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Thread: New guinea pig won't eat anything except pellets and carrots.

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    New guinea pig won't eat anything except pellets and carrots.

    As most of you have seen, I got my beautiful baby Salem (4 months old) 2 days ago. She's healthy and happy (I hope), she's been playing and running around, she wants to explore and what have you. She's had a rough background, I don't know what those people did to her as far as attention and food goes. It's just that I'm having a tough time getting her to eat. This whole 2 days, she's eaten pellets, carrots and timothy hay. That is IT. She won't eat bell peppers, parsley, or spinach. We plan on getting a check up next week to make sure everything is good. Is this something the vet can help us with or what can I do to get her to eat something other than pellets?

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    Cavy Slave sdpiggylvr's Avatar
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    Re: New guinea pig won't eat anything except pellets and carrots.

    She's probably never really had vegetables, so it will take a while before she catches on. The veggie charts (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/...ants-list.html) say:

    If your pigs have never had veggies, start slowly with lettuce (no iceburg) and bell pepper. Leave small amounts in the cage all throughout the day. Remove when wilted. Sometimes it takes a while to get a pig to eat veggies, it can take several weeks in some cases. Be patient and persistant.
    Try hand-feeding her some veggies, too. I would try some lettuce and bell pepper first, and don't give her anything else until she eats the lettuce and bell pepper. Also, since she isn't eating enough vegetables right the now, you might consider feeding her 1/2 a tablet per day of Oxbow Vitamin C tablets (available at Petsmart). Guinea pigs need at least 30 mg of Vitamin C per day, and one of those tablets has 50.

    What kind of hay are you feeding? I've found that new piggies will take immediately to hay that is soft, fresh-smelling/fragrant, and green. Most hays in pet stores won't make the cut, but KMS Hayloft (online) is great, and you might be able to find a local hay farm with soft orchard grass or Timothy hay.

    Also, do you plan to adopt a friend for her later on?

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: New guinea pig won't eat anything except pellets and carrots.

    What kind of pellets are you feeding her? If it has other bits besides plain pellets, I'd get rid of those and get Cavy Performance or Mazuri 5664. She only needs the added calcium for a couple more months so after that, switch to a timothy based pellet: KM Hayloft, Cavy Cusine or Sweet Meadow or only feed no more than 1/8 cup a day of Mazuri 5664 since it's an alfalfa based pellet. If you feed Cavy Performance, switch to one of the others when she turns 6 months.

  4. "Thank you, pinky, for this useful post," says:

    sdpiggylvr (08-15-12)

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    Re: New guinea pig won't eat anything except pellets and carrots.

    Yes I do plan on adopting another piggy when this one is settled. Because of her background the vet wants me to hold off until she is perfectly comfortable. She's having alot thrown at her- new home, new mommy, new routine. That's just one more thing to get use to- sharing space.

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    Re: New guinea pig won't eat anything except pellets and carrots.

    it took me a couple weeks before I found different veggies my piggies would eat. maybe hand feeding would help, some piggies are just picky eaters.good luck!

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    Re: New guinea pig won't eat anything except pellets and carrots.

    My last one was a picky eater. She ate some parsley a little bit ago. Took her awhile but we got 'er done. She'll eat if she's hungry enough I suppose. One vet told me to just forget the veggies and put her on supplements. I told that vet "let's just put our preschoolers on vitamins and toss the food." What kind of malarkey is that?!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: New guinea pig won't eat anything except pellets and carrots.

    I feel like this is the four-millionth time I've typed this, and I'll make it into a sticky on the Diet and Nutrition forum one of these days.

    You can teach your pigs to eat almost any vegetable by chopping it VERY fine, like the size of a pencil eraser cut in 6-8 pieces, and sprinking it on their pellets. They'll get enough by accident to get accustomed to the taste, and then you can feed it in larger pieces.

    Pick one vegetable to begin with, and give them that for a whole week on their pellets. Then try a bigger piece. If they eat it, continue feeding that vegetable and start dicing a new one. If they don't, continue with that one until they do eat it.

    While you're doing this, don't feed them too much of what they will already eat, or they'll fill up on that and not try the new stuff.

    The other thing you can do, if they eat lettuce, is to cut their food in matchstick-sized slivers and roll it up in the lettuce. Of course, that requires you to hand-feed them, but it will also work.

  9. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," says:

    Fern_sweets (08-15-12)

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    Re: New guinea pig won't eat anything except pellets and carrots.

    I've seen a LOT of advice out there to cut up veggies in small pieces, but when I first got my girls, I found that just taking a big chunk of bell pepper or a whole leaf of Romain worked better for them. Maybe they thought it was a toy instead of strange food, and after nosing around it for a while they would start nibbling. But what REALLY got them into veggies is dandelions. It's the first time I ever saw them pounce on fresh food. After that their taste buds must have adjusted and I could start giving them variety. The point is, just like with kids, you have to keep trying different things to see what works for you. In the meantime, if you're feeding high quality pellets, hay and vitamin C (on pellets, not in water), she will be getting what she needs to stay healthy.

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    Re: New guinea pig won't eat anything except pellets and carrots.

    my baby wouldn't eat veggies when i first got her either and i kind of got worried, even though she'd chow down on pellets and hay. i just kept offering them to her in all sorts of varieties and eventually she caught on. what really helped was when i adopted an older guinea pig from the humane society who LOVED veggies. seeing her eat them seemed to help her. i also have all my pigs on oxbow critical care now, after one of mine completely went off her feed and the vet recommended i put her on it to promote a healthy tummy. needless to say, after a day she'd gained quite a bit and was eating all her food and veggies. just more food for thought

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    Re: New guinea pig won't eat anything except pellets and carrots.

    OK. Yeah she isn't really eating pellets a lot and I don't think replacing food with vitamins is a good idea but I might be completely wrong. She seems okay, she's just getting familiar with the surroundings. Thing is- I really don't think she even knew what veggies were till I got her. Seriously- she'd snub everything I put in front of her, big or small. She doesn't understand that it's food. I think another piggy will help- if another piggy is eating, she's gonna barrel over her to get to what she has- just like a toddler would. I don't think she's like my last one, Bailey, who was okay by herself because she got everything to herself- she was not a good sharer. I found out that she didn't get along with others so she was with me until she passed away- that's how I raised her. I want to raise Salem differently. I plan on getting another female guinea pig named Paislie on Monday and I might have to push our appointment a few days. But hopefully Paislie will be a big time eater and both girls' problems will eliminate on its own.

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