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Old 04-18-2017, 12:58 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Kent uk
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Default Hay?

what type of hay is safe for hamsters or is there a good brand I can get in the UK? do hamsters need hay? if not the why do some people put hay in their hamsters habitat?

so they use it as a substrate? or is it a source of food?
so many questions!
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: Hay?

It's not essential but some hams do enjoy it, they may eat a little (rarely much) or use it in their nests, I like it along with other things like foliage & dried flowers to add variety & enrichment to their cages.
You do need to go through it carefully though to pick out any sharp bits that might damage pouches & it's always best to freeze it for at least 48 hrs, preferably a week to kill any mites, bugs or eggs that could be in it.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:36 AM   #3
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Location: A Coruña, Spain
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Default Re: Hay?

I think that Germans think that hay is a must have in hamster cages, but I don't know why tbh. I don't think that hay is particularly necessary. It's not a good substrate by itself and most hamsters won't eat it. However I think that it's a good way of enrichment. My hamster liked it, at least I could see him moving the hay around and using it in his nest. Actually in my new order to zooplus I added the witte mollen hay and I'm planning to use it again in my hamster's cage. If you decide to use it maybe it could be a good idea to follow cypher's advise.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:39 AM   #4
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Location: Bath, UK
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Default Re: Hay?

I don't think it's as essential as it is for animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs but some owners like to offer it and I've seen it in a fair few German cage set ups before. I tried mine with hay once as there was some slightly smaller pieces at the end of the bag I'd bought for my Guinea Pigs. Jessie was curious about it and she actually took it away to her stores. James kind of sniffed and looked disapproving as if to say "What am I meant to do with this".

The hay I buy for my guinea pigs is Pure Pastures Meadow Hay but the one that Cypher recommends might be a better option if you're only wanting it for your hamster(s).
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Old 04-24-2017, 12:45 PM   #5
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Location: UK
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Default Re: Hay?

I buy the Burns meadow mix which is mixture of hay, dried flowers, grasses etc - I don't think my hams eat much (if any) of it but it's very soft and I often find pieces of it mixed in with their nest. I tend to pile it up in a corner of their cages and sprinkle some treats through it so they have to forage, they seem to like that.

The problem I've found with regular hay is that it comes in such big bags which isn't great with just two hams and no other animals that need it. The Burns mix comes in small bags and it's easy to get through it all whilst it's still smelling fresh & sweet.
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