Hay is an essential part of your guinea pig’s diet, and it is important to make hay available to your pet at all times.
But you can’t just toss a fistful of hay in your guinea pig’s enclosure and call it a day. This can allow the hay to become contaminated by urine, feces and spilled water, which will encourage bacteria and fungi to grow on the food. The hay may even start to decompose, which may make your pet sick and cause the cage to stink.
Fortunately, there’s an easy fix: Just use a hay rack to keep your pet’s fodder clean and off the cage floor. A hay rack will also allow you to figure out how much hay your guinea pig has left and when you need to provide him with a bit more.
We’ll try to help you find a good hay rack for your guinea pig below.
Hay Rack Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for When Picking a Hay Rack
Hay racks come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles, and there are a variety of options available on the market. However, not all hay racks are created equally, so you’ll want to be sure to choose carefully. This will help ensure that you end up with a hay rack that is not only safe but works well too.
Some of the things you’ll want to think about when picking a hay rack include:
Pick the Best Style for Your Needs
Some hay racks are designed to hold hay and pellets while others only hold hay. Neither style is inherently better than the other, but you’ll want to be sure to pick the one that you prefer.
Pick a Hay Rack That Is Easy to Clean
It is important to select a rack that is easy to clean. Failing to do so eliminates the entire reason you are using a hay rack in the first place. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to avoid damaging the feeder.
Avoid Hay Racks That May Trap Your Pet
Safety is an important consideration when selecting a hay rack for your guinea pig. Some racks contain openings that may trap your pet’s head, causing him to become stuck. Just select a feeding rack that either has very small openings, so your pet can’t stick his head through, or large openings, so his head won’t become trapped.
Make Sure the Rack You Select Will Fit Your Enclosure
Most modern hay racks are designed to fit any metal wire enclosure, but it is important to double check before you make your purchase. Just be sure to check out the size of the connectors, as well as the overall size of the feeder to ensure it will fit.
Avoid Feeders with Sharp Edges or Hardware
You don’t want your pet to become injured by his new feeder, so be sure to avoid any that feature sharp surfaces, such as nails or screws. Instead, look for feeders that are as smooth as possible to keep your pet safe.
The Six Best Hay Racks for Your Guinea Pig
The following six hay racks meet most of the criteria addressed above and any of them should work well for your pet. We’ll talk about each in greater detail below.
The Small Pet Select Hay Manager is a simple, no-frills hay manger that is designed to keep your pet’s hay off the floor and provide easy access, so your pet can munch away whenever he likes.
This manger is made from only natural, unfinished wood and rope — it doesn’t include any screws, nails or glue, which may injure your pet. It is also very easy to set up, load and use. Simply pull the panels apart, insert some hay and you’re done! Your guinea pig can access the hay via the round holes on the front panel.
You can set the Small Pet Select Hay Manger up anywhere in your pet’s enclosure, but many owners find it helpful to place it over the litterbox. This manger is available in two sizes, but the manufacturer recommends the larger size for guinea pigs.
The Mkono Hay Feeder is a plastic and metal feeding rack designed to minimize wasted hay. It features a tray at the bottom, which will catch and contain the tiny pieces of hay that fall from your pet’s mouth.
To set this feeder up, you’ll simply attach it to the side of your pet’s enclosure, and then fill it with hay. A metal, spring-loaded gate will keep the hay in place, while a two-piece locking mechanism on the back ensures the feeder will remain attached safely to the cage.
The plastic used in the rack’s construction is durable and easy to keep clean, and a steel guard is affixed to the lip to prevent your pet from chewing on the plastic. The manufacturer warns that it is important to review the rack’s dimensions before ordering, to ensure it fits your pet’s enclosure.
The Kaytee Hay and Food Bin Feeder is a combination unit, designed to keep your guinea pig’s food and hay in the same place. The feeder features a tray-like bin at the bottom to hold your pet’s pellets, while a metal wire rack is situated above the bin and holds your pet’s hay securely in place. A pair of quick-lock carabiners allow you to suspend the feeder from the walls of your pet’s enclosure with ease.
This combination-style design is a wonderful way to save space in your pet’s enclosure. Additionally, because the bin will help catch little pieces of hay as they fall from your pet’s mouth, it’ll also help reduce the amount of hay your pet wastes.
The Kaytee Hay and Food Bin Feeder is made from a wood-plastic composite, which means it will not only last for years, but that it is easy to keep clean too.
The Niteangel Double-Use Feeder is a combination manger that will hold your pet’s hay as well as his pellets. Made from all-natural wood, this feeder comes with a tray designed to hold your pet’s pellets, while a wooden fence keeps his hay clean and out of the way.
The Niteangel Double-Use Feeder is designed with your pet’s safety in mind, as the wooden fence features relatively small openings. This way, your pet can still access his hay with ease, yet he’ll probably not be able to fit his head through the openings. This will prevent him from becoming trapped by the feeder.
You can attach this feeder directly to the side of your pet’s enclosure. Simply thread the rear-mounted screw through the bars, and then tighten the wingnut-and-washer locking mechanism with your fingers.
The SunGrow Hay Feeder Rack is a simple, yet effective feeding rack, that will help keep your guinea pig’s food clean, dry and off the floor of the enclosure. Unlike some other feeders, which are designed to contain pellets and hay, this is a hay-only feeder, which is perfect for owners that want to use two separate feeding devices.
This feeding rack is made from hard, durable plastic to ensure that it is easy to clean and will last for years. A spring-loaded metal grate holds the hay in place and makes it easy to add or remove hay as necessary. A metal lip is attached to the front of the unit to prevent your pet from chewing the plastic.
It’s easy to install the SunGrow Hay Feeder Rack, just attach it to the sides of your pet’s wire enclosure and then connect the locking mechanism to keep it secure.
The zswell Hay and Food Bin Feeder is a flexible, supremely durable manger that should last for years. In fact, the product is actually backed by the manufacturer’s lifetime warranty – if you’re unsatisfied for any reason, you can return the feeder for a full refund.
This combination hay-and-pellet feeder is designed to hold your guinea pig’s hay as well as a daily supply of pellets. You can simply pour your pet’s pellets in the bottom tray and stick his hay behind the metal retaining fence to keep it secure, yet easy to access. The feeder is easy to attach to the side of your pet’s wire enclosure, thanks to the included cross-screw fixation device.
Additionally, this feeder is easy to clean, and it comes with a metal lip guard to prevent your pet from chewing on the plastic.
It is very important to provide your guinea pig with hay, but you’ll definitely want to use a hay rack when doing so. This will ensure your pet’s forage stays clean and delicious. Any of the six hay racks listed above should work, so just try to pick the one that you think will best suit your pet’s individual needs.
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