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Thread: Mixed age group- how to offer timothy, alfalfa and pellets

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    Cavy Slave
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    Question Mixed age group- how to offer timothy, alfalfa and pellets

    We have 4 females ages 3.5 mo - 9 mo. They've enjoyed MANY supervised playtime and outdoor grass eating contests and I'd love to let them live together but I'm unsure how to keep my 9 mo Charlotte from eating all the alfalfa and young GP pellets.
    Can I house this group together?
    I've a 2x5 and would add my midwest enclosure as a kitchen/hay loft but don't know if unlimited alfalfa is ok for 9 month old Charlotte
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Mixed age group- how to offer timothy, alfalfa and pellets

    First of all, don't allow them to keep having play dates. They are not beneficial for guinea pigs and can actually be quite stressful. Either introduce them together or keep them permanently separated.

    Yes you can definitely house them all together. The younger ones don't actually need alfalfa hay or young guinea pig pellets (and they shouldn't be having both anyways). What they need is an additional source of calcium which can be achieved by feeding some high calcium veggies. Parsley works wonderfully for that. A few sprigs for each of the younger ones every day is sufficient. This way you can feed all of them timothy pellets, timothy hay and regular vegetables and can just supplement the little ones with an extra veggie treat.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Mixed age group- how to offer timothy, alfalfa and pellets

    Sally, thank you for your helpful reply!
    If you would clarify... young piggies don't require the supposed additional protein that alfalfa supplies (that was the rational I received for using alfalfa for cavies under 6 months).
    What I understand from you is the differing nutritional requirement is an increased calcium need for young.
    Looking forward to putting these girls for good
    Thank you again

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Mixed age group- how to offer timothy, alfalfa and pellets

    From my knowledge, a young guinea pigs protein requirement can be met by a Timothy pellet and hay diet. The main concern is that young pigs need some extra calcium.

    Myself and other members here have successfully raised young pigs with adults without alfalfa in their diets. I know my cavy savvy vet supported the diet for when I introduced a baby into my group of 3 year old girls.

    If you are concerned about a lack of protein for the little ones you could always take them out for a period every day and offer some additional alfalfa or young guinea pig pellets.

    They all need timothy or some other long stranded grass hay (orchard, brome, meadow) as alfalfa is actually a legume and doesn't have the same wearing down effect as hay. Be sure you're not just feeding them alfalfa (should be mixed with regular hay), they also don't need both alfalfa and alfalfa pellets. Pick one or the other if you are going to offer it.

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    Re: Mixed age group- how to offer timothy, alfalfa and pellets

    Sally, thank you for your kind help and information! Glad I found this forum- it seems to be filled with knowledgeable cavy people who dont mind helping others learn - im thankful

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Mixed age group- how to offer timothy, alfalfa and pellets

    No problem! This forum is so valuable, I have learned a lot over the years and am happy to help others. I love it when new owners are looking for and receptive to advice! It's nice seeing people want to give their pets the best life possible

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