Baby Chinchilla Diet: Hay

ChinsForLife

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My breeder finally messaged me about my baby! He is currently 3 weeks old!(I'll attach a pic) I have waited so long to get one and will pick him up on April 27 when he is 9 weeks old! I am getting Mazuri pellets from the feed store because I heard its the best and that's what my breeder is feeding him. I do have a question about the type and brand of hay to feed him.

I originally was going to buy 3 lbs of timothy and 3 lbs of alfalfa (DuMOR brand) but have read recently that alfalfa should be the primary hay given. I could get a better brand if I only got one type of hay.

Also, can I mix other hays in with the alfalfa?

I have heard good things about Oxbow and Small Pet Select. What other brands are of the highest quality? Others you personally recommend?

I know that hay is hay and the best is what he will eat is what i should buy but how would i know what is his favorite? I dont have him yet!I wanna give him the best that I can get (and can afford as I am only 13 1/2) i am buying 6 months worth. (6 lbs) my budget is $25 max for hay.(I have plenty of money but have to buy tons of other stuff along with the critter nation cage which is pricy and want to have money put back for an emergency fund)
 

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tunes

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I would not overload a baby chin with alfalfa. I would stick with timothy for a while. I actually never feed my chins alfalfa, just timothy. I buy 50-pound bails of hay timothy from Tractor Supply Company.

Oxbow is good food, but there are others that are less expensive and just as good. I feed my herd Nutrena Naturewise Rabbit pellets and mine do great on it. Others use Purina rabbit. It depends on what's available in your area.

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ChinsForLife

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I would not overload a baby chin with alfalfa. I would stick with timothy for a while. I actually never feed my chins alfalfa, just timothy. I buy 50-pound bails of hay timothy from Tractor Supply Company.

Oxbow is good food, but there are others that are less expensive and just as good. I feed my herd Nutrena Naturewise Rabbit pellets and mine do great on it. Others use Purina rabbit. It depends on what's available in your area.

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Thank you! I am new to this so any info helps! The reason I was wanting to do alfalfa though is because of the high calcium to help him grow. I don't plan to do it much at all later on since Mazuri is alfalfa based. My breeder is already feeding Mazuri. That's the main reason I am getting that brand.(Obviously the other is oxbow)I am planning on buying all food/hay from Tractor Supply hopefully.
 

Amethyst

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My breeder finally messaged me about my baby! He is currently 3 weeks old!(I'll attach a pic) I have waited so long to get one and will pick him up on April 27 when he is 9 weeks old! I am getting Mazuri pellets from the feed store because I heard its the best and that's what my breeder is feeding him. I do have a question about the type and brand of hay to feed him.

I originally was going to buy 3 lbs of timothy and 3 lbs of alfalfa (DuMOR brand) but have read recently that alfalfa should be the primary hay given. I could get a better brand if I only got one type of hay.

Also, can I mix other hays in with the alfalfa?

I have heard good things about Oxbow and Small Pet Select. What other brands are of the highest quality? Others you personally recommend?

I know that hay is hay and the best is what he will eat is what i should buy but how would i know what is his favorite? I dont have him yet!I wanna give him the best that I can get (and can afford as I am only 13 1/2) i am buying 6 months worth. (6 lbs) my budget is $25 max for hay.(I have plenty of money but have to buy tons of other stuff along with the critter nation cage which is pricy and want to have money put back for an emergency fund)
You don't want just alfalfa, you can do just timothy if you really want to but personally I like to give them alfalfa hay until 6 months, 50/50 with the timothy. Yes you can mix in small amounts of other hay with the timothy and alfalfa if you want to, or even get a small bag of another kind of hay (meadow like or orchard) so you can give it as a treat since it's something different and they shouldn't have actual treats until older.

You'll know he likes it if he eats it, there is no way to know ahead of time. You can find out what your breeder is feeding and start with that if you want, since he will be use to it. I just use Oxbow hay, as well as hay I grow and hay from the local feed shop (unknown brand just small animal timothy hay). I only buy hay in person, so I look for hay that looks and smells good, so brand can vary based on what I can get. If the bag of hay looks dusty, smells bad, or the hay is brown I don't buy it and will go with another bag or another brand.

Correct me if I'm wrong. Also, any boy chinchilla name ideas?!?😊😊😊
The names of the boy chins I've had are, Dweezle, Wally (short for Wallace), Whiskers (or Whiskey), Crackers, Bubba, Chimpy, Little Bear, Hopper, and my current two are Wicket and Bazil.
 

ChinsForLife

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You don't want just alfalfa, you can do just timothy if you really want to but personally I like to give them alfalfa hay until 6 months, 50/50 with the timothy. Yes you can mix in small amounts of other hay with the timothy and alfalfa if you want to, or even get a small bag of another kind of hay (meadow like or orchard) so you can give it as a treat since it's something different and they shouldn't have actual treats until older.

You'll know he likes it if he eats it, there is no way to know ahead of time. You can find out what your breeder is feeding and start with that if you want, since he will be use to it. I just use Oxbow hay, as well as hay I grow and hay from the local feed shop (unknown brand just small animal timothy hay). I only buy hay in person, so I look for hay that looks and smells good, so brand can vary based on what I can get. If the bag of hay looks dusty, smells bad, or the hay is brown I don't buy it and will go with another bag or another brand.


The names of the boy chins I've had are, Dweezle, Wally (short for Wallace), Whiskers (or Whiskey), Crackers, Bubba, Chimpy, Little Bear, Hopper, and my current two are Wicket and Bazil.
Have you ever TRIED dumor? I really am leaning towards that for now and going for Oxbow or Small Pet Select later on. So brand doesn't really matter? Are they all the same nutrition wise? Does one brand have more protein then another or does quality mean something else like, not dusty or powdery?

I love those names! And that picture of crackers that you showed on your other post was absolutely adorable! I hope my baby is half as cute as he is!😍
 

Amethyst

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Have you ever TRIED dumor? I really am leaning towards that for now and going for Oxbow or Small Pet Select later on. So brand doesn't really matter? Are they all the same nutrition wise? Does one brand have more protein then another or does quality mean something else like, not dusty or powdery?

I love those names! And that picture of crackers that you showed on your other post was absolutely adorable! I hope my baby is half as cute as he is!😍
No, I don't think I've ever seen that brand up here, and when I lived in the US I mostly fed my chins hay I got from a someone that owned horses, we bought hay a few times but I can't remember what brand. Yes, brand really doesn't matter, it might be easier to think of it like a crop (which it is) so for example say romaine lettuce from one brand may taste slightly different then another, and they vary slightly nutritionally based on where they are grown (varies from one end of the field to the other not just brand to brand) but they are basically the same. Different kinds of hay have different amounts of nutrients, and you have grass hays like timothy (and orchard, meadow, etc) vs legume hay like alfalfa which differ greatly because it's not even the same kind of plant, but when it comes to hay (or any crop plant) when you are talking quality it's mostly how fresh it is (not dusty, moldy, dried out, etc).

And yes Crackers was a cutie. :) I should have more photos of my old chin in a box somewhere, I might have to dig it out one of these days and scan them so I have them on my computer.
 

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Oh I should probably add, hay grown and sold for small animals is hand sorted to remove any non hay items like trash, sticks, bugs, dead animals, rocks, weeds, etc. If you get hay direct from a farm they just bale it and that's it, you have the hand sort it to pick out anything that isn't hay the ended up in the hay, meaning you run the risk of giving the chin something it shouldn't if you aren't careful. So although it's cheaper it's more work and more risk on your end.
 

ChinsForLife

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Oh I should probably add, hay grown and sold for small animals is hand sorted to remove any non hay items like trash, sticks, bugs, dead animals, rocks, weeds, etc. If you get hay direct from a farm they just bale it and that's it, you have the hand sort it to pick out anything that isn't hay the ended up in the hay, meaning you run the risk of giving the chin something it shouldn't if you aren't careful. So although it's cheaper it's more work and more risk on your end.
My dad said i could get that since it's cheaper. I don't want to though. I told him they removed stuff like bugs, weeds, dead animals, etc and they cut it a certain way for small pets (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and he said "just cut it yourself!".

Do you know where I could get a hay feeder like the one in this picture?
 

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Amethyst

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My dad said i could get that since it's cheaper. I don't want to though. I told him they removed stuff like bugs, weeds, dead animals, etc and they cut it a certain way for small pets (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and he said "just cut it yourself!".

Do you know where I could get a hay feeder like the one in this picture?
Actually the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cut is cut any special way, it's just when it's harvested. The 1st cut is the first cut of the year, normally has more stems then leaves, it's crunchy and best for tooth wear, if they will eat it, but most don't like it. The 2nd cut is the second cut of the year, so it's got more of an even mix of stems and leaves making it the best feed hay cut. The 3rd cut is the third cut of the year and normally the last cut, it's mostly leaf, so it's softer and sweeter, it can help encourage chins to eat their hay or for elderly chins, but not the best option for tooth wear.

To be clear I wasn't suggesting getting hay direct from a farm. Even when I did I handsorted hay into a paper bag at the horse farm while I hung out with the horses. I now stick with the actual stuff grown for small animals (and stuff I grew and processed myself), you may save money on hay buying high quality timothy horse hay instead, but at the risk of expensive vet bills if you don't take the time to hand sort through it and your chin eats something it shouldn't. Small animal hay is more expensive because it's hand sorted by a human already, they still occational miss something but it's not an issue with every bag (I don't think I've ever had a bag with something weird in it yet).

I don't know where the person got the hay feeder, you could probably get something like that by just getting a metal bread pan. Some chins will eat from a bowl/trough like that but others will just pee on it. I prefer hay holders that are off the ground though, so they can't sit and pee and poop in it.
 

ChinsForLife

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What about a ceramic hut? Sorry for all the questions. I really want to get one like the one she has. I just can find oneverything that isn't for hampsters. Any idea where I could find one? I can find 2 different ones but they are $45-$65! $25 max is all I can afford at the moment.
 

Amethyst

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What about a ceramic hut? Sorry for all the questions. I really want to get one like the one she has. I just can find oneverything that isn't for hampsters. Any idea where I could find one? I can find 2 different ones but they are $45-$65! $25 max is all I can afford at the moment.
Those ceramic huts are very popular right now, lol, they go for about the price you mentioned sometimes a lot more if you can find the old Kaytee "chinchilla bath" ones. They are cute, but rather small for a chinchilla though, most people just use them as an additional hide out or a hay holder. If you aren't too picky you can often find similar ceramic candy containers around the holidays (ghosts, pumpkins, Santa, Easter bunny, etc). Most chins once they are relaxed will lay down and stretch out when sleeping, which they can't do in a little hut like that, so you would still need to buy a proper hut. I normally use these ones https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0009WH8ZE/ref=twister_B07J67YYCB?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 but I did just order https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B009HOQEMI/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 for my two (waiting on the mail).

(had to share this pic since it came to mind with this comment about how they lay down, lol, it's Wicket in case you are curious)
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ChinsForLife

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Those ceramic huts are very popular right now, lol, they go for about the price you mentioned sometimes a lot more if you can find the old Kaytee "chinchilla bath" ones. They are cute, but rather small for a chinchilla though, most people just use them as an additional hide out or a hay holder. If you aren't too picky you can often find similar ceramic candy containers around the holidays (ghosts, pumpkins, Santa, Easter bunny, etc). Most chins once they are relaxed will lay down and stretch out when sleeping, which they can't do in a little hut like that, so you would still need to buy a proper hut. I normally use these ones https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0009WH8ZE/ref=twister_B07J67YYCB?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 but I did just order https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B009HOQEMI/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 for my two (waiting on the mail).

(had to share this pic since it came to mind with this comment about how they lay down, lol, it's Wicket in case you are curious)
View attachment 21333
Thank you! He is darling!! I sent you a private message btw.
 
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