Feeding 1st Cut Timothy Hay to your Guinea Pig
Hay – simply the most important product that we feed our guinea pigs. And hay is just hay, right? Err, no – it’s not. And because we at Small Pet Select live, breath and dream hay, we thought we’d try and make it a little easier for guinea pig and small pet owners to understand. So this page is all about 1st cut timothy hay for guinea pigs.
What is 1st cut timothy hay?
Now this is pretty easy to get – being at it’s exactly what it says on the tin! 1st cut timothy hay for guinea pigs is the first cutting of hay that’s taken during the growing season.
Hay – or more specifically, grass – has a peak growing time of the spring and early summer. And the first cut of hay generally takes place at the beginning of the summer, weather permitting.
Nutritional quality of 1st cutting timothy hay for guinea pigs
The first cut of hay is higher in fiber and lower in protein than the second and subsequent cuts. However, because of the strong growth, moisture content and other aspects, 1st cutting timothy hay tends to be harder and coarser in texture, and somewhat less leafy than 2nd or 3rd cut hay.
Good points and bad points about 1st cutting timothy hay for guinea pigs
Because of the texture of the hay, some guinea pig and small animal owners might find that their pets are not that keen on eating a great amount. But the biggest issue about feeding 1st cutting timothy hay for guinea pigs is the hardness of it. After all, our piggies are pretty small creatures, and a tough stem of timothy hay poked in the eye can cause some damage, and there have been many reports of 1st cutting timothy hay for guinea pigs doing exactly that.
Because we mustn’t forget that our piggies don’t only eat the hay – they also nest in it, burrow and tunnel through it and play in it.
But if you feed 1st cutting timothy hay to your pets, and they enjoy it, then that’s great. Nutritionally it’s absolutely fine for them to eat. However, most guinea pigs and small pets tend to prefer the softer second cut hay – and that’s the reason we currently only sell 2nd cut timothy hay at Small Pet Select.
But the reason for producing this article is not to say that you shouldn’t feed 1st cutting timothy hay for guinea pigs, because many people do so successfully. No, this is all about advocating that the grass hay you do feed your pets should be of the best quality possible. Fresh, sweet and certainly containing no dust. As long as you stick by these criteria you can be sure that you’re giving your piggy the very best nutrition possible – regardless of the cutting or the type.
Till next time, love those guinea pigs…