When you’re looking to purchase hay to feed to your piggies, you’ve probably noticed that there are, in general, two different types that you can find. The first, and most common, is timothy hay. Buy you might also have come across alfalfa hay for guinea pigs, and may well be wondering when and why you would feed this.
Well, alfalfa hay for guinea pigs is fed at a time when the animal is in need of more protein and calories. These would include;
- pregnant and nursing mothers
- baby and growing guinea pigs
- rehabilitating piggies
- older guinea pigs that might have a problem keeping on weight
The difference between alfalfa hay for guinea pigs and other types of hay is the family of grasses that it belongs to. In broad terms, there are two different types of hay. These are called “grass hay” and “legume hay.”
The difference between the two is the nutritional content. Whereas a grass hay is high in fiber and low in protein and calorie content, legume hay (of which alfalfa is the most common) is higher in protein and calories and lower in fiber.
Because of this, you only need feed alfalfa hay for guinea pigs in times of higher energy needs, such as we mentioned above.
Alfalfa hay for guinea pigs also looks a little different from the various types of grass hay. It’s softer to the touch, perhaps a deeper green color and you can easily see the dried heads of the alfalfa plant in the hay.
If you’re ever unsure whether or not you should be feeding your pet alfalfa hay instead of grass hay, always take advice from a guinea pig savvy veterinarian.
To learn more about guinea pig hay, see our blog post that will direct you to our free guinea pig hay guide. Here you can learn all about hay – and best of all, it’s FREE!
Till next time, love those guinea pigs….
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