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The HayPigs!® blog. All the latest news from HayPigs!® along with lots of fun and informative information about guinea pigs.

Filtering by Category: News

HayPigs!® are finalists in the Essex Business Awards 2018 for New Company of the Year!

Rik Cridland

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Press Release - 30.09.18


HayPigs!® are thrilled to announce that we have been selected as one of 5 finalists in the Essex Business Awards 2018 for New Company of the Year! It is wonderful to be recognised in our home region and we are once again honoured to be representing the pet trade at another awards event.

HayPigs!® is home of the multi-award-winning HayPigs!® Guinea Pig Circus™. Our family run business designs toys, feeders and accessories for guinea pigs and other small animals . Our range of bespoke products has a circus theme and is designed to enhance and enrich the everyday lives of small furries and their owners.

Products include the 'Cavy Cannonball™' tilting tunnel, The 'Circus Hidey Hut™' fleece hidey and the PATS 2017 Best New Small Animal Product winning 'Piggy Weightlifter™' vegetable kebab maker.

Fingers (and paws) are now crossed that we can go all the way and scoop the top prize! Wheek! Wheek! Wheek!

HayPigs!® secures deal to stock over 150 Petbarn stores in Australia

Rik Cridland

HayPigs!® Petbarn.jpg

Press Release - 20.09.18


Ahead of their second appearance at PATS Telford this weekend, small furry accessories brand, HayPigs!® have some extremely exciting news to share. With help from their 'pawtners' Guinea Pigs Australia, they have just signed a deal to stock over 150 Petbarn stores in Australia.

HayPigs!® MD and self-proclaimed Ringmaster, Rik, is overjoyed with the news, "This is obviously really exciting news and we are delighted that our range has been so warmly welcomed over in Australia. We can't thank Niomie, Steve and the team at Guinea Pigs Australia enough for their hard work and dedication in helping make this happen. It's humbling to think that we will be enriching the lives of so many small furries across the length and breadth of Australia."

Steven Ferrante of Guinea Pigs Australia had this to add, "Guinea Pigs Australia is so excited to be officially launching HayPigs!® into Petbarn, Australia. With Petbarn's fantastic reach across Australia it will give more guinea pig owners the opportunity to access high quality, fun and creative enclosure accessories. HayPigs!® product range will be available on Petbarn online and at over 150 Petbarn stores by December 2018."

In a triple celebration, HayPigs!® are also thrilled to have made it to the final of the PetQuip Awards for Marketing Project of the Year and also the Essex Business Awards for Best New Business. HayPigs!® Co-founder Helen is really looking forward to the awards events, "It's just lovely to have been recognised for all our hard work. As HayPigs!® is a family business, there have been a lot of sacrifices over the last couple of years, so this is a great opportunity to give ourselves a pat on the back and let our hair down a bit!"

HayPigs!® will be exhibiting at PATS Telford this Sunday and Monday and will also be unveiling a brand new product at the show. For more information, contact or check out their website:

HayPigs!® reach the finals of the SME National Business Awards 2018

Rik Cridland

HayPigs SME National Business Awards 2018.jpg

HayPigs!® is delighted to announce that it has been successful in reaching the finals of the SME National Business Awards in the Best New Business Category.

Reaching the finals of these national awards is fitting recognition for the hard work, enterprise and endeavour shown by husband and wife team, Rik and Helen Cridland and their team of small furries, the HayPigs!®

"We're obviously over the moon to have reached the finals." explains Helen "What is particularly pleasing is that we are up against businesses outside of our sector, so we are flying the flag for the pet trade! We are just crossing our fingers and paws now that we can go all the way and scoop the top prize!"

The awards final takes place at Wembley Stadium on Friday 7th December 2018 and, whatever the result, HayPigs!® will have plenty to celebrate after a stellar first year.

HayPigs!® wins Best UK Small Pet Accessories Provider 2018 in LUX Awards!

Rik Cridland

LPP18026-LUX Pet Product & Services Award  Winners Logo.jpg

We are delighted to announce that HayPigs!® has won Best UK Small Pet Accessories Provider 2018 in the LUX Magazine Pet Product & Service Awards 2018! Yay!

LUX Magazine recognises those who have helped this industry see exponential growth in recent years. They have rewarded those individuals, organisations and enterprises who strive to produce the services and products which benefit the well-being and health of mankind’s best friends.

Commenting on the success of the awards, Kaven Cooper, Coordinator at LUX, said: “How we care, feed, and treat our pets is a reflection on society and the Pet Product & Service Awards is proud to provide the accolades for those who allow us to care for our domestic animal population in a sustainable and humane fashion. I am truly proud of all of my winners and wish them congratulations, I will be watching your future endeavours with interest.”

Rest in Peace Nutty, March 2012 - May 2018

Rik Cridland


🐹😔🌈💔 It's with deep sadness that Helen and I have to inform you of the passing of our favourite little dude Nutmeg (he was 6). Nutmeg, or Nutty as we like to call him, passed away in his sleep last night after a long battle with Osteodystrophy. He was diagnosed with the terminal condition back in September but we were managing his condition with drugs and he was still very much enjoying himself. Yesterday, he didn't seem himself, his breathing was laboured and he was generally lethargic. We feared the worst but he has come through spells like this before and bounced back to health. Sadly, this time it was not to be. Fortunately, we both got to say our goodbyes and are honestly very relieved that he is not in any pain anymore, but it has ripped a hole in our hearts 😢💔.

Nutmeg is the reason HayPigs even exists, he has been a massive inspiration to us both and was such an outgoing, lovable character, everyone who met him adored him. We've never met a small furry with such a human-like personality, he could be stroppy, sassy and grumpy but also incredibly affectionate and loving. We feel so honoured and privileged to have looked after this little piggy for the last 4 years, he has truly changed the course of our lives and will be missed every day 😢💓.

It's time to find Crunchie over the rainbow bridge buddy, goodbye my friend, you are forever in our souls, we love you very much. Mum and Dad Xxx 🐹🎪❤🌈😚 #NutmegtheGuineaPig RIP 🐹🌈


SPECIAL MESSAGE: ❤ Thank you to everyone for your kind words of support at this sad time for our family, we really appreciate your love and guidance. ❤ Nutmeg was very special to us all and will leave a legacy behind him. For everyone who has ever enjoyed playing with a HayPigs!® product, this little guy was the inspiration behind it all, forever our ringmaster. 🐹🎪❤ We decided to bury Nutty in a deep pot so we could create a memorial in his memory 🐹🌈❤. We laid him on some tasty fresh hay with some of his favourite herbs 🌿 and a clutch of fresh strawberry leaves 🍓. On the top we planted some basil and parsley, we know he would be happy to hear that the other piggies could enjoy a treat on him. It's never easy losing a pet that you hold so dear, but we're so glad we had a plan this time around and found a fitting way to say goodbye. Love you Nutty 😚

HayPigs!® First Birthday - Press Release

Rik Cridland

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HayPigs!®, home of the award-winning  HayPigs!® Guinea Pig Circus™, celebrates its first Birthday this weekend and is keen to thank everyone for their fabulous support. As the anniversary approaches, co-founders Rik and Helen Cridland reflect on what has been an very challenging, but rewarding journey;

"A couple of years ago, had we told you that we were going to launch a 'guinea pig circus' and design products specifically aimed at guinea pigs, you would have thought we were mad (and some still do!)." explains Rik, "It was quite a hard sell to be frank, many in the trade didn't believe there was enough of a market to focus solely on small animals, let alone specialise in guinea pig accessories! But we had a clear vision of what we wanted to do and most importantly, really knew our target market well. This gave us great confidence in our product and brand idea."

"Early days were tough, for our idea to work we needed to commit to a significant amount of stock in order to launch with a coherent, themed range of products. All our products were bespoke, some of the them required expensive tooling, there was significant testing and IP costs and once our stock landed, we also had to deal with storing it all. But thankfully, when the whole package was presented to the trade and most importantly, our potential customers, they loved it! The feedback we have had over the last year has been incredible and made all the hard work worthwhile."

Eager to establish their brand quickly, HayPigs!® spent a good portion of last year on the road attending trade shows and public events. Along with their relentless social media activity, these public events have done a lot to build and grow a loyal and committed fan base that HayPigs!® are very proud of. Helen explains, "We knew before we started this adventure that the guinea pig and small animal community are a very special bunch. They adore their pets and go to great lengths to please them. As guinea pig owners, we refer to ourselves as 'pig slaves' and if we're honest, our pets probably eat better than we do! Attending public shows like the National Pet Show has been a great opportunity for us to meet with our social media followers, introduce ourselves to new pet fanatics and get our educational messages out there. It has been a real family affair, those of you who attended PATS Telford last year may have found me with a new born baby strapped to my chest. We joke that Scarlett (or 'HayBaby!')  had done 3 shows before she was even born!"

In a year that has seen them scoop the best new small animal product in the PATS Telford showcase, get to the final of the PetQuip Awards for Pet Product of the Year as well as being finalist in the Innovation category at the PIF Awards, HayPigs!® have a lot to be proud of. This in addition to their range being taken on by several of the UK's largest retailers and many of the wonderful and diverse independents up and down the country, it's been a great start for the Essex based family business and their band of small furry friends.

"We can't wait to show you what's coming next" says Rik with a big smile on his face, "The show's only just begun!"

HayPigs!® Launch Dog Treat!

Rik Cridland

Hi guys, we have some very exciting news to share with you; this morning we are officially launching a brand new HayPigs!® product! To find out more, please read our press release:

HayPigs!®, home of the award-winning HayPigs!® Guinea Pig Circus™ and designers of toys, feeders and accessories for guinea pigs and other small animals, are delighted to announce the launch of their brand new healthy dog treat, Guinea Poop™.

Having  received rave reviews for their range of small animal products, this quirky and exciting family run business has decided to branch out into the dog market. MD Rik explains:

"With innovation at the core of our business, we believe we have spotted a real commercial opportunity that has been completely overlooked by the rest of the trade. We believe our new vitimin B rich doggy treats will be a massive hit!"


The secret behind Guinea Poop™ is the production technique which involves a secret recipe developed by their resident small furries. Co-founder Helen explains:

"Having spent a lot of time with our guinea pigs and indeed our border collie, Sansa, we noticed she had a real interest in the piggies backsides. On closer inspection, it wasn't the pigs themselves that she was after, but the poops they produced."

While this may sound a little disgusting for some, research conducted by HayPigs!® revealed that this was happening up and down the country:

"My dog is obsessed with piggy poop. He thinks the guinea pigs are sweet machines." ruledbyguineapigs (

HayPigs!® new dog treat recycles and reuses fresh guinea pig poops and packages them in a resealable, foil lined pouch. 100% organic and packed with vegetable nutrients, each poop is carefully inspected for size and weight before being added to the pack.

While the initial production run began in the UK, demand has meant that HayPigs!® have now approached LA Guinea Pig Rescue for help. They were recently involved in the dramatic rescue of a hoard of over 700 guinea pigs, a record for the US. It is hoped that a joint Anglo American venture will allow harvesting of an abundance of poops from their Californian base.

Guinea Poop™ retails at £3.99 for a 60g pouch. The product is available from April 1st. For more details, email

If you have enjoyed reading our press release and can spare some change to help out the incredible team of volunteers at LA Guinea Pig Rescue we would be very grateful. With all the medical attention, feeding and neutering required, their average weekly bill is currently running at around $1300. We have set up a Just Giving page (below). Any donation, no matter how small, would be greatly received. Have a great Easter wheek-end everybody!

Wheek to you soon!

Helen, Rik, Scarlett Rose and the HayPigs!®


EDIT: APRIL FOOLS! We're sorry guys, as many of you will have guessed, we were fibbing! 🤥😋😘 But we are delighted so many of you embraced our concept, maybe it's not such a daft idea after all...?! 🤔😄😅🤡

Just a little disclaimer; if your dog does eat a few guinea pig poos it shouldn't do them any harm, but it's recommended that you don't let them make a habit of it. Eating copious amounts of piggy poo can make your dog ill if there are any nasties (like parasites or infectious diseases) in it. 👍❤

PATS Telford - Best New Product Award

Rik Cridland



Fresh from scooping the best new product award for the small animals category in the PATS Telford showcase, newcomers HayPigs!® are already looking forward to exciting times ahead, "We're really chuffed to have won this award in our first year of trading." says Rik Cridland, MD and self-proclaimed Ringmaster, "PATS Telford was a wonderful experience and we are really appreciative of the warm welcome we received from the pet trade community. It feels like we are part of one big family already! Thank you to everyone who has supported us to date, it really means a lot. It's been an exhausting experience, but so worth it! We look forward to the exciting journey ahead and can't wait to show you what else we've got planned for HayPigs!®"

HayPigs!® mix of product innovation, quirkiness and good humour, caught the judges' eye after they entered four of their six circus themed launch products into the showcase. Their winning product, the HayPigs!® Piggy Weightlifter™, is said to be the World's first, horizontal, pet friendly, vegetable kebab maker. It provides guinea pigs and other small animals with an enriching food challenge while also entertaining their owners. "The judges were unanimous in their choice of this winning product." said the panel "They felt a fun circus range for small animals was a great addition to the market. The winning product from the range was a novel idea and will provide hours of enjoyment."