Choosing High Quality Timothy Hay For Your PetsThe natural diet for wild rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs consists of approximately 80% grass and leafy plants. Timothy hay makes a great substitute for these missing ingredients when these small creatures are domesticated as pets. These animals are herbivores, which means they primarily feed on plants. Their health may suffer without plants in their diet.
Timothy hay is available in many pet supply stores as loose bags of dried hay, compressed blocks or compressed pellets. The most common is a compressed block of hay that can be cut or picked apart to feed your pets.
When shopping for Timothy hay, look for hay that is very green in color and smells fresh. Any hay that does not smell fresh or gives off strange odors may be moldy. Be aware that moldy hay can be hazardous to your pet's health. Hay that is not green may have been sub-bleached, which reduces the nutritional value.
These quick tests will probably only work for loose hay or compressed blocks. It also helps to look for dates on packages of hay or hay pellets to avoid buying old inventory. The date on any package should not be older than one year. In order to assure of a healthy diet, always make sure that your pet has an adequate supply of Timothy hay, fresh vegetables and clean water.