You know your pet rabbit, guinea pig or chinchilla needs unlimited hay to keep them happy and healthy. Hay ensures their digestive systems work properly, can help maintain their teeth and help relieve boredom.
The Kaytee team created hay products with your small animal pet in mind. The hay is grown for optimum quality and specifically for the needs of small animal pets. Plus, it's conveniently packaged in quantities just right for easy feeding.
With all the hay options available, which is the right one for your small animal? Let's look at some of these choices and how they benefit your pet.
When you think of grass, you probably visualize it as short and sparse, like a lawn. But grasses intended to grow for hay can grow very tall. Timothy — one of the most popular grasses for hay — is one of these. Standard timothy grows a thick stalk that provides fiber and broad leaves for a protein source. And the entire plant is topped with a seed head that looks like a tiny cattail. It's well-known and a popular choice for small pet parents — it's lower in protein and higher in fiber than alfalfa, which means it's essential in keeping a small animal's digestive system healthy.
In addition to the standard timothy hay, Kaytee also offers additional choices. Kaytee First Cut Timothy Hay is harvested earlier in the season when the plants are at the height of maturity. This results in hay with longer stems, more seed heads and a lower protein and fat content. It can be a good choice for supporting dental and digestive health in small animals.
Second cuttings occur later in the season after the hay field has regrown somewhat from the first cutting. The result, Kaytee Second Cut Timothy Hay, is softer hay with shorter stems and a slightly higher protein and fat content than first cut. Many pets enjoy the taste of second-cutting hay. Remember, the terms "first cut" and "second cut" aren't rankings of superiority. These are different options to choose from depending on the tastes and textures your pet prefers, as well as any nutritional needs indicated by your veterinarian.
For extra convenience, Kaytee offers Wafer Cut Timothy Hay, which conveniently peels apart in layers — making it easy to feed and minimizing mess. Like all timothy hay, it's higher in fiber content and lower in calcium and protein than other foraging grasses, giving you another option to fit your small pet's individual needs.
Finally, you might like to add additional flavors and textures to your pet's meal. You can easily accomplish this with the line of Kaytee Timothy Plus products, which combine nutritious timothy grass hay with an assortment of supplemental ingredients. Pets can benefit from the mental enrichment of foraging for carrots, cranberries, marigolds, mint or rose and thyme in their hay, and each individual ingredient offers its own unique benefits and textures.
When grown as a forage crop, orchard grass also grows quite tall, though not as tall as timothy. It features a long stem, wide leaf blades and seed heads with plump seeds that alternate on each side of the stem. Kaytee Orchard Grass has a high fiber content (similar to timothy hay) to help support digestive health. But orchard grass is softer in texture than timothy hay. So, if you're looking for hay to keep your pet's dental health in check, consider mixing this with timothy hay. Orchard grass tends to have a nice sweet (fruity!) scent and can help to stimulate and encourage your pet's foraging instincts.
Alfalfa isn't a grass. It's a legume in the same plant family as peas or beans. When dried into hay, alfalfa smells absolutely wonderful — very sweet and appealing to small pets. The stems of alfalfa can become quite stiff when dried, so it's a good, munchable snack for pets. Like other legumes, alfalfa produces small blossoms.
Alfalfa provides plenty of protein and calcium, which is excellent for young, growing animals and reproducing females. Kaytee offers convenient Alfalfa Mini Bales for small pets that are easy to feed and can help support your pet's dental health. It can also offer your pet a little change of pace as a yummy treat.
Wild Meadow Hay Blend
In nature, the different forage grasses can often be found growing together. And this may be the way your small pet would eat them if they lived in the wild. You can offer your pet hay that resembles this natural mix with Kaytee Wild Meadow Hay Blend, combining timothy, alfalfa and orchard grass. The high fiber content supports your pet's digestive health, while the blend of flavors can be appealing to pets and can encourage natural foraging instincts.
Hay for Happy, Healthy Pets!
Eating hay provides many nutritional and digestive benefits for small pets, and it helps keep them entertained and enriched. Offering your pet unlimited hay is a staple to the diet of your rabbit, guinea pig or chinchilla — it helps keep them healthy and happy! And you can find the perfect variety of choices with Kaytee, including timothy, orchard grass and alfalfa hay. Your small pet will thank you!