Guinea pigs are fairly low maintenance pets. The owners of these cute rodents know that in addition to granular feed, hay must be included in the animal’s diet. It would seem, what is the problem? Indeed, in the warm season, there is a lot of grass on lawns and lawns. But by no means every plant is suitable for drying and subsequent consumption by guinea pigs. The article will discuss how to choose and prepare hay correctly, as well as how to make hay for guinea pigs with your own hands.
The benefits of hay
It is very important for guinea pigs to get dry grass daily. For animals, it is a source of plant fibers. In addition, the guinea pigs wear down their teeth on the hard stems.
How many times a day, and in what quantity to use dried grass, the pet decides for himself. It depends on his well-being and needs.
Therefore, hay in a small amount should always be in the cage.so that the pig, feeling the need, can come up and eat the amount of grass that she needs.
It is for these purposes that the house of guinea pigs must be equipped with a sennik.
If it is winter outside and there is no way to find fresh plants, ready-made dried hay for pets can be purchased at pet stores or ordered online. It contains plants that are safe for guinea pigs and is fully prepared for animal consumption.
Well, if summer is in full swing, you can collect the grass yourself, while adhering to the following rules.
- The plants that you will harvest should be away from major cities, highways and highways.
- Do not collect weed near industrial enterprises, as well as in areas where livestock grazes.
- Only healthy-looking plants with a bright green color should be selected. Stems and leaves should not be affected by parasites or diseases.
- Grass that has already dried up on the vine is not suitable for harvesting.
- It is desirable that the collection includes alfalfa and timothy. These herbs are rich in useful trace elements and have a positive effect on the digestive system of rodents.
Plants that can harm guinea pigs:
- lily of the valley;
- horse chestnut;
After harvesting, the grass must be laid out to dry in a dry room. Under it should lay a fabric or sheet of white drawing paper. You can also line the drying area with a few sheets of plain white paper. It is not advisable to use newspapers for the substrate. Ink from printed pages peels off very easily and can stick to blades of grass. Harvested hay should not be exposed to direct sunlight.
Periodically, the grass should be a little teddy and turned over so that the stems dry better and more evenly.
Drying lasts until all stems become dull and brittle. After that, the hay must be transferred to a cloth bag. This will help to avoid the possible formation and growth of mold.
How to make a sennik?
You can build a hay holder yourself. Materials for its manufacture can be very diverse. If you rummage on the mezzanine or in the pantry, you will surely find there something from which you can make a feeder for your rodent. Next, several options for a sennik for a guinea pig cage or house will be presented.
- Dry herb holder from a cardboard box. Any undamaged and undeformed cardboard container will do. The choice of size depends on the dimensions of the pet’s house. Cut off the top and one of the sides, leaving 5-7 millimeters of the rim along the bottom edge. Make symmetrical holes on the sides of the box. Then it will be necessary to insert a flexible wire into them and fix the sennik on the wall of the house or pig’s cage.
- The dried grass holder can be built from plywood or boards. Take the parts you need in size and glue them in the shape of a box with three sides. Such a sennik can be placed at the bottom of the cage, if the area allows. Or, as in the previous example, fix it on the wall of the house.
- Fabric canopy. Find two pieces of strong cotton fabric measuring approximately 20×20 cm. Fold them right side in. In the middle, draw and cut out two circles of small diameter. These holes will later serve as windows for the pigs to supply dry grass. Sew pieces of material along three sides, leaving the top edges free. You will get a small bag with two holes on the sides. Sew handles to it and hang it from the bars of the cage.
- Sennik can be made from a small plastic bottle. Cut off one of the edges where the neck meets the bulge. On the side of the bottle, cut a rectangular hole into which the hay will be placed. Attach the finished sennik to the wall of the house with a flexible wire.
- A very simple version of a sennik built using a plastic kitchen container. Take a small container and remove the lid from it. Fill the container with hay and attach it with clothespins or clerical clips to the bars of the cage from the outside. The mechanism of operation of such a sennik is very simple. The blades of grass will lie in the container, and the guinea pigs will be able to easily get the right amount of grass through the bars of the cage.
- The last version of the sennik is more of a fun toy for a pet, but still serves as a supply of dry grass. Take an old unwanted sock. Stuff it with hay and sew it up. Leave the toy in the cage with the pets. Because of the smell of dried grass, guinea pigs will get carried away with a grass-filled sock and start playing with it. Pretty soon they will be able to break it and eat the hay inside.
Regardless of which guinea pig kennel you choose, most importantly, do not forget to regularly fill it with dried grass.
Also carefully monitor the quality of the hay you feed your pets. If it shows signs of mold or rot, the grass should not be given to pigs, it should be thrown away.
To learn how to make a guinea pig hay with your own hands, see the video below.