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Fresh Food SCARED TO VARY FRESH FOOD! plz help!


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Jan 11, 2012
Hi all, ok so I have read and read and read and now I am in a rut!

I read all the lists of the veg and fruit that's safe and good to feed, I have read the nutritional values, calcium, vitamin C etc and now to be honest I am stuck feeding a tiny amount of apple, carrot, celery leafs, coriander (cilantro), parsley and mint, tomatoe, sweet bell peppers and orange cut up tiny.

So the problem is I am terrified of feeding anything else after reading about bloating and all sorts of problems if they get too much, I don't know how much is too much of anything and I have ended up feeding the SAME fresh food everyday! I can't get certain fresh things here because the veg and fruit sell by season like for example there's no cob corn right now and as I understand frozen and defrost to eat is not allowed.

I really need some experienced piggy owner advice here, can everyone give me some examples of what you all feed (on the fresh food side) and how much of what? I'm so scared to feed the wrong thing or the wrong amount so I stayed safe but now I am really limited and it's not fair on them that they can't have variety due to me trying to stay safe! I can't keep track on the once a week, twice a week thing with all the different fruit and veg so I think I need to write out a list and tick them off or something!

SOS! :guilty:
Rubypig, it's not nearly that hard. Those sample menus are way too complicated for a normal pig owner to follow.

Most guinea pigs never have bloat. People whose pigs don't have it don't post here that their pigs don't have it -- it's only the few that have problems that ask for help here.

Here's what I do. Per pig, mine get a leaf or two of lettuce every day, depending on how big the leaves are. They also get bell pepper every day -- about 1/4 of a pepper per pig for a small pepper, maybe 1/8 for a large pepper. I always have those things in my fridge.

I usually keep carrots, tomato and celery also, because we eat a lot of those, and the kids will eat them. So the pigs get some of those as well, but not always.

Depending on what's on sale, what we're eating, etc, I may have summer squash, endive, sweet potato, etc (things that are on the veggie chart in Diet and Nutrition). If I've got it, they get it.

They get a cup of veggies per day, plus the lettuce, spread out over three feedings.

Do you see a pattern here? I make sure I've got lettuce and bell pepper. I usually, but not always, have tomatoes, celery, etc. The others I may or not have. I do make sure they're getting a good variety of stuff. The pigs get what I've got, not a menu that I sit down and plan out and shop for. Heck, I don't do that for the humans in the house!

The main things you have to worry about are giving them too much fruit (very easy to remedy), too many veggies that are very high in vitamin A or oxalic acid (on the chart), or that are extremely high in calcium (also on the chart). Other than that, just relax and feed them. They'll do fine.
I'm kind of in the same rut. I'm finding too many contradictions in regards to what they can have and how much and have decided I will just be discussing this with my vet when I go in next Wednesday. I trust his opinion and will go with what he says.
The charts are really handy and should not be scary.

The ones marked in yellow can be fed daily. Lettuce like red or green leaf, green peppers, etc. can be fed each day. For the other colors (on the chart), I like to feed small amounts. Mine get cauliflower and broccoli in small amounts and don't ever get bloat, but I just give a small piece for each pig. I totally avoid the ones marked in red (again, on the chart) as I feel no need to bring on problems. In the summer I give fresh forages in small amounts. I grow wheat grass and it is a bit hit. Other than some occasional apple skin or melon skin, I do not feed a lot of fruit.
Wow you have all really given me great info and I feel less daunted by the whole fresh food thing! This chart showing the daily foods in yellow is great and very helpful!!! I think I over read and researched to the point where information was clashing and confusing me as well as frightening me to think that I may hurt them by giving them the wrong amount of a particular food item!

Any more advice much appreciated and very much welcome...

Thank you to everyone... :0)
The charts, put together by our admin Ly, are the most valuable thing out there for guinea pig owners. I printed out a chart and still refer to it. I sometimes shop and buy a treat like fresh green beans or edible podded peas for the pigs. A small bag is very inexpensive... OR I buy a few more and munch on them myself!

As for vets, of course many will be very knowledgeable about diet for your guinea pig. But, many vets are reading from some some ancient text book on guinea pigs! My pig's former owner was told Kale, Apples and Carrots are all they need for fresh food! My cat's vet told me to give them oranges each day. I found a cavy-savvy vet for the pigs, but he still is not as up-to-date on nutrition as he should be. So... with all the research that went into this chart, I'll follow it.
Now that i have the chart and can understand it I will be following it too :0) thanks, I never go by vets as a rule of thumb with nutrition and some advice because some vets do not keep up to date. Yes they know a lot of things I don't know but I like to research myself rather than just go with what I'm told.

Again thanks to all :0)
The above mentioned chart has been a lifesaver for me and has really helped me when shopping for them. I have 2 pigs so I do 1 cup in the morning and 1 cup in the evening. I have the color coded chart printed out and I take it to the grocery store with me. I stock up on red leaf lettuce (or any lettuce on the chart suitable for everyday), green pepper and cilantro. I buy one item off the 2-4 times per week list, and 1 item off the 1-2 times per week list. I will get an apple, an orange, and baby carrots to have on hand for treats. I try to avoid getting any items that say they may cause gas to avoid that problem all together. When introducing something new, I give them a small amount to see if they like it. If they don't eat it, I try again the next day and they usually eat it them. Zucchini is the only thing that they will not touch no matter how many times I offer it to them.
A salad of red leaf lettuce and cilantro is their breakfast. For dinner they get green pepper and anything else I may have gotten. It's pretty easy after a little while. I like to have the chart when I shop so I can refrence it as to what's good and what's not. It also helps me to plan on how much to buy. If it's not for everyday, I won't buy too much. I shop bi-weekly and can keep my veggie bill under $5 for 2 pigs. I don't know if that's good or bad but it works for me. My grocery store also has a rack of "cheap" veggies that need to be sold right away. I can usually find a pack of 4 green peppers for $1.29, which is a good price. Hope I helped.
I never go by vets as a rule of thumb with nutrition and some advice because some vets do not keep up to date.

I don't even go by what human physicians say about nutrition, because sometimes they don't keep up to date either! :)
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