Chinchilla doesn't like to eat hay?

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New member
Mar 6, 2014
Hi there,

My chinchilla seems to not eat very much hay. I give him fresh hay every morning, only about one good handful because I don't want to be wasteful. Whenever I go look in his cage it seems like he hasn't eaten any hay. He'll eat pellets all day long, I always see him at his dish, but I've only caught him holding and nibbling hay a few times. What should I do?
It took some experimenting with different brands and hay types until I found a kind that my guys would eat. They hate Oxbow, Kaytee or any hay that is too course. What finally worked for us is a mixture of Kleenmama's 2nd and 3rd cut timothy hay mixed with her bluegrass hay. They get really excited or their hay now and gather around their hay holders while I'm filling everyone's up.

That being said, I do still have waste. They like to pull some of the strands out and if it isn't to their liking, it will be discarded on the cage floor. I just don't have nearly as much waste as I've had with other brands. I've had good luck with American Pet Diner in the past as well.
Thank you, I did do a lot of reading on this board after I posted my question and discovered many other people with the same problem, so I apologize for the repeat question! :) I have only tried oxbow and kaytee so I will have to look into other brands. My problem is where I live my options for hay are pretty limited to pet stores only... Thank you for your input!
Unfortunately I cannot order things off the internet, so I am limited to things I can find in stores. I haven't thought of looking at feed stores though, so I will have to see if there are any in my area. Hopefully I can find some horse quality Timothy hay somewhere. I know of one boarding barn in my area so maybe I can go ask them.
Variety is helpful for picky hay eaters. You can rotate or mix different types. A grass hay such as timothy should be your staple but you can "treat" them with a bit of grain hay such as oat hay or a bit of a legume hay such as alfalfa. Other common grass hays are bluegrass, brome, orchard, and you can rotate these or mix in with timothy as well.
Hay should be next to all of a chin's diet. If your chin isn't eating his/her hay try different forms of hay like hay cubes.Mine loves her hay cubes I looked in her cage the other day to see she had one half gone. I was so happy to see she was eating them because I think they may help with their teeth too.