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Vegetables Am I Feeding Too Many??

TCTrun

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
212
I would say I feed a "heaping" cup of veggies per pig per day. I have a lot of variety, and I try to limit sugar-filled, cruciferous, and very high calcium veggies. My piggies eat all their veggies very quickly, but I'm worried that they get too many and do not eat enough hay and pellets as a result. How much should I be feeding? My pigs are all quite young (4 pigs, aged 3-6 months).
 
I feed similarly, if not more. The pellets are not a critical part of their diet, and by feeding so many veggies, you are likely meeting their nutrition needs that the pellets serve to supplement. As long as you are providing unlimited amounts of grass hay and you don't see signs of GI distress, I would say this is fine.
 
Thanks! Sounds good. They don't seem gassy at all and their poos are firm enough.
 
Pellets are essential to their diet!!!! They should get 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of pellets daily and only 10% of their diet should be treats like veggies and fruit! Free fed timothy because they are hind gut fermenters and free fed water. Do not give them too much watery fruit tho because that can result in severe diarrhea

Edited by bpatters: This is incorrect information. Adult pigs should have only 1/8 cup of pellets per day. A long strand grass hay is the most important part of their diet, followed by about a cup of veggies per day, and 1/8 cup pellets.

Pigs cannot keep their molars ground down without the hay. But they can, if necessary, live completely without pellets (the HAFF diet) if they get sufficient vitamin C.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Pellets are essential to their diet!!!! They should get 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of pellets daily and only 10% of their diet should be treats like veggies and fruit! Free fed timothy because they are hind gut fermenters and free fed water. Do not give them too much watery fruit tho because that can result in severe diarrhea

Vegetables aren't treats. Without sufficient veggies of the correct type, they won't get the right amount of vitamins and so forth. And the amount of pellets depends on the age -- 1/2 a cup is way too much for a pig at 6 months and over.
 
I actually have a college degree in veterinary medicine and have taken a couple of classes on guineas. They are treats and it is also dependant on the size of the guinea pig, I had a 6 month old that weighed 2 lbs and did eat all half a cup plus the veggies. And saying that the pellets are not critical is like saying a dog can live its entire life off of human scraps just because it is also an omniviore. The dog will live but will it be a healthy life? Just look at the bag of pellets, it says right on there what they should be eating.
 
May I ask you how you can call my information incorrect?
Where did you learn your information from?
 
Hmmm, I'm no vet and I'm a fairly new guinea pig owner but I'm gonna guess that pellets aren't readily available to cavies in the wild but that grass and veggies (and even fruits and sticks) are available. I know our piggies are domesticated but they are still cavies.
 
My first piggy was fed (by me and my parents) exclusively with veggies and he lived over 5 years. Occasionally my dad was giving him some pasta with cottage cheese as a treat. Never had any avitaminosis (my pig, not my dad, haha).
 
Let's take your points one by one, guineatech.

Just look at the bag of pellets, it says right on there what they should be eating.

And the manufacturer of those pellets has a vested interest in how many pellets you buy. The more you buy, the more money they make. So they're hardly a disinterested party with the guinea pigs' best interests at heart. Of course they're recommending pellets.

And saying that the pellets are not critical is like saying a dog can live its entire life off of human scraps just because it is also an omniviore.

No, it isn't. There's no comparison whatsoever. Pellets provide a stabilized form of several vitamins and minerals, and are the easiest way for a guinea pig owner to be sure that their pet is receiving adequate quantities of those. But there are places in the world where suitable pellets are not available -- those that are have excessively high quantities of some minerals, or are mixed with seeds and nuts. And there are pigs who are prone to urinary tract stones who develop sludgy urine when fed pellets. They do very well on HAFF (hay and fresh food) diets with no pellets at all. So pellets are NOT essential to guinea pig diets. It does take some effort on the part of the owner to make sure they get the necessary vitamins and minerals, but that can be done without feeding pellets.

Even where good quality pellets are available, there is no evidence that I know of that says that nutrients from pellets are superior to nutrients from fresh vegetables. In humans, the reverse is actually true. There are many vitamin supplements that have been found to be less effective than the same vitamins ingested in the form of fresh foods. Pellets are convenient in many ways, but have in no way been proved to be more advantageous than fresh foods, as far as I know.

They are treats and it is also dependant on the size of the guinea pig

I have no idea what you're saying here. What is a treat? and what is dependent on the size of the guinea pig?

I actually have a college degree in veterinary medicine and have taken a couple of classes on guineas.

Good for you! Are you a veterinarian? I am not, nor am I a vet tech. I have a long-standing interest in medicine of all kinds, and have spent several years learning about guinea pigs. I am interested in helping their owners give them the best, longest, healthiest, most pain-free lives possible. What we recommend on this forum is the distillation of many peoples' experiences with their guinea pigs. Quite a few have run rescues for years, and have reported recommendations from their veterinarians and their own experiences.

You are welcome to post your recommendations. But we ask that you do so as your own opinion, and not as a flat statement such as "pellets are essential to their diet." We have many young teenagers on the forum, and they are not always equipped to sort through conflicting recommendations to determine the best course of action. Even those of us who are moderators are careful to state a recommendation as our own opinion when it conflicts with generally accepted care principles for guinea pigs.
 
I actually have a college degree in veterinary medicine and have taken a couple of classes on guineas. They are treats and it is also dependant on the size of the guinea pig, I had a 6 month old that weighed 2 lbs and did eat all half a cup plus the veggies. And saying that the pellets are not critical is like saying a dog can live its entire life off of human scraps just because it is also an omniviore. The dog will live but will it be a healthy life? Just look at the bag of pellets, it says right on there what they should be eating.

Reading from my bag of Oxbow Cavy Cuisine for adult piggies: for pigs 6 months and older, feed 1/8 cup per day, in addition to unlimited grass hay.

The comparison of vegetables to table scraps is a false analogy.
 
Guinea pigs are sup to live for 8 years. And reffer back to the dog, do you feed canines dog food?Dingos dont get that in the wild either but for some reason domesticated dogs live longer! Maybe its because we know what we are doing when we make the animals food. This is just MY educated opinion and you can take it or leave it how it is. I was just answering the question with what I was told by my teacher who is a licensed vet and has been working in the field for over 15 years. I really dont think she was feeding her students lies
 
Guineatech, I take it you are from the school of "pets only need bagged "scientifically formulated" processed food to live a healthy life". Fresh foods are the best foods for humans, correct? So shouldn't fresh foods also be the best foods for Guinea Pigs, Cats, Dogs, etc? Yes my pets all get kibble/pellets as part of their diet (because I can't afford to feed them a 100% fresh diet), but they also get a variety of fresh foods. My Guinea Pigs get an abundance of fresh veggies and unlimited timothy hay and my dogs get fresh foods (including healthy table scraps). Animals were perfectly capable of surviving and thriving before humans invented processed kibbles and pellets and they still thrive on fresh food. My Guinea Pigs eat a very small amount pellets. They get most of their nutrients from veggies and hay. The only thing they eat that I consider "treats" is the small amount of sugary fruits they get a couple of times per week.

BTW... dogs and cats are CARNIVORES

*steps off soapbox*
 
I find this site very rude and will not return!!! For you to just break up my OPINION into what you think is lies is horrible and you should be ashamed. I was answering the persons question with what I was taught and I would like to know why you have such a strong opposition to what I am saying. Where did you get your information from? And yes on my bag of food that is exactally what it says a quarter to a half. And I was answering the question that pellets are essential to some one who said they are feeding pellets. I never disrespected you and I find that awful that you could just tear into someone else like that!
 
felines are carnivores and dogs are omnivores! Do your research before you try to correct me thank you
 
I don't think anybody 'tore' in to you. They made plain statements just as you did. And they did it to protect guinea pigs. Is that such a bad thing?

I've found nothing but helpful people here, encouragement and well backed advice. I think the world of bpatters and everyone else here. I've come to depend on their collective knowledge to help me and I know that I can count on them for the right advice.

And actually, cats CAN survive as carnivores only, but they don't, they include some plants.
 
bpatters, would you mind chiming in about the veggie amounts? Is it possible to feed them too many veggies such that they don't eat enough hay? They all produce plenty of feces that is all quite solid, maybe a little moist, but no diarrhea or anything. Frankly, I feel like I'm spending a little too much $$ on veggies lately, but If it's good for them and not excessive then I'm ok with that
 
Guineatech, I really don't think your veterinarian teacher is feeding her students lies either. But I do think she has a different perspective than the average guinea pig owner. Unless she has had many guinea pigs herself, she has gotten her information from books and lectures. She sees sick guinea pigs for a very short period of time, most often when there's something wrong with them.

But education information has a long life, whether it's correct or incorrect. Once something is published in a text book, it will be accepted as law and gospel long after something newer and better has come along, simply because text books don't get reprinted all that often. Knowledge of exotic pets has come a long way in the last fifty years, but even people who were in the forefront of advancing knowledge of small furry animals are now considered to be outdated by many people.

Peter Gurney is one such person who comes to mind. He contributed immeasurably to the health and long life of guinea pigs, but some of his ideas have been surpassed by others. I suspect this may be the case with your instructor.

A responsible pet owner sees things from a different perspective. They want their pigs to live as long as possible, as healthily as possible. They're not only concerned for their pets, but there's a positive effect on their pocketbooks if their pets stay healthy. For all the scientific studies that have been done on guinea pigs, not many, if any, have been done to see what enables them to live the longest lives. We have to go on anecdotal evidence for that, and for my money, the people who've worked with many guinea pigs the longest, those who run rescues, carry the most weight with me with their recommendations.

Is your vet instructor a certified exotics specialist?
 
My piggies' vet is an exotics specialist. She keeps well up on the literature and has helped save my pig Tufty's life twice when he was nearly a goner. She knows more about cavy care than any non-specialist veterinarian OR vet tech who learned about cavies from non-specialist practitioners.
She says piggies do NOT need pellets if they are fed a suitable range and amount of veggies. If the veggie supply they get is not sufficient, pellets can help make up the difference. It's clear there is a lot of outdated information about cavies given out by vets and also transmitted by piggie owners who don't know. This is not a matter of lies, but of persistence of older information in the veterinary community.
I do feed my piggies pellets because they look at me beseechingly when they have none and get so happy when they get some. But I know to strictly limit them and to feed them only the very best quality pellets (Kleenmama's and similar) that are without the added junk most manufacturers put in.
 
guineatech this is why the mods recommend that newbies don't post and read to get a feel of the forum. This is a great forum really one of the best out there and we are more kind then SO many. But there is a negitive part of the vet (and doctor) fields right now that are controlled by the food and chemical industries who don't care what kinds of toxins are put in our meds, foods, cleaners etc... All they care about is PROFITS. Did you know that most pet foods in our country are not regulated at any level?

I would like to know what kind of pellets you are reading the instructions off of. Like BP stated they don't care what happens to your pet. If it dies and you can't prove its the food because they scarf it up (because its filled with addictive chemicles like our junk foods) then that just means more profits because your gonna buy another one!

Of course your teacher would lie. They want to make profits and the only way to do that is to brainwash another generation of vets into believeing the hogwash of bagged chemically treated foods are best for an animal. Domesticated animals live longer for multiple reasons just like we live longer lives than cave people did. Reduced stress, regular food (not dying of starvation), shelter, less harsh life protected from the elements, medical care for minor issues (things like a bout of flu or diareah or a cut would have been the end for a cave deweller). Some foods are ok. Sure there people out there that WILL live to be 75 who eat hamburgers all day. BUT not everyone who would eat that diet WILL live that long. Many will get fat, sick and die which is what happens to some dogs that eat iams or purina. Raw natural organic foods have been time and time again proven better for all than chemically grown, processed foods.
 
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