Getting the best timothy hay for your Guinea Pigs will ensure you are meeting their nutrition needs. Timothy hay should be a staple in a guinea pig’s diet, and includes a wealth of nutrients, minerals and fiber. All crucial components for their health.
Over 80% of your guinea pigs diet should include hay, and there are several reasons why you would want to seek out the best brands. In this guide today we will be presenting you with the best options on the market along with explanations as to what timothy hay is, why you should be feeding your guinea pig(s) timothy hay and how much to feed.
- 1 In A Hurry, Here’s Our Top Picks
- 2 Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting “Perfect Blend” Timothy Hay
- 3 FarmerDavePetSupply Second Cut Timothy Hay
- 4 Kaytee Timothy Hay Flavor Variety Multi Pack, Spearmint, Marigold, Carrot
- 5 HayRabbit Premium 2nd Cut Timothy Grass Hay (Fresh from The Farm)
- 6 Oxbow Animal Health Western Timothy Hay
- 7 Timothy Hay Guide
- 8 In Summary: Select the Best Timothy Hay for Your Pet
In A Hurry, Here’s Our Top Picks
Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting “Perfect Blend” Timothy Hay
- Small Pet Select
- rabbit food
- guinea pig food
- chinchilla food
- timothy hay
You really can’t go wrong with the Small Pet Select Timothy Hay. This is a premium hay from a farm of specialist small pet owners themselves. It is hand selected and packaged, ensuring only the best hay is included in each batch.
This timothy hay is boxed fresh and minimally handled ensuring that your guinea pigs will only be getting the finest cuts that are nutritionally complete.
The hay is also available for purchase in different sizes and weights, ensuring that you can get as much or as little as you need. You can buy in bulk at discount but of course you will be losing that touch of freshness this brand provides.
Each package of hay is sent in a well designed, easy to open and close box that you can access to refill your guinea pigs supply. It also helps to store it and keep the rest fresh. Plus, Small Select provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so if you are not satisfied for any reason you can get in touch and get your supply replaced.
Small Pet Select Timothy Hay Features We Like:
- Freshness and nutrients are preserved due to the breathable box that prevents exposure to sunlight and allows hay to breathe.
- Hay consists of a good blend of leaf, seed-head and stem.
- Healthy ratio of fiber, protein, and fat which is ideal for guinea pigs.
- Good tasting, and particularly effective for ‘fussy’ guinea pigs.
- The texture and fiber is between 1st cutting and 3rd cutting, making it an ideal all-round feed.
- Small select are small animal owners. They understand them, their requirements and their needs.
FarmerDavePetSupply Second Cut Timothy Hay
- Organically Grown, No Pesticides
- Direct From Our Farm For The Very Best Quality
- Great Hay, Not Fancy Packaging
- Carefully Selected And Hand Packed
- Best of the Best 2nd Cut Timothy Hay Available
FarmerDave’s Timothy Hay is another premium option. It is 100% organically grown and it is guaranteed to be completely free of pesticides and other crop fertilizers. It’s all natural so there are no additives, preservatives or artificial flavors either.
Again, this is another hay that prides itself on freshness; coming straight from the farm in rustic packaging that can easily be stored for future use.
The FarmerDave’s hay is sun and win dried which helps to preserve the smell, taste, color and also the nutritional components. This coincides with a carefully managed harvest to ensure that mold, mild-dew and dust is omitted.
This is a high quality hay at an affordable price.
FarmerDavePetSupply Second Cut Timothy Hay Features We Like:
- Organic and free of any nasty chemicals that can cause health complications further down the line for your guinea pigs
- Personally selected and hand packed; ensuring you get only the best quality cuts
- Completely natural; not treated nor manipulated. This can be seen through the color variations throughout the year when weather and growing conditions change.
Kaytee Timothy Hay Flavor Variety Multi Pack, Spearmint, Marigold, Carrot
- Long-strand, natural timothy hay plus spearmint, marigold, and carrot to provide a variety of textures and flavors for added enrichment
- Grown specifically for small animals
- High fiber to support digestive health
- America's #1 Hay Brand
- All Natural non GMO ingredient
Kaytee are a formidable brand in the pet care space, and they’ve developed a line of fantastic products for small animal pet owners. Their Timothy Hay is one of their best sellers and it is used by many guinea pig owners across the world.
This Kaytee Timothy Hay is a variety pack product, meaning that you will be getting hay in a variety of different flavors. This includes Spearmint, Marigold and Carrot. This provides variety in your guinea pigs diet, and ensures that they routinely and regularly eat enough hay which is essential for optimal health and wellness.
Kaytee are renown for carefully selected their hay and for a number of good processes and procedures when it comes to growing, packing and preparation. They grow their hay in specific regions and store it once cut locally in temperature controlled and managed warehouses. This ensures the hay is of a great quality by the time it reaches your door.
Again this is another hand selected product which ensures a high nutritional value and the proper leaf-to-stem ratio.
Kaytee Timothy Hay Flavor Variety Multi Pack Features We Like:
- Three flavors given your guinea pigs variety and ensuring they eat more hay.
- Ideal for ‘picky’ guinea pigs and those who are not eating enough hay
- Each individual variety pack is sealed tight within their own inner package – this keeps the hay fresh.
- Hand-selected and only the best cuts are chosen.
HayRabbit Premium 2nd Cut Timothy Grass Hay (Fresh from The Farm)
- HayRabbit Timothy Hay is baled fresh in the field and then packaged within days of harvest. Our Box was designed specifically to control the quality of the hay. Too much moisture can be the worst possible problem Timothy Hay can have. Our box let’s the Timothy Hay breathe but doesn’t allow any sunlight in. Sunlight will have a yellowing affect on the Hay which reduces the quality.
Don’t let the name fool you; this hay is another excellent option for your guinea pigs. Hay is required by all small animals, so your guinea pigs can benefit from this fresh, well-reviewed hay too!
Hay Rabbit are a farming business located in the Imperial Valley of the US. They have been farming fresh hay for over 75 years so you can be sure to benefit from their years of experience and knowledge gathering. Their hay is therefore locally sourced.
It is a high quality product; being baled fresh and packaged within days of the harvest. The box it will be delivered in is also designed in such a way that your hay will remain preserved and fresh, even through storage. It will prevent any moisture from entering and will eliminate and sunlight from coming into contact with the hay.
HayRabbit Premium 2nd Cut Timothy Grass Hay Features We Like:
- Locally sourced, fresh from experienced hay farmers
- Specially designed box to retain freshness and the nutrition of the hay
- Hay is high in fiber and low in protein and calcium; ideal for a guinea pig.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Oxbow Animal Health Western Timothy Hay
- PROUDLY GROWN IN THE USA: Harvested fresh from Oxbow’s family of farms by our expert hay growers.
- PREMIUM QUALITY: Hand-sorted and hand-packed with care. All Oxbow hay growers are trained in the production of premium hay
- 100% ALL-NATURAL HAY: All-natural – no additives or binders
- MEETS SPECIFIC NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS: Grown specifically for small pets. High in fiber for a healthy digestive system and dental health. Fiber is essential to the health of your rabbit, guinea pig, chinchilla, or other small pet.
- IDEAL FOR MULTIPLE PET HOUSEHOLDS. Our 9 lb, 25 lb, and 50 lb bulk Western Timothy hay sizes provide an incredible value and are an ideal option for pet parents with multiple mouths to feed!
Oxbow are another recognized brand that have been selling Timothy hay since the very beginning. They were in fact the first pet food company to popularize it as a guinea pig dietary staple.
Over the years their hay has been recognized for being an all-natural hay that is a nutritious, sweet-smelling and known to stimulate the appetite of your guinea pig. This ensures that a guinea pig eats a sufficient quantity for optimal health and wellness.
The Oxbow hay is harvested from one of Oxbow’s community of farms, where it is hand-sorted and hand packed.
It is another all natural hay, without any additives or preservatives. It is made up of long many of the beneficial long fibers, leaves and stems, and has minimal seed heads.
Oxbow Animal Health Western Timothy Hay Features We Like:
- Reputable and reliable company with years of experience supporting the health and wellness of small animals.
- Maximum quality control; harvested from Oxbow’s farms, hand-selected and hand-packed.
- Preservative, additive free.
Timothy Hay Guide
With different types of hay and brands available, you might have some questions. Let us help answer the main ones that guinea pig owners face regarding timothy hay:
What Is Timothy Hay?
Not all hay is the same. In fact, it can actually be very different. When you consider that hay is dried from plants, you can soon start to understand how it can differ. For example, the type of plant used to make it, the growing conditions, the region the plant was grown, how it was cut and how it was dried and prepared.
Timothy hay is from a specific grass that has certain qualities that make it an ideal feed for your guinea pig(s).
It is low in protein, high in fiber, and provides easily digestible calories and nutrition. Timothy hay can be fed routinely to your guinea pig(s) to satisfy their appetite without providing an abundance of nutrition.
You will typically find that veterinarians and experienced guinea pig owners suggest that hay makes up a significant portion of your guinea pig(s) diet.
Why Timothy Hay For Guinea Pigs?
All guinea pigs require sufficient hay in their diet; it serves several purposes. While there are several types of hay that guinea pigs will enjoy, timothy hay is considered one of the best options for its nutritional composition as mentioned above.
Grass hay, specifically Timothy Hay, should make up a significant proportion of your guinea pig(s) diet. In fact, it should be fed liberally to guinea pigs of all ages. This includes baby guinea pigs.
Perhaps the standout reasons for this is that it helps guinea pigs prevent obesity, maintain a healthy urinary system and improve their overall health.
This is largely due in part to the high fiber content, low protein and low calcium content.
Fiber is critical for optimal digestion and the creation/maintenance of beneficial gut bacteria. If you overfeed your guinea pig on pellets, you may find issues with their gut motility and they can even run into gastrointestinal obstructions. This is not the case with an abundance of hay in the diet.
A high-fiber diet will also lower the incidence of soft stools, intestinal gas and bloating.
Guinea pigs naturally regulate their appetite when fed hay, which is due in part to the high fiber content, so it is impossible for them to overfeed on it and gain excessive amounts of weight.
Pellets are high calorie and low fiber, meaning they can easily overfeed on it when it is provided freely. For this reason, you should look to provide an unlimited source of hay for them.
Beyond just the nutrition, the physical roughage and act of chewing equally benefits guinea pigs. This is because they have teeth that grow continuously. If they get too long and large, it can cause pain and other dental issues. Hay is able to naturally break down the teeth of guinea pigs and grind them down to a more healthy and comfortable size. Other foods, like pellets and treats, are not particularly good at this.
Behaviorally, timothy hay stimulates a guinea pigs natural behavior. Guinea pigs are naturally wild animals that have been domesticated as pets. However, they still have the preferences and tendencies of their ancestors which include foraging on wild grasses and plants. Guinea pigs enjoy this engaging in this kind of activity, and timothy hay can help to stimulate their natural urges.
Lastly, timothy hay can keep your guinea pig(s) engaged and stimulated. It gives them something to do and a way to spend their time, preventing boredom and other self sabotaging behaviors. Extended periods of boredom can lead to depression and illness. So its important that you stay on top of keeping them entertained.
How Much Timothy Hay To Feed Guinea Pigs?
It is sensible to provide an unlimited amount of timothy hay to your guinea pigs every day. A great way to ensure that you are providing enough, and where you can monitor how much they are eating is to purchase a hay rack. This way you can easily refill it when the time comes. Be sure to always offer fresh hay and if it looks to have gone stale or your guinea pigs are not eating it frequently, consider changing it.
Guinea pigs will naturally regulate how much timothy hay they eat; there is nothing you need to do outside to provide it to them daily.
Difference between First, Second and Third Cut Timothy Hay?
When you start to search for timothy hay online, you’ll soon notice that you can see it available in three cuts: ‘First, Second and Third Cut’. Each are different options and different types of hay. Each serve a different purpose.
Here is a general overview of what each hay is most suitable for. Both content and guinea pig:
First Cut: Best for overweight guinea pigs, who need extra fiber for problematic dental issues, or who love lots of seed-heads
Second Cut: Best for most guinea pigs and all ages. This cut has an ideal ratio of stem, seed-head, and leaf. It offers a great balance of nutrients.
Third Cut: Best for picky eaters, older or recovering animals who need to gain some weight, or animals who have mouth pain and need a softer hay.
As you can see, the composition of each hay is different. Its essentially grass that has been prepared or grown in different ways. The result is different hay with different nutritional and energy values.
With longer growing periods the levels of fiber, protein and calcium change as the grass begins to develop seed heads. For the most part the longer a grass grows the less protein and higher fiber and calcium that is provided.
2nd cut Timothy hay is considered the best for most guinea pigs. Its a little softer and has a larger leaf structure than other cuttings.
In Summary: Select the Best Timothy Hay for Your Pet
Timothy hay is an absolute necessity for your guinea pig. You should be providing it liberally and ensuring that your guinea pig is consuming plenty of it. The best way to do this is to always seek out the best options. If you go with any of the hand-picked options above, which have fantastic reviews from other guinea pig owners, you and your guinea pig will be in great stead.
For most healthy guinea pigs, the Small Pet Select Hay will likely be the best choice. It is the best quality, gives you different buying options, can be stored easily and guinea pigs respond really well to it.
FarmerDaves is another excellent organic option that comes in at second place only down to the higher price and less size options.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.