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The 10 Best Hays For Chinchillas

Chinchillas, like many tiny rodent pets, require a consistent diet of hay to keep their teeth clean and their digestive tract balanced. Hay may account for up to 75% of a chinchilla's diet, so it's critical to select a high-quality brand devoid of dangerous chemicals and preservatives. There are also several types of hay, and you may have concerns about feeding it to your cat.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has picked the best hays for chinchillas to share with you so you can understand how much one brand might differ from the next, as well as what we like and dislike about each one.

We've also included a brief buyer's guide in which we'll go over the many varieties of hay available as well as the nutritional needs of your pet chinchilla.

Reviews

Timothy Hay Kaytee Natural

The finest overall hay for chinchillas is Kaytee Natural Timothy Hay. This product is made from high-quality, single-ingredient timothy hay.

It has a lot of fiber, which helps keep your pet’s digestive tract operating smoothly, and it’s low in calcium, which lowers the chances of your pet developing unpleasant bladder stones.

It also has the ideal combination of leaves and stems to improve tooth health while offering nutritious nourishment.

The only issue we had when testing Kaytee Natural Timothy Hay was that some pieces were cut shorter than others, and majority of our chinchillas preferred the longer stems and pushed the shorter ones away.

Pros

  • Single-ingredient
  • High in fiber
  • Calcium deficiency
  • The ideal leaf-to-stem ratio

Cons

  • A few tiny chunks

 

Timothy Sweet Grass Hay by Vitakraft

The finest hay for chinchillas for the money is Vitakraft Timothy Sweet Grass Hay. This brand uses sweet timothy hay that has been hand-selected to ensure the greatest quality.

It has no artificial colors, chemicals, or preservatives and is high in fiber to help regulate your pet’s digestive tract.

The one disadvantage of utilizing Vitakraft Timothy Sweet Grass Hay was that some of our chinchillas refused to eat it for some reason. We tried numerous packets and received the same results.

Pros

  • High in fiber
  • Hand-selected
  • There are no pesticides or preservatives.

Cons

  • Some pets dislike it.

 

Timothy Hay Rabbit Hole Second Cut

Second Cut Rabbit Hole Hay Timothy Hay is our premium chinchilla hay, and we feel it is one of the best products if you have the money. It has a good roughage nutrition balance and tall stems, seed heads, and flat leaves.

This hay is strong in fiber, which helps to balance the digestive system, and low in calcium and protein, which can lead to stone formation. This cuisine encourages side-to-side chewing and aids in the maintenance of oral health.

We enjoyed using the Rabbit Hole Hay Second Cut Timothy Hay while evaluating it, and we went through several batches. The only issue was that not all of the batches were consistent. Some were dusty, while others were a touch browner and had shorter fragments.

Pros

  • Roughage and nutrient balance
  • High in fiber
  • Protein and calcium deficiency
  • Encourages side-to-side chewing
  • Long stems, seed heads, and flat leaves are present.

Cons

  • Inconsistent

 

The Oxbow Western Hay, Timothy

Oxbow Western Timothy Hay is a hand-sorted natural timothy hay brand. This brand is made entirely of Timothy hay, with no preservatives or dangerous pesticides used in the growing process.

The hay is carefully sorted to produce a higher quality, more consistent product with fewer dust than other brands. Our chinchillas liked this high fiber hay since it was tasty.

What we didn’t like about Oxbow Western Timothy Hay was that, despite manual sorting, the hay quality varied significantly from batch to batch. Although it is still less duty, some batches dry with brown stains.

Pros

  • High in fiber
  • There are no preservatives.
  • Hand-sorted

Cons

  • Varying levels of quality

 

Timothy Hay Wafer-Cut Kaytee

Kaytee Timothy Hay Wafer-Cut is completely natural and chemical-free. It is high in fiber, which helps to regulate your pet’s digestive tract.

The hay is sun-cured and chopped into a shorter, easier-to-peel wafer form. It also aids in the promotion of oral health.

The main disadvantage of utilizing the Kaytee Timothy Hay Wafer-Cut brand was that there was a lot of brown, dried out hay in each of the batches we tried. Our chinchillas would toss this hay away, wasting it.

Pros

  • Chemical-free and all-natural
  • High in fiber
  • Healed by the sun
  • Encourages oral health

Cons

  • There’s a lot of brown hay.

 

Timothy hay from Sweet Meadow Farm

Chinchillas require a fiber-rich diet that includes mostly of hay, such as Timothy hay. Sweet Meadow Farm Timothy Hay is second-cutting and includes 32.1% fiber, making it suitable for your chinchilla’s nutritional requirements.

This hay comes in three container sizes ranging from 20 ounces to 9 pounds. It’s grown and packaged on a small family farm that doesn’t use pesticides on its Timothy hay, making it healthy for animals like chinchillas.

It has a sweet flavor and a silky texture that will appeal to your chinchilla. This product is excellent for at least a year after opening as long as it is kept dry, and it is highly cost-effective. Unfortunately, if moisture enters the packing, the hay will decay soon.

Pros

  • 32.1% fiber
  • There are three package sizes ranging from 1 to 9 pounds.
  • A tiny, pesticide-free farm grows and packs the product.
  • Sweet and tender
  • If kept dry, it will last at least a year.
  • Cost-effective

Cons

  • When wet, it rots fast.

 

Orchard Grass Oxbow

Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay resembles Timothy Hay but is greener and has a delicious aroma. It’s still abundant in fiber, which promotes digestive health, and chewing the stems and leaves keeps your pet’s teeth in good condition.

This brand is carefully sorted to reduce dust and comes in a variety of quantities, allowing you to acquire enough for as many dogs as you have.

We felt the Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay had too many short, shot strands and not nearly enough larger stems that our chinchillas prefer. These smaller bits also make a bigger mess, and we discovered a lot of dried brown particles in the various batches we tried.

Our chinchillas would pick these bits out, adding to the chaos. Finally, no matter what we did, a handful of our pets will eat this brand.

Pros

  • Green and delicious in scent
  • High in fiber
  • It’s less dusty.
  • Hand-sorted

Cons

  • Short, little strands
  • Some pets will not eat it.
  • There are several brown fragments.

 

Nature’s Promise Western ZuPreem

Nature’s Promise Western ZuPreem Timothy Hay is a sun-cured timothy hay that has been particularly prepared to give optimal nourishment to tiny dogs.

It’s high in protein, which promotes digestive health, and it’s tested before packing to guarantee there are no pesticides in the hay.

The most significant disadvantage we encountered when examining ZuPreem Nature’s Promise Western Timothy Hay was that it was highly dusty and made quite a mess. That package is also pretty little, and once the dust is removed, there isn’t much product left.

Pros

  • Sun-dried Timothy Hay
  • Designed for optimal nutrition
  • Pesticides were tested and monitored.

Cons

  • It’s quite dusty.
  • A compact packaging

Conclusion

For the best hays for chinchillas, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) recommend a brand like our top pick. Kaytee Natural Timothy Hay contains no preservatives or pesticides and only all-natural timothy hay. It has a high fiber-to-calcium ratio and a perfect leaf-to-stem ratio.

If you’re on a limited budget, Vitakraft Timothy Sweet Grass Hay is an excellent alternative to our top pick. This chosen brand is nearly as nice and less expensive.

Buyer's Guide

Let’s go through some of the most crucial factors to consider while selecting hay for chinchillas.

Hay Varieties

Hay is essential for your chinchilla’s health, and you will need to supply it in endless quantities throughout your pet’s life.

Hay aids digestion and aids in the grinding down of your pet’s constantly expanding teeth. Without hay, your pet’s health might swiftly deteriorate. Timothy, alfalfa, and orchard are among the varieties offered.

Timothy

Timothy hay is the most often used and recommended fodder for chinchillas. This hay is strong in fiber while being poor in protein and calcium.

Grass of the Orchard

Because of the increased percentage of digestible fiber in orchard grass, it contains slightly more calories than timothy grass. It also has a greater protein content.

The calcium content of orchard grass is low. This grass is sweeter than timothy grass and can be used as a replacement on occasion.

Alfalfa

Alfalfa is a delicious hay that chinchillas adore, but it has more calcium than the other two kinds, so only feed it as a treat on occasion.

Fiber

Hay includes fiber, which is necessary for your chinchilla’s digestive tract. Your pet has trouble obtaining nourishment from fiber and requires two forms of fiber to be present in its intestines at all times.

These fibers are both digested and ingestible. Hay is the source of indigestible fiber that keeps your pet healthy.

Calcium

Too much calcium in your pet’s food can cause bladder stones, which can be uncomfortable and life-threatening for your pet. We skip alfalfa in favor of timothy hay due to high calcium levels.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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