN, shutterstock

    Nicole Cosgrove

    Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.