This is always very concerning to see as we know that guinea pigs should not be eating alfalfa and certainly not as a staple part of the diet. Sometimes these might be labeled as “guinea pig and gerbil food”, and alfalfa can be a main ingredient. More is not better for them and in fact the opposite is true. With that being said, Alfalfa Hay can be a great addition to your Guinea Pigs diet. Alfalfa Hay can be a great, wholesome addition to your Guinea Pigs diet. Baby guinea pigs should be fed a mix of Alfalfa hay with Timothy hay in it. Vitakraft Timothy Hay Sweet Grass. This is because of their huge requirement for energy and vitamins/minerals like Calcium which ensure they remain strong and powerful. Joined Feb 6, 2011 Messages 6,598 Reaction score 241 Points 730 Location West Midlands, UK. So I was going to get a 4.5kg bag for them but I'm worried they will get bored of it. Required fields are marked *. Timothy is a meadow grass that is both nutritious and flavorful, and it is highly recommended by veterinarians. They struggle to excrete calcium and if it persists for too long and remains unopposed, issues with their digestive system. Alfalfa Hay is therefore most suitable and beneficial to a young growing Guinea Pig or during particular phases whereby extra nutrition is required – like to a female during pregnancy. We are pet enthusiasts and love sharing everything that we learn about them! A prime example of this is following illness, injury or infection. As this article has stated, Alfalfa Hay is nutrient and energy abundant. For these reasons, alfalfa hay is … We will then take a look at the health benefits and any risks of feeding this as a major component of your Guinea Pigs diet. Re: Is alfalfa hay or timothy hay better? Its naturally very soft and Guinea Pigs are known to enjoy it in this context. If your guinea pig is older than 6 months then definitely stick to the Timothy. Yes, however the amount that can be included in the diet depends on the nutritional quality of the alfalfa hay as well as the age and physiological status of the pigs. Timothy hay is a popular type of grass hay, often considered the “gold standard” because of its nutritional profile. If they are given pellets with alfalfa hay it should be safe to give them timothy hay. It can also be fed to baby buns less than a year old and used to entice even the pickiest little bunny to eat their greens. This product is the most affordable pellet guinea pig food I could find where Timothy hay make up most of its ingredients since it is the first one listed. Whatever age your guinea pig is, grass hay (such as Timothy hay) should always be available in the cage. They really should be moved onto Timothy Hay which is much better for guinea pigs and should be their staple diet after 7 months. Alfalfa in particular is high in energy whilst also being more palatable than grass hays. Alfalfa Hay consists of around 63% water, 30% carbohydrates (as fiber), 4% protein, and around 1% fat. Viking Farmer is the Alfalfa Hay brand (available on Amazon) that I was recommended by my vet for my Guinea Pigs. Alfalfa is particularly high in calcium, which presents a health issue for guinea pigs. (Alfalfa is good for baby guinea pigs). Sometimes you may see it called “Lucerne” , particularly if you live in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand. Once they are 6 months we are switching to timothy based pellets as well. UNLIMITED Timothy Hay is recommended for guinea pigs. Some low quality commercial foods often contain alfalfa. Sammy and Lucky currently LOVE alfalfa king timothy hay, if I put the other timothy hay we have in their hay rack it gets ignored until I put some alfalfa king in. Ill, Baby and Pregnant Guinea Pigs … Guinea pig pellets are made from one of two primary sources: alfalfa or Timothy Hay. Pellets that contain alfalfa are recommended to be avoided, although they can be useful in small amounts for sick guinea pigs or those who you might be having difficulties with in eating their regular diet. It provides a lot of calcium, vitamins, minerals, protein and fibers that support their digestion and support their dental health. Senior Guinea Pig. It is not a grass. Your email address will not be published. Good quality Timothy hay is an absolute must. Alfalfa vs. Timothy Hay-based pellets. It should never replace Timothy Hay nor should it ever be overfed. Be sure to select a pellet specifically formulated with Vitamin C for guinea pigs. How long should baby guinea pigs eat Alfalfa Hay? After your guinea pig is about a year old and fully developed (see notes), a timothy based pellet, which provides less calcium, may be a good choice. So, is Alfalfa Hay good for Guinea Pigs? Guinea Pigs have a low Calcium requirement and they are prone to bladder stones which can form with Calcium excess. Additionally, Alfalfa is great at regulating and preventing a Guinea Pigs teeth from growing out too long and large. Timothy is a meadow grass that is both nutritious and flavorful, and it is highly recommended by veterinarians. If your guinea pig is young and under 6 months old then alfalfa is a good choice. I have never considered pigs wasteful of hay, but then, I’ve never thrown it on the ground for them to eat. However, a lot of pellets from the store are alfalfa hay based. It’s also higher in protein than the other more highly recommended hays for guinea pigs like Timothy hay. What You Need To Know About Rhubarb Toxicity. This means it can contain a variety of grasses, plants, flower heads and seed heads. Peteducate.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Yes; it is safe and healthy to feed a Guinea Pig Alfafa Hay. This is why I shop for my hay from Amazon, a trustworthy suppler where I purchase in bulk at a discount. Even then, you should monitor how much and when it is provided, and be sure to reduce consumption when the Guinea Pig returns to a more stable state. This is because overfeeding it will supply too much nutrition and can cause obesity and weight management problems. Guinea Pig Ringworm: Treating & Preventing Ringworm in Guinea Pigs. This is a hay that is made from a legume: alfalfa (you’ve probably seen alfalfa sprouts for sale – same plant). It is lower in protein and calcium than alfalfa hay, so it makes a better staple for adult rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs. Hay is absolutely vital to the digestive health of your guinea pig. However, it is advised to feed Alfalfa infrequently and/or in smaller quantities and it should not make up the majority of a Guinea Pigs diet. Other similar pellets have alfalfa listed as the first ingredient which is not healthy for adult Guinea pigs. Timothy hay based pellet - Lower protein and better mineral balance than alfalfa. Traditionally, Alfalfa Hay is used to feed working Horses. It’s also higher in protein than the other more highly recommended hays for guinea pigs like Timothy hay. Alfalfa is very high in calcium and while that is good for humans its not so good for guinea pigs because they get kidney stones from too much. Unfortunately this can lead to people thinking it’s safe and healthy to feed these pellets, after all we like to think that food manufacturers have the best interests of our guinea pigs in mind, and that their research into ingredients is reliable and trustworthy. If you have discovered Alfalfa Hay then you may be wondering if it is safe, healthy and even a preferable food source for your Guinea Pig. A little goes a long way. Alfalfa has increasingly become a common ingredient in some commercial guinea pig pellets. In unique circumstances, it can prove to be particularly effective and an ideal feed. Alfalfa hay should therefore be limited and used within specific contexts. With its high energy and nutritional quality, Alfalfa Hay is predominately used for growing animals, breeding animals, and those that are underweight and struggling to consume enough nutrition. Your email address will not be published. I use the alfalfa king timothy hay, i love it smells delicious drool . For a Guinea Pig this weight can be hard to reduce, and it also adds stress to their small and delicate frame. There are also some other cases whereby you can increase the amount fed or it is even preferably to regular Timothy Hay. But should we feed it? The best way to feed Alfalfa hay is to add small amounts to their feed. These cheap, inappropriate and harmful products should be avoided entirely. While Alfalfa Hay seems like an appropriate solution to fill this requirement, consider that it can actually be too calorie dense and contain too much fiber for them. It has the proper amount of nutrients and fiber that the need to keep healthy. It is abundant in plant proteins, chlorophyll, carotene, calcium, and other trace minerals. Our Timothy hay for guinea pigs is hand-selected for freshness and available in three cuttings. We will help answer any questions that you may have and provide as much information and research that we can to help you take the best care of your pet. It is particularly high in energy and as such is used for a variety of animals including horses, dairy cows, beef cattle and sheep. Its packed full of vitamins and minerals, and Hay of course should make up the majority of a Guinea Pigs diet. As you will likely know already, Guinea Pigs require a lot of hay and experts recommend that they should consume as much as 80% of their diet from this food source. With these risks in mind, it is important that you limit Alfalfa Hay consumption. The Timothy hay contains a balance of fiber, protein, calcium, and other nutrients which is suitable for the daily diet of all guinea pigs. As a Guinea Pigs teeth continuously grow throughout their life, if this is left unchecked it can become painful and dangerous for them when they eat. Ultimately, with Guinea Pigs, food is fundamentally important. It should never replace Timothy Hay nor should it ever be overfed. For all small herbivores – that’s rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas and degus – hay should make up around 80% of the diet. [Is Is It Possible & Safe], Can Hamsters Eat Chocolate? Instead, the most popular, recommended and safe hay for regular feeding is Timothy Hay (I actually get my supply in bulk for a great price on Amazon). Can Guinea Pigs Eat Rhubarb? It is lower in protein and calcium than alfalfa hay, so it makes a better staple for adult rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs. Let us know take a closer look at Alfalfa Hay. Besides, the main purpose of hay is fiber. Your Guinea Pigs diet is paramount to their health and preventing illness; how you feed them will ultimately be reflected in their happiness and well-being. It is also provides a lot of the B Vitamins, along with Vitamin C, D, E, and K. It also contains Phosphorous and Zinc. However, again do not use this type of hay exclusively for bedding. It is particularly effective if your Guinea Pig has lost a substantial amount of weight (like following illness), or if it is being fussy and refusing to eat. Alfalfa hay can be a good addition to a pig's diet. But like many pet foods out there, cost cutting and use of cheap ingredients can result in poor nutrition for our pets – and this can be the case with guinea pig pellets that contain alfalfa. Another way you can use Alfalfa is as bedding. As such, you can soon see why it can be problematic when given to your Guinea Pigs in excess. It’s an excellent source of these vital nutrients for young and nursing piggies, but provides too much of a good thing for adults. I actually get my supply in bulk for a great price on Amazon, Viking Farmer is the Alfalfa Hay brand (available on Amazon, This is why I shop for my hay from Amazon, a trustworthy suppler where I purchase in bulk at a discount, Can You Give A Ferret A Bath? Vitakraft Timothy Hay is all natural, hight quality, and overall … (source). Higher fiber - Promotes more chewing activity. It prevents obesity, dental disease, diarrhea and boredom. Most guinea pig pellets are alfalfa based. Timothy hay is considered the Gold Seal of hay for Guinea Pigs. All guinea pigs, regardless of age, should be provided with a constant supply. Alfalfa contains higher concentrations of protein and calcium compared to timothy hay (Table 1). 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