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Vegetables What should I feed my pregnant guinea pig?

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What is "cat" formula?

You should be feeding unlimited grass hay such as timothy/orchard, etc. Pregnant & nursing pigs as well as babies under 6 months old need alfalfa based pellets OR hay in addition to a good quality grass hay. You also need to feed 1/2 cup of veggies twice per day (equals one cup). Feed green/red leaf lettuce, green pepper and cilantro. Once she is eating that regularly you can add other veggies per the food chart on this website. Oxbow brand sells good quality pellets and hay and you can buy it at most petstores.
For heaven's sake, don't feed the babies cat formula! They'll eat what the mother eats -- you don't have to do anything special for them except give them, and mom, alfalfa pellets instead of timothy pellets.

And you don't need to give any special veggies if you're already feeding a good variety. What are your pigs getting now?
No, absolutely no cat formula.
Guinea pigs are born able to survive on their own, meaning they can eat everything the mother eats. Nursing is of course good for the immune system & so forth, and is one baby falling back in weight or doesn't get to nurse, you could separate the mother & baby from the rest for a short period of time.

You feed the mother & babies the same staples as usual. Good quality hay, the babies need a a good quality alfalfa pellet. (Oxbow, Kleenmama or Sweet Meadow) If you feed a timothy pellet, supplement the babies with either alfalfa hay mixed in their grass hay, or a small amount of high calcium veggies like parsley.

1/4 yellow or green bell pepper for their vitamin C intake.
2 leaves of lettuce, 2 different kinds. Many green & red leaf to rotate, be careful with romaine however as it could cause sludge. No iceberg.

Cilantro is a great daily staple, a loose handful is fine. As well as a chunk of zucchini.

Feed only these until the pigs eat them, then add rotational veggies per Ly's diet chart.
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They will take turns to nurse. Nursing is only a small part in a baby guinea pigs diet, as they eat the same thing as adult pigs from the time they are born.

Make sure you have Oxbows Critical Care & a syringe at home if you are worried, should a baby pig fall back in weight or energy during the first few days. Read this about hand feeding:
Did you read what HannibalLecter wrote?
Guinea pigs are born able to survive on their own, meaning they can eat everything the mother eats.
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ziespiggies, guinea pigs do NOT need milk. They are born able to eat anything their parents eat.

While it is good for them to nurse to get antibodies from their mother's milk, any other kind of milk will not provide those antibodies, so it's pointless to give it to them.

This thread has given you all the information you need to feed your sow and her pups. If you want more food choices, then read the "read me" sticky on the Diet and Nutrition forum.
Thank you for helping me HannibalLecter, but what if i do need to feed them milk? like if there is an emergency or something? sorry if I am being too needy I just need info

If there is an emergency where one pig stops eating or eats less, lose weight or energy, you need to syringe feed Critical Care. (As well as taking the pig to a vet if you suspect an illness.)

Make sure you have a bag in the freezer at all times as a pig will get sick quickly, and not eating will be extremely harmful even for a short period of time of a couple hours. Their systems are not designed to cope with not eating & will shut down. Read the link I posted for information on handfeeding. But no, baby cavies don't need milk substitutes as they are harmful, and they can survive perfectly well with little/no nursing at all if necessary. A smaller baby pig can be given Critical care in a thicker mixture on a plate if handfeeding isn't successful.
Wait, in your previous post, you explained that you know all there is to know about breeding and that your uncle is ever so kind and skilled and knowledgeable, why aren't you asking HIM these questions? After all, you're helping him out, right? That's what you said here.

Even if this wasn't an intentional pregnancy, which you said it wasn't, why can't he help you?
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@ziespiggies, I hope you won't stop asking questions about caring for your piggies. Even though I strongly disagree with your position on breeding and such, keep asking questions here if it means that you will be better able to care for your piggies.

There is no shame at all in admitting that you don't know everything about cavies or cavy care, or anything else really. It would be really boring to know 100% about something. And one of the things I love about piggies is that there is always something new. So please keep reflecting on what you do and don't know and ask the questions, but with your mind open to the possibility that someone else may know more, and that the piggies needs come first.
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The reaction is at least in part to your post on 1/24, at 1:03 p.m., where you said: "i already know everything! but thanks! and no my uncle has some of the most healthiest piggies I have ever known. he takes such good care of them! thank you so much! and the boys already live together."

So from that introduction thread, at least for me, it struck me that you were not interested at all in learning more, and I was actually wondering why you would be on this forum if you already knew everything.

Again, I speak only for myself and my sense of what is going on, but I don't see anyone here saying that there is something wrong with asking a question if that question is sincere. It is, however, frustrating to give someone an answer, and if it isn't the answer they want or expect, to have them say they know everything and didn't really want that answer. Something I learned quickly after just reading this forum for a couple of days is that people won't hesitate to tell you the truth even if it stings, and at the end of the day, if it means a piggy is healthier and happier, then it's likely worth it.

So if you are saying that you really want to learn more and that your questions are sincere and that you will take to heart the advice from people with a lot of experience themselves, then ask away. It's better to ask something very basic and get a good answer and so you can treat your piggy better, than to keep quiet and risk not doing the best for your pig.
Ziespiggies, you also say, here on this thread, https://www.guineapigcages.com/foru...nea-pigs-owning-3-guinea-pigs.html#post598236, that your mom is a vet.

I'm having a hard time reconciling the kinds of questions you ask here with your mom having a professional education in animal care.

It's fine not to know the answers to things, and to ask questions. But when you announce that you already know everything and that you've got a vet for a mom, and then turn around and say, "And no I don't know everything about guinea pigs," you shouldn't be surprised that people are questioning what you say.
I think that it's mostly the asking of questions that have already been answered... It can only be worded a few different ways. You SHOULD NOT give them cat formula, or any formula. They can eat on their own right after birth. There are nutrients in their mother's milk, but their mother is not a cat, nor a dog, nor a cow (btw, cats and dogs are omnivores, GPs are herbivores, they have COMPLETELY different diets. Omnivores consume meat and veggies, but herbivores only consume veggies. If you went with a formula made for an omnivore, you would risk exposing your babies to meat in their diet, which is not good for them). IF there are 6 babies, and IF the babies are not eating, take @HannibalLecter's advice, but those are huge "if"s and not guarantees of the problem being there. But, if you are really that nervous about it, go ahead and buy some Critical Care and a syringe.

And don't feel like you can't ask questions. However, don't be surprised when you get an answer and then people get annoyed with second-guessing and "are you sure?" You are the one asking the question, and usually the people who are answering are comfortable with giving you such advice (they might even be experts). They wouldn't give such advice unless they were absolutely certain it was in the best interest of the piggies.
I will echo what others have said... I have neglected to respond with advice because you literally stated that you knew everything, and that you didn't need our help because of expertise you proclaimed both you and multiple family members had. If you drop that attitude you will likely see others respond in a more positive manner.
@sillylittle -- just to clarify, dogs and cats are not omnivores. Dogs are non-obligate carnivores and cats are obligate carnivores. It's not a question of whether eating a certain thing will immediately harm them, but rather what the baseline of their diets are (the fundamental nutritional components needed for their health, to over-simplify). Cavies are obligate herbivores, but the issue with formula or milk substitutions isn't about exposure to meat. It's about what cavies need for proper nutrition -- which is both a matter of ensuring they get the right components in the right form, while avoiding components that will either make them ill or interfere with them properly absorbing their required nutrients.

The question of whether an animal is obligate or non-obligate refines it further.

Humans are omnivores. We can choose to restrict our diet and still get balanced nutrition, I think arguably without artificial supplementation if we are thoughtful about our choices. I don't recommend trying that with a cat.
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