Question about hay and feeding.

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vaniir

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:43 pm


Hi y'all. So my two boys are all big and fat now. I have a question about their intake of hay. I had a hay bin that I got from Guinea Pig Cages Store but they just made a huge mess with it every time. I ended up buying this one and it worked MUCH better for months.

Recently, they've gotten where they will sort of pull out the longer strands of hay and leave them on the ground while they eat the pieces that they want. They seem to only pick and choose which pieces of hay they will eat. A lot of times, the hay bin will be 3/4 full and they will whine and act like they're starving. When I fill it back up, they attack it as if they've been begging me for hours for food!

Is this normal for them to only eat 1/4 or so of the available hay or am I just spoiling them?

Also, a quick question about fresh veggies, how much should they eat in a day? I usually feed them veggies twice a day. Before I go to bed (midnight or so) and before I leave for work (8 AM or so). They NEVER let a veggie that they like go to waste but I wonder if I'm over feeding them.

These are two pretty decent sized boars. I'd say they go through an entire pack of celery (1 pound?) and 3-4 green bell peppers in a 10-14 days. Is that too much?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:54 pm


They're guinea pigs. They eat hay by picking out the ONE strand they want, and either ignoring the others, or peeing on them. You're not spoiling them -- that's what you signed up for as a guinea pig owner.

They need about a cup of veggies per pig per day. They need some green leafy stuff (red or green leaf lettuce, for example), a sizable chunk of bell pepper because it supplies the vitamin C their bodies can't produce, and a few other things. See http://www.guinealynx.info/fave.html for some suggestions.

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RavenShade
Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:55 pm


I feed my pigs veg in the AM so that by evening I can sweep up any uneaten veg, loose hay, and poop. Sometimes I just put hay on top of a pigloo or in the middle of the cage, knowing I'll sweep up the leftovers later. I think sometimes they are like cats where if there's any room in the hay bin at all, they think it's "empty".

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RavenShade
Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:56 pm


I feed my pigs veg in the AM so that by evening I can sweep up any uneaten veg, loose hay, and poop. Sometimes I just put hay on top of a pigloo or in the middle of the cage, knowing I'll sweep up the leftovers later. I think sometimes they are like cats where if there's any room in the hay bin at all, they think it's "empty".

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:40 pm


I feed my two guys veggies in the morning and in the evening before bed. I split their daily amount in half, which is about a cup give or take. There's always plenty of hay for them. I add some throughout the day so they have an unlimited amount.

They don't always eat everything I give them, but they eat most of the veggies and snack on the hay throughout the day. I police up the uneaten pieces of veggies in the morning when I give them fresh stuff and again in the afternoon when I add hay.

The 2 tablespoons of pellets they get last them a few days. I dump them out and put in fresh ones every two days or if they poop, pee or get otherwise contaminated.

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:07 am


Yes, perfectly normal that they're so picky about hay. I use a hay rack but also put hay on the floor of their cage. They like it both ways, but if the hay gets scattered around too much, it's no longer edible in their opinion and must be swept up by the human (and don't even THINK of putting the "dirty" hay back into the pile or inside the hay rack--they won't go anywhere near it).

As far as veggies, I feed a.m. and p.m. Each pig gets roughly 1/2 cup of veggies at each feeding, but it's not an exact science. Green leaf and Boston lettuces are the staples, and then I rotate "grape" tomatoes (they're smaller than cherry tomatoes and supposedly less acidic), bell pepper, zucchini, cilantro, celery, cucumber, carrot, a few other veggies. Rarely any fruit. They get corn husks when they're in season. They also get roughly 1/8 cup of pellets twice a day, with the exception of our little stone-prone pig who gets maybe half that and gets a little more in the way of veggies.

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ItsaZoo

Post   » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:48 am


That’s how they eat - they choose one strand of hay at a time. I usually have lots left after my GP picks out only the best. The leftovers become bedding. I sometimes make hay containers from oatmeal containers or paper lunch bags. The hay stays clean longer but they do like to sleep in it.

Veggies are about a cup each day. I feed some in the morning before work. Sometimes my husband is home and then he feeds a random carrot or pepper slice during the day. Then I feed a few veggies a couple of times in the evening. I figure she needs the extra attention and needs something to wheek about.

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Renonvsparky

Post   » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:22 am


Sounds like most of us are on the same page with how we feed our furry little companions. As a bonus for mine, I put them outside to eat their fill of fresh grass every day that the weather allows. On days where it doesn't, I pick a couple of hand fulls for them. It's a real treat for them. They love it.

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lisam

Post   » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:46 pm


I get quite a bit more uneaten hay with 2nd cutting timothy hay, and it's always the stems. The pigs love the seed heads and the leaves (the leaves are the part that is best for grinding down the teeth) but not the stems. With a good quality orchard grass I have less waste. Or 3rd cutting timothy, everyone loves that (probably because it has less stems and more leaf).

vaniir

Post   » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:16 pm


Thanks for the replies!

Okay it sounds like everything is normal with them then. I don't mind the wasted hay or anything. It's not like it's expensive or anything. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't supposed to like force them to finish their plates before giving them more LOL! I know they're supposed to have unlimited hay so I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong.

It also sounds like I'm giving them about the right amount of fresh veggies. I can't imagine that I'm giving them more than 1 cup per day. But my boys are extremely picky. They really like celery (which I cut up and mix up so the "leafy" parts and the stalks are evenly distributed), bell peppers (any color really), and parsley (oh and carrots but I've severely limited their intake of carrots once I read how they're not great for the piggies). I've given them cilantro which they didn't mind but also didn't seem to really like either. Things that I've tried that they didn't seem to care of include: tomatoes (both cut "normal" ones and cherry ones), cucumber, radicchio, radish leaves/stems, chard, etc.

They're also not a huge fan of the fruits I've tried to give them. They'll eat apple and blueberries but no grapes, strawberries, or raspberries.

Where I live, we only have a couple of choices for fresh veggies: Walmart and Publix. There was that recent romaine lettuce scare so I have not tried romaine yet but I think I'm going to try some soon. Any other suggestions for "leafy greens"?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:49 pm


I'd say skip the romaine. Some pigs excrete a LOT of urinary calcium when eating it, while others are not bothered. Romaine is no higher in calcium than red or green leaf lettuce, but we don't see that same urinary calcium spike with anything except romaine. And cilantro.

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sef1268
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:37 pm


Not sure why carrots are considered bad in small quantities. I do limit parsley. The other foods sound reasonable. I believe grapes are one of those fruits that shouldn't be fed.

SSLee

Post   » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:25 pm


My piggies love carrot, escarole, endive and radicchio but hate brussel sprouts and butternut squash. I am lucky in that we have access to fresh vegetables easily, which include supermarkets, farmer markets, Asian, and Latino produce markets. Recently I discovered chayote, kohlrabi, and yu choy from the Asian markets that I buy for my elderly parent weekly are also acceptable to feed the piggies, which they liked. We can get fresh corn throughout the year but I associate it as a summer vegetable only. Last year I didn't realize that corn was available all year round and froze a large quantity of corn husks which I'm still doling out. 1/5 of the office freezer is taken up with corn husks (my manager is tolerant of my piggy supplies, probably because his family fosters dogs ). I feed veggies for dinner, wheatgrass as evening snack, and refresh the hay. In the morning, the girls get one grape tomato and blue berry, pellets, and more hay before I leave for work. My piggies eat better than me when it comes to veggies. I depend on Trader Joe salads as I am too lazy to prepare them myself.

MorganM

Post   » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:25 am


Yeah; that's pretty normal with the hay. We have one basket that is big enough to easily hold both pigs. Then there's a bin up in the loft. They love sitting in it in the basket, digging around in it and eating... some of it =P The bin they tend to eat more of it... probably because there's less pee on it! I just consider the basket more of a fun thing to play in but they can also munch on. The bin up in the loft is where they really chow down. Everything I've read says to give them limitless hay... and so we do.

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M1dn1ght

Post   » Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:45 am


My two boys tend to like bitter greens. I get organic dandelion greens from the supermarket and they inhale those - which is good because they are chockful of vitamin C. They love endive, arugula, and escarole. They also eat the red and green leaf lettuce, but they really love the greens that are more on the bitter side.

I switched them from timothy hay to orchard grass hay because we have allergies in the household. It took them a little while to adjust, but they eat all of it now. I find that there is some incidental litter in the form of yanked hay on the floor of the cage, but they pretty much clean up what's in their hay rack. There are no seed heads in the hay I get them (Oxbow).

For veggies, I get those baggies of mini sweet peppers and give them each one every day. They also get the cucumber peels from when I prepare my daughter's lunch and a few berries of some kind for a treat. I try to switch it up every day so they don't get bored with it. They each get a cup in the morning and then I sometimes toss in some clean kitchen scraps - like when I'm cutting up broccoli and I tear the leaves off the stalk. They love those because - again - bitter.

RomeAndSmores1

Post   » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:59 pm


Sorry to sound like a broken record, but yes, it is Absolutley normal and okay for them to do that. My girls specifically sift through all the hay and eat the seed heads almost exclusively, and then pull the rest out and sleep on it like a Mat. I only sometimes see them eating the hay off the ground, but that’s only when it hasn’t been peed on.

They also eat the smaller strands too, but yeah, that’s normal

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:49 am


Keep in mind that the seed heads do not wear down the teeth as much as their eating the long strands of hay. So another good reason for going with a quality leafy (vs. seedy) hay is to help their teeth, along with their gut.

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