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Thread: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

  1. #1
    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    There are many forages that guinea pigs can eat. Please make sure before feeding to wash thoroughly. Also all forages must come from chemical and pesticide free areas and avoid areas close to roadsides as fumes from cars can contaminate.

    You also do not want to use grass or other forages from areas where dogs, cats or other animal species urinate or defacate.

    Grass can be fed daily in unlimited amounts once your cavies are used to it, otherwise start with a small amount and increase daily for several days.

    Dandelion leaves are quite high in calcium, best fed every 3 days or so.
    Everything else, use your best judgement and give in small amounts.

    Also want to mention, if it's not on this list it may not be edible. So please ask before feeding.

    1. Grass (common grasses are edible, avoid ornamental grasses), cat grass/wheat grass is also popular and can be grown in pots or containers.
    2. Clover (Trifollium repens or Trifolium pratense)
    3. Dandelion (Teraxacum officinale) - pick leaves, stems, flowers (even root OK)
    4. Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
    5. Blackberry leaves (Rubus plicatus) - pick young & tender leaves and shoots
    6. Calendula (Calendula officinalis) - leaves and flowers
    7. Caraway (Carum carvi)
    8. Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
    9. Chickweed (Stellaria media)
    10. Cleavers / Stickyweed / Goosegrass / Bedstraw (Galium aparine)
    11. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
    12. Cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaeae) - berries, leaves in moderation
    13. Cow Parsley (Anthiscus sylvestris)
    14. Dog Rose (Rosa canina) - ripe fruits
    15. Duckweed (Lemna minor) - aquatic
    16. Fennel (Foeniculum capillaceum)
    17. Field Violet / Wild Pansy (Viola tricolor)
    18. Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris)
    19. Lemon Mint / Melissa (Melissa officinalis)
    20. Linden / Lime Tree (Tilia cordata or Tilia platyphyllos) - flowers with
      pale yellow leaflets
    21. Miner's Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata)
    22. Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
    23. Plantain (Plantago major or Plantago lanceolata)
    24. Raspberry leaves (Rubus idaeus) - pick young & tender leaves and shoots
    25. Spearmint (mintha spicata)
    26. Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
    27. Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)
    28. Silverweed (Potentilla anserina)
    29. Vetch (Vicia x)
    30. Yarrow (Achllea millefolium)
    31. Whortleberry / Heidelberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) - berries, leaves in
      moderation
    32. Wild Chamomile (Matricaria chammomilla)
    33. Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca) - berries and leaves


    Another source for forages is Guinea Lynx :: Common Forages.
    Last edited by Ly&Pigs; 05-31-09 at 05:34 pm.

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    Cavy Slave gpigluver14's Avatar
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    Thanks for the list Ly! Question though: can they have mulberries? <sp? I have a tree near my house that bears the fruit in the summer. Are they okay to give them?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    Great list, Ly, thanks for posting it. I had just been wondering about lemon balm which I see is also called lemon mint.

    I do have a few questions - you have peppermint (mentha piperita) on the list, but not spearmint (mintha spicata). Do you think spearmint would be okay too?

    There are also the herbs that are included in the new Oxbow botanical hay: Chamomile, Lemon Verbena, Hibiscus, Lavender, Rose Hips, Comfrey, Borage, Red Clover Blossoms. I know some of these are already on your list, but do you think its safe to assume that if Oxbow would include it, then it is okay? I am particularly curious about lavender.

    Thanks!

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    As far as Mulberries, I haven't found any info on those yet to see how safe they are for piggies.

    Spearmint is fine. I will add it to the list.

    I know some of these are already on your list, but do you think its safe to assume that if Oxbow would include it, then it is okay?
    I would assume those are all ok. I trust Oxbow. But you could look on the link gl has for the poisonous plants database to make sure.

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    Cavy Slave gpigluver14's Avatar
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    As far as Mulberries, I haven't found any info on those yet to see how safe they are for piggies.
    I found this website about tropical forages, and in the paragraph "animal production" it says they can be fed mulberry leaves, but it doesn't say anything about the berries. What do you think??

    Factsheet - Morus spp.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    Ly, a long time ago you were investigating daisies (bellis perennis). Were you able to reach a conclusion or is there insufficient information? And is it OK to feed fresh nettles or would they sting? Should I dry them first?

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    Cavy Slave Tulia&Susie's Avatar
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    Thanks for the list. I bring my piggies out in the summer time and they just love it. Now I know what is ok and isn't. Thanks.

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    Ly, a long time ago you were investigating daisies (bellis perennis). Were you able to reach a conclusion or is there insufficient information? And is it OK to feed fresh nettles or would they sting? Should I dry them first?
    I can't find sufficient info to see if daisies are safe or not. Better to not feed them. All forages should be fed fresh and that would include nettles. I've never fed those myself so I don't know if pigs like them or not.

    My own girls love fresh grass, clover (both red and white in moderation), broad leaf plantain and dandelion leaves.

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    Cavy Slave kavykrazy's Avatar
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    My daughter and I would like to plant edible flowers for the pigs. I have been told nasturtiums (the entire plant) would be good for them. What other flowers would be tasty (or at least edible)?

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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?


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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    I have been told nasturtiums (the entire plant) would be good for them.
    The flowers and leaves are on the edible plants list.

    What other flowers would be tasty (or at least edible)?
    Edible flower petals include, roses and rose hips (excellent source of C according to brandilynn of gl and the pigloo) Pansies, squash blossoms, non-dyed or sprayed carnation petals. Don't feed any rose petals that have had rose food put on them or any of the flower petals mentioned that have had chemicals or pesticides sprayed or sprinkled on them.

    The flowers from red and white clover can be fed.

    Fay, Ground elder is on Melissa Kaplan's harmful and poisonous plants list.
    BISHOP'S WEED (Ammi majus); plant may contain toxic levels of nitrates.

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    I found this website about tropical forages, and in the paragraph "animal production" it says they can be fed mulberry leaves, but it doesn't say anything about the berries. What do you think??
    I saw this question the first time you posted it. I deleted the second one. I have been trying to do some research on this and that is why I had not answered the question as of yet.

    The site says the leaves were fed to goats. I am not sure how safe the leaves are for piggies and I think you should skip the fruit as I cannot find anything regarding the safety or hazards of the mulberries and piggies. I'm pretty much inclined to tell you to skip both the leaves and the fruit. It's much better to be safe than sorry.

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    Cavy Slave gpigluver14's Avatar
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    Sorry about that...Thank you for taking the time to research it. I agree, it's definitely better to be safe than sorry. Especially when it comes to the precious pigs.

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    Cavy Slave MinnieMay9's Avatar
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ly&Pigs View Post
    The site says the leaves were fed to goats. I am not sure how safe the leaves are for piggies and I think you should skip the fruit as I cannot find anything regarding the safety or hazards of the mulberries and piggies. I'm pretty much inclined to tell you to skip both the leaves and the fruit.
    Oh well, I was hoping to hear good news about mulberries because we have a giant bush in the backyard. I guess that means more berries for me and to be made into pies. My mom can get over 20 quarts of berries some years!

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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    How do you feed duckweed?

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    How do you feed duckweed?
    I would assume like any other forage they can eat. You would gather some up, wash it thoroughly and then either feed it whole or chop it up and give it to the piggies.

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    Cavy Slave masher's Avatar
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    Can sombody please tell me if guinea pigs can have buttercup leaves?

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    Cavy Slave maxyluver43's Avatar
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    thanks for the info, i was thinking about growing a small plot of timothy grass in my garden

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    Can sombody please tell me if guinea pigs can have buttercup leaves?
    Absolutely NOT. The whole plant is poisonous.

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    Cavy Slave masher's Avatar
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    Re: Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?

    Okay thats what I thought but just wanted to make sure

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