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Guinea Pig FAQ, Version 1.2.2
Section - 4. What should I feed my guinea pig?

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     A guinea pig's main diet should consist of dried timothy hay (or
     another grass hay), supplemented by pellets and fresh vegetables.
     If grass hay is not feasible, a legume hay such as alfalfa may be
     substituted, although that should be avoided if possible because
     too much calcium can cause bladder stones.  Whichever hay you use
     should be available at all times.

     If grass hay isn't available at your pet store---or even if it
     is, and you want something a lot fresher than what most pet
     stores sell---there are a couple companies that mail order hay.
     Sandi Ackerman reports that a person at
     delivers Brome, a grass hay, for $30.00 (shipping and handling
     included) for ten 16 oz bags.  Also, several people (including
     me) have had good luck with the Oxbow Hay Company in Nebraska,
     which ships UPS.  Three 15 oz bags of Timothy costs $11.55,
     including shipping and handling.  You can call 800-249-0366 to
     order or to ask for more information.  This is a family business
     and the number goes into their home, so you may get an answering
     machine sometimes even during office hours.  It helps if you
     leave numbers where you can be reached both by day and in the

     Use ONLY the plain kind of guinea pig pellets (without nuts and
     dried fruits, which are high in fat and not good for your guinea
     pig).  If you are concerned about your guinea pig becoming obese,
     you should probably limit pellets to a small amount per day.
     They should also get a cup or two of fresh vegetables daily---aim
     for ones with high vitamin C, which guinea pigs need to keep
     healthy.  Avoid iceberg lettuce (the pale lettuce that comes in
     heads and is the main ingredient in most American salads), since
     it has next to no nutritional value, and can cause gas and other
     more serious health difficulties.  Other than that, most fresh
     vegetables and fruits that are safe for humans are safe for
     guinea pigs.

     A list of some vegetables with high vitamin C content is below,
     thanks to Dr.  Susan Brown from America OnLine's "Ask A Vet".
     Keep in mind that guinea pigs need about 10 mg of vitamin C per
     day (20 mg for pregnant moms), so if you aren't giving them the
     appropriate amount of the high-C foods below on a daily basis,
     you will need to give vitamin C supplements.  Crushed chewable C
     vitamins dissolved in the water works well for this.


      The following chart shows the vitamin C content in milligrams 
      (mg) of 1 cup portions of selected foods.
        Vitamin C (mg)
          Turnip Greens         260 mg  
          Mustard Greens        252 mg  
          Dandelion Greens      200 mg  
          Kale                  192 mg  
          Brussels Sprouts      173 mg  
          Parsley               140 mg  
          Collard Greens        140 mg  
          Guavas                125 mg  
          Beet Greens           100 mg
          Broccoli Leaf*        120 mg 
          Cauliflower           100 mg  
          Kohlrabi              100 mg 
          Strawberries          100 mg 
          Broccoli Florets       87 mg  
          Spinach                60 mg  
          Raspberries            60 mg  
          Rutabaga               52 mg  
          Orange                 50 mg  
          Cabbage (all leaves and Chinese   
           cabbage also)         50 mg  
             *Broccoli stem has 0 mg of vitamin C
             (Notice that oranges have less vitamin C than dark leafy
             greens!....stay with the greens for these little guys)
             Dr. Brown

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Top Document: Guinea Pig FAQ, Version 1.2.2
Previous Document: 3. Where do I get a guinea pig?
Next Document: 5. What sort of housing should I obtain?

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM