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Canada What kind of pellet should I feed my young guinea pigs?

Carrie1

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I have heard from various different sources that Cavy Cuisine by Oxbow is the best kind of food for adult guinea pigs and that Cavy Performance is for youger ones. However, my local pet stores do not sell the Cavy Performance. I have two 2 month old girl pigs. Is it okay to start giving them the Cavy Cuisine now?
 

kittymalone

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I bought Cavy Cuisine for young guinea pigs online at Dr Fosters and Smith.com. It's for pigs under 6 months and let me tell you, they LOVE it! I found prices online are much better for quality food (even with the shipping). Kleenmama and Sweet Meadow are two others that have been mentioned as good quality.
 

ellisa

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Just to clarify, Cavy Cuisine is for pigs over 6 months, Cavy Performance is for pigs under 6 months. The reason it is like this, is because Cuisine is timothy based and Performance is alfalfa based. Young pigs need alfalfa because they need the higher levels of calcium found in alfalfa to grow and develop properly. If you can only get Cuisine, that is fine. You can give your pigs alfalfa hay as well as a grass hay, or supplement with veggies that are high in calcium such as parsley. Have a look at Ly&Pigs food chart for other veggies high in calcium.
That being said, don't overdo the calcium! Pigs can develop sludge in their urine which can lead to stones. It should also be said that there have been cases where Oxbow causes powdery urine for some reason. Bpatters has a running list of these cases, so you could always ask her if you would like more info.

I also wanted to add, that Kleenmama and Sweet Meadow are other options for pellets and hay. Kleenmama is said to be the best, but you can only order it if you live in the US.
 

kittymalone

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Just to clarify, Cavy Cuisine is for pigs over 6 months, Cavy Performance is for pigs under 6 months. The reason it is like this, is because Cuisine is timothy based and Performance is alfalfa based. Young pigs need alfalfa because they need the higher levels of calcium found in alfalfa to grow and develop properly. If you can only get Cuisine, that is fine. You can give your pigs alfalfa hay as well as a grass hay, or supplement with veggies that are high in calcium such as parsley. Have a look at Ly&Pigs food chart for other veggies high in calcium.
That being said, don't overdo the calcium! Pigs can develop sludge in their urine which can lead to stones. It should also be said that there have been cases where Oxbow causes powdery urine for some reason. Bpatters has a running list of these cases, so you could always ask her if you would like more info.

I also wanted to add, that Kleenmama and Sweet Meadow are other options for pellets and hay. Kleenmama is said to be the best, but you can only order it if you live in the US.

My bad...She's absolutely right! I have the Cavy Performance (I just checked the bag). I was a little worried I'd bought the wrong kind. My local pet store only sells Cavy Cuisine so I had to get it online.
 

Carrie1

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Thanks for the great advice! The reason I'm checking is because I had originally bought Living World brand food, and they won't eat it. I don't know if they just haven't figured it out yet or what's going on...I've only had them home for 2 days but they were being fed pellets in the pet store as far as I know. I originally bought Living world classic and they weren't touching it so yesterday I bought the "extrusion" for them to try...still nothing. So then I did some more researching online and that's where I found out that Cavy Cuisine is a good brand. I heard about the Kleenmama and Sweetmeadow as well as I was reading but I don't think either of those are sold in Canada? I've never seen them in the stores. I have also started giving them alfalfa hay so I will try the Cavy Cuisine....I hope they will eat it! I'm just getting worried that they won't be getting enough vitamin C if they aren't eating their pellets. I have been feeding them vegetables as well of course.
 

ellisa

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I live in Canada and only have ever given Oxbow pellets. I have never had a problem with it, it's a very good food in my opinion. Unfortunately, most pellets sold in petstores are horrible. Kleenmama, Oxbow, and Sweet Meadow are the best choices. With living in Canada, though, really our only option is Oxbow or no pellets at all! Pellets are the least important part of a cavies diet. Hay and veggies are the most important part. To ensure your pigs get plenty of vitamin C, just be sure to feed a variety of veggies. Green peppers are excellent for vit C, 1/8 of a green pepper daily per pig, will ensure that they are getting the vit C that they need. Pigs need at least a cup (per pig) of veggies daily.
 

Carrie1

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Thanks for all the advice, you've been really helpful! Oxbow it is! I'm going to go out and buy that and some green pepper right after work (I've been mostly feeding them green leaf lettuce , carrots, and cucmber) :) Also, is it ok to mix some timothy with the alfalfa hay? They seem to like the timothy better because that is what I was giving them the first day before I read I should be giving alfalfa. I thought maybe if I mix the timothy hay in it will get them more used to the alfalfa and want to eat it more?
 

ellisa

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You could mix it in. If they still don't want to eat it then you could just try supplementing with calcium rich veggies.
Here's Ly's food chart: https://www.guineapigcages.com/foru...y-nutrition-charts-poisonous-plants-list.html
It shows what to give and how often.
Here's a sample menu thread, for examples of what to feed daily: https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/diet-nutrition/24770-sample-veggie-menus.html
Some good staples to get them eating regularly are red and green leaf lettuce, cilantro, and green peppers. After they get started on these veggies you can start adding different veggies into the mix for more variety. Just remember, variety is the spice of life!
 

HannibalLecter

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Alfalfa is in no way a substitute for regular grass hay like timothy. Pigs of all ages need grass hay.
If you feed an alfalfa pellet, there is no need to give them any alfalfa hay.

Carrots are a treat only & should be fed in small amounts occasionally. This because of the high sugars, vitamin A & oxalic acid.
Cucumber contain mostly water with very little nutrients, and could also cause diarrhea & gas/bloat. I would avoid it completely for now & focus on a better diet.

You need to feed the daily staples, which include 1/8 -1/4 green or yellow bell pepper. Red or orange contain too much sugar & should only be fed occasionally. 1 slice of red pepper does however cover the whole vit C intake for the average pig.

2 different kinds of lettuce, 2-3 medium/large leaves. Many different red & green leaf varieties to rotate. Be careful with romaine as it could cause sludge. No iceberg.

Cilantro, a wonderful herb that also can be fed daily, about a loose handful. 1 chunk of zucchini if your pigs like it.

Feed only these until your pigs eat it, especially the bell pepper. Then introduce rotational veggies per Ly's diet chart.
 

ellisa

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I just wanted to clarify what I said in post #8
I meant that you could try giving alflafa as well as keeping with the timothy, since you can't find quality alfalfa based pellets (the Oxbow Performance). Like Hannibal said, still continue to feed timothy 24/7. If they don't want to eat any alfalfa, then just supplent with veg high in calcium such as parsley.
 

Carrie1

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Okay great, thank you. I was unsure about whether I was supposed to continue feeding timothy hay with the alfalfa or not until they were older so I am glad you both clarified that. I will get them eating those veggies to start with as well!
 

kittymalone

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When I first got my pig, I bought the pellets they were feeding her at the pet store and I noticed she barely touched them. I switched her over to Oxbow and now there are barely any left in the bowl! She LOVES cilantro and is finally eating green pepper and zucchini (it took 3 days of offering it to her).
 

Carrie1

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My girls haven't tried the green pepper yet, I just offered it to them for the first time yesterday so hopefully after a couple of days they'll try it like your girl did!
 

CanadianComforts

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I also wanted to add, that Kleenmama and Sweet Meadow are other options for pellets and hay. Kleenmama is said to be the best, but you can only order it if you live in the US.

I do believe KMS pellets are being shipped to Canada now but you would have to email her to double check.

Ellisa, I tired ordering Sweet Meadow but their site would not let me, do you have to email then to do this?
 

SurfingPigs

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I like to supplement young pigs with a handful of parsley during lap time if we are unable to get alfalfa pellets for them. Likewise if you have a young pig in with a herd of older ones who cannot have alfalfa pellets.
 

Carrie1

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Any advice on how to get them to try the green pepper and parsely? They've taken a liking to green leaf lettuce but still won't try the pepper and parsley....
 

ellisa

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I do believe KMS pellets are being shipped to Canada now but you would have to email her to double check.

Ellisa, I tired ordering Sweet Meadow but their site would not let me, do you have to email then to do this?

Sorry, like KMs I think you can also only get Sweet Meadow in the States. I should have mentioned that also. I've only ever used Oxbow pellets. Maybe someone else would know if they ship to Canada? Sorry for any confusion. :eek:
 

CanadianComforts

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Sorry, like KMs I think you can also only get Sweet Meadow in the States. I should have mentioned that also. I've only ever used Oxbow pellets. Maybe someone else would know if they ship to Canada? Sorry for any confusion. :eek:

Thats ok. I emailed them to see if maybe they might ship to Canada. I'll post once I hear back from them.
 

Duffinvt

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Try wrapping up a thin matchstick of pepper in a piece of lettuce. Once they get used to the taste, they will start eating it. Also, you can try feeding pepper only, when they are very hungry. Wait a while before offering the rest of their vegetables. One of our mods has had good luck cutting up tiny pieces and putting them on top of the pellets.

Any advice on how to get them to try the green pepper and parsely? They've taken a liking to green leaf lettuce but still won't try the pepper and parsley....
 

Delaine

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I was wondering if there is anything wrong with Sun Seed Sunthing Special guinea pellets (pellets only)? I bought Oxbow to gradually start changing them over but they won't eat them yet. I phoned the Oxbow Nutrition department and they admitted that by the time you add up all the soybean products in the Performance you actually end up with more soy than alfalfa. Living in Canada I don't have too many options. I talked to a very knowledgeable fellow at Vita Kraft (zoologist) and although Sun Seed pellets have corn it is only 6% and although the first ingedient is alfalfa it doesn't necessarily mean they are mostly alfalfa. You have to take into account all of the other ingredients. The calcium is only 0.55 % (actual value) and Oxbow Cavy Cuisine is (min) 0.35% and (max) 0.85%, so calcium level is as good or maybe better. Pellets are such a small part of my girls overall diet but I have been stressing over what pellets to feed. I am open to debate on this and please feel free to comment of Sun Seed pellets, good or bad.
 
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