Proper diet is very important for guinea pigs, because these animals give a lot of attention and devote a lot of time to eating 🙂
Creating a menu for a piglet is quite easy and cheap, although you have to remember a few simple rules:
Guinea pigs should have unlimited access to fresh water.
Give your piggy large amounts of fresh hay every day.
It is non-absorbent and isn’t suitable for bedding, but it is a basic component of the diet.
An adult piggy should eat about one kilogram of hay a month. The hay is available with herbs and other plants, but it isn’t necessary.
Grains and pellets are important part of guinea pigs diet.
Choose pellets intended for guinea pigs, which are enriched with vitamin C. Pellets for other rodents may not contain it. Pay attention, whether pellets you choose contains vitamin C, because your pet must absorb it (guinea pigs are unable to manufacture their own). If you fulfil thiscondition, it isn’t necessary to buy the diet supplement with vitamin C. Pellets are more economical than grains, because the piggy won’t be picking its favourite grains. At beginning it’s better to buy a smaller package – if the piggy doesn’t like it; she won’t eat it. No arguments will help. Your piggy may scatter pellets all over the cage, and eventually pee on it.
Grain sticks are a splendid solution.
They aren’t exposed to be scattered all over the cage or polluted. The sticks contain not only food, but also a wooden centre, so it can be used as a teething toy. However, a spoiled piggy won’t start to eat a grain stick,until you’ll remove it and put it on the bottom of the cage.
The biggest disadvantage is an artificial honey, which is often an ingredient of grain sticks. Pigs don’t like it.
Vegetables and fruits should be only an addition to guinea pig’s diet.
Guinea pigs should be fed witch vegetables and fruits once a day. Pigs like:
– parsley leaves,
– lettuce (in reasonable amounts),
– root of a parsley,
Pigs adore grass, dandelions and clovers.
However, if they come from lawns, meadows or parks; they might be polluted with excrement of animals and exhaust fumes, so your pig can be poisoned. If you decide to give your piggy some grass, wash it carefully. Leaves of certain trees are also recommended, for example: leaves of willows and maples. As teething toy, the best choice is a branch of fruit tree. These branches are rich in tanning agents, that are good for your pig’s health. However if we don’t have any fruit tree’s branches, it isn’t a problem.
Guinea pigs produce two kinds of excrements: inedible and edible (contain vitamin K and vitamins from the B-group) which are willingly eaten.
At the end, you should remember that every pig is different, and has its own preferences. Some piggies eat everything; other ones are more fussy and may be resentful, if they don’t get food, which they prefer. If you are a new guinea pig owner, remember – don’t overfeed it. Having a new piglet is often a big event at home. Everyone is excited seeing its eating…..and gives it a lot of treats. After some time, owners start to realize, that their piggy is to fat and it’s wrong to give it so much food. However, the pig won’t understand it and will be demanding food in very “aggressive” manner: loud wheek with open snout….for very long period of time. Explanations or shouts will make no impression on the piggy. The pig might wheek even when it hears a rustle of a plastic bag – the pig will connect that sound with vegetables, which are often wrapped in foil.
A properly fed guinea pig has soft and shining fur. It is curious, likes exploring and playing.