Teaching the Importance of Hay
Grass hay, a source of long-strand fiber, is absolutely vital to the digestive health of your small herbivore. It prevents obesity, dental disease, boredom and diarrhea. Popular types of grass hay include: Meadow Hay, Orchard Grass, and Timothy Hay.
Hay selecting tips for small herbivore pet owners:
• Volume: Hay should make up the majority of your pet's daily diet.
• Variety: Resist offering the same hay. Mix it up.
• Variability: Hay is a product of nature; it will look and feel different.
• Values: Pair with a company that is committed to your pet's health.
Good Hay is the Way to Good Health
About 75% of your pet's diet should be "free choice" hay.
What is "free choice?"
"Free choice" means that guinea pigs, rabbits and other small herbivores can choose when to eat the hay you provide-at any hour of the day or night. Keep a variety of hays stocked in a feeder or box at all times.
Offering a variety helps meet the nutritional needs and taste preferences of different species, personalities, life stages and sizes of animals. Other than keeping your small animal from getting bored, it also promotes healthy eating behaviors. Most grass hays have similar nutrients and can used interchangeably, but they offer different flavors, colors, and textures.
Alternating hay varieties ensures that your pet won't refuse hay if the color or texture of their current favorite changes, which happens naturally from time to time. A change in color doesn't necessarily indicate a change in quality.
Do I have to feed hay?
Feeding hay to an herbivore is not an option; it is a necessity. A high quality grass hay should be available at all times. Hay not only provides the roughage essential to maintaining proper teeth wear, but it is vital to maintaining a healthy, functioning gastrointestinal system. Herbivores need a diet high in fiber and low in carbohydrates to prevent diarrhea and other digestive complications.
Yes, you have to feed hay.
Article Credit: http://www.oxbowanimalhealth.com/