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Thread: I keep trying but he isn't interested

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    Cavy Slave
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    I keep trying but he isn't interested

    So I've had Sam a little over a week. He is eating his pellet food wonderfully. But the veggies he MIGHT take one or two nibbles and that's it. I've been trying green beans and carrots. I need to pick up some lettuce for him. I have some zucchini I'm going to cut in a bit and give him a slice. How do I get him to eat veggies? Is it just a trial and error to find what he likes? He is a pet store pig if that makes any difference. Maybe he just isn't used to them? Is it like a child, keep offering and maybe he will eat it? Is there something that I should try first? And what are staples that he should have daily? I know fruit should be limited, but should I try some since he isn't into the veggies? Sorry, new pig parent and just trying to do the best for him!

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner MrWhistles's Avatar
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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    Stick to staples he needs most. That is lettuce and green bell pepper. Once he starts reliably eating those then you can introduce other veggies to him. I find that having a cage mate that eats the veggies will help the other eat the veggies. My sows used to the opposites when it came to veggies. Lady disliked them, Korra LOVED them. But Lady didn't like Korra having anything she couldn't have. Soon Lady was eating every piece of her veggies and even attempting to steal veggies from Korra.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ellisa's Avatar
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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    I would try getting him to eat lettuce first. It's a good starting point. Once he's eating all of his lettuce then you can move on to another veg.
    You are giving hay, right? They need unlimited long strand grass hay 24/7.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    Yes, he always has hay. Sorry I meant to mention that. He seems to eat that really well.

    What kind of lettuce should I start with? I k ow iceberg doesn't really offer anything nutritionally. Is romain is a good one? Or is there better?

    thanks for the replies!

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ellisa's Avatar
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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    You could try romaine, but if you start to see calcium deposits I would switch to green or red leaf. There's something in romaine that causes some pigs to excrete extra calcium, which could potentially lead to stones.

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    Cavy Slave madelineelaine's Avatar
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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    Well I know the pet store around me ONLY feeds them carrots. They really aren't used to any veggies. Keep offering them. If you continously give him things like lettuce and pepper, eventually he'll get the message. My pigs used to be very picky, now they eat anything.

    Another thing you can do is chop his veggies very small and mix them with his pellets. Eventually he'll eat enough of it to get used to it.

    But work on pepper and lettuce first. Maybe a bit of tomato.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ellisa's Avatar
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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    To get my pigs to eat pepper, I would chop it up finely with something they did like, and something that would mask the strong scent. I used a bit of apple or carrot. They would eventually tried some of the pepper and realized how delicious it is. I really think the smell of some veg turns pigs off. At least it seems that way from my experience.

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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    Gah! This is a picky pig! I got green pepper and red leaf lettuce and he isn't eating them yet. I will get him to eat veggies!!! I tried zuchini and yellow squash too.

    Are there any supplements I should be giving him until he starts eating the veggies?

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner MrWhistles's Avatar
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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyToaster View Post
    Gah! This is a picky pig! I got green pepper and red leaf lettuce and he isn't eating them yet. I will get him to eat veggies!!! I tried zuchini and yellow squash too.

    Are there any supplements I should be giving him until he starts eating the veggies?
    When my girls weren't eating veggies reliably, they some how took to eating a vitamin C tablet. It is a GNC citrus flavored 100mg tablet. I split it in half and give em each a half when they decided they don't want their bell peppers. You can also split it into quarters to reduce it to 25mg. These days they rarely turn their noses up to veggies, but I keep a bottle of the tablets JUST in case.

    If you have the time, I'd start randomly giving them small pieces of lettuce or bell peppers. Even shred them up and put them in their pellets. When my boar wasn't on veggies I mixed the lettuce into his hay and he somehow got to eating that. The only issue was removing the bad pieces from the hay rack.

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    Cavy Slave jade_14's Avatar
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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    I love the title of this thread. When I first read it I thought "*sigh*.. the story of my life"

    LOL anyways! Every pig is different but my Gracie LOVES red/green leaf lettuce and gets it daily, she also really like radicchio and endive. The vitamin C tablet is also a good idea if you can't get ANY into them.

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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    He is eating lettuce!!! Finally! Now to get him eating the green pepper. That is on my list o things to accomplish next week.

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    Cavy Slave GizzyandMe's Avatar
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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    Sniper would not eat Green Pepper if his life depended on it....now he can't seem to go a day without it! I just kept on putting a small bit in and then some more and more! Abby is new and she is amazed by all the veggies however she just eats whatever is in Snipers mouth so its good to have him around for that. I found that mini corn was also a good one to give and they totally love those. And as a treat a mini tomato!

    But as with small kids start small and work your way up! Stick to the staples and then move on so it is not boring for them. Cilantro (Coriander) is also a good one and I am yet to find a piggy that does not love this! Good luck and just keep swimming!

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    Cavy Slave PiggyDaddy25's Avatar
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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    Quote Originally Posted by MrWhistles View Post
    Stick to staples he needs most. That is lettuce and green bell pepper. Once he starts reliably eating those then you can introduce other veggies to him. I find that having a cage mate that eats the veggies will help the other eat the veggies. My sows used to the opposites when it came to veggies. Lady disliked them, Korra LOVED them. But Lady didn't like Korra having anything she couldn't have. Soon Lady was eating every piece of her veggies and even attempting to steal veggies from Korra.
    This is a true statement. Cember only ate carrots, pellets & hay. Then we got Biscuit, who ate everything. Now Cember steals food from Biscuit, and the only thing I can't get them to eat so far is zucchini. We started off with the red leaf and endive then worked our way up through the chart in sticky notes. Persistence is the key.

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    Some pigs just don't like green bell pepper, but will eat any of the others (yellow, orange, or red).

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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    He will now eat green pepper mixed in with his pellets! So I gave him a few small slivers separately from those mixed with the pellets. Last I looked he hadn't touched them yet. So I'll keep mixing with his pellets for now.

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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    Quote Originally Posted by foggycreekcavy View Post
    Some pigs just don't like green bell pepper, but will eat any of the others (yellow, orange, or red).
    For about a month my pigs wouldn't eat green pepper, but loved all of the other colours. Then one day they just started eating it, and seemed to love it!

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    Cavy Slave lifesvr7's Avatar
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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    I am having a similar challenge. My pig came from a home where he was only given carrots (only during lap time -if they had time for it), awful multi colored cutesy pellets and had NEVER had a sprig of hay in his life (he is probably about four). The vet and I are AMAZED at how healthy he is considering how dreadfully lacking his diet was until I got him. At first, he would not even look at a vegetable unless it was a carrot. I tried daily to get him to eat anything and offered him a variety. He would not even touch grass or dandelion leaves. I was also transitioning his pellets to Cavy Cuisine which he was not a huge fan of at first either so putting veggies chopped in pellets was not really an option. From what I have read, the thought behind adding veggies to the pellets is to kind of trick them into thinking they are eating the pellets because the veggies will be somewhat "masked" by the pellets. So, out of desperation, I took that concept and combined it with the only thing he absolutely loves . . . HAY! I took some hay and kind of rolled it in my fingers to make it like little "flakes". I then took the flakes and sprinkled them heavily on the veggies that they almost coated them since they were still moist. Low and behold, IT WORKED! He now LOVES cherry or grape tomatoes, celery, red/green/yellow/green peppers, and carrots (of course). I know celery is a bit high in calcium so I feed in small quantities and chopped small so the strings aren't an issue. My biggest issue now is finding other veggies similar to the ones he will eat (i think he likes the crunching ones) and getting him to eat leafy veggies/lettuce. I can occasionally get him to take a bite or two of spinach (which is too high in calcium) but that is about it. I have tried romaine, red and green leaf, dandelion leaves(sold in grocery store but can't remember the other name they use), cilantro, dill and several other lettuce type things found on the forum and he so far won't touch them. I do not think he has figured out that i can be more stubborn than he is. He won't even fall for the hay sprinkles. I think its because they are not as solid, crunchy and juicy as the veggies he has started to eat. I need suggestions on other similar veggies to try (he won't eat cucumber but those don't have much nutrition anyway) and on some irresistible leafy stuff to add to the stuff Im trying. I actually saw bladder sludge looking stuff once in the cage that totally freaked me out. I assume its probably from too much celery or spinach so I will be dramatically cutting back on those. I think I may have over done it a little because I was so excited that he would eat it. Since I only noticed it once, hopefully it will be ok and get better once I modify what he is getting a little bit. Bad mommy!

    While Im posting, Im also curious to know if anyone uses or have looked at the Planet Guinea Ratewatchers DIY Diet/Menus. You can Google it because unfortunately, I can't get the link to post Just curious on peoples opinions on various menu examples online including the planet guinea ones. Hopefully with persistence, I will be able to get him to eat a wider variety of things to keep him happy and healthy.

    Sorry for such a long post :X
    Last edited by lifesvr7; 10-05-12 at 11:49 am.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner RodentCuddles's Avatar
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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    @lifesvr7 I just looked at it...it seems okay apart from the fact it says to feed Romaine lettuce and butterhead lettuce.

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    Cavy Slave lifesvr7's Avatar
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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    Quote Originally Posted by RodentCuddles View Post
    @lifesvr7 I just looked at it...it seems okay apart from the fact it says to feed Romaine lettuce and butterhead lettuce.
    I know that romaine is high in calcium and don't even know what butterhead is so i think we are safe there I do find its food lists to be quite limited as well. Was more wondering if you all felt that ratio concept is more important than the low calcium etc concept was. That diet seems to feed more things that I would think are too high in calcium to feed regularly but focuses on the ratio being more important than each individual calcium, phosphorus etc. Am I making ANY sense? I think Im confusing MYSELF

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner MrWhistles's Avatar
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    Re: I keep trying but he isn't interested

    Quote Originally Posted by lifesvr7 View Post
    I know that romaine is high in calcium and don't even know what butterhead is so i think we are safe there
    No. You're not "safe" because you don't know the nutritional content of a veggie. I use this site when looking for nutritional value of fruits/veggies to balance our diets: Nutrition facts, calories in food, labels, nutritional information and analysis – NutritionData.com

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