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Old 12-04-2018, 01:36 PM United States
Lexillo Lexillo is offline
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Houston
Posts: 7
Chinchillas: 1
Hedgehogs: 1
Default Hay

What brand of hay do you guys feed your Chinchilla?

I have been feeding my chinchilla timothy hay since I got him as a baby, but he won't eat any hay in the past 6 months. I have tried different types of hay from Oxbow but still no luck. He tends to just play with it and throw it around.

I have to take him to the vet about every 2-3 months to get medicine to help him pass because of his lack of fiber.
The vet also says he has dental disease that he gets treated when necessary.

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Old 12-04-2018, 03:42 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Alberta
Posts: 1,597
Chinchillas: 2

I mostly use Oxbow, but when it comes down to it hay is hay regardless of brand. Over the years I've used all kinds of brands like, kaytee, ZuPreem, American Pet Diner, as well as local farm hay. The kind your chin will eat is the best for your chin, make sure the hay looks and smells good, chins wont eat it if it's stale, dusty, or moldy. It's best to have a variety of hay though, although timothy is the most balanced, other hay types and cuts of hay add flavors and textures. You can also try mixing hay types together, adding a small amount of alfalfa hay into the timothy for example might make it tastier. Fuzzies Kingdom even sells foraging hay which chins seem to love, it's often sold out quickly, but they also sell just the hay topper that you put in your existing hay too.

You can also try hay cubes, some chins seem to enjoy the different texture. Personally I feed my chins 2-3 different types of hay at a time, along with alfalfa/hay cubes. Once a month (because they are expensive) I give them a Oxbow timothy hay stack puck.

Another thing you can try is giving smaller amounts of hay, rather then giving the whole days worth all in one go, give some in the morning, then some later in the day. Some chins don't seem to understand that the hay is not unlimited and it's for eating not playing. Most chins wont eat hay once it's on the ground, and some prefer a bowl of hay over a hay holder on the side of the cage or hanging.

Eating hay is very important, and should actually be the primary food 70-75% of the chin's diet. Not only does the hay provide fiber it's also how the chin wears down their molars, and different types of hay wear down teeth differently. Chew toys only wear down the incisors and pellets are too soft to wear down the molars.

You said the chin also has dental disease? What kind and what is the treatment you are doing? Are x-rays taken to make sure no root involvement? If the teeth aren't worn down and become overgrown they can cause the roots to grow up into the skull and down into the jaw. Overgrown teeth can also curl over the tongue and trap it. If it hurts to chew then eating hay is not going to be something he is going to want to do, no matter how tasty.
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2 Chinchillas: Bazil and Wicket
10 Cats: Mystic, Coon, Rascal, Lucky, Mittens, Shadow, CJ, Tiger, Tux, and Nessie
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:50 PM United States
Lexillo Lexillo is offline
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Houston
Posts: 7
Chinchillas: 1
Hedgehogs: 1

My vet told me something similar and thinks that's why my chin is not eating his hay. Every 2-3 months they go in with a little gas mask and file down his teeth. Some of teeth go inwards so they make sure to target those teeth and note any teeth that are growing abnormally.

I'm going to try the different hay methods with the bowl and the cube. Right now I only have the one that hangs off the side of his cage.

Thank you!
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