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Diet How to teach a guinea pig to eat vegetables


Staff member
Cavy Slave
Sep 23, 2009
Some guinea pigs are picky, but there are several ways to teach them to eat vegetables. Besides the fact that they need a variety, the more kinds of foods they'll eat, the easier it is to buy for them. If you've got a picky pig, your grocery may be out of the two or three things they'll eat, and you'll waste time chasing around for something that appeals to them. I taught mine to eat 12-15 different vegetables this way, and now they'll eat anything I put in front of them.

The easiest is if they have a cage mate who will eat veggies. The best food is always in the other pig's mouth, so competition will lead them to try to things, even if means trying to steal it from the other pig.

If your pig eats pellets, then try this. Pick one vegetable, and mince it very very very finely (think of a pencil eraser in 15-20 pieces) and sprinkle it on the pellets. They'll get enough by accident to get accustomed to the taste. Do this twice a day for several days, then offer that veggie in a larger piece. If the pig eats it, then keep feeding it that way, and start mincing a new one. If not, keep on with the same one for several more days.

Only do one vegetable at a time this way until the pig learns to eat it, then start on a new one. If you pick a different one at every meal, you'll just slow the process down, a LOT.

You'll waste a few pellets this way, especially if you're mincing a juicy vegetable such as tomatoes. But it's well worth the loss of a few pellets to teach them to eat vegetables.

Another way is to disguise the new food in something the pig already likes. You can make "burritos" by wrapping things in a bit of greens. You may have to hand-feed this way, because the burrito will come unrolled, but it will work. For instance, if your pig will eat lettuce and bell pepper but not summer squash, you can wrap a sliver of squash in with a sliver of bell pepper, and feed that to them.
The easiest is if they have a cage mate who will eat veggies. The best food is always in the other pig's mouth, so competition will lead them to try to things, even if means trying to steal it from the other pig.

My only problem is that my guinea pig Alice taught her babies not to like veggies. I am going to have to try those other things though. Thanks for the suggestions. I really hope they work. Right now they will only eat 3 veggies.
My pigs used to be VERY picky, but now they will eat anything you lay in front of them!! To get my piggies accustom to eating fruits and veggies I would, like you said roll something they did like around something they wouldn't try and that usually did the trick! But one time I got some of their favorite treats and rolled a piece of veggie in it to get some of the seasoning on it and they ate it all and then the second time I gave them the same kind of veggie I didn't have to mix it with their treats and they still loved it!! :)
My piggies like every single veggie and green with exception of zucchini and celery. I grow lots of greens myself, so they get good variety. I never even thought that some piggies could not like veggies.
@bpatters do you by chance know if calantica squash (may have spelt that incorrectly) is safe for piggies? I saw it in the produce isle and the description said it was high in vitamin C as well as in fiber! Just curious to see if it's safe to try and introduce to my piggies :)
@Lagertha Next time you are going there take a pen and paper with you and write down the name. I can't find anything spelled similarly to that name. Was it more like a pumpkin or a zucchini/summer squash?
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I never heard of that squash. Will search when i get to a real computer.
@Soecara it looked like a short, fat, zucchini but with white in the green. and I remember the name! It's Calabactica Squash!
I found the correct spelling @bpatters, it was calabactica :) [GuineaPigCages.com] How to teach a guinea pig to eat vegetables this is what it looks like!
Those are fine. I give them to my pigs when I can't get zucchini or yellow squash.

And it's actually "calabacita." I don't speak Spanish, but I think that means "little calabash." And there is a longer, bigger squash called a calabash that looks like that.
okay awesome! :D I'll pick one up next time we are out shopping and see if they'll like it :) or I'll sneak it into their pellets haha!
Guinea pigs are creatures of habit and most take to new foods slowly, if at all. If they weren't introduced to a variety of vegetables as a pup by their mother, they will often not ever be enthusiastic veg eaters. The good news is that Charlie eats some veg and he may ultimately "teach" Titan to try some. Almost all pigs seem to be "hard wired" to like fresh grass. If you have a yard or an area where you know the grass has not been sprayed, you can clip some and try that. You can also sprout grass seed or oat or rye seeds and feed the shoots.

We had an orphaned sow that I dropper fed so she obviously had no mom to teach by example that veggies were good to eat. She ate grass right away and never ate other veg until she went in breeding with a boar who ate just about anything and he taught her to try now things.

If you are feeding a fresh, good quality guinea pig chow with vitamin C but without seeds, nuts, crunchy bits and colored garbage, your pigs will be getting all the vitamin C that they need, Your young guys should be getting an 18% protein chow (all they want), all the water they want, good quality grass hay and a moderate amount of veg. We have been feeding this way for better than 40 years and our pigs are healthy, big and grow fast,
I've been doing this for a week now with zucchini and so far have a 25% success rate. One of them finally started eating it yesterday, but the other three still have no interest.
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