The 5 Best Hays For Chinchillas
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The key to keeping your chinchilla healthy is to provide it with a balanced diet. Chinchillas are herbivores, so they subsist primarily on plant foods – especially hay. A commercial pellet is the best staple diet for your chinchilla, but you should also provide fresh hay. Fresh hay helps keep your chinchilla’s teeth worn down and also supports its digestive system being high in fiber.
In this article, we’ll talk about your chinchilla’s nutritional needs and how important it is to provide fresh hay. We’ll also show you our top 5 picks for the best hay for chinchillas.
Quick Look at Our Top Picks
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
Compare Best Hay For Chinchillas
1. Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting Timothy Hay Pet Food
2. Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay Small Animal Food
Best For Sensitive Digestion
3. Kaytee First Cut Timothy Hay Small Animal Food
Best High Protein
4. Oxbow Alfalfa Hay Small Animal Food
Best For Budget
5. Kaytee Timothy Hay Plus Variety Pack
Hand-selected, delivered fresh
Hand-selected, soft texture, no additives
High Fiber, High-Protein
Three pack of flavors
What To Look For In Hay For Guinea Pigs?
Chinchillas enjoy a variety of different types of hay, though some are more nutritious than others. Timothy hay is the best type of hay for chinchillas, though alfalfa hay is usually sweeter and richer in certain nutrients. Your best bet is to offer a variety of different types of fresh hay, making sure that the hay you offer is always fresh. You may want to buy your hay in smaller packages so you can ensure that it is all eaten while it is still fresh.
Here are some important things to look for in guinea pig hay:
- All-natural, no additives. The only ingredient you should see in chinchilla hay is the specific type of hay – timothy hay, orchard grass, or alfalfa hay, for example. Your chinchilla’s pellets will be complete and balanced to provide for your chinchilla’s nutritional needs.
- Second or third cutting. Each time hay is cut, it grows in a little softer. First cut is very coarse with many heads while second cut is a mix of softer, leafy hay. Most chinchillas prefer second or third cut hay, so check the label.
- Delivered fresh. Your chinchilla hay needs to be delivered fresh and it should remain fresh until your pet eats it. This means that packaging and shipping time is important.
- Added treats. Some small pet hays are infused with dried fruits or vegetables, herbs, or other treats. These options are okay, but fresh hay should be the primary ingredient.
Our Top Picks For The Best Hay For Chinchillas
Now that you have a better idea what to look for in chinchilla hay, it’s time to start shopping! Keep reading to see our top 5 picks for the best hay for chinchillas.
Small Pet Select 2nd Cutting Timothy Hay Pet Food
- Type: Timothy Hay
- Amount: 10 pounds
- Benefits: Hand-selected, delivered fresh
- High-quality, premium timothy hay
- Soft texture, leafy with soft stems
- No added ingredients, just fresh hay
- Quality and freshness may vary between shipments
- May be too much to use before freshness is lost
Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay Small Animal Food
- Type: Orchard Grass
- Amount: 40 ounces
- Benefits: Hand-selected, soft texture, no additives
Dry Matter Basis
- Hand-selected for guaranteed quality
- Soft texture with fragrant aroma
- Single ingredient with no additives
- Freshness may vary from one shipment to another
Kaytee First Cut Timothy Hay Small Animal Food
- Type: Hay
- Amount: 6.5 lbs.
- Benefits: High Fiber
- Available in first or second cut
- Stay-fresh inner package, arrives fresh
- Hand-selected for stem-to-leaf ratio
- Some bags arrive finely shredded and dusty
Oxbow Alfalfa Hay Small Animal Food
- Type: Alfalfa hay
- Amount: 15 ounces
- Benefits: High Fiber, High-Protein
Dry Matter Basis
- Delivered fresh in a mess-free bag
- High in protein and fiber, low in fat
- Sweet flavor and soft texture
- Somewhat more expensive than timothy hay
- Some shipments are dusty and dry
Kaytee Timothy Hay Plus Variety Pack
- Type: Hay
- Amount: 60-oz
- Benefits: Three pack of flavors
- Hand-selected second-cut hay
- Infused with dried treats for variety
- Ideal leaf-to-stem ratio and delivered fresh
- Some chinchillas may pick out the treats and ignore the hay
- Some shipments arrive dusty and dry
Tips For Feeding Chinchillas
Chinchillas are known for having very sensitive digestive systems, so it is important that you don’t change your pet’s diet very often. This means that you should take the time to select the best chinchilla food possible the first time around. A high-quality chinchilla food will be complete and balanced for optimal nutrition, fortified with essential nutrients, and it should taste good for your chinchilla.
Here are some other tips for feeding your chinchilla:
- Choose a high-quality chinchilla pellet as the staple of your pet’s diet – these are complete and balanced in every bite.
- Buy your chinchilla food in fairly small bags so it stays fresh – make sure you choose a product with a resealable bag as well.
- Make sure 80% to 90% of your chinchilla’s diet comes from commercial pellets with loose feed and treats as 10% of the diet.
- Provide your chinchilla with small amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, avoiding sugary snacks like yogurt drops that you find at the pet store.
- Make sure your chinchilla has access to unlimited amounts of fresh hay, mixing up the type of hay once in a while for varied nutrition.
In addition to following these tips, be sure to provide your chinchilla with fresh water. Rinse and refill your chinchilla’s water bottle at least once day and make sure it is always full.
A commercial pellet is the best staple diet for your chinchilla because it will be complete and balanced in terms of nutrition. These pellets are fortified with vitamins and minerals to provide for your chinchilla’s needs, but fresh hay is just as important. If you’re still not sure where to start in looking for chinchilla hay, try out one of the top 5 best chinchilla hays we’ve reviewed above. Good luck!