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First Cut Timothy Hay: Everything You Need to Know

With special thanks to Shelia Gibson, Grace Grant, Bill Gordon, Josh Price, Naamah Stockdale, and Shelby Stone.

Team Small Pet Select is excited to announce a new product-focused blog series. To kick things off, we’re starting with one of our seven hay varieties: First Cut Timothy Hay. We're proud to continually offer our valued customers top-quality hay. Also, Bill, our CEO and co-founder, wanted to let you know we have an ample supply of superior American hay products. As a result, we won’t run out of any of our hand-picked, farm-fresh essentials.


First cut gets its name from the harvesting process. First cut timothy hay is the first of three times that timothy hay is cut. Basically, the top part of the hay plant is harvested first as it’s the tallest.

Chinchilla with box of 1st cutting

Photo credit: Evangelina H.

As the coarsest of the timothy hay cuttings, you’ll notice that it has a lot of stem and minimal leaf. Those light green stems are packed with nutrients and fiber. Additionally, your chinchillas, rabbits, and guinea pigs will go crazy over the numerous tasty seed heads. Finally, as this part of the plant grows taller and is the most mature, you might see yellow or brown hay. Again, this is totally normal and not harmful to your pet. 

Otis and first cutting

Photo credit: @_just.otis

Why Choose First Cut Timothy Hay?

Got a chin with chronic gastrointestinal issues? Do your piggy’s teeth need to be worn down? Is your bun on the plump side? First cut timothy hay helps with all those concerns.

First cut has the highest fiber content of our hay varieties. As your small animal requires over 80% of their diet to be hay, 1st cutting ensures the correct amount of fiber, protein, and fat. However, if your little one is older or has difficulty chewing, second or third cutting timothy hay might be a better choice.

1st cutting timothy hay

Caution for our Cavy Friends: Eye-Poke

As guinea pigs resemble potatoes with legs and are low to the ground, sometimes, they get eye-poke from the 1st cutting stems. Our Guinea Pig Spokesperson, Saskia, explains more here.

Please know that Small Pet Select purchases only the best quality first cut timothy hay with the softest stem. So when feeding your piggies 1st cut, please keep a close eye on your herd.

Our Picky Pet Promise

If your pet decides first cut timothy hay isn’t their favorite variety, don’t worry! Small Pet Select’s Picky Pet Promise has a 100% fresh and 100% satisfaction guarantee. However, if you have any questions or concerns, our helpful Customer Service team will take care of you right away.

We're all ears graphic

If you would like more details on how first cut timothy hay compares to other types of hay, we explain that here. Does your pet love our 1st cutting the most? Make sure you never run out with our Auto-Ship & Save program. If there’s a particular product you want to learn more about, let us know! Email or comment on our socials. We look forward to hearing from you.

DISCLAIMER: The links and information are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Small Pet Select of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual.

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