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Thread: So much conflicting info on WHAT and HOW MUCH - What do piggy veterans say?

  1. #1
    Cavy Newbie
    Feb 20, 2019
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    So much conflicting info on WHAT and HOW MUCH - What do piggy veterans say?

    Hi all,

    New to the forum, so hello, and a little about our piggy: I adopted a one-year-old guinea pig a few weeks ago from the shelter. It's been a learning process! The shelter didn't have much about his history, only that he came to this shelter from another shelter. He had a cage mate but this shelter separated them because they said they were fighting too much, with the other pig being the aggressor.

    He seems healthy and happy, and of course loves to eat. But I am so stressed out every day wondering if I'm feeding too much, too little, the wrong thing, etc. I've read many feeding charts and forum FAQs online, including the nutrition chart on this one. My theory used to be that if someone took the time to compile a comprehensive guinea pig feeding chart, they must know what they're talking about, but so much of this information is directly conflicting that I don't know what to believe.

    And the amounts and frequency - some say 1 cup of veggies per day at MOST, while others say that's the bare minimum, and others say they shouldn't get veggies at all except as "occasional treats." Some say once a day, some say twice, some say throughout the day. What????? And the categories - near daily (but not), a few times per week, occasionally per week, and occasionally per month -- but never too much of anything at once, and variety is key.

    Well, by the time you parse the nevers and the not-quite-dailies and the variety and the not-too-muches, I'm exhausted wondering if I'm actually harming my pig, or giving him the best life.

    If he has veggies 2x a day for a week, that's 14 meals, but between the things he's not supposed to have often and the things he can't have "every" day, I run out of choices to give him without violating some rule.

    What I've been doing is giving him a salad 2x daily, morning and night, about of cup of food each time. He loves herbs most -- parsley, cilantro, dill -- followed by peppers, carrots romaine, red leaf lettuce, dandelion greens and swiss chard. I mix things up, like maybe giving parsley and peppers in the morning and lettuce and carrots at night, type of thing. I got him a spring mix once, thinking that was the perfect greens, but then I read that the beet greens, or kale or spinach or whatever else was in it was a NEVER (after also reading that those things were fine).

    He won't touch fruit. We've tried strawberries, grapes, melon, blueberries, banana. Good thing I guess, because I just saw a chart this morning that says NEVER feed grapes or banana, although before I tried those things, I saw another chart that said they were ok (in moderation).

    He also eats all his pellets (Oxbow, Vitamin C fortified adult Guinea, 1/8 cup every 24 hours) and of course lots of hay -- second cut fresh timothy all the time, and alfalfa hay 3-4 times a week.

    He seems fine with what I'm doing. Or am I deluding myself and complete nutritional failure is imminent?

    P.S. I hate this "argument" -- that just because you do something and survive, that it's fine to do, like no car seats or seat belts in the 70s -- but for argument's sake, I'm sure when guinea pigs were in the "wild," they didn't have access to organic 2nd cut hay, organic, washed, human-grade vegetables, and certainly not pellets. And again, although the argument is flawed, as I'm sure guinea pigs in the wild have disease and whatnot, and don't necessarily live long lives, still, they were able to live long enough to breed and live in herds, and I'm sure the biggest problem is/was predation, human and other. So what the heck do they eat????? Does anyone know?

    (I'm a little unclear as to whether guinea pigs live in the wild today. I've seen - again, ha! - conflicting info.)

    Many thanks in advance and sorry for the long post!
    Last edited by flavrofthewheek; 02-20-19 at 09:41 am. Reason: formatting screwy

  2. #2
    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
    Oct 09, 2011
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    Re: So much conflicting info on WHAT and HOW MUCH - What do piggy veterans say?

    Rather than repeating a post I made yesterday, see my comment on this thread:

    I'm sure others may have more time to answer your questions in detail. Don't drive yourself crazy with trying to create the perfect diet because your cavy just may not like some of the foods that others feed. My boys have a fairly narrow range of foods that they like so that makes it easy for us. Regarding spring has always worked for me and I feed one variety or the other virtually every meal which makes the whole process much easier. Just don't buy the mix that is half spring mix and half spinach for obvious reasons.

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