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Won't Eat Veggies My one guinea pig won't eat fruits or veggies!

dani_starr

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
390
So I have 3 boars that I rescued (for full story see here https://www.guineapigcages.com/threads/70163/post-611979 )

and after two weeks, the two younger guinea pigs can't get enough of their fruits and veggies, but the older guinea, Todd, is afraid of them. He will be eating his pellets, I'll pet him and drop a piece of red bell pepper, the moment he sees the pepper, he runs away. Same with all other veggies and fruits, he'll see it, and run off, even if it was near his food or a yummy hay fuzzy thing. He won't touch them, not in or out of his cage.

I did squirt some fresh orange juice from an orange on his hay, and he ate that, but he wouldn't touch the orange itself (which I know isn't a favorite of guinea pigs) or any other fresh foods.

I am worried about him having a vitamin deficiency, since all he will eat are the pellets and hay.

Any advice?

(Wow after reading the prefixes, this is more common than I thought? Sorry if this is way overposted!)
 
Just like to say I have tried cutting it up really small, but the other boys get to it first. They practically dump out the bowl for the veggies.
 
I would start off with one veggie, and keep giving him that until he eats it up. Then move on to something else. Good starter staples are green or red leaf lettuce, cilantro, and pepper. You said he's not eating the pepper, but would he eat lettuce? In my experience, I had to offer peppers a few times before my pigs tried any. Cavies will usually eat lettuce up with no problem. So, I would try green leaf lettuce. Once he's on that, it's usually pretty easy to get them to try a different leafy green. Cilantro is a big hit in my house, and it has a decent amount of Vit. C in it. Then I would move on to green peppers. To get my pigs to try peppers, I diced it up with something they liked, like apple or carrot. Then the smell of the pepper wasn't too strong and scary. Once he's got the staples down, then you can start to give a more varied diet.

In the mean time, I would supplement with Vit. C tablets. Oxbow makes a great tablet. Don't use drops for the water, though. It breaks down quickly and usually turns pigs off of water.

Good luck!
 
I had a similar problem with Auggie, she would only eat carrots, pellets and hay. It took a few months so don't expect it to change overnight (unless you are lucky). I started out with red leaf lettuce since it is not as tough as green leaf lettuce and romaine. I cut it up in small pieces and mixed it with her carrots. I also put some in with her pellets. I would alternate with spinach and slowly made the pieces bigger when I saw that she was eating them. I added one veg at a time and slowly she came round. She now eats lettuce, carrots (of course) spinach, celery, parsley, cilantro and is starting to eat green pepper. I dice the green pepper up very small and mix it in with the lettuce, etc. Now that she eats vegs I am going to work on fruit but as long as she eats the vegs I am happy.
You say the other guys eat most of the vegs right up, can you isolate Todd during feeding times? If he is next to the other two and sees them eat that will help encourage him to eat the vegs too.
Good luck and don't give up. I didn't and I'm a happy camper.

Oh, about Vit C tablets, if you find human vit C without any other ingredients, you can use them but you will always want to crush the tablet and sprinkle it on the pellets.
 
I've tried carrots, apples, romaine lettuce (and 2 more types of lettuce, they weren't ice berg), cucumber, and red bell pepper so far. He won't touch anything.

When I put in their "salad" he was munching on his hay, about 2" away. Max and Chase raced over to it, and Todd turned around so his butt was facing it, and went back to his hay. I put a couple pieces of apple and lettuce and carrot next to him, and he just turned around even more and went back to his hay. I'll try cilantro and grass though. I will put the veggies on the opposite side of the cage and then some ones near Todd with some fresh hay, and he will pick out the hay around the veggies so there is a veggie pile, and walk away.
 
They're like kids, you have to teach some of them to eat veggies.

My tried-and-true method for introducing new veggies is to pick one, chop it VERY fine (think of a pencil eraser in 8-10 pieces) and put it on the pellets. Do this a couple of times a day for several days, and they'll get enough by accident to get accustomed to the taste. Then you can feed in larger amounts, and start on a new veggie. Or, you can roll a thin slice of a new veggie into something that he will eat, sort of like a hand-rolled cigarette, and hand feed it to him.
 
Exactly what are they eating? What type of pellets are you feeding? If it has junk food in it, they could be filling up on that. Pellets should make up the smallest part of their diet. Up to 1/4 cup of timothy based pellets or 1/8 alfalfa based. The acceptable brands are KM Hayloft, Oxbow, Sweet Meadow or Mazuri 5664 pellets. Also give them unlimited hay. I wouldn't even offer fruits or carrots yet since they are sweeter and start with the leafy greens. Give it to them first thing, before you offer any pellets.
 
All the answer above me are great, when I first got Hazel, she would NOT eat veggies (or fruit) so I cut some carrot into teeny tiny bits (I dont think she really knew that there was carrot in her dish). When I got Kenzie, I fed her veggies right out of my hand, on the first day. I guess since Hazel already liked veggies, Kenzie was less afraid. My guinea pigs favourites are carrot, Cantaloupe, Romain Lettuce and Cucumber. Maybe try first with the leafy greens.

-Sarica
 
Exactly what are they eating? What type of pellets are you feeding? If it has junk food in it, they could be filling up on that. Pellets should make up the smallest part of their diet. Up to 1/4 cup of timothy based pellets or 1/8 alfalfa based. The acceptable brands are KM Hayloft, Oxbow, Sweet Meadow or Mazuri 5664 pellets. Also give them unlimited hay. I wouldn't even offer fruits or carrots yet since they are sweeter and start with the leafy greens. Give it to them first thing, before you offer any pellets.

Right now, they are eating Small World Guinea Pig- Complete Feed for Guinea Pigs. (it has some small seeds, which I know is a huge no no, but I pick out all seeds before giving it to them, I am going to buy them better food as soon as I get payed. That is the food that came with them)

I asked on YA and they told me that you have to offer BOTH UNLIMITED HAY and PELLETS, so that is wrong then? How much should I give 3 adult boars daily? As for alfalfa or timothy based, I think alfalfa based? The first ingredient is wheat middlings, than dehydrated alfalfa meal. I am guessing these are junk pellets? Yep, they are junk pellets, I'll get one of the above brands. They have unlimited Kaytee Timothy Hay right now, but I am going to pick up some fresh 2nd cut orchard/timothy hay from a farmer Monday after work, and then they will have a steady supply of fresh hay. So even though the other boys eat the other veggies, just offer leafy greens for now?
 
Alfalfa is high in calcium which can lead to bladder stones. Never give more than 1/8 cup of an alfalfa based pellet. Make sure you ask the farmer if there are other hays mixed in. Sometimes they have alfalfa mixed in and you don't want to feed them any alfalfa since they're adults....What other veggies are they eating? Refer to the diet and nutrition charts to see which veggies can be fed every day and others only in moderation. I thought they weren't eating any veggies. Fruits and anything high in sugar should not be fed very often; only in moderation.
 
Alfalfa is high in calcium which can lead to bladder stones. Never give more than 1/8 cup of an alfalfa based pellet. Make sure you ask the farmer if there are other hays mixed in. Sometimes they have alfalfa mixed in and you don't want to feed them any alfalfa since they're adults....What other veggies are they eating? Refer to the diet and nutrition charts to see which veggies can be fed every day and others only in moderation. I thought they weren't eating any veggies. Fruits and anything high in sugar should not be fed very often; only in moderation.

As for the pellets, okay, I'll be sure to get one of the above brands over the next couple of days. And I make sure to ask, a couple farmers were trying to tell me alfalfa was okay for adult guineas, LOL :p Right now this is the veggie/fruit regime
Daily- Green bell pepper, romaine lettuce, carrot
Every other day- all of the above, plus cucumber
Bi weekly- red bell pepper
Weekly- apple/orange

I'll have a looksey at the charts, and than modify that and post my new regime.

And the two younger boys are eating everything veggie/fruit wise that I have given them, but the oldest male won't touch it.
 
Sorry about the DP here is next weeks veggie/fruit regime
Monday- lettuce (green, red, or romaine), green bell pepper, carrot, zucchini, and cherry tomato
Tuesday- lettuce (green, red, or romaine), yellow bell pepper, parsley, celery, and cucumber
Wednesday- lettuce (green, red, or romaine), green bell pepper, carrot, spinach, grape (red or green seedless)
Thursday- lettuce (green, red, or romaine), red bell pepper, cucumber, carrot, cherry tomato
Friday-lettuce (green, red, or romaine), green bell pepper, zucchini, arugula, cucumber
Saturday- lettuce (green, red, or romaine), yellow bell pepper, cherry tomato, zucchini, carrot
Sunday- lettuce (green, red, or romaine), green bell pepper, berry, cucumber, carrot
 
Try adding radicchio and cilantro which can be fed every day. Cilantro is lower in calcium than the parsley. Cucumbers can make them gassy.
 
I asked on YA and they told me that you have to offer BOTH UNLIMITED HAY and PELLETS, so that is wrong then?

Yahoo Answers has the most consistently wrong information of any internet question and answer site. The "best" answer are chosen by the people who read it, who may not know anything at all about what they're voting for. It's the last place I'd ever go for information about anything whatsoever.

If all he's eating are pellets and hay, then you can supplement vitamin C with either Oxbow drops or a child's chewable vitamin C (NOT multivitamin) tablet -- give about 1/4 of the tablet.

If they're available, stick with the red and green leaf lettuces rather than romaine. Some pigs have problems with calcium excretion on romaine, and there's no point in letting that problem develop if you can forestall it.

No more than 1/8 cup of pellets per day -- they should be the least important part of the pig's diet. There's a movement among some exotic vets to discourage pellets altogether and just feed hay and veggies, but I'm waiting until there's more evidence one way or another to jump on that bandwagon.
 
Yahoo Answers has the most consistently wrong information of any internet question and answer site. The "best" answer are chosen by the people who read it, who may not know anything at all about what they're voting for. It's the last place I'd ever go for information about anything whatsoever.

A BIG ditto on bpatters, even the petstores don't know what they are talking about, don't trust them either! I've found that the info on here and on Guinea Lynx is by far the best and most accurate, these people know what they are talking about!! Ditto kananaka on checking out the food charts here and on GL, there are also sample menus posted on here which i found very helpful. Good luck!!
 
Have you tried offering him veggies during laptime? I wonder if he might not be interested in competing with his cagemates for food. Sometimes they seem to like eating alone.
 
Have you tried offering him veggies during laptime? I wonder if he might not be interested in competing with his cagemates for food. Sometimes they seem to like eating alone.

Yeppers, he seriously will run away from them and won't come back to me until the veggie is out of his site. I have left it next to me for an hour before, he did everything he could to avoid going near it. They really do "scare" him.
 
Mods, you can close this thread now if you'd like because... TODD ATE THE SALAD TONIGHT! He's officially eating veggies now, all it took was sprinkling their pellets on top of the salad like croutons for the last 3 weeks :)
 
I had this problem with two of my piggies, turns out they were just -reeeeally- picky. After much trial and error I found their favourites are young leaves from dark lettuces, purple and green leaves (but no lambs lettuce.. so picky!) carrots and cucumber in moderation and some berry fruits. However, I also found the finer I cut things, the better. They woudln't touch pepper or anything other than some leaves until I started chopping it a couple of milimeters wide, and for things like carrot and cucumber I use a potato peeler to create paper thin pieces (it's a great way to keep their portions of these treaty things low too).

The other thing I did was sprinkle alfalfa around their veggie bowl to attrat their attention, and it paid off. They couldn't resist the hay, then slowly began to show interest in their veg.

Also, if all else fails, nothinng beats a couple of handfuls of nice green grass. My boyfriend's mum actually brings us a tub over from, her back garden every time she visits, as we don't have one ourselves. I've never met a guinea pig yet who will turn this down :)

Aaaand as I finish this post I notice the one above saying Todd is eating veg, which is great! But replying anyway because you never know, someone might find it useful >.>

-Edit- Oh, and a seperate veggie bowl may be an idea for shy pigs being buffed out by greedier pigs. We have one for Siggy and Waffles because given half the chance Siggy will faceplant the entire bowl within a matter of minutes and Waffles would get nothing.
 
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