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Nutrition My N00b Questions & Starting Out


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
May 29, 2012
Hi, so I'm new to pigs. I've has small animals so I know of all the things hamsters and rats can't eat and what brands of hamster and rat food to avoid. Because of this, I am paranoid. So some n00b questions:

-Dry/formula food
-Veggies/fruits/leafy greens/general noms
-Proper portions and nutritional needs
-Anything else I should know

And what are good brands and where to buy them. Thank you..
As for hay: KMS: (broken link removed) <---- Here's the link. (they also sell pellets.)

Or Oxbow pellets/hay which you can find at Petsmart. If your piggy is over 6 months of age make sure it's Timothy based pellets. NOT alfalfa hay. :eek:

Treats that are available at pets stores are not good for them. Including yogurt based treats. Do not feed them to your pigs. They are high in sugar, and can cause more harm than good.

The best treats for them, are mainly their vegies. :love:

As far as other foods/vegies go look here ----> https://www.guineapigcages.com/food/Veggie-and-Fruit-Charts.pdf It's a complete chart of what and how much to feed your little guy/girl.

Hope this helps!
Where are you? It's easier to answer some of those questions if we know how far you are from good sources.
I agree. Many can help you- as far as what may be available to you in your area.
Thank you Cheeky Piggy! No alfalfa, no store treats, lotta veggies, got it! :cheerful:
I live in Saint Louis, Missouri. The closest major international city is Chicago with is 5.5 hours away.
You may be far enough north to get good hay from a feed store that supplies horses. What you want is long strand grass hay (timothy, brome, meadow, orchard, blue) that doesn't have a lot of alfalfa in it, and no fescue. If not, your best bet for ordering online is (broken link removed). It's expensive because of the shipping, but it's really good hay. I have two pigs, and a 40-lb. box lasts me 5-7 months.

KM is also the best source for pellets, handsdown. Don't be put off by the shipping costs -- the pellets themselves are cheap, and even with shipping will probably be cheaper than those in a local petstore. Locally, Oxbow is about all we'd recommend.

Hay should be 80% of their diet, veggies about 20% (1 cup per day per pig) and pellets the rest (1/8 cup per day per pig). See this link for what you can feed and how often: https://www.guineapigcages.com/threads/22156/.

For treats, think herbs and the occasional piece of fruit. Mine are wild about dill and basil, and one of them loves thyme. Watermelon rinds are their absolute favorite food, but they're not picky and will eat almost anything I put in the cage.
K, update on meh pig! I took her home yesterday, it was all rushed because I wanted to get her out of the cramped quarters at Petco. (I adopted her, her previous owners abandoned her. I only adopt.) Just before that I ran into PetSmart to get a few things(they have different stock so I go back and forth.) I was in a rush and bought "Ecotrition Essential Bled for Guinea Pigs" and "Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay". I avoided brands that make bad hamster and rat food, I know a lot more about their food. If those are bad then I'll get another commercial brand that can be bought at either PetSmart/Petco. I am buying at pet stores until I can order and receive high quality food/hay from internet shops. It's not ideal but she needs to eat. She is getting loads of lettuce, celery, carrots and apples(that's what's in the fridge.) I am going to the grocery to buy a wider selection today.

Story time! I was fixing her veggie breakfast this morning and she was with me in her cozy because I was changing the fleece in her cage when she lunged for a potted plant near her cozy! I grabbed her before she could get it and put the plant farther down the kitchen island but she made a move to run after the plant so I put it on another surface before she ate my Mother's Day gift to my mom. :eek: I was freaking out when it happend because my cat has gotten ill from eating plants on many occasions. (He's elderly now so he can't jump high enough to get on the island that had the plant.) And she had a perfectly good piece of lettuce and celery to much on while I fixed her meal!
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