With their innocent face and small size, Guinea Pigs are amongst the most likeable pets that you will ever come across. Though many people are fond of keeping guinea pigs at home, it is seldom that they know how to exactly feed these cute little creatures. So, let’s look at what you need to know to go about feeding the guinea pigs.
Importance of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of those ingredients that is very important for the guinea pigs, because unlike human beings these pigs can’t produce vitamin C themselves in their body. Deficiency of Vitamin C can make the guinea pigs extremely weak with scurvy. Generally, guinea pigs require about 10-30 mg/day of vitamin C in their diet. Mentioned below are some ways in which you can feed the guinea pigs with vitamin C:
- Try feeding these pigs with a good quantity of vegetables and fresh guinea pig pellet.
- Keep the pellets in a dark and cool place to make them last fresh for a longer time.
- Feed the guinea pigs with vitamin C tablets like Oxbow’s GTN-50C or chewable human 100mg vitamin C tablets.
- Feed the pigs with water in which Vitamin C has been added. However, adding vitamin C in water changes the taste of water and pigs drink less water, so it can also create another issue. Giving them vitamin C in the form of vegetables is the most ideal way.
Feeding with Pellets
Commercial Guinea food pellets should form an essential part of the diet for the guinea pigs. Generally, these pigs consume 1/8 cup of pellets per day. Avoid feeding these pigs with pellets having nuts, dried fruits, corn, seeds and animal by-products. As mentioned before, pellets are a rich source of vitamin C for the pigs, however, be sure to feed the guinea pigs only with fresh pellets. While choosing a pellet for these pigs, remember to check the high sugar content and added preservatives, which can cause harm to them.
Feeding with Hay
Guinea Pigs also need to be given a good supply of hay in their diet. Remember, to feed them with fresh hay and not stale hay. Guinea pigs like the hay from grass like timothy and orchard grass. These pigs also like eating alfalfa hay that is rich in calcium and is also a good supplement for pregnant and nursing guinea pigs. Also note, that hay is not a good supplement for adult guinea pigs, which can have problem in digesting it.
Feeding with Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Apart from hay, guinea pigs should be given fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Green leafy vegetables supply them with all kinds of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables like parsley, spinach, turnip greens, romaine lettuce and dandelion greens are good for feeding guinea pigs. While in fruits, apricots, apples, blueberries, oranges, strawberries, grapes and bananas are good source of energy for guinea pigs. On the other hand, avoid feeding these pigs with starchy food like potatoes and foods like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage that are difficult to digest.