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Thread: Food and calcium deposits

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    Cavy Slave
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    Food and calcium deposits

    I've been feeding Charlie oxbow natural science for about one month. We switched from the oxbow organic because she was not eating that at all. When she was under 6 months she ate Grreat Choice food. She is about 8 months now.

    She sometimes has the white calcium deposits but they are not gritty. I've switched foods but I'm not quite sure what else to do. She is very picky and only eats baby carrots, apples, dried strawberries, and yam. I've tried spinach, kale, different lettuces, asparagus, cilantro, green and orange peppers and I'm sure there's more but I cant seem to remember. She's just not having it!

    Today, were was more of a "clump" (for lack of a better word) of white on her fleece. Still chalky, just seems to be more concentrated. I don't know any other dietary changes I can make, unless you guys can make a better pellet choice. She's not acting any different, not wheeking when going to the bathroom, just running around like a cute little ball of energy. Any suggestions welcome.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    Quote Originally Posted by Kellyvs1013 View Post
    I've been feeding Charlie oxbow natural science for about one month. We switched from the oxbow organic because she was not eating that at all. When she was under 6 months she ate Grreat Choice food. She is about 8 months now.

    She sometimes has the white calcium deposits but they are not gritty. I've switched foods but I'm not quite sure what else to do. She is very picky and only eats baby carrots, apples, dried strawberries, and yam. I've tried spinach, kale, different lettuces, asparagus, cilantro, green and orange peppers and I'm sure there's more but I cant seem to remember. She's just not having it!

    Today, were was more of a "clump" (for lack of a better word) of white on her fleece. Still chalky, just seems to be more concentrated. I don't know any other dietary changes I can make, unless you guys can make a better pellet choice. She's not acting any different, not wheeking when going to the bathroom, just running around like a cute little ball of energy. Any suggestions welcome.
    I had been feeding Oxbow Natural Science as well and getting white calcium deposits. I tried fiddling with the veggies but didn't have much luck there either. I cut back the pellets but still found calcium deposits, and then finally decided to just remove pellets and see how they do. The calcium deposits have dropped significantly in occurrence, although I did give them a few carrot tops and they had calcium deposits again.

    I'm a little paranoid about removing all pellets though so if someone has some advice about it I'd appreciate it. One of my girls got a bladder stone--it's still small enough to pass but I just didn't like seeing all the calcium deposits, and of course the stone could get bigger. Both pigs get Vitamin C tablets, so I can't see them getting low on that, but I'm a little worried about Vitamin D.

    You have a pretty picky pig though--she rejects all greens?? Mine eat lettuce, some cilantro, a little kale or dandelion green, celery, green bell pepper and carrot (not all of that all the time though.) They also get little bits of fruit, like orange, and dried cranberries every day.

    I've seen some opinions that as long as the deposit isn't gritty it's okay, but I think it depends on the pig, because Tulip's deposits weren't gritty but she did get a bladder stone. So annoying more isn't know about calcium deposits and bladder stones!

    Best of luck.

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    Cavy Slave HannibalLecter's Avatar
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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    If you can, change to KMs pellets. They contain a different calcium compound which many pigs handle better.
    KMS Hayloft, Grass Hays & Fortified Feeds From the Valleys of the Pacific Northwest

    If you have medium/hard water it could be the cause of sludge. Try bottled water or filter it yourself.

    You do need to continue offering different veggies, especially bell pepper & lettuce. Try different colors & keep offering it daily in different shapes.
    I would stop feeding fruits, carrots & yam for now, as they are very high in sugar & should only be fed very occasionally & in small quantities.
    It took my girls a few weeks to start new veggies, and 2 years to eat zucchini which just happened out of the blue. Just like with kids, they will learn to like it.

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    Cavy Slave jubespiggies's Avatar
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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    Removing pellets is fine. Many people, especially in Australia, go without pellets because most pellets in Australia are lucerne pellets. If you take out pellets, just feed a bit more hay and veggies and it should be fine. Cilantro has been seen to cause calcium stains, so that could be fed less frequently. Kale and dandelion greens are quite high in calcium, so feed sparingly as well. You could change your hay from timothy to oat, meadow or bluegrass as these types generally have less calcium, but its not really that neccesary.
    @Kellyvs1013 try feeding some endive for leafy greens

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    Cavy Slave HannibalLecter's Avatar
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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    Quote Originally Posted by jubespiggies View Post
    Removing pellets is fine. Many people, especially in Australia, go without pellets because most pellets in Australia are lucerne pellets. If you take out pellets, just feed a bit more hay and veggies and it should be fine. Cilantro has been seen to cause calcium stains, so that could be fed less frequently. Kale and dandelion greens are quite high in calcium, so feed sparingly as well. You could change your hay from timothy to oat, meadow or bluegrass as these types generally have less calcium, but its not really that neccesary.
    @Kellyvs1013 try feeding some endive for leafy greens
    The issue with a HAFF diet is the lack of vitamin D in vegetables, which is added to pellets.
    I wouldn't remove the pellets from a pig who doesn't eat a very varied & well planned vegetable diet, which also takes a lot of research & knowledge.

  6. "Thank you, HannibalLecter, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave HannibalLecter's Avatar
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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    I wanted to add advice to my first post, but the edit time ran out.
    Many ill/picky pigs enjoy fresh grass & it can encourage them to try veggies as well. Wheat grass is highly nutritious which you can grow at home.
    If you pick fresh grass from outside, make sure it's pesticide & fertilizer free, and away from places where animals often urinate.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    Quote Originally Posted by HannibalLecter View Post
    I wanted to add advice to my first post, but the edit time ran out.
    Many ill/picky pigs enjoy fresh grass & it can encourage them to try veggies as well. Wheat grass is highly nutritious which you can grow at home.
    If you pick fresh grass from outside, make sure it's pesticide & fertilizer free, and away from places where animals often urinate.
    Yes! I forgot! I have wheat grass plant I cut from daily. She devours it!!! Do you think that's enough greens? I never had a pig who didn't love veggies.

    Do you have to buy KMS pellets online?

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I will look for endive today.

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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    Bumpity bump bump

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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    Endive is high in calcium. What you want is belgian endive, aka chicory.

    It looks like this


    my pigs love it.

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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    Fancy! Okay my hunt for new greenery begins. Thank you!

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    Quote Originally Posted by SardonicSmile View Post
    Endive is high in calcium. What you want is belgian endive, aka chicory.

    It looks like this


    my pigs love it.

    According to the Diet and Nutrition chart, curly endive is lower in calcium than Belgian endive. Curly endive had a 0.7:1 Ca:P (19 mg calcium per 100 grams) while Belgian has a 1.8:1 ratio (52 mg calcium per 100 grams)

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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    What I found was that belgian endive has around 20mg of calcium in 100grams. (Dutch sites)

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    Quote Originally Posted by SardonicSmile View Post
    What I found was that belgian endive has around 20mg of calcium in 100grams. (Dutch sites)
    I got my information off the Diet and Nutrition forum on this site. I really trust what they have on here.
    http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/...tml#post254730

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    Administrator lissie's Avatar
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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    According to nutrition website, chicory has 10% (100mg) calcium, and endive has 5% (52 mg) calcium. (both compared at 100 grams).

    Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Chicory greens, raw

    Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Endive, raw

    Edit to add:
    If you look at chicory witloof, the calcium level is at 19mg (2%)
    Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Chicory, witloof, raw

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    Quote Originally Posted by lissie View Post
    According to nutrition website, chicory has 10% (100mg) calcium, and endive has 5% (52 mg) calcium. (both compared at 100 grams).

    Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Chicory greens, raw

    Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Endive, raw

    Edit to add:
    If you look at chicory witloof, the calcium level is at 19mg (2%)
    Nutrition Facts and Analysis for Chicory, witloof, raw
    It seems that the 5% endive is the belgian endive and the 2% is the curly endive as those stats agree with the diet and nutrition chart that shows that belgian is higher than curly endive. What is chicory witloof?

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    This is from wikipedia so who knows how accurate it is. It says that witloof endive is Belgian endive.

    Belgian endive, also known as French endive,[citation needed] known in Dutch as witloof or witlof, endive or (very rarely) witloof in the United States[citation needed], chicory in the UK, as witlof in Australia, endive in France, and chicon in parts of northern France and in Wallonia. It has a small head of cream-coloured, bitter leaves. It is grown completely underground or indoors in the absence of sunlight in order to prevent the leaves from turning green and opening up (etiolation). The plant has to be kept just below the soil surface as it grows, only showing the very tip of the leaves. It is often sold wrapped in blue paper to protect it from light and so preserve its pale colour and delicate flavour. The smooth, creamy white leaves may be served stuffed, baked, boiled, cut and cooked in a milk sauce, or simply cut raw. The tender leaves are slightly bitter; the whiter the leaf, the less bitter the taste. The harder inner part of the stem at the bottom of the head should be cut out before cooking to prevent bitterness. Belgium exports chicon/witloof to over 40 different countries. The technique for growing blanched endives was accidentally discovered in the 1850s in Schaerbeek, Belgium.[10] Today France is the largest producer of endive.[11]

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    Pigaholic Extraordinaire Paula's Avatar
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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    The best source I've found on the nutrient values in the foods we eat (and feed) is this database.

    The charts are great but I always check with that database rather than relying on them or any other website because there's always a possibility of error or misinterpretation.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    According to that database the picture I posted of Belgian Endive, or we call it "witlof", has 19mg calcium per 100gram

    Show Foods


    so, just some confusion about what it is actually called, but still low in calcium.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    Quote Originally Posted by Paula View Post
    The best source I've found on the nutrient values in the foods we eat (and feed) is this database.

    The charts are great but I always check with that database rather than relying on them or any other website because there's always a possibility of error or misinterpretation.
    Show Foods

    This is from your chart. It says that "Nutrient data for 11213, Endive, raw" has 52 mg calcium per 100 grams which is in line with Ly's chart, although it doesn't state which endive.

    PMA - I Know Produce

    This is also from your site on the "I know produce" section. It shows that all endives and chicory has 2% calcium per 85 grams. I'm not sure how to calculate that into the amount of mg per grams. I can't imagine that 5 different types of endive would have the same amount of calcium but, who knows.... Some of their charts have no information. I'd really like to know whether the diet and nutritional charts on the guinea pig cages site are accurate because I use them to plan my guinea pig menus. From looking at Ly's chart, both endives can be fed every day, anyway, so it might not be a big deal. It just might matter to someone who has a guinea pig prone to stone formation due to diet.

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    Pigaholic Extraordinaire Paula's Avatar
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    Re: Food and calcium deposits

    Quote Originally Posted by pinky View Post
    Show Foods

    This is from your chart. It says that "Nutrient data for 11213, Endive, raw" has 52 mg calcium per 100 grams which is in line with Ly's chart, although it doesn't state which endive.

    PMA - I Know Produce

    This is also from your site on the "I know produce" section. It shows that all endives and chicory has 2% calcium per 85 grams. I'm not sure how to calculate that into the amount of mg per grams. I can't imagine that 5 different types of endive would have the same amount of calcium but, who knows.... Some of their charts have no information. I'd really like to know whether the diet and nutritional charts on the guinea pig cages site are accurate because I use them to plan my guinea pig menus. From looking at Ly's chart, both endives can be fed every day, anyway, so it might not be a big deal. It just might matter to someone who has a guinea pig prone to stone formation due to diet.
    It's not "my" site or "my" chart - it belongs to the USDA, which I have no affiliation with whatsoever. I do, however, trust its database as a reliable and handy resource for nutrient values when looking to feed any of my pets something I'm not sure about. As to the accuracy of Ly's charts and/or the recommendations she made as to daily, weekly, etc., I'm not sure, but I don't rely on any one person's recommendation of what's high or not in calcium or anything else and would caution anyone against relying only on one source of information, especially if that information is a chart compiled by a person (people make mistakes) or projects any kind of feeding schedule that's based on a subjective opinion - which Ly's chart is. It's an excellent resource, but I'd not encourage anyone to rely on it as their only source of information, as is true with anything else. Some independent research and thought goes a long way to making choices you feel comfortable with based on your pet's individual situation and needs.

    Endive, at 52 mg/100 grams is higher in calcium than green leaf (36 mg/100 g) or romaine (33 mg/100 g) but lower than cilantro (67 mg/100 g) or parsley (138 mg/100 g) ... So whether or not you should be feeding it every day is up to you and should be based on your pig's situation, history, etc., and your preference rather than what anyone suggests or recommends in a chart.

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