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Vegetables How much Ca do pigs need each day to avoid urine issues? Also, softer poos?

Kimberly713

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My pigs often have dried white spots from urine on the fleece, and sometimes it has a bit of the sludge. I am mixing tap with RO water for now (~70% tap). I want to get a Brita filter pitcher thing as soon as I get some money.

I have busted out the nutrition charts from the forum here, and I'm wondering how much is considered a low calcium intake for piggies?

I'm a worry wart, I'd like to do everything I can to be sure they are as healthy as possible.
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On another note, I think it may be their diet, but the girls have softer poos for a few weeks. It is a consistent softness but I don't know what it could be really. We've cut down on the wetter foods.

Daily Staples include- Green/Red Lettuce (sometimes romaine), cilantro, bell pepper grn/yllw/red, baby carrot

Cycled- Green Bean, cherry tomato, cucumber, (sometimes snap/snow peas)

I might be over feeding, we don't measure their food. I know we have gradually cut back though as food lasts longer than it used to.

My mom gives them Oxbow's Strawberry treats sometimes too, I think they are garbage and a waste, and can't be very good compared to real fruit. I've got her to at least switch to the barley ones but the site does not give much dietary info as to what's in them. And we put them in the "treat jar" so the girls don't know plastic is for them anymore, so no bag.
 

Crystalkate

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Be more careful with red pepper. It has a bit more sugar in it. I feed it as a treat. I am happy you posted this question! My girl has the same problem. I have done everything I could possibly think of to fix it, and no good results yet. My wonder is how much calcium is in each veggie, and what are the good veggies that have a lower calcium.
 

Kimberly713

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There is an entire thread with charts that show how much Sugar, Calcium, etc is in each 100g. In the nutrtion & diet section.

They get less red when we buy it since it has more Vit C and sugar. And it's only for 1 week a month or so. They will stop eating green and yellow if I dont do that.
 

Crystalkate

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Why would they stop eating yellow and green?
 

bpatters

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Generally, if the poops are just kind of soft and not mushy, the first thing to do is decrease veggies and increase hay. If they're getting too little hay because they're chowing down on the veggies, I'd definitely cut back on them. Cucumber can also cause soft poops in some pigs, but doesn't bother all of them.

For the white stuff... What kind of pellets are you feeding them? And I'd cut the romaine out altogether and see what that does. A Brita filter will be good -- that may go a long way toward cutting out the white spots.

You're right about the treats being a waster -- pigs are not discriminating eaters, and will eat cilantro or dill as happily as they do store-bought "treats." Maybe you can get your mom to switch over.

When pigs are put on low calcium diets, I think they do it by percentage, i.e., a diet of no more than .3%-.4% calcium is considered a very low calcium diet. I think a "normal" calcium diet is about .6%-.7%.
 

sarah0712

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I always wondered about this. I have just noticed since I've got a fleece cosy that they have slight white bits in their wee when it dries. What is this? I always thought it was just salt deposits as my hamster used to have it too
 

bpatters

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Calcium deposits, either because the pig is genetically prone to them, or there's too much calcium in their water or their diet, or some foods combine with each other to produce, or who-knows what.

I've read on other forums that some vets in England, particularly in the south, recommend filtering water for small pets because it has so much calcium in it. If I were you, I'd get one of those pitchers with a filter and see if filtered water will help.

Also, you want to limit the amount of calcium in their veggies -- see the "read me" sticky in the Diet and Nutrition forum for more info on what can be fed and how often.
 

Kimberly713

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Generally, if the poops are just kind of soft and not mushy, the first thing to do is decrease veggies and increase hay. If they're getting too little hay because they're chowing down on the veggies, I'd definitely cut back on them. Cucumber can also cause soft poops in some pigs, but doesn't bother all of them.

For the white stuff... What kind of pellets are you feeding them? And I'd cut the romaine out altogether and see what that does. A Brita filter will be good -- that may go a long way toward cutting out the white spots.

You're right about the treats being a waster -- pigs are not discriminating eaters, and will eat cilantro or dill as happily as they do store-bought "treats." Maybe you can get your mom to switch over.

When pigs are put on low calcium diets, I think they do it by percentage, i.e., a diet of no more than .3%-.4% calcium is considered a very low calcium diet. I think a "normal" calcium diet is about .6%-.7%.

They have two hay racks, both full 24/7 with KM's timothy hay. They get veggies once a day at night after the cage is vacuumed. They are eating Oxbow Cavy Cuisine until it's gone and then switching over to KM's timothy pellets.

Romaine is very rare, maybe once every two months honestly. I only get it if the red and green are just hopelessly gross.

I've been telling her that exact same thing! They don't care what you give them as a treat! But she insists they look for it in the morning. They have her wrapped around their paws, and I'm just "mean". I'll try to convince her some more, now that I have another's opinion maybe she will sway away from them.

As far as the calcium, I can do the math there and figure out some new options for the girls. Our grocery store doesn't have a lot of choices in produce sadly.
 

Kimberly713

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Why would they stop eating yellow and green?

I don't know. They will just refuse to eat them after a while, especially green. After about 5 days of green they just let it sit and wheek insistently for more food... Which they don't get so again, I have no idea.
 

Crystalkate

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LOL Spoiled. Mine is literally a "pig" when it comes to food. Doesn't matter what it is, it's gone in one minute anyway. I have looked over the veggie chart hundreds of times making weekly shopping lists...for a change-up. But I never noticed that calcium row was on there. It didn't help me any...I still don't know what to do with my pig. She is so stubborn. I am guessing white pee is in her genes, or her life before me was to awful for things to change living with me.
 

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