Where People & Piggies Thrive

Newbie or Guinea Guru? Popcorn in!

Register for free to enjoy the full benefits.
Find out more about the NEW, drastically improved site and forum!

Register

Pellets Pellet Mush Mess

CameronsMom814

Member
Cavy Gazer
Joined
Jun 6, 2022
Messages
8
I know this has been asked some years ago, but my piggy makes a horrible mush mess with his pellet food. It seems that he takes pellets into his mouth, fills his mouth with water, and I don't know....but there's mush mess all over the bottom of his cage making it nasty. Plus. his chin and chest are soaked in water from the excessive drinking. Today I'm trying to withhold pellet food in order to have a more sanitary environment. But he's wheeking, because he wants his pellets. Can anyone tell me why he's doing this, and is there a way too stop the mess?
 

bpatters

Moderator
Staff member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
28,850
You'd have to ask him why he's doing it -- I don't have a clue!😁

But maybe we can figure out how to stop it.

Is this a new behavior? If not, did something change when it began, like new pellets or a different water source?
Does he get his water from a bottle or a bowl?
Is he drinking a lot of extra water, or just playing with the water bottle?
How old is he?
Does he have a buddy in the cage?
 

CameronsMom814

Member
Cavy Gazer
Joined
Jun 6, 2022
Messages
8
He's been doing this for about maybe 6 mos. He's 3 or 4 years old. He does not have a friend. But I do also have house rabbits, and while I know they're not the same as another piggy, he spends time with them. He gets water from a bottle. I have a crock of water in there too, but he doesn't seem to drink from it. I'm not sure how much of the water he's actually drinking, but I've noticed his water bottle emptying water than it used to, since I noticed the mush mess.
 

CavySpirit

Administrator
Staff member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 3, 2004
Messages
6,615
What about the rest of his diet? Excessive water drinking can be a symptom of diabetes, not uncommon in guinea pigs from getting too much sugar in their diet. And I think it builds up and becomes more of an issue in older pigs, like yours. Check his eyes. Are they cloudy at all with possible cataracts? That's another sign of diabetes. Let us know.

Maybe remove the crock of water, since that isn't his main water source. They are generally unsanitary in a guinea pig cage and you might not be noticing what he might be doing with that, too. Is the water bottle close to the pellet bowl? Try putting them a distance apart if so.
 

CameronsMom814

Member
Cavy Gazer
Joined
Jun 6, 2022
Messages
8
Thank you! He gets fresh greens AM and PM, with a sprinkle of shredded carrots. Also a blueberry once a day. He also gets unlimited Oxbow hay. I don't give him any other treats. The water bottle is not next to his pellet bow. He walks between the two as he eats and drinks the water. I don't see any cloudiness or cataracts. Otherwise seems healthy, and gets nail trims from the vet as needed. He has a nice big custom cage from the Guinea Pig Cages Store, and lots of lovies by moi!
 

CavySpirit

Administrator
Staff member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 3, 2004
Messages
6,615
Well (and thanks for your support on getting your cage from our store -- it's what keeps this site going), I'm out of suggestions. :) It sounds like you are doing everything right and the pig is healthy. I wouldn't withhold the pellets. What about the pellet bowl itself? Try a different bowl with a different design of height or access? Is the mess right by the pellet bowl?

What about the pellets themselves? I'm assuming they are the basic plain pellets as recommended and not a brand with various bits in them?

I've created my own pellet mixture of various things I add in. I keep a small, closed bin of those nearby and scoop out from there. I can never quite tell what they are finding better of something over something else. Sometimes, they seem to be looking for one thing over another and will paw through creating a mess in front. That can get messy.

Sometimes, I think they will just paw through looking for things even if nothing is there, spilling pellets. What can also happen is mine will sit right by the pellet bowl for a while hanging out eating. I think they could be pottying there, too, creating the wetness -- not the water. Eat, poo. Drink, pee. Eat, poo. Drink, pee. That's the drill of guinea pig life.

Perhaps it's partly that. I personally don't worry about it much and just clean up as needed.
 

Guinea Pig Papa

Moderator
Staff member
Cavy Slave
Joined
May 12, 2015
Messages
38
I have a little bit to chip in here. Not much in the way of suggestions, more of a confirmation of piggie behaviour.

Every single pig I have had, seems to LOVE drinking from the water bottle, spitting it in the pellet bowl, and THEN eating it. When my little bear Sly went through his dental issues, I actually started wetting his pellets for him to make it easier for him to eat, and for the most part it worked.

I really do think that to some degree, it's piggie behaviour. The only thing I can think of to curb it, is to move the pellet bowl a fair distance from the water bottle. I have literally watched all of my boys drink, then turn immediately to the pellet bowl. Perhaps some distance will help with your cleanup issues.
 

CameronsMom814

Member
Cavy Gazer
Joined
Jun 6, 2022
Messages
8
Well (and thanks for your support on getting your cage from our store -- it's what keeps this site going), I'm out of suggestions. :) It sounds like you are doing everything right and the pig is healthy. I wouldn't withhold the pellets. What about the pellet bowl itself? Try a different bowl with a different design of height or access? Is the mess right by the pellet bowl?

What about the pellets themselves? I'm assuming they are the basic plain pellets as recommended and not a brand with various bits in them?

I've created my own pellet mixture of various things I add in. I keep a small, closed bin of those nearby and scoop out from there. I can never quite tell what they are finding better of something over something else. Sometimes, they seem to be looking for one thing over another and will paw through creating a mess in front. That can get messy.

Sometimes, I think they will just paw through looking for things even if nothing is there, spilling pellets. What can also happen is mine will sit right by the pellet bowl for a while hanging out eating. I think they could be pottying there, too, creating the wetness -- not the water. Eat, poo. Drink, pee. Eat, poo. Drink, pee. That's the drill of guinea pig life.

Perhaps it's partly that. I personally don't worry about it much and just clean up as needed.
Thank you for your reply. Well, your cages are the best, and easiest to clean. I purchased the fleece with the moving blanket inside. So much better than dealing with shred. Any who, the pellets are Oxbow for Guinea Pigs. I can see that he drinks and dribbles so much of his water bottle, that the water bottle drips in his cage from all the use. The pellet mush is terribly messy, covering a big portion of his "kitchen." And I'm in Texas, so have lots of flies this time of year. The flies find their way into our home and hang out in the piggy cage, It's disgusting. So trying to limit this mush mess as much as I can. I've changed his pellet bowl to one with a low rim, and moved it across his cage. He still runs in-between the two. So for now, I'm limiting his pellet intake. I might've been giving him too much any how.
 

CameronsMom814

Member
Cavy Gazer
Joined
Jun 6, 2022
Messages
8
I have a little bit to chip in here. Not much in the way of suggestions, more of a confirmation of piggie behaviour.

Every single pig I have had, seems to LOVE drinking from the water bottle, spitting it in the pellet bowl, and THEN eating it. When my little bear Sly went through his dental issues, I actually started wetting his pellets for him to make it easier for him to eat, and for the most part it worked.

I really do think that to some degree, it's piggie behaviour. The only thing I can think of to curb it, is to move the pellet bowl a fair distance from the water bottle. I have literally watched all of my boys drink, then turn immediately to the pellet bowl. Perhaps some distance will help with your cleanup issues.
Thank you Guinea Pig Papa! I did move his pellet bowl across his cage and will see what happens. So far, he's still running in-between the two. But that's a great idea to wet his pellet food myself. I'm going to try that next. He's definitely still going from pellet food to water bottle, running in-between with his little short logs. So cute! So this would be my grand-pig. My son had to have him several years ago. Now son is working, school and doing life, so I inherited the pig lol!
 
Top