When to switch to lower calcium pellets with young piggies.

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SardonicSmile

Post   » Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:32 am


Since this topic is from 2002

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1171


I figured I’d ask in a new topic, 17 years is a long time for new insights to happen.

It has been years since I had youngsters, is it still adviced to switch to lower calcium pellets at a year old?

There are some brands here that say to switch from youngster food to adult food at around 5 months old.


I have a piggie that leaves white spots, nothing too troubling, but she is only around 4 to 5 months old. (I’ve decided to just put her birthday at May 1st but she could be a bit older). She’s left spots since I got her about 7 weeks ago

She currently eats a pellet with 0,8% calcium and it is timothy based. I already have a new pellet lined up which has 0,6% calcium, about the lowest available here, also timothy based.


Are there any new insights in when to switch?
Would the advice be the same with a youngster that already produces white spots? (My other youngster does not appear to leave spots).
Could switching to the lower calcium pellet at around 5-6 months old be a good idea maybe in combination with some extra calcium from lets say parsley once or twice a week?

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:16 am


I have always switched over to timothy pellets at around 6 months. For what it's worth, oxbow makes that recommendation as well. Are you feeding romaine lettuce? I have had guinea pigs who had problems with it and would produce white spots/sludge when fed that particular lettuce but not when fed green leaf or others.

SardonicSmile

Post   » Thu Aug 29, 2019 6:38 am


No romaine, and only low calcium veggies. I have had piggies with thick sludge issues before, but they were older when this started.

The current calcium issue is really nothing to worry about yet, but I do hope switching to lower calcium pellets will clear it up completely, it has lessened a bit since I got her, I think due to switching pellets. Not sure what the brand of pellets she was used to but it wasn’t what I feed her currently.

I know piggies need calcium and don’t want to switch too soon as to impact their growth.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:34 am


I don't know if any "scientific" study has been done that reflects mature bone growth, but that might give you a definitive answer.

People could evaluate their own guinea pigs by not only using weight, but condition (to try to determine how much fat is on the body) and some measure of bones. I don't know if we could do a "length" or not. If a single guinea pig under a year had an xray and then later, closer to a year, one might also be able to determine bone growth.

That aside, I tend toward the 6 months sef suggested too. Keep in mind that they will still be getting calcium in a variety of foods.

SardonicSmile

Post   » Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:21 pm


Thanks for the info.

I have about six weeks left of the higher calcium food and will make the switch then.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:29 pm


Apologies for hi-jacking this topic, but we recently adopted a 3.5 month old male and I'm pairing him this weekend with Jeremy, our 1.5 year old male who recently lost his older cagemate. I had purchased Oxbow Essentials Young Guinea Pig Food for baby Jeremy, but I'm in a little bit of a quandary on what to do now that he will be living with an adult. The "Young" formula has a max calcium percentage of 1.10%, and the pellets contain calcium carbonate. It's not something I want an adult consuming, considering how many issues our guys have had with bladder stones. Other than separating them during feeding time, which I'd like to avoid, I was wondering what your thoughts are on me just feeding both males the "Adult" Oxbow formula and maybe adding a little alfalfa hay as a compromise.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:14 pm


I think we have recommended something like this before. Keep in mind he may be small enough that you could make a restricted area that Jeremy could not get into for eating the other pellets.

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pigjes
Cavy Comic

Post   » Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:03 am


Ever since I took Whoopy to the university vet clinic of Utrecht about 10 years ago, I found out that even young pigs don't need it, so I never have fed a baby pig extra calcium since, and kept all on a low calcium diet for the rest of their lives, as instructed by the professor vet there. They all did well.

SardonicSmile

Post   » Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:29 am


Interesting @pigjes

After I asked my question I added a third piggie. She is a little over 3 months old now and on adult food since about a week. It still has 0,6% calcium, but it is hard to get a lower calcium food. I was worried about her not getting enough calcium, but maybe there is nothing to worry about.


At least the white spots the biggest piggie was leaving seem to have gone away.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:31 am


Interesting indeed, pigjes. I have sometimes wondered about feeding high calcium to young guinea pigs. How much is really needed? And for how long? Could it predispose them for bladder issues later on? I did notice white spots all over baby Jethro's fleece during laundry yesterday.

I decided to go ahead and switch over to the adult formula for both, rather than risk it with the adult.

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pigjes
Cavy Comic

Post   » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:02 pm


In contrast to humans, piggies absorb all calcium out of their food, and humans about 30%, I was told in Utrecht. That's why they get these problems. I always kept a close eye on the babies who even had white stains in their hideys after a pee, to see if it became gritty, to switch my 0.6% max calcium diet to 0.4 if I had to, but they never became worse. I bet those babies are the ones prone to forming stones easily and apparently, the low calcium diet worked for them well from day one.

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Sef
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:36 pm


I would say so. I can't remember...do you feed pellets? If so, what brand?

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pigjes
Cavy Comic

Post   » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:27 am


I feed whatever low calcium brand I can get my hands on in the EU, which varies unfortunately and is limited. Each order, I check which ones het delivered at my door and see if one if low calcium. I am usually lucky that I find a brand, without choice.

SardonicSmile

Post   » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:39 am


Mine are currently on Science Selective Grain free

Does contain calcium carbonate.

I tried posting a link, but it wouldn’t show up... Amazon.com carries it.

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