Eva´s care recommendations

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Post   » Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:51 pm

I´m wondering what others think about Eva´s care recommendations (http://www.users.wineasy.se/dan.johansson/eva/mars/care/gpcare3.htm). I know I have her "Guinea Pig Parasites" booklet which I use pretty much as gospel. But, in reading all of her care items, she very strongly espouses some things that go against what many of us have adopted as ´standard and appropriate´ guinea pig care.

For example,

"Actually 90 % or so of the vegetables ought to be carrots and cabbage (half carrots and half cabbage), except for during summertime if you can give fresh grass and dandelion leaves instead." She goes on to say kale might be better . . .

And no pellets. Lots of hay instead.

No need for pellets or alfalfa hay for pregnant or lactating sows or young cavies.

And some other items.

She makes it all sound quite reasonable.

I know my pigs have access to lots of unlimited Timmy hay, but still also eat their pellets. There is the thread here about cabbage and bloat. There have been many threads elsewhere about limiting carrots because of vitamin A overload on the liver, I believe.

So, I´m wondering what others think?

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Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:56 pm

I was looking for pictures of pigs a few days ago and stumbled onto that site. I was a little curious myself, but didn´t have the chance to look through the whole thing.

I´ve always found a variety to be best for pigs whenever possible. Besides being boring day in and day out, I wouldn´t think such a limited menu would give enough vitamins and minerals - they need more than C.
I haven´t used her site or seen it until recently and have no idea who she is.

Curious, I looked up why she doesn´t reccomend pellets - and was uneasy about the answer. Granted, I don´t have the time or inclination to produce such a site, but I would like to know where some of the info came from and/or names. If you´re going to cite something (her passing reference to Medline), give me the articles/authors/quotes. I do know that Hartz in particular puts all sorts of crap in their pellets (including pork). It´s on the label. But there is no pork in Kaytee, as implied several times (use of "pellets" with no modifier implies "all pellets"). Also no mention of the fact that the colored bits are a choking hazard.

She mentions breeding and breeders - possibly her main source of information? Depending on the individual, it may be very strange info.

And, by her determination that low fiber causes impaction, all that hay that Max ate should´ve prevented it, if not cured him, right?

I´m not liking this site much.

It hasn´t been updated in almost two years - overdue for an edit?
Last edited by RavenShade on Wed Jan 23, 2002 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Wed Jan 23, 2002 3:31 pm

Carrots and cabbage are not good choices. Cabbage can cause bloat from the gas and carrots are too high in vitamin K (I think that´s the one)and have been linked to liver(pretty sure that´s the organ) problems when fed in excess amounts. Both are low in C

A lot of her med info is good but some stuff like the food recommendations does make you raise your eyebrows.

It could be a language thing or perhaps pig pellets are very poor quality in Sweden.

Just goes to show you that you have to research anything you read on the net and not accept anything at face value. Unfortunately, when obvious bad info is found, one is inclined to doubt the good info.

Vicki of Jack Pine Guinea Pig Rescue has a good article on her site.

Internet Advice - Don´t swallow it whole


Post   » Wed Jan 23, 2002 3:43 pm

In reading the information, it´s clear Eva has a lot of experience with cavies.

I would agree with much of what she says, although I thought a couple of things didn´t quite ring true. Possibly the differences are due to Eva´s location, as she is in Sweden. Perhaps the variety of foodstuffs available there is not as wide as in the USA? I don´t know.

On the question of pellets, I noted that Eva states all cavy pellets contain animal fat and harmful preservatives. I don´t agree there, although many brands do some pellets on the market in the USA don´t.

Also, more stable forms of Vitamin C have been incorporated into pellets recently, so I believe they do offer a significant amount of C, although I too like to rely on fresh vegetables for most of the C requirement. If the only pellets I could obtain contained harmful substances, then I might not recommend them either! As it is, I tend to agree with her opinion that the less processed the better. Given unlimited pellets and Timothy hay, my pigs choose to eat only a small amount of pellets and what seems like tons of hay!

The carrot and cabbage recommendation raises doubts too. Articles I´ve read on limiting the amount of carrots are pretty convincing and I wonder why cabbage in particular? Perhaps there are not many fresh vegetables abailble in Sweden in the Winter? In our area there are so many fresh vegetables available year-round providing as good, if not better nutrition than cabbage. I find the cabbage in supermarkets tends to sit around longer on the shelf than some of other leafy greens, because it shows spoilage less quickly. I would choose the freshest produce as it is likely to still have most of it´s nutrients intact. For cavies as well as in my own diet, I think variety is the key.

I see Eva believes cavies should absolutely not have hay in a hay rack but rather on the floor. This is a small difference of opinion, but I feel my cavies benefit from the active stretching and tugging at their hay. It provides exercise and interest in their somewhat limited environment. I would imagine they stretch up and eat leaves and grasses above ground height in the wild, so I don´t quite understand why Eva so strongly advises against a hay rack.

I don´t think the role of calcium in the diet is well enough understood for me to offer an opinion one way or the other.

Overall, I´ve seen far worse information on websites!

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Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Wed Jan 23, 2002 4:26 pm

Hadn´t realized she was from Sweden. Anyone from Sweden tell us about your supplies and experience? Curious, because I hadn´t thought about that possibility.

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Post   » Wed Jan 23, 2002 6:19 pm

I think long ago when scurvy was first being understood, cabbage was a godsend for sailors who went without vitamin C on long voyages. I wrote Kaytee and their vitamin C is a form that is stabilized for 18 months. I also use Oxbow pellets. I don´t think they have a preservative in them.

I think pellets can be a good source of food for cavies but should certainly be supplimented with hay and fresh vegs.

I´ll have to reread her site. Haven´t looked in a while. Recommending so much of those same two vegetables bugged me too, Teresa.


Post   » Wed Jan 23, 2002 6:22 pm

I heard limes was a godsend for sailors to prevent scurvy - hence the term Limey for the Brits.

Red cabbage might be higher in C than green cabbage, but I hadn´t heard of cabbage being an ideal source of C. - yup, according to one reference I have - red cabbage is twice as high in C as common green cabbage and kale is higher then red cabbage.
Last edited by pinta on Wed Jan 23, 2002 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post   » Wed Jan 23, 2002 6:24 pm

Limes and cabbage! yum, yum. What more could a sailor ask for?

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Post   » Wed Jan 23, 2002 8:09 pm

My Clint loves head lettue but he don´t get to much any way we tend to stick with the romaine and some other good veggies and fruit.

Pinta I just read that article the other day what a quincedence!

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