Hay-nger Strike

Chinchillaville13

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Jan 6, 2021
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Wow, I'm so friggin funny. That title...

Anyway, my guy Pedro kinda stopped eating hay. He's been acting normal. He looks about as normal as he can get. I don't know what happened. I know hay is essential in their diet. Is there something that might have caused him to stop, and maybe a way to get him to start eating his hay again? Has anybody been through this before?

Anything you can suggest that might work, I'm willing to try, just so long as Pedro wouldn't be put in danger.

Thank y'all!
 

Amethyst

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Have you tried a different brand of hay? Chins can be picky sometimes and hay quality can vary not only from brand to brand but bag to bag or harvest to harvest of the same brand. You might want to try something like Small Pets Select, Farmer Dave's, or similar company that allows you to specifically order different cuts of timothy hay, just keep in mind 3rd cut most chins love, but it's higher in sugars, fat, and protein and lower in fiber so is more a treat hay though. Here is a good run down explanation of different hay and cuts. Types of Hay, Explained

Although timothy should be the primary hay you can also offer a variety of other hays, different kinds of hay are more soft or course so they wear down the teeth differently when chewed so a variety is a good idea regardless. As well as different kinds of hay taste different so they can make eating hay more interesting. Grass hay like orchard and meadow can be given daily along with the timothy. Grain hay like oat and legume hay like alfalfa can be given in smaller amounts as a treat hay, for example you can try mixing a small handful worth into the timothy for the week to help make the hay more interesting.
 

Chinchillaville13

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Jan 6, 2021
Messages
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Have you tried a different brand of hay? Chins can be picky sometimes and hay quality can vary not only from brand to brand but bag to bag or harvest to harvest of the same brand. You might want to try something like Small Pets Select, Farmer Dave's, or similar company that allows you to specifically order different cuts of timothy hay, just keep in mind 3rd cut most chins love, but it's higher in sugars, fat, and protein and lower in fiber so is more a treat hay though. Here is a good run down explanation of different hay and cuts. Types of Hay, Explained

Although timothy should be the primary hay you can also offer a variety of other hays, different kinds of hay are more soft or course so they wear down the teeth differently when chewed so a variety is a good idea regardless. As well as different kinds of hay taste different so they can make eating hay more interesting. Grass hay like orchard and meadow can be given daily along with the timothy. Grain hay like oat and legume hay like alfalfa can be given in smaller amounts as a treat hay, for example you can try mixing a small handful worth into the timothy for the week to help make the hay more interesting.
We grow our own hay. We grow timothy/meadow cross, as well as alfalfa/timothy cross (that field went to crap, so we don't grow it anymore) and alfalfa. I could try giving him some alfalfa too. He has one of those huts with a built in feeder, and a smaller one on a shelf. I could keep the big one on the hut, and fill the small one with alfalfa. Should I do that or should I mix them? Or should I do something else?
 

Chinchillaville13

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I forgot to say this in that reply:

We have used the same hay from the same field and same cut. I've even used stuff from this same bale. So that wouldn't affect it
 

Amethyst

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We grow our own hay. We grow timothy/meadow cross, as well as alfalfa/timothy cross (that field went to crap, so we don't grow it anymore) and alfalfa. I could try giving him some alfalfa too. He has one of those huts with a built in feeder, and a smaller one on a shelf. I could keep the big one on the hut, and fill the small one with alfalfa. Should I do that or should I mix them? Or should I do something else?
There are a lot of variables that effect hay, in the same field and even same bale. Things like amount of sunlight, rain, the soil quality, even the time of day the hay was cut, and time it was harvested and baled, can all changes the quality of the hay. I'm assuming if you grow your own you are feeding this years hay? Although hay is safe for a few years if stored properly a lot of chins start rejecting it if it's over a year old. How the hay is stored can also effect it, it needs to be kept in a cool dry place away from sunlight with good airflow. If the hay gets damp, like if the humidity is high, that can cause the hay to become moldy, and if the sun is shining on it it can become stale. I would try buying some hay and seeing if that helps, he may simply not like what you are growing right now, I know some areas had a bad hay year this year. Alfalfa is a legume, so it is much higher in fat, calcium, and protein then grass and assuming you are already feeding an alfalfa based food like oxbow essentials alfalfa hay should be limited if given at all. If you want to try giving some it would just be a small handful mixed in for the entire week, the idea is to get the chin to eat the timothy hay so if you have a different feeder with just alfalfa that wont work.

The other thing you might want to look at is getting his teeth checked at the vet, just to rule out a mouth problem, like a chipped tooth, tooth spur, abscess in the mouth, overgrown teeth, or something stuck in his teeth.
 

Idgie

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My chinchilla is very picky about her hay! She will eat some orchard grass/meadow hay, but does not like Timothy. I try different brands and a local farmer. ( I think that once you give them yummy meadow, it is hard to have them go back to Timothy.) Hopefully, that is all that it is.
 
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