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Grass Hays - What are the differences?

Small Animal Pet Supplies

Grasses such as Timothy, Orchard, and Bermuda are herbages that naturally grow or are grown under cultivation and have jointed stems with narrow to wider leaves (blades) depending on the plant. Most grasses have a soft green to gray/brownish color depending on growing and harvesting conditions and storage of the product. Kaytee sources premium high quality Timothy, Orchard, and Bermuda grass hays in areas where moistures are controlled by irrigation and harvested under optimum conditions resulting in greener, richer quality grass hay products.

Grasses are high in fiber and provide lower levels of protein and calcium compared to alfalfa. Grasses will have similar values of protein, fiber, and calcium depending on where they are grown and the harvesting conditions.

Timothy Hay

Timothy Hay

Alfalfa Hay

Alfalfa Hay
Kaytee Hay

Orchard Grass

Kaytee’s premium Timothy, Orchard, and Bermuda grasses aid in the natural digestive process of small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas; compliment their daily diets and provide a healthy variety to animals.

Rabbits in particular have a digestive tract that is among the most delicate and sensitive of any animal and benefit from the long-strand fibers in grasses. They have a simple stomach like most pets, but are hindgut fermenters, with a specialized cecum that breaks down indigestible fiber into fatty acids, an important energy source. Gastrointestinal disease caused by low fiber intake is one of the most common feeding problems of house rabbits.

Grasses are high in fiber, lower in protein and calcium compared to alfalfa, therefore grasses are a preferred choice for rabbits and other small animals to help prevent urinary and obesity problems. Alfalfa with higher protein and calcium is recommended for pregnant, lactating, or young, growing rabbits and animals.

Feeding a variety of grasses stimulates the animal’s senses, provides the natural fiber needed to aid in digestion, and increases the animal’s foraging instinct. Grasses are also offered to other small mammals and birds as they will benefit from the fiber source, chewing material, and can be used as nesting material.

To complete your small animal or bird’s diet, feed Kaytee’s nutritionally fortified daily diets such as exact®, Forti-Diet® or Fiesta®.

For assistance with any questions regarding this information or for more information on any Kaytee products, please visit the Contact Us web page.

Ask the Small Animal Experts