"Grass Hay" question

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RandomWiktor

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I've been doing a lot of reading trying to make sure I am able to take good care of Morla (oh no, I already named it!) while she is with me. I read everywhere that "grass hay," as opposed to alfalfa, should be used.

Now, I keep rabbits, degu, etc. and for them, this mostly means timothy hay. However, those species are sometimes given varied hays like orchard grass, bermuda grass, and general "feed hay" as you would buy in large bales for horses.

My question is: what grass hay(s) should Morla be getting? I made her a mix that is about 70% timothy, 10% orchard grass, 10% bermuda grass, and 10% feed hay, but I realized I should probably be asking here to make sure she's getting the right thing.

Also: Oxbow sells "botanical hay" that is mostly timothy hay but has: "chamomile, lemon verbena, hibiscus, lavender, rose hips, comfrey, borage or red clover blossoms." I give it to my rabbits as treats from time to time. Would this be an OK treat for Morla?
 

GBtortoises

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Simply put-yes to any of the above. Different tortoises have different preferences in the type of hay that they prefer and to what extent that they will consume it. I feed mine timothy, orchard hay and some alfalfa hay. Some will occasionally eat the timothy hay, some will occasionally eat the alfalfa hay but I have never seen any of my tortoises eat the orchard hay. I still offer it ocassionally "just in case".

Incidentally, most of my tortoises, which are almost all Northern Mediterranean species, will eat as much fresh alfalfa as I'm willing to feed them. They do get some throughout the summer months.
 

TylerStewart

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My bigger sulcatas love orchard grass hay. The smaller ones don't so much, though, and I think it's something that they accept more with age/size. It's probably a little tougher for the younger animals to bite through. My biggest ones all love it. I put a small bit of moistened Mazuri down on the grass, and top it with orchard grass hay then spray the hay with the hose and they go crazy for it. Soaking it for an hour or two will soften it up making it easier to eat for them, but here in the desert, it still dries up within a few minutes if you soak it. I use the orchard grass hay mostly because it's the softest feeling from the options I have here, with no harder stems in it like timothy and alfalfa can have. My parents have a big alfalfa field up in Northern Utah, and I'm trying to get them to plant me an acre of dandelions and make a hay out of it. I doubt they'll decide that's a good idea!
 

Yvonne G

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TylerStewart said:
. My parents have a big alfalfa field up in Northern Utah, and I'm trying to get them to plant me an acre of dandelions and make a hay out of it. I doubt they'll decide that's a good idea!

Some people are just plain stingy with their alfalfa fields. Man...its for the good of the tortoise!

(I never thought of dandelion hay. Sounds like a very good idea to me!)
 
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