A correctly formulated diet is the basis of guinea pig health.
What to feed guinea pig? How many times a day and in what proportions to feed guinea pigs?
The diet consists of hay, cereal mixes, juicy and green feed. The food should contain at least 15% coarse fibers and 20% raw proteins.
The guinea pig cage should always contain hay (you can add fresh grass in summer). It has a beneficial effect on the digestion process of the animal and promotes the grinding of teeth, which in guinea pigs, like all other rodents, grow throughout life. The hay should be dry, a little greenish, and have a pleasant smell. It must not be raw, musty, or have an overstuffed smell.
The diet should include dry food, it is desirable to buy special dry food for guinea pigs in the pet store. It can be prepared independently from a mixture of oats, wheat, barley, corn, millet, sunflower seeds.
Grain mixture should be given 2-3 times a day (for adult pigs) and 3-4 times a day (for pregnant females and skinny woolless guinea pigs). It is desirable to feed guinea pigs every day at the same time. Disorderly feeding can lead to the development of diseases of digestive and other systems. On a day guinea pig should receive 4-6 tbsp. of dry food (1-2 tbsp. for one feeding). If the guinea pig did not eat dried food immediately, do not need to remove it from the cell, let it stay in the feeder.
Feed the guinea pig exclusively cereal mix, as this can lead to obesity. Also, dry food does not contain enough vitamins and minerals, so such feeding can lead to reduced immunity and the development of various diseases.
In the morning, the piggy is given juicy fodder – fresh fruits and vegetables, plants. Pregnant and lactating pigs (as well as skinny pigs), they are given twice a day – morning and evening. All fruits and vegetables must be washed thoroughly before they are given to the animal. Plants should be collected away from roads, factories, places for walking dogs, etc.
From vegetables, guinea pigs can be given cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, white cabbage, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi cabbage, pumpkin, cabbage salad, sweet pepper (red, yellow, green), trout, beet, sweet corn (not canned), zucchini, peas. All kinds of cabbage and peas give rarely and a little, as in large quantities they can cause bloating. You should not feed guinea pig onions, beans, and potatoes.
From fruits and berries are allowed apples, pears, bananas, strawberries, kiwi, mandarins, grapes without peel and seeds, oranges, dried rosehip fruit, melon, watermelon.
From herbs and greens can be given dill, parsley, spinach, celery, alfalfa, dandelion, clover, yarrow, plantain, dried nettles.
Some plants are poisonous for guinea pigs. They include plants of such families as Araliaeae (Khedira, polyscias, fatssia, shuffler), aroids (aglaonema, alocasia, anthurium, arizema, diffenbahia, calla, zamiokulkas, monster, spatifillum, etc.). ), amaryllis (amaryllis, hippeastrum, echaris, etc.), kutra (oleander, diploma, adenium, etc.), nightshade, dairy (milk, punchettium, aloe, cyclamen, ficus, etc.). If the guinea pig accidentally ate a poisonous plant, take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible, taking a leaf of the plant with which your pet was poisoned.
To grind teeth, give branches of trees (willows, alder, birch, pear, apple), as well as special crispy hard sticks or dried crust of white bread. You can not give mumps twigs of cherries, plums, yew, lilacs, and conifers.
The cage of guinea pigs should always be freshwater. It is best to pour filtered water, which should be changed daily.
All guinea pigs need vitamin C, as their bodies are unable to synthesize it on their own. Adult guinea pigs need about 10-20 mg of vitamin per 1 kg of weight, pregnant females – twice as much. Part of the vitamin C they get with vegetables, fruits, and green food, as well as with some industrial feed. As an approximate dose can be recommended 1 mg of ascorbic acid per 1 ml of water. As ascorbic acid easily enters into chemical reactions, the solution must be changed daily. Dosage of vitamin C for a drink of 250 ml: 5 – 25 mg. depending on the season. In winter, vitamin C is given more than in summer. Ascorbic acid easily enters into chemical reactions, so the solution must be changed daily. If a guinea pig gets vitamins in a complex that already contains vitamin C, it is not necessary to give it additionally.
If the guinea pig has a lack of vitamin C (it manifests itself in lethargy, loss of appetite and weight, loss of hair), vitamin C should be grinded into powder and added to water. It is also desirable to add vitamin C to the drinker in winter.
Harmful for guinea pigs are:
- cheese, sausage, meat, eggs, and other animal products (except curd and milk, which is given during lactation);
- red cabbage;
- immature and overripe fruits and berries;
- remnants of other food from the human table;
- moldy, rotten, and polluted forages;
- dampened food.