guinea pig

@mystikel (577)
Australia
November 18, 2006 4:19pm CST
I have just got a guinea pig for the kids. Do you have one? what do you feed it?
1 person likes this
7 responses
@baysmummy (1639)
• Australia
21 Nov 06
Generally guinea pigs are reasonably easy to feed, remembering two main things. Number one - they can't make their own vitamin C. Number two - they need to be made to work at their food as if they are in the wild, by grinding down roughage in order to get sufficient nourishment. This will also help to keep the front teeth short, preventing further problems. Guinea pigs should always have a good daily supply of grass or hay. They also need to have guinea pig mix, mash or guinea pig pellets. If they don't eat something in the mix, don't leave it out of their next feed because it is not kind to allow them to develop lazy eating habits. You need to feed them with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in order to supply their need for vitamin C. They will generally eat the same things that we do but don't over feed one particular food type. Each guinea pig has their own favourites and can range from apples to carrots or celery to melons (including the skin), cabbage and cauliflower stalks are also popular. Most plants that were grown from a bulb are usually toxic to a guinea pig, so these should be avoided. Potatoes are also harmful. Guinea pigs are herbivores and so should not be fed meat. It is recommended that you don't feed large quantities of spinach due to them possibly causing bladder and kidney stones. Also, lettuce has little food value and had diuretic properties and can act like a laxative. Guinea pigs generally know what is good for them and also how much is good for them but never give plants that you know are unsuitable and try to stick to plants you can be sure are safe. Always supply fresh, clean water - using a water bottle is generally the easiest method. Edible Plants Vetch Shepherd's purse Sow Thistle Cow parsley Dandelion Groundsel Chickweed Clover Coltfoot Yarrow Bramble (remove thorny spine) Plantains Dried buttercup
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
21 Nov 06
Hay/grasses not only help wear down the incisors, but also the molars. I've seen molars that entrap the tongues of guinea pigs who were fed only pellets. :( Guinea pigs definitely need hay. I'd avoid a lot of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. as those tend to be gassy foods. Guinea pigs are somewhat suspectible to bloat.
@mystikel (577)
• Australia
21 Nov 06
thanx for all the info, so far he is enjoying the fresh fruit and mix i gave him...can't believe how much he eats for such a little animal
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
21 Nov 06
I'd recommend giving more veggies than fruit. They don't handle sugars as well (so carrots aren't really the best choice either). I tend to do a mix like this (keep in mind this is for 3 piggies for one whole day, all are adults, and one is a skinny, so it's more like 4 pigs): 1 head of romaine 2 bunches cilantro 1 red bell pepper 1 bunch of something else for variety 1 small amount of fruit only once a week (or baby carrots)
• India
18 Nov 06
i haven't but interested in it.
@mystikel (577)
• Australia
18 Nov 06
Thanks for responding....he is cute, have wanted one for ages and got one finally
@msqtech (15226)
• United States
20 Nov 06
kids take care of it?
@msqtech (15226)
• United States
20 Nov 06
kids take care of it?
@msqtech (15226)
• United States
20 Nov 06
great go to the pet store and get educated on what you need to do so the kids dont kill it
@mystikel (577)
• Australia
20 Nov 06
The kids are too young to look after it by themselves....I got the 7 year old to help by putting the vegies in the cage, but the rest I do until they can help more
@mystikel (577)
• Australia
20 Nov 06
The kids are too young to look after it by themselves....I got the 7 year old to help by putting the vegies in the cage, but the rest I do until they can help more
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
20 Nov 06
Hay is the most important food for guinea pigs. If it is young, you'll want to buy both alfalfa hay and timothy hay (or orchard grass). Otherwise, just a grass hay and no legume hay is fine (orchard grass or timothy hay only is okay). The next most important food is to give 1 cup of good quality veggies per pig per day. If you don't want to give pellets, make sure the veggies are very balanced. If feeding pellets, for under 1 year old use alfalfa. For adult guinea pigs, timothy pellets are the best choice. Guinea pigs are social creatures and you really should consider another one. But first make sure it was sexed correctly! Most pet stores couldn't tell a male from a female guinea pig to save their lives. Don't forget proper cage size as well. Guinea pigs require a lot of space. I'd recommend at least 6 square feet for one or two. Preferably 9 square feet for two. Good luck with your new piggie! Watch for signs of crusties around the eyes or dandruff. Pet store guinea pigs come from pet mills, so they're often sick.
@mystikel (577)
• Australia
20 Nov 06
wow I never realised there was so much involved with them. so far have been doing everything right. have the guinea pig food mix from the pet store, give him fresh veges everyday. Also trying to tame him so hold him everyday and let the kids pat him. Kinda like having 3 kids now lol. But he is so cute and kids are loving him
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
21 Nov 06
Yeah, lots of adopters tell me the piggies are harder to care for than dogs! I'm so used to having between 8 and 10 fosters, that it seem so weird to only have 3 right now. But only one out of 3 is special needs, so I don't have too much work with them. After awhile you get used to the routine. The cool thing is though, 2 in the same cage aren't much more work at all than 1. Check www.cavyspirit.com for their sexing page to see if you have a male or female.
• United States
18 Nov 06
They are so cute - they make great pets
I used to breed them. They make great pets. You need to give them guinea pig pellets not rabbit pellets. That is very important for they need a lot more vitamin C in their food than a rabbit. You can give them fresh veggies but no lettuce. you should look it up on the Internet for all the info you will need.
@mystikel (577)
• Australia
18 Nov 06
Thanks...will do a search, have to goto the pet shop tomorrow and get the pellets etc for him
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
21 Nov 06
If you have access to the Oxbow pellets, these tend to be the best. Otherwise, American Pet Diner is also a good brand. Kaytee is okay and it's cheap, so when I bring pellets to shelter guinea pigs, I usually just buy some plain Kaytee pellets. Remember to go with plain pellets, and not mixes. I don't feed all of my guinea pigs pellets. If they're overweight or average weight, I don't bother with pellets. But I monitor veggie intake closely. I'm not sure where you heard not to feed lettuce. Don't feed *iceberg* lettuce as it has no nutritional value. Romaine lettuce, green leaf, red leaf, escarole, endive, etc. are all okay to feed. I've never had a guinea pig who didn't like cilantro (high in vitamin C). Red bell peppers are also a good source of vitamin C. My piggies also enjoy vitamin C tablet pieces from the health food store. Make sure not to buy the ones that are too sugary, but do go for the chewable type. Don't put vitamin C in the water, it degrades quickly that way. It's not as hard to prevent scurvy as most people would have you think. I've only seen a few pigs with scurvy. And these were pigs in shelters that were very neglected. The easiest way to monitor your piggie's diet and health is to buy a nice kitchen gram scale. I'd highly recommend weighing your piggie weekly and keeping a log. This can be a fun project for kids too if you want to teach them to make a graph or something.
@Bunny2 (2102)
• Australia
22 Nov 06
I don't have any now, but we did when growing up. We used to feed them carrots and lettuce, and other fresh veggies. Also food pellets from the pet store. Good luck. Hope you don't get stuck cleaning the cages!
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
22 Nov 06
Believe me, if you don't want to be stuck cleaning cages... don't get any live pets for kids! Cleaning guinea pig cages is pretty easy though. Especially if you use the cubes and coroplast cages (see www.cavycages.com). Just take a dust pan, scoop, done. I've cleaned like 5 cages (all between 7 and 9 square feet) in 15 minutes before. Thorough cleaning takes longer, but just the basic twice weekly cleans are fast.
@Al3xius (1778)
• Romania
21 Nov 06
I don`t like them ...sorry !