Is my Popcorn too fat?

Post Reply

Post   » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:45 pm

Hi gang,

I have a male pig, aged 3-4 years old. His name is "Popcorn," (and appropriately so, given how much he does it). He's always been a bundle of joy in the house, but in the last months I have noticed him getting fatter. I can feel fat rolls near his waist when I pet him, and there's a noticeable large "double chin."

His normal diet consists of 1 cup of veggies daily (mostly green or red leaf lettuce and some romaine, a few pieces of green and red bell pepper, and whatever I might add that day (cucumber, beet, cilantro, parsley, collared greens, green bean, etc). He also gets 1 vitamin C tablet, and maybe 1/8 cup of pellets. I have tried cutting back on his pellets to see if that was the main reason for his weight gain. He also gets unlimited timothy hay.

But there's the problem. I'm not sure how to change his diet appropriately, or if the hay is putting on too much fat. I've read that "unlimited hay" should always be provided, but Popcorn spends all his time just eating hay! He has plenty of space to move around, but he prefers spending time eating. I also know he doesn't get enough exercise, given my busy schedule in the past. But I can change that. I hope to take him out once a day, but I'm not sure for how long. And when he's out, I'm not sure what best way to stimulate him into being active. Sometimes he prefers sitting in the play pen and just staring at the hay bags, or his house.

Any place that I should start? Below are pictures of Popcorn, and his weight the last I checked (1445 grams).


User avatar

Post   » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:52 pm

He is adorable! You can cut down further on his pellets. Continue with unlimited high quality hay.

But first read this over closely and use the vet's recommendations for determining if indeed your guinea pig is overweight. What I don't think I saw was your mentioning a second guinea pig. This would be your best bet for increasing exercise, which is very important to good health.

Note that you have started a medical thread on Popcorn. This is the thread where you must ask ALL your medical questions about him. Do not start new threads on him in this forum.

p.s. I am sorry Lulu is having such a difficult time. It sounds like they are not housed together.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:50 pm

I don't think he's too fat. It's almost impossible for a guinea pig to be overweight unless it's being fed unlimited pellets and/or is nearly or totally immobile. I've had sows that weight almost as much as Popcorn, and I wouldn't have put them on a diet for anything.

If his weight is stable, I'd continue on as you're going. However, that cage is too small for a guinea pig. If he had more room, and more reason to explore it, he might be more active.

User avatar
Contributor in 2018

Post   » Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:21 pm

I see nothing wrong, except that he may need more room to move around. Floor time may be enjoyable for him, but I wouldn't "stimulate" him to move too much, because that could cause stress. I would let him choose his own activity level, because only he knows how it feels on the inside in regards to sore muscles, achy joints, etc. Having a buddy to share the floor with can be a good motivator to move around more, if this is an option.

Since my pigs don't have hair, I have the opportunity to observe the changes they go through as they age and all of them have developed the "double chin" when they hit middle age, which is around 3 - 4 years old. They also show more bones on the top and a rounder belly. It is just the stage of life that he is in. You're doing fine with care and diet, so just keep doing a good job to keep him in good shape for his senior years ahead!

Post Reply
4 posts • Page 1 of 1