Hay is an essential staple of every guinea pig's diet, and should be available for your piggy to munch on freely at all times. One of the things an owner has to decide is how to give hay to their guinea pig. Whee here at the Cali Cavy Collective have experimented with many different methods of hay dispensing and would like to share our experiences with each method.
|Revy munching hay from her vertical hay rack|
A vertical hay rack is our humans most recent solution to dispensing hay. Ours is a simple DIY version made from bent C&C grids, coroplast and zip ties. It is secured onto the side of the cage with a large binder clip for easy removal.
Whee rather like using vertical hay racks. The one our humans made for us has a coroplast backing and bottom to catch small hay flecks and keep our fleece bedding cleaner. They came up with this idea after seeing the angled hay racks sold at pet stores which they disliked because bits of hay would fall in our eyes. With a vertical hay rack, hay is shoved in through the top so this doesn't happen. Since it is reasonably good sized it can hold a lot of hay at once for your piggy to eat. We can choose to eat from the bottom, or put our paws on the sides of the rack and climb it to reach choice strands. An extra bonus is that this encourages more exercise. Best of all, it keeps us from going potty in the hay so there is no icky odor.
Of course, the vertical hay rack may not be ideally suited for all piggies - lazier guinea pigs might not be motivated to climb or eat from it, we assume this is also true for sickly pigs. It is possible that elderly pigs might not appreciate the extra effort involved to reach the hay. Also, some adventurous pigs could decide to knock down their hay rack - Belka loves to shove it aside and hide behind it, while Revy enjoys tipping it on its side.
So far, we have found that vertical hay racks are the solution that works best for us. Whether you decide this method is best for your piggy though is entirely up to you!
|Filled with hay|
|Front of the vertical hay rack|
|Coroplast backing of the vertical hay rack|
|Filled with hay|
|Revy climbs to reach a tasty strand up top|
|...and yanks it out!|
|Piggies aren't supposed to go in the hay rack!|
- no odor
- hay stays dry because rack design prevents us from relieving ourselves on hay
- encourages more exercise, can climb it
- vertical design so hay doesn't get in our eyes
- catches hay flecks, keeping the fleece bedding cleaner
- can hold a lot of hay at once
Vertical Hay Rack - Cons
- elderly, ill, or lazy piggies might not be motivated to eat from it
- adventurous pigs can knock it down