Top Rated Chinchilla Hay List in 2018 + Buying Guide
If you’re searching for the best chinchilla hay and you don’t know what to pick from the vast array of products available on the market today, we’re here to help. Our team has analyzed most of the highly recommended alternatives out there and after going through hundreds of reviews, we came to the conclusion that the right option would be the Oxbow Grass Hay. Compared to other choices, this one contains less protein and is high in fiber, which means that it is entirely capable of stimulating the digestive health of small rodents and herbivores. If the Oxbow Grass Hay is no longer available, you might want to check out the Small Pet Select Timothy.
Dr. Fox Recommends – Comparison & Yearly Report
Purchasing the best hay for chinchillas is not an easy task, and it is made even more difficult by the wide array of products out there. These pets are far more sensitive compared to others, so it is a good idea to avoid getting cheap chinchilla hay so as to protect their health in the long run.
We know we can’t choose the perfect option for your pet, but we came up with a selection of some that have gathered the appreciation of many other chinchilla owners. If you’re considering getting this type of pet, we recommend doing a little reading on chinchilla cages, excellent beddings for chinchillas, and maybe even find out some interesting things you didn’t know about chinchillas.
Oxbow Grass Hay
One reason that this product is among the top rated ones out there is that it is packaged by Oxbow, one of the most reputable manufacturers of foods for little rodents, as well as other types of pets. This choice doesn’t contain any bad ingredients or contaminants, which makes it a healthy option for small herbivores like rabbits, guinea pigs, and your beloved chinchilla.
The hay is both nutritional and sweet-smelling, so you can rest assured that your pet won’t refuse it without even giving it a try. It is lower in protein than other types and it contains a good amount of fiber, which is essential to keeping the animal’s digestive health on par.
As with other types of hays, there is a bit of variation when it comes to what you will receive. Some bags contain fresh grass while others are composed of stems and might be more or less brown, although perfectly safe to use.Buy from Amazon.com for ($9.28)
Small Pet Select Timothy
This Timothy hay is another option that you should keep in mind if you’re keen on offering only high-quality chinchilla food to your pet. Every batch is hand-selected and packaged only in small batches, so that it remains as fresh as possible. With smaller batches, the development of mildew is also prevented, so that’s one less thing to worry about.
This product is suitable for pet rabbits, guinea pigs, as well as chinchillas. It is fresh and healthy and some buyers have found it to be slightly leafier than other alternatives they have tried in the past. The fiber and texture seem to be between the first and the third cutting, at least based on the info we’ve found about the product.
Another mention that we must make in relation to this choice is that it can be used on all ages. It makes a bit of mess, though, so you need to handle it as best as possible.Buy from Amazon.com for ($29.99)
Oxbow Western Timothy
Similarly to the Small Pet Select alternative we’ve also showcased in this selection, this one is basically Timothy Hay that is recommended for all sorts of small herbivores ranging from pet rabbits to guinea pigs.
From what we have gathered by going through the chinchilla hay reviews garnered by this option, it seems to be more than suitable for this type of animals. It helps grind down their teeth and it improves their digestion in a significant manner, so you’ll finally have the feeling that you’re taking good care of your pet.
The bag that you will receive at your doorstep will last you for a more than reasonable amount of time. We have to add that this product contains no additives or preservatives, and no artificial colors whatsoever. There might be some seed heads and leaves present on the stems, but it’s highly likely that these won’t bother your pet.Buy from Amazon.com for ($9.28)
Kaytee Wafer Cut
One thing that many small herbivore owners are bothered by when they feed hay to their pets is the mess they’re going to make. Even taking it out of the bag can be messy, let alone the amount of clutter that will make it more difficult for you to clean the cage, or you’ll just have to do it more often.
Fortunately, you won’t have to go through the same trouble if you decide to go for the Kaytee hay, and that’s because it’s been wafer cut. What that means is that you’re going to be able to take it out of the packaging conveniently and easily, thereby making a lot less mess.
This product has lower calcium and protein compared to other types, and so it is more than capable of maintaining the urinary health of the rodent. It’s high in fiber and it supports the digestive health of the animal.Buy from Amazon.com for ($14.97)
Living World Timothy
If you’d like to try a new variety of hay and you aren’t sure whether or not your pet might enjoy it, it might be a good idea to give the Living World alternative a shot. After all, it comes in a 20-ounce packaging, so you won’t have a lot of it go to waste if the animal doesn’t appreciate it.
This hay is rich in fiber and it has a crunchy texture, and we all know how chinchillas love everything to be as chewy and crunchy as possible. So, it’s very likely that your own is going to love it.
There are no artificial colors or preservatives present in the composition. With the help of the high fiber content in this hay, you’ll be able to get rid of some issues such as bloating or the presence of excessive intestinal gas. But beware, this one isn’t the cheapest alternative in the line.Buy from Amazon.com for ($12.45)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
Getting good hay for chinchillas nowadays can be a daunting task. One thing that we would suggest before you start prospecting the market is to do a lot of research on the nutritional needs of a chinchilla. Your new pet doesn’t have the same dietary requirements as other small animals, and if you take the time to go through some forums, you’ll notice that there aren’t actually a lot of things you can feed to him or her.
We’ve created a short guide you might find useful if you have no idea what you’re supposed to look for in hay. While you’re at it, you might as well read our guide on chinchilla wheels and how they’re supposed to be to avoid posing health risks to this species.
Types of hay
There are roughly two kinds of hay you’ll find available for sale these days — Timothy and alfalfa. While the second is usually recommended for younger rodents, those aged under four months, Timothy hay works for all ages.
Why is there this difference? The short answer to this question is that alfalfa hay contains a lot more fiber and calcium compared to the Timothy variety, and it is not healthy for adults in the long run.
Protein and calcium are essential if you want to provide your pet with a healthy start to life, but they can become unhealthy and actually dangerous to an adult’s urinary system, for example.
If you do have a younger chinchilla, alfalfa might be a good alternative, but if you definitely want to avoid any issue, we would recommend mixing the two until the animal becomes an adult and you switch to Timothy hay entirely.
First, second, and third cutting
While with some rodents such as guinea pigs, you’ll notice that leafy greens are some of their favorite foods to snack on, this doesn’t occur with chinchillas. Chinchillas are chewers and they love toys made out of wood on which they can grind their teeth, for example.
That’s why the third cutting, for instance, might not be preferred by the animal. The first is great because it contains a lot more stems, so it is the healthiest. But the second is excellent as well, although you have to make sure that it isn’t particularly leafy, because we all know that chinchillas born in captivity have a hard time digesting leafy greens — unlike their wild counterparts.
Packaging and ingredients
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are brands that have made a name out of manufacturing small animal food over time, and that’s because they’ve always had great care while selecting the ingredients and packaging them.
With the packaging, there are a plethora of things that can go wrong. Hand-packaged varieties are the best because there’s a human eye that can detect things like tiny wires or other contaminants that could hurt your chinchilla’s mouth badly. Think about it – in most factories, there isn’t a scanner that can make the difference between such contaminants and the actual hay.
As for the ingredients, make sure to always read the specs and information provided by the brand and ensure that the hay you buy doesn’t contain any colors, preservatives, or artificial substances of any kind.