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Thread: Newbie questions

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    Cavy Slave
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    Newbie questions

    I'm possibly adopting 2 guinea pigs from a friend and trying to get an idea of cost for my husband who knows I always feed my animals the best so what they currently eat might not be accurate to what I feed them

    So what do they need as far as diet goes to be healthy? Pelleted food and hay? Brands? Any supplements or treats needed?

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    Cavy Slave Snugglybutt's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie questions

    Welcome! My boars go though a 40oz bag of Oxbow orchard grass a week, which is $14. Make sure the pigs have constant supply to hay! You also need pellets, but because you only need to feed a small amount daily (I think it's 1/8th cup per pig?), a bag can last months. I use Oxbow pellets myself, but I hear good things about Sherwood and KMS. Piggies also need a vitamin C supplement. I don't have much knowledge on the different kinds but I use the Oxbow vitamin C tablets and it's $12 a bag which lasts me about a month. On top of all of this, you need to supply 1 cup of veggies per pig daily. I don't purchase treats for my pigs so I have no recommendations for that. Bedding is another cost that can get expensive depending on what option you prefer. *all my prices are in CAD

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    Re: Newbie questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Snugglybutt View Post
    Welcome! My boars go though a 40oz bag of Oxbow orchard grass a week, which is $14. Make sure the pigs have constant supply to hay! You also need pellets, but because you only need to feed a small amount daily (I think it's 1/8th cup per pig?), a bag can last months. I use Oxbow pellets myself, but I hear good things about Sherwood and KMS. Piggies also need a vitamin C supplement. I don't have much knowledge on the different kinds but I use the Oxbow vitamin C tablets and it's $12 a bag which lasts me about a month. On top of all of this, you need to supply 1 cup of veggies per pig daily. I don't purchase treats for my pigs so I have no recommendations for that. Bedding is another cost that can get expensive depending on what option you prefer. *all my prices are in CAD
    Thank you! That's perfect!
    How do you determine how much vitamin c to give them? Also is there a reason for orchard vs Timothy?

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    Cavy Slave Snugglybutt's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie questions

    Quote Originally Posted by my4boys7 View Post
    Thank you! That's perfect!
    How do you determine how much vitamin c to give them? Also is there a reason for orchard vs Timothy?

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    No problem! I'm not the most experienced owner but another user will probably chime in and add some more information I forgot about!
    I just give 1 vitamin C tablet to each pig daily. I know that some people use actual vitamin C tablets that aren't made for animals so that's another option to research too. It's probably much cheaper to buy actual vitamin C tablets rather than the Oxbow tablets.

    I use orchard grass because my pigs don't like Timothy for some reason. Also, I've read that orchard grass is a great option for people who have allergies to hay. Many people on this forum seem to alternate different kinds of hay... one week they'll provide orchard then the next week it'll be Timothy. I also provide botanical hay as a little treat once in a while : ) It's very sweet.

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    Cavy Slave LittleSqueakers's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie questions

    Timothy hay is what most people feed their pigs, but if you have problems with grass allergies, orchard grass tends to upset allergies less than timothy.

    You can find hay at the pet store, but most of it is sold in very small quantities and the quality may not be great because it usually sits on a shelf for a long time. Another option that a lot of us choose to do is buy hay in bulk from an online supplier. The quality tends to be MUCH better because it comes directly from the farm, and you can get enough hay to last months. Obviously, the up-front cost of buying a large bulk of hay is more than buying a little baggie of it, but per ounce, bulk hay costs a fraction of the hay sold in pet stores, so you save a lot of money long term. Some of the favorite bulk suppliers of timothy hay for small pets that are commonly used by members of this forum are KleenMama's Hayloft, Oxbow, American Pet Diner, Small Pet Select, and Sweet Meadow Farms. The cheapest and best option for hay if it's available to you is to purchase a partial bale from a farm or a horse barn.

    Most adult pigs need around 25 mg vitamin C daily, but they don't really need a vitamin C supplement unless they are sick or elderly. Providing 1 cup of a variety of fresh veggies per pig daily is the most important thing to ensure they are getting the vitamin C and nutrition that they need. Just be sure to include veggies that are high in vitamin C and lower in calcium, such as bell pepper.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie questions

    Just as an FYI, medical bills can be a FAR larger part of guinea pig expense than food and bedding. They need exotic vets, which can be thin on the ground, and the treatment is not cheap. If you're worried about how you're going to feed them, you need to decide whether you can afford medical for them as well.

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    Re: Newbie questions

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleSqueakers View Post
    Timothy hay is what most people feed their pigs, but if you have problems with grass allergies, orchard grass tends to upset allergies less than timothy.

    You can find hay at the pet store, but most of it is sold in very small quantities and the quality may not be great because it usually sits on a shelf for a long time. Another option that a lot of us choose to do is buy hay in bulk from an online supplier. The quality tends to be MUCH better because it comes directly from the farm, and you can get enough hay to last months. Obviously, the up-front cost of buying a large bulk of hay is more than buying a little baggie of it, but per ounce, bulk hay costs a fraction of the hay sold in pet stores, so you save a lot of money long term. Some of the favorite bulk suppliers of timothy hay for small pets that are commonly used by members of this forum are KleenMama's Hayloft, Oxbow, American Pet Diner, Small Pet Select, and Sweet Meadow Farms. The cheapest and best option for hay if it's available to you is to purchase a partial bale from a farm or a horse barn.

    Most adult pigs need around 25 mg vitamin C daily, but they don't really need a vitamin C supplement unless they are sick or elderly. Providing 1 cup of a variety of fresh veggies per pig daily is the most important thing to ensure they are getting the vitamin C and nutrition that they need. Just be sure to include veggies that are high in vitamin C and lower in calcium, such as bell pepper.
    Thank you!! What other types of veggies are good options? Is squash a safe one? (I have a bearded dragon so I already have squash on hand) Not sure they were ever given veggies or vit c they just said they feed the pellets and hay. I officially have them now so though.

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    Re: Newbie questions


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


  13. #9
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    Re: Newbie questions

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Thank you that's exactly what I've been looking for! You just never know what websites you can trust when you just use Google

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