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Thread: I need help with veggies.

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave Number1Sticky's Avatar
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    I need help with veggies.

    I need help with veggies for my guinea pig (and rabbits-if anyone knows about rabbits). I've haven't been very good about feeding them veggies over the years. I know it's bad and I feel horrible about it. But I'm feeding them veggies on a daily basic now. But the problem is because they aren't use to them they don't eat much of a variety. I'm trying to give them a variety. But they don't eat most of the stuff I try, and I've tried several times. I can try to give them the same food for a week straight but have to throw it away because they don't touch it.

    Right now they are only getting (each day):
    Red Leaf Lettuce
    Carrots
    Green Peppers

    Stuff they won't eat that I've tried:
    Celery
    Cucumber
    Squash
    Tomatoes
    Zucchini

    So I was just wondering what I can try to do to get them to eat it?
    What are some other stuff they can eat on a daily basic?
    Can I give them two different kinds of lettuce in one day?
    Like could I give them red leaf and romaine lettuce?

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    Cavy Slave KiwiCavyAdorer's Avatar
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    Re: I need help with veggies.

    Hi there,

    in the Nutrition section of the forum, in the sticky notes you'll find sample daily veggie menu charts, and you'll find all the veggies, fruits and forages that are colour coded to indicate frequency of feeding, Ly&Pigs has create a PDF of the charts that we can print off and put up on our fridges, which most of us have done.

    I wouldn't be too worried about slow uptake of new foods... I've had Maximus von Lichtenwalder for two months now, and yesterday was the very first time he took capsicum - red pepper... I had to munch on it in front of him with him smelling my breath for weeks before he even tried a bit and when he ate his first bit it was from the piece I had been munching on...
    Same with cherry tomatoes, and carrots.

    From what I've read so far, piggies have different tastes in food, just like they have different personalities. When you are introducing new foods, remember that their systems may have to adjust in order for them to be able to digest it, so just try little bits with the stuff you know they do like and give them lots of time to come around to the idea of it. I was really worried Maximus von Lichtenwalder wouldn't be getting enough vitamin C without the green peppers, but if he will take red peppers then I am happy since he doesn't like carrots - he's eaten a measly 10 milimeters of carrot twice in 8 weeks!... well that's his taste choice for now anyway, that may change next month. (red peppers are high in sugar, and so are carrots - so it's better to watch the sugar in take by feeding green peppers daily, and carrots only a couple times a week.)

    You can feed more than one kind of lettuce in a day. Red and Romaine are both on the every day charts. Have a try with Cilantro (coriander) sprigs. There's lots to choose from on the charts.

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    Cavy Slave LightningPig1's Avatar
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    Re: I need help with veggies.

    Thunder was the same way at first except he would barely nibble a thing!! It took about 2-3 months to officially start eating vegetables like a normal guinea pig, . Now he gobbles them all up in like 5 minutes and he's done!

    Don't feed him carrots or tomatoes or anything sweet right now. He needs to focus on eating stuff that he needs.

    It seems he's eating lettuce and bell pepper, that's a good start. Next, try feeding cilantro. Even if he doesn't eat it, keep on offering it to him everyday, replacing it with the stuff that he didn't eat. It may take a little while for him to start eating it, and it will happen gradually but be patient and keep feeding it.

    I have to say almost all of the guinea pigs I've heard of do not eat squash or zuccini. I have no idea why. You could try feeding for a couple of weeks just like the cilantro but the chances are, he's not going to eat it.

    Do the same with other vegetables. I would use parsley, cucumber, celery, other types of lettuce. Just remember that you should not feed celery, cucumber or tomato everyday. You should should feed those every other day or even less. After he starts eating the basics, lettuces, bell pepper, cilantro(which should be fed everyday), you can go more on the sweeter side gradually but remember, sweets (fruits, red bell pepper etc.) should be fed twice a week or less.

    All guinea pigs have different tastes but right now I think your guinea pig just hasn't learned to eat them yet. If it's been a month or of consistent feeding it and he isn't showing any signs of eating those veggies, it probably means he just doesn't like them, and that's okay but you should give them a try because he probably really does like them, he's just not used to them.

    Yes, you can feed him as many different lettuces as you want everyday. The more variety, the better.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: I need help with veggies.

    My tried and true method for introducing new veggies is to dice them into tiny bits and sprinkle them over the pellets. They'll get enough bits by accident to get accustomed to the taste, and then you can give larger pieces. I'd try one veggie at a time, and dice it for two weeks, then try a larger slice. If they eat that, start feeding the larger slices, and start a new one with the tiny dicing.

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


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    Cavy Slave Number1Sticky's Avatar
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    Re: I need help with veggies.

    I was looking to the sample lists and think this one would work well for me. But I have a few questions.

    1. Instead of Romaine can I use red/green lead lettuce?
    2. Is there something else I could use instead of Mixed leaves? Could I use Romaine instead?
    3. Can I freeze some of the veggies? Because most of this stuff I don't eat and I would have to buy it in somewhat large quantities.

    Thanks!!

    Monday am.
    Romaine - 1 large leaf/2 smaller leaves
    Cherry tomato – half
    Courgette/zucchini - 1/2 inch chunk
    Bell pepper - green - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Bell pepper - yellow - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Carrot - 1 baby carrot/pinky finger sized chunk
    Cucumber - 1/4" chunk

    Monday pm.
    Round lettuce - 2 leaves
    Celery - 2" piece chopped
    Bell pepper - red - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Green beans – 2
    Coriander/cilantro - 2 sprigs

    Tuesday am.
    Curly lettuce - (endive) 2 - 3 leaves
    Cherry tomato – half
    Courgette/zucchini - 1/2 inch chunk
    Bell pepper - red - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Bell pepper - orange - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Carrot - 1 baby carrot/pinky finger sized chunk
    Curly Kale - 4 small pieces chopped

    Tuesday pm
    Round lettuce - 2 leaves
    Melon skin - taken back to the rind - 1" slice
    Cucumber - 1/4" chunk
    Bell pepper - green - 1/8" pepper sliced
    Dill - 1 sprig
    Coriander/cilantro - 2 sprigs

    Wednesday am.
    Romaine - 1 large leaf/2 smaller leaves
    Cherry tomato – half
    Courgette/zucchini - 1/2 inch chunk
    Bell pepper - green - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Bell pepper - yellow - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Carrot - 1 baby carrot/pinky finger sized chunk
    Broccoli - 1 branchlet
    Coriander/cilantro - 2 sprigs

    Wednesday pm
    Mixed leaves (from bag) - 1 handful
    Celery - 2" piece chopped
    Bell pepper - orange - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Parsley - 2 sprigs
    Apple - 1" chunk

    Thursday am.
    Curly lettuce (endive) - 2 - 3 leaves
    Cherry tomato – half
    Courgette/zucchini - 1/2 inch chunk
    Bell pepper - green - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Bell pepper - orange - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Carrot - 1 baby carrot/pinky finger sized chunk
    Snap peas – 2
    Coriander/cilantro - 2 sprigs

    Thursday pm
    Round lettuce - 2 leaves
    Melon skin - taken back to rind - 1"
    Turnip - small 1" slice
    Cucumber - 1/4" chunk
    Bell pepper - red - 1/8 pepper sliced

    Friday am.
    Romaine - 1 large leaf/2 smaller leaves
    Cherry tomato – half
    Courgette/zucchini - 1/2 inch chunk
    Bell pepper - green - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Bell pepper - yellow - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Carrot - 1 baby carrot/pinky finger sized chunk
    Curly Kale - 4 small pieces chopped

    Friday pm.
    Mixed leaves – handful
    Celery - leaves - from 1 stem
    Bell pepper - red - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Blueberries – 2
    Coriander/cilantro - 2 sprigs

    Saturday am.
    Romaine - 1 large leaf/2 smaller leaves
    Cherry tomato – half
    Courgette/zucchini - 1/2 inch chunk
    Bell pepper - green - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Bell pepper - yellow - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Carrot - 1 baby carrot/pinky finger sized chunk
    Broccoli - 1 branchlet
    Coriander/cilantro - 2 sprigs

    Saturday pm.
    Curly lettuce (endive) - 2 - 3 leaves
    Cucumber - 1/4" chunk
    Melon skin - taken back to rind - 1" slice
    Bell pepper - orange - 1/8 peper sliced
    Parsley - 2 sprigs

    Sunday am.
    Curly lettuce - (endive) - 2 - 3 leaves
    Cherry tomato – half
    Courgette/zucchini - 1/2 inch chunk
    Bell pepper - green - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Bell pepper - yellow - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Carrot - 1 baby carrot/pinky finger sized chunk
    Green beans – 2

    Sunday pm.
    Mixed leaves - from bag – handful
    Celery - 2" chunk chopped
    Coriander/cilantro - 2 sprigs
    Bell pepper - red - 1/8 pepper sliced
    Parsley - 2 sprigs

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: I need help with veggies.

    You can definitely use red or green leaf lettuce instead of Romaine, and you can use Romaine instead of mixed leaves. One word of caution about the Romaine, though -- several GP owners I know of have pigs who get milky/gritty urine with Romaine. I had to cut it totally out of my two pigs' diet. So if you decide to give it, be sure to watch for white spots in their cage, and cut back on it if you find them.

    Most of the veggies in that list above will get soggy if frozen, and will lose some of their nutritional value. Blueberries and cranberries seem to do ok, but they're treats rather than staples. But rather than freezing things, I'd just trim the list a little and not try to keep so many things in the fridge.

    You don't have to keep three different colors of peppers in the fridge -- just buy as much of any color you want that will keep in the fridge until it's gone. Same thing with the lettuces -- I buy whatever looks best when it's in season, and it varies throughout the year.

    There's not enough broccoli in that list to make it worthwhile to buy any, unless you eat it yourself and can save a sprig or two. Ditto with the kale.

    I think you'll settle down into a steady diet of what your pigs like most, with occasional treats and occasional attempts to introduce new foods that are in season. Mine routinely get, daily for each, red or green lettuce, half a baby carrot, a slice of Roma tomato (or whatever's in season), slices of any color of bell pepper I've got, and corn husks. As I find them at the store, or buy them for the family, they get celery (they love the leafy parts), green beans, cucumber, zucchini, endive, herbs (they adore dill and basil, and one loves thyme), and fruits (as treats only).

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: I need help with veggies.

    Pigs should never be fed frozen veggies due to the vitamins and minerals deteriorating in them and they do not retain their crispness after freezing.

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    Cavy Slave Number1Sticky's Avatar
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    Re: I need help with veggies.

    I just wanted to let everyone know that I started feeding cilantro and my piggy loves it. Next I think I'm going to try endive.

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Duffinvt's Avatar
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    Re: I need help with veggies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Number1Sticky View Post
    I just wanted to let everyone know that I started feeding cilantro and my piggy loves it. Next I think I'm going to try endive.
    Endive is a huge hit with my pigs. And, it is super easy to grow!

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    Cavy Slave Number1Sticky's Avatar
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    Re: I need help with veggies.

    I was just wondering, would it be ok if I gave him a carrot everyday as long as I cut it to about the size of a baby carrot? Or would that still be too much sugar?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: I need help with veggies.

    Mine get a small baby carrot each every day, but if it's a bigger baby carrot, I cut it in half.

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    Cavy Slave Number1Sticky's Avatar
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    Re: I need help with veggies.

    Here is a list I made from all the information I've gotten. Are all the veggies on this list ok to give on a daily basis?

    Butter lettuce (Boston/bibb)
    Carrot (small amount)
    Cilantro
    Corn husks
    Endive
    Grape tomatoes
    Green Leaf Lettuce
    Green Swiss Chard
    Red Leaf Lettuce
    Red Swiss Chard
    Romaine lettuce
    Zucchini

    Is there anything to add?

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    Cavy Slave Number1Sticky's Avatar
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    Re: I need help with veggies.

    What about:
    Bok choy
    Escarole
    Fennel
    Mint
    Orange bell pepper
    Oregano
    Radish tops
    Sage
    Spring greens

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: I need help with veggies.

    In the second post in this thread (www.guineapigcages.com/forum/diet-nutrition/22156-read-me-guinea-pig-nutrition-charts-poisonous-plants-list.html), you'll find a long list of fruits and vegetables and how often each can be fed. Take a look, please, and see if that answers your questions.

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    Cavy Slave Number1Sticky's Avatar
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    Re: I need help with veggies.

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    In the second post in this thread (www.guineapigcages.com/forum/diet-nutrition/22156-read-me-guinea-pig-nutrition-charts-poisonous-plants-list.html), you'll find a long list of fruits and vegetables and how often each can be fed. Take a look, please, and see if that answers your questions.
    That's where I got most of the answers. But the list doesn't have the foods I asked about.

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: I need help with veggies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Number1Sticky View Post
    That's where I got most of the answers. But the list doesn't have the foods I asked about.
    Yes, the info on most of the veggies you asked about is on my charts. Use the pak choy reference for bok choy. Lettuces are all daily. There is a special note about chard.

    Herbs are best fed in small amounts 2-3 times a week. Radish tops are once, maybe twice a week. The rest are on the charts.

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