Earlier this week, we discussed dangerous hay racks and hay setups, but didn’t get to cover the good types of hay racks or give examples of the best options.
Below are three different examples of great hay racks/dispensers as well as alternatives to the hay rack idea/design.
Three Examples of Best in Design
I have seen many people talk about this and/or use them. Some make it themselves (or a version of it) and others will buy them online. Here are two examples of great buyable hay feeders/racks.
Why it works: Bars are close enough to ensure no guinea pigs could get stuck, including their little noses. There is a cover on the top that is secure (from what I’ve read) so guinea pigs cannot be stuck inside it.
Why it works: From the C&C cage, take an extra mental grid and attach it to the cage after bending it. Guinea pigs won’t get stuck or get through it (provided you get the correct grids for the rest of the cage as well). With added leftover chloroplast, you can create a bottom and a backing to help keep hay right where you want it. While this can be a DIY, you can also buy pre-made ones. It’s also high enough that they cannot make it to the top, get in, and get stuck.
Why it works: The opening is wide enough for a guinea pig to get the hay but not become stuck. Ensure that the edges are not sharp on the plastic so they cannot hurt themselves. Assuming this (though most are not sharp), the top also is high enough that a guinea pig cannot get into the top and get stuck inside of it. Also, there is nothing that a guinea pig’s teeth can get stuck on/around.
What if I don’t want to deal with hay racks at all (whether buying them or making DIY ones)??
There are other options that guinea pigs love and really enjoy. These are a few of your options (with pictures below).
Hay Room: Guinea pigs are able to munch there and you can have a liner to soak up any pee. From a friend’s experience, their guinea pig always used it as litter box. However, this is a great option when fleece is involved since it keeps the hay from the fleece at least a little bit and it still looks really nice. You can make this out of C&C to make a room, an old storage bin, wood, or just have something set as a divider to help keep the hay from the rest of the bedding (whether regular bedding or fleece).
Cardboard/Plastic Hay Box/Basket: Much like the Hay Room, this is a great option because it allows easy access to the hay and it’s safe to use. The same problem exists that they may use it as a litter box. When the cardboard is soiled, you can just throw it out. If it is plastic, you can wash it. The only concern with this was that while my guineas loved it to pieces (both as a toilet and for food – but never a bed), I found that unless you secure it properly to the ground somehow, they WILL flip it over and the hay can fly everywhere.
Bedding with Hay on Top: Not recommended if one is using fleece. Hay can become stuck to the fabric and be a pain to clean off, we like to call it stubborn. This is especially true if you are not using 100 Polyester Anti-Pill fleece.
However, if your guineas love using it as a bedding material, this is an option that you may like to try. I would recommend it for people using bedding (i.e. paper bedding or wood bedding) and not for those who use fleece.
Note: Do NOT use hay on its own as bedding since it does not have absorbing qualities and can mold over time!
(Photo Courtesy of Squeak Dreams on youtube)
(Photo Courtesy of CaliCavyCollective)
Note: If you are allergic to hay, these options may not be the best for you, especially if you cuddle with your guinea pigs frequently. Also, additional cleaning and care needs to be taken with these options since it allows guinea pigs to use the hay area as a toilet as well as for food. Soiled hay should be taken care of and changed out daily.
Even these dogs are all ears up for these!