Here's the deal. I'm allergic to timothy hay. Does anyone have any suggestions to cope with this? Timothy alternatives? My current vet is an imbecile, as he's now proven with some written advice he gave me through email. (Yes my vet does email consultations, but not for actual major issues. Only for little questions such as finding hay alternatives.)
He suggested I put them on purely alfalfa, as the alfalfa didn't give me that much trouble. From what I hear, that's a TERRIBLE idea, because it's bad for their digestion and should really only be fed to young pigs and pregnant pigs. Is this incorrect or is my vet really the cavy idiot he's starting to prove himself to be?
Would Orchard Grass be a proper alternative to timothy hay? What is the difference between Orchard Grass and Timothy hay? Has anyone ever had experience with someone being allergic to Orchard Grass?
P.S. To anyone who read my long arse post in which I actually considered taking the advice of this idiot and rehoming my pigs (his alternative to switching to alfalfa for my health), please forgive. I was panicked at the thought and reacted in fear of losing my babies because of my allergy. I don't care for that idea one bit. I only want to do what's best for my pigs.
I am in UK, and all the timothy hay has to be imported to us, I know people feel strongly that it's the best for pigs ,but I don't feel comfortable feeding mine on something that has to flown in, ( ya know food miles etc etc) so I ( and my pigs) are very happy for them to eat soft green meadow hay, I buy from a local farm, it's very economical, good clean, sweet and eaten very greedily, certainly beats any 'shop' bought hay I've ever found.
I appreciate you may not be able to find local stuff or that your allergy will allow, but from a nutrition point of view, timothy is not the only thing they could have, and allergy permitting go for the natural close to home product wherever you can, orchard grass sounds a very worthy alternative.
My crew aren't timothy-eaters either. I get them bluegrass hay from Kleenmama's Hayloft; this is pretty much the same thing as orchard grass. When I asked about its nutritional content compared to Timothy, I was told that any grass hay is fine for piggies, as long as it's good quality of course. It's alfalfa that you have to be careful about, because as a legume hay it has a lot more protein and calcium than an adult piggy needs in his diet.
Sounds like you are making a wise decision for all involved in switching to orchard grass. Looking forward to hearing how it goes!
I give mine a mix of what I can get - Lucerne and grass. Unfortunately we don't even have the OPTION of importing Timothy Hay, what with quarantine and such. I'm always on the lookout for grass hay. If I find some I'll switch them over slowly. I make sure my piggies drink a lot of water. My advice to Lucerne users is: - Only use it if you can't get Timothy/grass hay. - If you find a supply of grass hay, switch them over to it gradually. - Watch out for whitish urine - this can mean over-amounts of calcium. - Make sure they have and DRINK a lot of water.
Oh my what vet school did he go to!!! What an idiot- alfalfa is really high in calcium, great for small babies or old and convalesing animals. You can give it as a treat to adult healthy pigs but in small amounts. If you give alfalfa all the time your are on a slippery slope to lots of problems including bladder stones.
Orchard grass is great and if your in the US try oxbows orchard grass its great my piggies love it- plus its a darn site cheaper your side of the pond.
But Iagree that a good meadow hay is just as good, as the regular hay - maybe just give oat hay or orchard grass as a treat.