15 Dec 2023
Why Is Machine Dried Hay More Nutritious?
Posted By : Guest Filed Under : Nutrition | Rabbits | Guinea Pigs | Chinchillas | Guinea Pig Food | Rabbit Food | Bunny Nature | Newhay
Hay produced in South Africa are traditionally sun-dried whilst leading hay manufacturers such as Newhay and Bunny Nature are using the latest developments in technology to produce high quality feeding hay.

Newhay timothy hay has earned the well-deserved reputation as the gold standard for feeding rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas. After all, it’s high in fiber with the perfect ratio of nutrients for maintenance. Newhay timothy hay boasts a protein content of 12% compared to regular timothy hay (7% protein) from other producers. Timothy is also not the only grass hay on the block.

Bunny Nature meadow hay from nature conservation areas in Germany are also becoming very popular to feed small pets in South Africa because it contains a wide diversity of plants. Even the best drying method cannot significantly improve hay quality if the basis is not right.


A good meadow with grasses, clover and meadow herbs is, in addition to the optimal cutting time, the most important basic prerequisite for good hay quality with a high protein content and energy density. There are around 3,000 different meadow plants in Central Europe. About 1,000 plant species are relevant for animal feeding. The plant species are basically divided into three groups: grasses, legumes, and herbs.

The grasses include sweet grasses and sour grasses such as cocksfoot, golden oats, meadow fescue and meadow foxtail. Due to their high protein and mineral content, clovers are among the most important sources of animal feed.

The most important examples of the clover species - which as a subfamily of the papilionaceous plants come from the legume family - are red clover, white clover, horn clover, Persian clover and Alexandrian clover.

In the third large group, namely herbs, a distinction is made between herbs, weed plants and weeds. With herbs in particular, care must be taken to ensure gentle drying in order to preserve valuable ingredients such as essential oils, tanning agents, flavanoids, saponins and bitter substances.


Using an indoor, gentle machine drying process that is Co2 neutral to produce hay provides a range of advantages:
  • The harvesting process is less dependent on the weather, and therefore easier to plan.
  • More of the nutrients remain preserved in the hay therefore allowing you to feed less to provide your pet with ideal maintenance. This is a considerable cost advantage of machine-dried hay.
  • Your small furry pets will become healthier, thus reducing vet bills.
  • The quality of the hay is clear to be seen: even after drying, it preserves a colour and smell that makes it seem freshly mown. This also attests to the hay’s nutritional value: 5% more protein content.

Bunny Nature fresh grass meadow hay consists of a diversified 18 plants such as timothy grass, meadow fescue, meadow foxtail, ryegrass, red fescue, bluegrass, bentgrass, cocksfoot, creeping red fescue, german ryegrass, dandelion, silverweed, chickweed, yarrow, ribwort, white clover, red clover, birdsfood trefoil. This hay provides maximum taste and nutrients to rabbits and guinea pigs through its diversity of plants. It is rich in fibres, crunchy & dust-free.

Although making good quality hay is an old process in agriculture, it sometimes seems that not everybody knows the characteristics of good hay. Here is the following external characteristics of good feeding hay:
  • The colour of conserved hay should be green and not a “straw colour”.
  • Hay should be leafy with minimum stems.
  • It should have a pleasant aroma, not a sour, damp or pungent smell.
  • No stones, wires, plastic ropes, soil or foreign plant material should be present in hay.

In the wild, rabbits and guinea pigs eat all types of flavours and textures, from fresh and fragrant grass to tree bark. The diverse smells, tastes, and textures of assorted types of hay will instinctively keep your rabbits and guinea pigs intrigued and they will be busy chomping on hay all day, which is good thing.

The different textures of various hays/grasses can even cause a rabbit to chew in multiple ways, thus doing an especially good job of uniformly wearing down the molars. So try switching things up in the hay department every now and then – your rabbit or guinea pig will thank you.

Tags : Why Is Machine Dried Imported Hay More Nutritious And Palatable Than Local Hay in South Africa? Rabbit Food South Africa , Guinea Pig Food South Africa , Chinchilla Food South Africa
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