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View Full Version : Can I feed my guinea pigs fresh grass, dandelions, and other forages?



Ly&Pigs
04-03-07, 01:31 pm
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.


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


Another source for forages is Guinea Lynx :: Common Forages (http://www.guinealynx.info/forages_common.html).

gpigluver14
04-03-07, 01:40 pm
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?

fairysari
04-04-07, 03:13 pm
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!

Ly&Pigs
04-04-07, 03:50 pm
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.

gpigluver14
04-04-07, 05:50 pm
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. (http://www.tropicalforages.info/key/Forages/Media/Html/Morus_spp.htm)

jabberwock
04-05-07, 07:54 am
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?

Tulia&Susie
04-05-07, 10:23 am
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.

Ly&Pigs
04-05-07, 12:17 pm
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.

kavykrazy
04-05-07, 11:17 pm
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)?

Fay
04-06-07, 04:17 am
Can pigs have these?

Ground-elder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegopodium_podagraria)

Ly&Pigs
04-06-07, 12:46 pm
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.

Ly&Pigs
04-07-07, 10:28 pm
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.

gpigluver14
04-08-07, 06:48 am
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.

MinnieMay9
04-08-07, 11:26 am
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!

Squigglepiggle
04-12-07, 04:50 am
How do you feed duckweed?

Ly&Pigs
04-12-07, 11:25 am
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.

masher
04-15-07, 09:01 am
Can sombody please tell me if guinea pigs can have buttercup leaves?

maxyluver43
04-15-07, 09:51 am
thanks for the info, i was thinking about growing a small plot of timothy grass in my garden

Ly&Pigs
04-15-07, 01:05 pm
Can sombody please tell me if guinea pigs can have buttercup leaves?Absolutely NOT. The whole plant is poisonous.

masher
04-15-07, 02:26 pm
Okay thats what I thought but just wanted to make sure :)

JarBax
04-16-07, 01:57 pm
Yeah - buttercups - I have to go over the patch of lawn with a fine toothed comb, digging any out, as we have a few in there.

sihschris
04-18-07, 06:02 pm
That's a great list! I have been looking for more variety for Izzy! Thanks!

masher
04-29-07, 05:05 am
Are daisies poisonous to guinea pigs??

Ledasmom
04-29-07, 11:44 am
What about the other species of mint besides peppermint and spearmint? Citrus mint and apple mint are apparently different species from either. I'd assume pennyroyal is a no-no due to toxicity, but are the others okay?

Ly&Pigs
04-29-07, 12:43 pm
Are daisies poisonous to guinea pigs??I am not seeing daisies on the poisonous plants list but I am also not seeing it on the edible plants list either. I'd be safe and tell you to avoid it because I don't know how safe they are for the pigs.


What about the other species of mint besides peppermint and spearmint?Mint, Purple (Perilla frutescens) is poisonous but that's the only variety I see on the poisonous plants list.

masher
04-30-07, 09:48 am
Thanks ly&pigs - I have a few daisies starting to come up on my lawn, although they only seem to be in slight patches. To be honest I don't really think the guinea pigs would actually even touch them, but I'll make sure anyway there are none in the run :)

Thanks.

Ledasmom
04-30-07, 04:13 pm
Queen Anne's Lace appears to be the same species (Daucus carota) as domesticated carrot; I would assume therefore that the tops are safe to feed? I certainly hope so, since we have a heck of a time growing carrots here but cannot get rid of the Queen Anne's Lace.
It would probably be unwise for those who live in areas where water hemlock (genus Cicuta) grows to gather Queen Anne's Lace for food unless they are experts at telling the two apart, as the two are similar in appearance.

gpigluver14
05-06-07, 12:49 pm
Can pigs have Mesclun lettuce? (Lactuca sativa)

Lettuce - growing Lettuce - how to grow Lettuce - Mesclun Lettuce - Mixed Lettuce (http://usagardener.com/how_to_grow_vegetables/how_to_grow_lettuce_mixed.php)

Ledasmom
05-06-07, 01:00 pm
All lettuces of which I am aware are Lactuca sativa; your mesclun mix should be fine, as long as it's an all-lettuce mix - iceberg is rarely a component of mesclun. If it's a mixed-green mesclun with other species, you would want to look up those species to make sure they were acceptable. If you harvest the leaves at a young age, as is commonly done with mesclun, the oxalic acid content of such plants as spinach would be considerably lower than in the mature form, though I would think you would still want to avoid feeding them every day.

Ly&Pigs
05-06-07, 01:01 pm
Can pigs have Mesclun lettuce? (Lactuca sativa)There are a couple members here on the board who feed this so I'd say yes.

gpigluver14
05-06-07, 04:20 pm
Okay, thank you! We have a garden where we grow it, so they'll be getting some fresh from there soon.

masher
05-09-07, 02:18 pm
On the "guinealynx" site are the cleavers mentioned as being edible, the same as "sticky willy?"

Also, it mentions wood sorrel as being okay to feed in small amounts, but what about normal sorrel? I seem to vagualy remember reading somewhere it wasn't good, can somebody verify this please?

jabberwock
05-09-07, 02:57 pm
Cleaver, sticky willy goosegrass (and a few other variations) are all the same thing.

I know that guinealynx says that young wood sorrel leaves are OK in small amounts, but I would be slightly wary because there are a LOT of different plants called wood sorrel (according to wikipedia there are over 800 oxalis species and "many of them" are called wood sorrel), so unless you know that your wood sorrel is exactly the same as the one guinealynx is talking about (and the wood sorrel near me is definitely different!) I would avoid it.

Ordinary sorrel also has quite high levels of oxalic acid so I avoid that too, I've got easy access to lots of better leaves to give.

JarBax
05-10-07, 11:39 am
I was really pleased when I saw that pigs can eat sticky willy, as I have it growing all over the place - but will my pigs go near it?

Ditto wood sorrel - I looked into it a good while ago, and came to the same conclusion as jabberwock - there are so many types of oxalis, there is no way of telling if the safe one is the same as the one mentioned as safe on a US site. The wood sorrel in our woods has white flowers, but the one OK for piggies has yellow. Don't risk it, when there's grass galore at the moment, with all this rain! :)

masher
05-11-07, 10:35 am
Okay, I'll leave the sorrel then :)

Me too Jarbax, sticky willy is in great abundance in my garden too - when I first read they were allowed it I thought it sounded really strange and the pigs would never like it. But I thought I'd try it - and they actually really like it :D Strange!

chewysmom
05-24-07, 09:41 am
Hi, I just found this forum and so far I love it! Already I have learned so much from these threads just in this section my daughter is going ot be so happy at all the new foods I found that we can feed Chewy :cheerful: but I have a question we live in an apartment in the city so I really wouldn't want to pick up grass clippings here for her but where my husband works is rural and lots of fresh grass and dandelions and we go out there weekly can I pick bags of both the grass and dandelions to bring back with us to feed her here?

(and yes she comes with us when we travel)

thanks again

Ly&Pigs
05-24-07, 12:37 pm
The thing about forages is you need to know the area where they come from. The area needs to be free from feces and urine by other animals both domesticated and wild. It needs to be free from pesticides and other chemicals. It also needs to not be from along the roadsides because of gas/oil/etc. contaminating it from vehicles.

So when you make your trips to the rural areas, if they meet the above criteria you could pick some fresh grass and dandelion leaves and give them to Chewy. Dandelions should only be fed 2-3 times per week in smallish amounts because they are pretty high in calcium. Fresh grass can be fed daily but you should start slow and build up if your piggie has never had it in order not to cause tummy upsets.

chewysmom
05-24-07, 12:56 pm
Oh, The area we travel to is where my husbands lives/works in a first nations community that has lots of its own land and doesnt use spray poison but it seems like there may be an issue with animal dropping as there are some stray dogs there as well as rabbits.

Can you wash/rinse grass clippings or dandelions?

Ly&Pigs
05-24-07, 01:09 pm
Can you wash/rinse grass clippings or dandelions?Yes. They need to be washed before giving just like regular veggies. I would avoid the areas with dog and/or rabbit feces.

chewysmom
05-24-07, 02:47 pm
Ly&Pigs, thank you so much for all your help today, I was just telling my daughter about it and she is so exicted about all the new things we can feed Chewy but also to pick grass and dandelions at my husbands place tonight. She is currently gathering "tools" according to her that she will need to wash and clean the grass and dandelions

Trace_n_Ripley
05-26-07, 05:05 pm
Thanks for the info on the clover -- I was just at our community garden plot and there was all this nice grass and red clover growing and I'm glad to find they can eat that as well as the white.

Now, how did they know when I walked in the kitchen and washed my hands that I had some fresh greens for them??? They started wheeking really loud at me! Sometimes, I swear they're psychic!

masher
06-03-07, 06:21 am
Can somebody please tell me if Elderflower leaves are harmful or not?

Thanks :)

masher
06-12-07, 09:41 am
Does anyone know answer to above question - I really can't for/against info anywhere??

^dawn^
06-12-07, 09:52 am
hi masher, I wouldn't feed Elderflower leaves.

Elderflower - Sambucus nigra (http://www.galensgarden.co.uk/herbs/elderflower.php)

jabberwock
06-12-07, 11:46 am
How about the actual flowers? Would they be OK for cavies (if I can spare any after making elderflower cordial and elderflower fritters!)

masher
06-12-07, 12:18 pm
Okay thanks - was just wondering because as Jabberwock mentioned we make elderflower cordial and was just checking we weren't wasting the leaves. Thanks :)

Ly&Pigs
06-12-07, 12:35 pm
I think I'd skip the flowers as well. The plant has diuretic properties and most likely won't be good for our furry little friends.

Ledasmom
08-12-07, 07:07 pm
Does anyone know whether guinea pigs can have goldenrod? This is probably just wishful thinking on my part, but since the backyard is overgrown with it I thought I'd ask.

Ly&Pigs
08-13-07, 11:19 am
Goldenrod is on the poisonous plants list, so it's not safe to feed. Contains high levels of nitrates.

masher
08-19-07, 10:50 am
Hi I just noticed stinging nettles on the suitable plants list, but I was just wondering if this has any ill effect on guinea pigs at all? Would they not sting their tongues?

Thanks.

TrekkiePiggies
09-08-07, 12:33 pm
I would just like to add that if you feed chickweed, make sure you never plant Lobelia ( Lobelia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobelia) ) or harvest from an area where Lobelia has been previously planted. Lobelia looks an awful lot like chickweed when not blooming, and it is poisonous (its other common names include Pukeweed and Vomitwort). However, it has lovely purple flowers, is hardy, and often reseeds, so it is a common garden plant. If you're ever unsure, only feed blooming chickweed ( Stellaria media - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellaria_media) ). The flowers are very different in shape and color, so it's easy to tell the two plants apart.

Paula
11-10-07, 01:15 pm
What about like oats and just wheat? I'm just curious and not planning on feeding them either of the two, but I'd like to know if I could.

Ly&Pigs
11-11-07, 12:44 pm
What about like oats and just wheat? I'm just curious and not planning on feeding them either of the two, but I'd like to know if I could.Preferably oats shouldn't be fed as cavies have a bit harder time digesting these types of grains. I could see feeding oats in a case where there is a severely underweight pig to help gain a bit of weight but there are also other products such as Critical care that are better to help gain weight.

There are so many types of wheat, not sure what kind of wheat you are referring to? Wheat bran, wheat grass?

Char-x
11-23-07, 04:10 pm
Does anyone know if there is much sugar in grass? I ask because I have a diabetic piggy...

Silverbeat
02-11-08, 10:15 pm
Can guinea pigs have chives? I haven't seen it on any lists, recommended or poisonous/harmful.

Ly&Pigs
02-11-08, 10:23 pm
Yes, but only the green parts and not very often. Most pigs won't eat chives or green onion tops.

kimgrif
03-24-08, 06:47 am
I've searched and searched and cannot find this answer definitively. Can guinea pigs have fresh sage leaves? I just happen to have some but won't give it to the girls unless I know without a doubt that it is safe!

Ly&Pigs
03-24-08, 12:07 pm
Yes but only fresh sage and limit it to a couple leaves per feeding a couple times per week.

kimgrif
03-24-08, 02:21 pm
Thank you, Ly!

Cavy_Luvr
04-27-08, 05:26 pm
You have on your list blackberry leaves and raspberry leaves, but are the berries ok?

Ly&Pigs
04-27-08, 05:43 pm
Look at the Nutrition charts sticky thread. The answer is there.

pigsforlife
04-27-08, 06:42 pm
Ly, what about snow pea sprouts? Tried to do a search but nothing came up and it isnt on the nutrition chart.

Ly&Pigs
04-27-08, 09:17 pm
I'd feed them in moderation a couple times per week just like with other types of sprouts.

pigsmakemesmile
05-05-08, 06:22 pm
I'm glad that grass is on the list. It's very fresh, natural and abundant. Everyother day I fill up a bag of fresh grass...the pigs love it...they munch away until their little lips turn green then fall asleep tired from all the nibblin. So cute even their little necks are green. I live in the country away from traffic and don't believe in fertilizer or pesticides so I have no qualms about giving them grass.

DosLunas
05-05-08, 09:18 pm
Sorry, I didn't see an answer for lavendar, we have about 4 plants and would love to give them lavendar if possible. I've tried nasturtiums and squash blosems with no luck. But would love to find out about lavendar. thanks

Ly&Pigs
05-05-08, 09:45 pm
Lavender is edible. If they've never had it before start with very small portions.

julsie
05-06-08, 08:32 am
I'm a little confused -- vetch is on the edible list, as well as the poisonous list. Also, there are multiple types of vetch. We have crown vetch taking over our landscaping, and I dig it up regularly. Is it safe to feed my piggie?

kala83
05-15-08, 07:22 pm
Thanks for info I think I will start trying to give my girls greens now, anything to livin up there diet from just pellets would be wonderful I think.

hueyeats
10-26-08, 09:15 pm
The flowers and leaves are on the edible plants list.


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.

My piggies love the roses & the rose hips.

Whimsy
11-23-08, 05:56 pm
Please try to let your guinea pigs get forages! It is so wonderful to see them popcorn and eat grass and squeak happily for hours! Put them in some nice, soft, chemical free grass and you'll know they're happy!

auburnmare5
11-23-08, 07:39 pm
Ly, for Raspberry leaves, can they have the leaves if the fruit is already growing or already grown? Or is it only when the leaves are young? Why?

Tserisa
12-23-08, 03:42 pm
Duckweed, what an excellent idea! It's so easy to grow. I'm not sure I would feed it from outside, though, because ponds are often so polluted.

I noticed clover on the list. Is it a problem in unlimited quantities like other potentially gassy foods, like cabbage?

Amsley246
01-10-09, 07:55 pm
So these plant you have listed, you can feel them the whole plant or just certain parts of it? I'm so excited to start my first garden this summer and be able to share it with my piggies!

piggers_sienna
02-27-09, 08:42 pm
Are grape vines ok to feed to the piggies as well as the grapes?

Ly&Pigs
02-27-09, 10:59 pm
Are grape vines ok to feed to the piggies as well as the grapes?
I would not feed the vines or leaves. Only the grapes.

Gwendolyn
03-16-09, 01:47 pm
You can feed duckweed?! Who would have ever thought of that for a cavy. lol

seredman
04-22-09, 03:26 pm
I have a question about feeding fresh alfalfa. I have a 3mo old baby girl and I know that supplements of alfalfa hay are reccommended but how about fresh as a forage?

Ly&Pigs
04-22-09, 03:34 pm
Fresh is always good. But on the days you give alfalfa as forage, you don't need the hay. You are feeding unlimited grass hay right and not just alfalfa hay?

seredman
04-23-09, 06:12 am
Yes they have unlimited access to a timothy/orchard mix hay. I just wanted to make sure that the fresh alfalfa wasn't going to be too rich, I will just use the fresh as a forage treat then same as the regular grasses. Thank you.

Should I?
04-30-09, 09:25 am
Is there any benefit to feeding grass?

Ly&Pigs
04-30-09, 11:41 am
Is there any benefit to feeding grass?
Absolutely. They get vitamins and minerals from it. Forages should be a part of all pigs' diets. Fresh grass is one of the best forages out there. The reason we feed grass hay is because finding large amounts of long strands of fresh grass all year long is an improbability for most people.

werevamper
05-06-09, 01:33 pm
Does anybody know what this kind of flower is? It's purple with a white middle, only grows to about an inch, has five petals, and is found growing near dandelions. I live in south eastern MN. I want to put my pigs outside and don't want them to eat a potentially poisonous flower. It might be a weed too, I'm not sure.

pigsmakemesmile
05-06-09, 03:32 pm
I'm glad they can eat dandelions.....I have a ton right now in my yard. If it weren't for the cool rainy weather today they'd be out on the grass eating both.

blackarrow
05-06-09, 04:50 pm
Does anybody know what this kind of flower is? It's purple with a white middle, only grows to about an inch, has five petals, and is found growing near dandelions. I live in south eastern MN. I want to put my pigs outside and don't want them to eat a potentially poisonous flower. It might be a weed too, I'm not sure.

Do a Google image search for "violet" - is that what you're looking at?

werevamper
05-07-09, 01:28 pm
Do a Google image search for "violet" - is that what you're looking at?

Yes it is. Thanks. Would it be the field violet in Ly's list then so it's ok for the pigs to eat?

ChristyG
05-07-09, 06:09 pm
Danelions..great..I have a bunch in my yard..which we have no fertilizer or pesticides on!

fairylover
05-31-09, 03:30 pm
What about Ecoli from dogs' excrement? I have dogs and cats so I'm afraid to give the grass and stuff to my guinea pigs.

Ly&Pigs
05-31-09, 05:34 pm
You wouldn't give them grass that has been or potentially been contaminated by other species such as dogs or cats.

chaton
12-09-09, 03:32 pm
Does anyone know the status of something called "Fescues." I believe it to be a type of grass/ground cover. I'm looking at some ground cover mixes that are mostly clovers, orchard grass, alfalfas...all stuff that I know are ok, but I searched for "fescue" and didn't have anything come up.

Does anyone have a recommendation for buying seed (preferably organic) to make a little home cavy garden? Websites that cater to home gardeners so I don't end up with 5lbs of timothy seed. :) Thanks.

Ly&Pigs
12-09-09, 04:56 pm
Fescue is a type of grass and is used as hay also. Fescue does have a mold/fungus problem associated with it. I won't feed local hay anymore as it's over 1/2 fescue.

If you want to plant a garden for your cavies, wheat grass, timothy, bluegrass and orchard would be good choices. I'd do more grasses and stay away from alfalfa. You could do clover too.

DressCode
01-10-10, 08:12 pm
Ly
I have had my piggie for 4 months now:love:, and he only seems to like carrots and hay. I want to start growing hay for him in a box that he can get into. Would this be ok? We live in an apartment, and he's alone, so I don't want him to get to big on grass. Also, what kind of grass seed should I get? is any mix from a garden store ok?:confused:

Ly&Pigs
01-10-10, 11:20 pm
Ly
I have had my piggie for 4 months now:love:, and he only seems to like carrots and hay. You need to stop giving carrot and start giving daily staples in small amounts a few times a day and leave them in the cage. Carrots are only a treat veggie. Daily staples are lettuces, bell pepper and cilantro. Feed these three things only until he eats them regularly then you can add in more variety.


I want to start growing hay for him in a box that he can get into. Would this be ok? We live in an apartment, and he's alone, so I don't want him to get to big on grass. Also, what kind of grass seed should I get? is any mix from a garden store ok?:confused:If you mean grow grass in a box with dirt and stuff that he can access, it's a bad idea as you will end up with a very dirty, muddy pig. You can grow grass for him but don't give him access to what you grow it in, just cut it and feed it. Grass when available is one of the best things you can give him, he won't get fat from grass. He does also need an unlimited supply of grass hay because unless you have many, many containers of fresh grass growing, you won't be able to give him unlimited amounts of it.

I'd go for grasses that are not ornamental types. Timothy grass seed, orchard grass seed, bermuda, etc. would all be good choices.

Silverbeat
02-12-10, 06:54 pm
I looked through and I couldn't find it, but I will be growing a few stalks of corn in my garden this summer. I'm wondering if it would be okay to feed my guinea pigs the stalks/leaves? I know you can feed the husks almost daily. What about the rest of the plant? Same question for broccoli/cauliflower.

Ly&Pigs
02-12-10, 08:04 pm
I really don't know on the corn. It would be better, in my opinion, to just stick to husk and silk. Broccoli leaves and stem can be fed. I'd have to look up cauliflower.

Silverbeat
02-12-10, 08:14 pm
I have fed cauliflower and broccoli leaves but I wasn't sure about the rest of the plant. Though I suppose even if I did feed broccoli "stalks" it would not be worth it, as it would have to be sparingly and the plant is huge.
As far as corn goes, I guess I'll just have to dry it and use it as fall decor.

chrisandpiggers
02-24-10, 07:55 am
What about amaranth?
I usually give the pigs a few small leaves each, every three days or so. Although the type I give is the green, wild amaranth. It grows in our back yard and is chemical free. In Greek it's called vleeta and we sometimes eat it ourselves.
From Wikipedia:
They are a very good source of vitamins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin) including vitamin A (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_A), vitamin K (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_K), vitamin B6 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B6), vitamin C (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_C), riboflavin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riboflavin), and folate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folate), and dietary minerals including calcium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium), iron (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron), magnesium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium), phosphorus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphorus), potassium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium), zinc (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinc), copper (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper), and manganese (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manganese). However their moderately high content of oxalic acid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxalic_acid) inhibits the absorption of calcium and zinc.

Is it okay to keep feeding them this in moderation?

Ly&Pigs
02-26-10, 02:39 am
Amaranth is on the poisonous plants list. It's toxic to guinea pigs. Discontinue feeding.

chrisandpiggers
02-26-10, 03:43 am
Thank you. I will definitely take that advice on board.
I've been feeding vleeta to my pigs for years and haven't had any medical problems apart from a URI and some lice. If it was that toxic wouldn't of they gotten sick already? Or not necessarily?

Ly&Pigs
02-27-10, 01:39 pm
After having a little more time today to do more research and digging around on the net.

Directly from the source: Harmful & Poisonous Plants: A-G (http://www.anapsid.org/resources/plants-ag.html)

AMARANTH (Amaranthus hybridus); plant may contain toxic levels of nitrates.

Amaranthus hybridus (AMARANTH, CARELESS WEED, TUMBLEWEED); plant may contain toxic levels of nitrates.

There are many varieties of amaranth and the ones on the poisonous plants list states hybridus and the variety you feed is Amaranthus viridis so it seems a different species and may be fine. It's often confusing to figure out what is or isn't safe because there are so many varieties of the same plants. And some plants in that genus are ok while others are not.

cavymomma
03-07-10, 08:22 am
We live in Florida and grown banana trees down the side of our house. Our Guinea pigs love to eat the banana leaves. We have tried slices of bananas every now and then, but they aren't so interested. They love the leaves.

hurleyslave
03-24-10, 01:35 pm
How about marigolds? I noticed that Kaytee recently came out with timothy hay infused with marigolds for added boost to the immune system or for antioxidants (can't remember which). I always grow marigolds every year so this would definitely be a plus for me if I can feed them fresh marigolds. So is marigolds okay?

Peggysu
03-24-10, 01:41 pm
Here's a previous thread that included marigolds; http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/diet-nutrition/43898-flowers-safe-humans-also-safe-piggies-eat.html

Squeek
05-18-10, 06:05 pm
You have 'wild' strawberry leaves on the edible list but what about the domesticated (lol) ones we grow in the garden to harvest berries from? I have been over-run by my starwberry plants this year and do not know whether to transplant them, freecycle them, or if I can feed them to my Stoli I'd rather that. Are they poisonous?

Ly&Pigs
05-20-10, 10:25 pm
Domesticated strawberry leaves are fine.