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Weight Unlimited pellets?


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Oct 19, 2011
I have 3 girls. One is a month old and the other two are about 8 months old. My 8 month olds are super chunky. I have two food bowls in the cage. Should they have unlimited access to pellets? They have unlimited hay and a cup of veggies a day. I am a little worried about their weight LOL. They have a big cage and run around a lot.

Also, when should I start buying the adult pellets? Right now they are eating young guinea Oxbow pellets.
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No, I don't think they are supposed to have unlimited access to pellets. I have frequently heard that pellets are the least important part of their diet. I believe it is 1/8 to 1/4 cup per pig a day, which seems like it's really small, but with the unlimited hay and the cup of veggies, it's not. You could spread it out over the course of the day. I alternate the serving between two food dishes. Your month old should be getting good alfalfa hay, or supplemented with higher calcium veggies, like parsley. One of my guineas was previously getting unlimited pellets too and she is fat! ;) and they can start eating the adult pellets when they are six months old.

(I simultaneously checked other threads to confirm this stuff and I'm positive it's true)
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Okay! I just ordered some. I will make sure to take the baby aside to feed her parsley and such. I'll start giving less pellets....boy are they going to be mad :p
yes back off the pellets for the older ones. and parsley or some alfalfa hay for the little one would be good and just 1/8 to 1/4 cup of timothy pellets per piggie

the place one of my pigs came from only fed pellets...no hay or veggies so he was super chunky but lower the amount of pellets and giving hay and veggies helped him
They can continue with the alfalfa pellets for a few more months, and supplementing the young one with parsley is a good idea.

If the older ones are really chunky, I'd limit them to 1/8 cup of pellets per day. Unlimited pellets really can contribute to weight problems.
I was just wondering about this the other day. I got my ten pound bag of KMS hayloft pellets and I've been keeping atleast the bottom of the dishes covered at all times. Oh did I mention my 15 pound 3rd cut hay ^_^ I think I'm more excited than my pigs! Anyway, I will start measuring from now on...
I've cut down on pellets :) They hate it though ahah
I have given both of my guinea pigs unlimited pellets for a long time now. I think it depends on the pig's appetite. I only see mine eat from the bowls every now and then when they are hungry. The pellets last me many days and I have yet to find their bowls nearly empty (with an exception of one time when they pushed one of the bowls to one of the huts, so they both ate out of it for days due to convenience).

They were also weighed recently and are at an ideal weight. However, if I noticed my pigs getting a bit plump I would start to measure out pellets.

The main reason I give them unlimited pellets is due to my busy college schedule this semester. Two days out of the week I am gone from 9 AM to 10 PM, so I want to make sure my pigs have plenty of food. (My boyfriend laughs at how much hay I put in the cage before leaving for classes).

However, as some people have said, you may want to ease up on the pellets, especially for your heavier pigs.
Unless they are babies (under 6 mths old) they should NOT have unlimited pellets. Over 6 months should get 1/8 of a cup of pellets daily.
Pellets are the least important part of their diet. Feeding too many pellets can mean that they don't eat enough hay, and that can lead to very expensive dental work. The main reason to give pellets at all is so that they have a guaranteed source of vitamin C and other trace minerals.

The most recent trend among researchers and exotic vets seems to be to go pelletless and make sure they have enough vitamins and minerals in the rest of their diets.

SpicyPiggies, what do you mean by "super chunky?" How much do your pigs actually weigh?
I have always given my guinea pigs unlimited pellets.
I don't have any problems with overweight piggies. None of my older seem to be gaining much weight after a year of this.
Mine that are around or over a year are all between 1000 and 1200 grams. From what I read that is about normal
The issue CAN be overweight pigs but like BP said, the bigger problem could become that if they are getting too many pellets, they wont be getting enough hay. Hay is #1 in what they need in their diet.

Malocclusion is the dental problem that can result from not getting enough hay. It's an expensive and chronic condition that can be prevented if they get enough hay.
I didn't know about the "too many pellets not enough Hay thing"
Thank you for telling me.
I've cut back since I posted this and I can see that they have lost a little bit of weight, which is good. Bellies were almost to the ground! haha. They eat tons of hay so I am not worried! :)
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