Chew Toy Question

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Post   » Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:01 am

My in laws live around a wooded area and I thought it would be nice for our pigs if I went and found a nice sized log for them to chew on. But I am not sure if it's safe, if something might be poisonous to them? I know they don't spray as the trees are all around the house.

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Post   » Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:10 am

Waste of your time.

Get high quality grass hay and they will be fine.

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Post   » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:48 am

I wouldn't risk it myself as the wood could have beasties or old diseases in them. Big logs could also roll on to the pigs when you are not there as they are not the smartest or most athletic of animals sometimes!

My girls love to chew on sticks made of pear or apple wood, or willow sticks. I buy them from an online guinea pig shop that only sells organic toys. When buying you need to make sure they are organic. If the trees were ones you had grown yourself and you knew it was a safe wood you could bake the sticks in your oven to make them safe, but unknown trees are just too risky in my opinion.

Remember that sticks are just for fun, it's the good unlimited hay that keeps teeth nice and healthy and many pigs aren't interested in sticks from what I've read :)

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Post   » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:53 am

Why would I get hay for them when I need something for them to chew on that lasts more then a day or two? :)

Can you use dog toys? The more durable ones? I read you can, just have to look them over first.


Post   » Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:07 am

Hay is used to wear down the teeth and is very important to their diet. They need to have hay daily.

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Post   » Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:10 am

You can certainly have toys for them to chew on. My girls will chew their house on occasion. They have a wooden bird toy they also nibble on. But its the molars that need the wear, even more so than the incisors, and only hay is going to do that.

Chewing on wood or toys is for fun. Chewing on hay is for health.

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Post   » Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:27 am

Sounds like a bad idea.

Hay is what wears their teeth down. They often ignore anything else. You give them piles of hay routinely.

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Post   » Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:12 pm

Piggies absolutely need hay, it is the most important part of guinea pig care. Without it you are going to have very unhappy and unhealthy piggies and many expensive vet bills :/

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Post   » Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:20 pm

Hay hay hay hay hay. Seriously. They need it for their diet and for their teeth. I have it in a rack plus in a box for them to roll around in. They need unlimited amounts of it- mine are constantly eating hay all day when they're not sleeping.

I buy my hay from: in 25lb amounts. It's much cheaper than anything you can get at the store.

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Post   » Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:22 pm

I don't want to hijack the thread, but as I have an Apple tree in the garden doing nothing right now, after reading Trick's posts about baking the branches I was thinking about cutting a few and seeing if my pigs like them.

I was wondering though, what temperature would be best and for how long?

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Post   » Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:21 pm

I am going to guess she wants a chew toy along with hay based on this previous post .

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Post   » Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:46 pm

Trick, what does the baking do?

I've always had apple trees around and have given my girls branches to chew every now and then. Never thought of baking them though.

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Post   » Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:13 pm

The baking ages/dries the wood and kills off any parasites, fungus or bacteria that might be in the wood. I think 325 is the usual temperature quoted as being best, but it only works for smaller twigs rather than fairly thick wood - you'd probably want to boil that. Just scrub it and bake it.

Having checked though I remember that apple tree wood doesn't need baked, it can be eaten fresh :) I have no idea why that is though.

I forgot to mention as well that pine cones are brilliant! Just bake them to sterilise them (or buy them organic) and they can keep piggies entertained for a long time. My girls love chucking them around but then I have to hide them all for a couple of weeks or they get labelled as boring, heh.

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Post   » Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:07 pm

Yes thank you Vanilla, I wanted something in addition to the hay. :)

Trick, that's an excellent idea. My in laws have a ton of cones littering their yard. Not sure of the tree type..some kind of pine I guess. Does the type of tree/cone matter?

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Post   » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:13 pm

I don't think it would matter as long as they are the short chubby cones rather than the long thin ones which tend to be flaky rather than woody :)

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