Best hay brand?

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Paul_ToMy_Linda

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Aug 8, 2020
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Hi guys, I have owned chinchillas for a little over a year now, they are currently on Mazuri pellets but hay wise, I am still going back and forth. I had them on Oxbow Timothy for well over the year I've had them, but lately it's quality had gone down and I don't like it. I switched to Small Pet Selects and it was horrible, very short strands and more dust than hay. What do you guys recommend hay wise for my little guys? They aren't picky, but I am and want them to have good, green long hay, not dust.
 

Amethyst

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I feed my guys Oxbow, as well as I grow my own (I know that doesn't help), I also buy hay from the local feed store. I do find that the quality of the Oxbow can vary from bag to bag though, likely because it can vary between harvests and even between fields, so it's best to actually look over the bag before you buy it. For the most part though hay is hay, the best is what your chins will eat, I've switched between brands over the years if I go to the store and the Oxbow doesn't look good I might buy something else if it looks better. Unlike pellets you don't need to slowly switch between hay. You can also mix other grass hays in to help increase interest, or if for example the Oxbow timothy and Orchard blend looks better go with that.

I live in Canada so I can't vouch for it personally but I've heard good things about the Small Pets Select, I think I heard they had a satisfaction guarantee, you may want to call them and complain. Another one I've heard people like is Farmer Dave's Pet Supply hay, as well as Standlee hay I've heard people have had luck with.
 

Chinmama

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Greenville, SC
You’ll find that hay varies from one batch to the next. We can get a box in that’s perfect and ZZ loves, but the next box he won’t touch. We’ve currently been getting good hay from Rabbit Hole. I get it through Chewy. ZZ likes the first cut Timothy hay, and I also get some Orchard for variety.

There are different cuts of Timothy hay, so you’ll really just have to try the different ones out and see which your guy(s) like best.
 

Sabrina

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Feb 4, 2017
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Saint Paul, Minn
Hello, bought kaytee for over 15 years, all brown and 4" long. I heard of kms hayloft through this C&H. I've been buying kmshayloft.com 2nd cut Timothy and asking them for a sample of orchard grass. It is green, long stems and smells like fresh cut grass! It has stems, leaves, and seedtops. Tons in a box for my one chilla. #10 lasts a long time. I have a quick question... How long should hay and food be kept and still be fresh
 

Amethyst

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Hello, bought kaytee for over 15 years, all brown and 4" long. I heard of kms hayloft through this C&H. I've been buying kmshayloft.com 2nd cut Timothy and asking them for a sample of orchard grass. It is green, long stems and smells like fresh cut grass! It has stems, leaves, and seedtops. Tons in a box for my one chilla. #10 lasts a long time. I have a quick question... How long should hay and food be kept and still be fresh
Hay is good/safe to eat for up to 3 years after harvest, if stored properly, but starts to lose nutrients after about a year. The older past a year the hay is the more likely the chin will reject it. Hay should be kept in a well ventilated dry place away from sunlight. A cardboard box or even tote with holes in it work well.

Pellets I'm not sure how long they are good unopened (I'm thinking 6 months to a year, but the bag should have an expiration date on it anyway), but once open they are good for about a month before they start to go stale. If you want to get a bigger bag it's best to split it up into one month supplies so the amount you are exposing to air everyday is used up within a month.
 

Sabrina

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Saint Paul, Minn
We used to get food from Ryerson Chinchilla. I called all over and can't get it. So switch to oxbow. Precious throws it on the floor. Tried Walmart food while I search the whole USA for original food. Floor again... We ordered Mazuri. Floor, ugh. She did seem to start eating it a little. I don't want to run out of old while she's getting used to new. I mix 1/4 new food to 3/4 old. She did get gassy when she actually started to eat mazuri a little and poo is different. So I have not upped to 1/2 and 1/2. How quickly should we switch, also I only have 1 quart of old left as this ordeal has taken 2 months...
She gets pellets, Timothy, apple chew sticks, and a dried rose petal every few days.
 

Amethyst

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We used to get food from Ryerson Chinchilla. I called all over and can't get it. So switch to oxbow. Precious throws it on the floor. Tried Walmart food while I search the whole USA for original food. Floor again... We ordered Mazuri. Floor, ugh. She did seem to start eating it a little. I don't want to run out of old while she's getting used to new. I mix 1/4 new food to 3/4 old. She did get gassy when she actually started to eat mazuri a little and poo is different. So I have not upped to 1/2 and 1/2. How quickly should we switch, also I only have 1 quart of old left as this ordeal has taken 2 months...
She gets pellets, Timothy, apple chew sticks, and a dried rose petal every few days.
Normally the switch from old to new should take about 4 weeks, 1/4 new to 3/4 old week one, 1/2 and 1/2 week two, 3/4 to 1/4 week three, and then new food on week 4. If she is really picky about the new food and mostly eats the old you can try just taking pellets away completely for a few days, just feed hay, then switch directly over to the new. Feeding just hay helps to bulk up the gut with fiber as well as gets rid of any left over old food in the gut so the change is better tolerated. One thing about Mazuri food though is not all chins seems to tolerate it well, it's a rich food and can cause soft poop for some, if that proves to be the case with your chin you might want to try Oxbow Essentials instead. I know you said you tried Oxbow (you didn't specify which) but if you try that pulling pellets and just feeding hay for a few days method you might have better luck.
 

channeltool

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Feb 1, 2009
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84
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New Jersey
I have tried Small pet Select and after three bad batches stopped using them. I go back and forth between Kleenmama's and American Pet Diner.
 
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