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Diet 1/3-1/2 a green pepper two times a day?

kareebear

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
51
Hi all- I have been reading these forums for a while and keep coming across different information, so please bear with me and I apologize if I am repeating questions that have already been asked..

I have two guinea pigs who are each approx 5mo old. They will only eat green peppers, and we generally give them each a big chunk twice a day, I'd say it is between 1/3 to 1/2 a pepper, depending on the size. One weighs approx 980g and the other is about 1200g. Is this too much? I know red peppers have higher vitamin C content but they LOVE the green ones. I generally give them each a slice in the morning and one in the evening, but I am nervous that I am giving them too much.

Thanks!
 
1/8-1/4 yellow or green bell pepper each daily. Red/orange contains more sugars & should only be fed occasionally. One slice of red pepper does however cover the whole vitamin C intake for the average pig.

You really need a much more varied diet though. Many pigs need to be taught to eat vegetables just like children, but it's needed for a good diet. You can cut the vegetables up into tiny pieces & sprinkle them in with the pellets, the pigs will get some in their mouths by accident & will then get used to the taste.

The daily staples also include 2-3 medium-large leaves of lettuce, two different kinds. Many green & red leaf varieties to rotate. Be careful with romaine if it causes sludge. No iceberg due to low nutrition/high water content.

Cilantro is a herb that is great to feed daily, about a loose handful. As well as a chunk of zucchini.

Feed these daily until your pigs eat them, and then add rotational veggies per Ly's diet chart depending on season & availability.
 
From what I read, green pepper everyday is fine, mine don't care for them so, I don't offer as much as I would if they did like them. Have you tried Romaine lettuce? I adopted 3 girls who didn't like veggies and they love romaine. I get the organc romaine hearts and pull off a couple leaves 3 times a day. Occasionally I add some fresh parsley or a piece of carrot. Maybe someone who knows more than I can chime in soon. :)
 
Thanks for the input! We have tried feeding them, but I guess my approach is not like you stated- to cut up veggies (ex- carrots) and put into their food dish.. That is a great idea! I have tried to feed them carrots but I just stick half a carrot in the cage on a plate with the pepper- they just go straight for the pepper and ignore the carrot. We have tried Kale and Parsley also, but they just turn their noses up at it. However, we have not tried it multiple days in a row to "train" them so I will definitely try that! THANKS!
 
They are like kids, I just keep giving it to them, I don't give as much if they won't eat it all, but most of the veggies are GONE in 10 minutes. :)
 
Is there such a thing as TOO MUCH Vitamin C? If 1/8-1/4 is enough for the day, should I cut back on the green pepper once they start liking other veggies?
 
It's said that children need to try the same foods a dozen times before they like it, it's exactly the same for one of my own pigs. :)

Carrots are high in vitamin A, oxalic acid & sugars, and is not needed at all if they don't enjoy it. Carrots & fruits are more like a small occasional treat for the pigs that do like it.
 
Is there such a thing as TOO MUCH Vitamin C? If 1/8-1/4 is enough for the day, should I cut back on the green pepper once they start liking other veggies?

Vitamin C is water soluble, a bit of excess vitamin C will be carried out with the urine. However, too much vitamin C could indeed be harmful in large amounts over time.

Just feed the daily 1/4 each, if you feed more they might ignore the new vegetables completely. Too much vegetables will also decrease the needed hay intake.
 
Watch the romaine lettuce, and if you see white spots where the urine has dried, switch to red or green leaf lettuce.
 
Watch the romaine lettuce, and if you see white spots where the urine has dried, switch to red or green leaf lettuce.

I am seeing some white spots where the urine has dried but they are smooth, not gritty- which to my understanding is ok? Is this right?
 
There's some disagreement about this, but I don't think it's ok. It's a sign of excess calcium in the urine, which is one of main culprits in urinary tract stones, which are both painful and difficult to manage, as well as being expensive in terms of vet treatments.

If there's no excess calcium in the urine, there's very little (although not zero) chance of them developing stones. I've been doing an informal survey of all pigs who've developed stones and whether or not they've had white deposits in their urine. Out of several dozen pigs so far, only one has developed stones without having white deposits, but even that one is questionable. It was a rescue pig that was at least a couple of years old when adopted, and though it's been on a very low calcium diet with the current owner, no one knows what it was fed before or whether it had any sludgy urine.

With my two, I'm not willing to risk increasing the possibility of stones when I can easily keep them powder/sludge free by feeding them KM pellets rather than Oxbow and red or green leaf lettuce rather than romaine. Those are very easy changes to make, with no difference in cost.
 
There's some disagreement about this, but I don't think it's ok. It's a sign of excess calcium in the urine, which is one of main culprits in urinary tract stones, which are both painful and difficult to manage, as well as being expensive in terms of vet treatments.

If there's no excess calcium in the urine, there's very little (although not zero) chance of them developing stones. I've been doing an informal survey of all pigs who've developed stones and whether or not they've had white deposits in their urine. Out of several dozen pigs so far, only one has developed stones without having white deposits, but even that one is questionable. It was a rescue pig that was at least a couple of years old when adopted, and though it's been on a very low calcium diet with the current owner, no one knows what it was fed before or whether it had any sludgy urine.

With my two, I'm not willing to risk increasing the possibility of stones when I can easily keep them powder/sludge free by feeding them KM pellets rather than Oxbow and red or green leaf lettuce rather than romaine. Those are very easy changes to make, with no difference in cost.

Hmm ok, this is very interesting to me... I definitely want to avoid stones if at all possible (obviously).Where is this calcium coming from? Should I decrease it to get rid of the white spots?
 
According to the nutrition chart at guinealynx.info (the one color-coded), the different types of lettuce have all similar Calcium quantities, between 33-36 mg/100 g. Of course feeding them a variety of veggies and greens is better than only 1-2 types daily.
 
According to the nutrition chart at guinealynx.info (the one color-coded), the different types of lettuce have all similar Calcium quantities, between 33-36 mg/100 g. Of course feeding them a variety of veggies and greens is better than only 1-2 types daily.

It's debated that the poor calcium-phosphorus ratio is what causes sludge with romaine lettuce. Whether this is the reason or not, it's quite clear that romaine does cause sludge in many pigs, and then increases the risk of stones.
 
I get what you're saying. They all have a pretty close Ca/P ratio: 1.1:1 to 1.2:1. Good to know that cavy parents noticed the sludge in their practice though. Something to be added to the comments section of the nutrition chart maybe?
 
Usually changing from Oxbow pellets to KM pellets, and changing from romaine lettuce to either red or green leaf lettuce takes care of it. Not always, but usually.

Sfrangu, the amount of calcium in the lettuce isn't the problem. Nobody knows what it is, but there are a bunch of us who have repeatedly tested our pigs with it. Feed them romaine, get powder or sludge. Take them off romaine, and it clears up. I don't have a clue what romaine has or doesn't have that causes it, I just know that my pigs have large white deposits in the cage if they eat romaine.

With the KM vs Oxbow pellets, KM uses a different calcium compound to supply the calcium in the pellets than Oxbow does. I assume that's the difference, but it could also be the same as with the lettuce -- there's some other component that's present that causes it, or absent and is needed.

And Kareebear, yes, you can give too much vitamin C. You're not likely to if they're getting it all from veggies and pellets and not from supplements. And they do excrete the excess. But large doses of it can cause diarrhea, which isn't good for your pig.
 
Interesting... I'm just now switching over to KMS pellets from Oxbow. I feed whatever lettuce I happen to have - red leaf, green leaf or romaine. Right now they are getting green leaf, so I'll be watching to see if the white spots disappear.
 
I have a question related to the seeds now: do you feed them zucchinis and squashes without their seeds? They're quite a few seeds in those, and some of them are pretty big. Can those seeds hurt the piggies?
 
i dont think the seeds are bad for them but ill let one of the more experts chime in.
 
The zucchini and yellow squash I buy are small, so they don't have large seeds in them. But I don't think those seeds are a problem.
 
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