switching feed

Post Reply
User avatar

Post   » Thu Sep 12, 2002 5:24 pm

How do you go about switching from one type of pellet to another? Do you try to mix a little of the new with the old, or do it "cold turkey"? I am asking because I am trying to switch my guys over to timothy pellets, they are used to getting a feed store brand alfalfa based pellet. Yesterday I put some of each into the bowls. Some groups ate only the alfalfa pellets (you can tell the difference--color and size) and left the timothy. Other groups ate everything! So should I continue to mix, or just go with the timothy for those who ate theirs? In horses you always slowly change feed, to avoid upsetting the GI tract and causing colic. If this is the way it is with pigs, I suppose I should continue to mix for awhile? Or should I go with the "eat it or starve" approach (not that they would, with all the hay and greens they get)?

chocolates mom

Post   » Thu Sep 12, 2002 5:45 pm

I had no choice but to go cold turkey. I assume my Hollister Piggies were being feed Cavy Cuisine which is hard to come by where I live. I switched to the brand I get locally and they had no problems at all.

Little Jo Wheek

Post   » Thu Sep 12, 2002 7:09 pm

Gradually is best. Any animal can have problems when going cold turkey. Diarrhea, GI upset, inappetance are all common side effects. If you have "piggy" pigs, you might not have a problem. I don´t like to risk it. I would mix 50/50 for about 1-2 weeks before completely switching. Put them in the same bowl. If your pigs already eat a variety of hay, the transition should be easier.
Last edited by Josephine on Thu Sep 12, 2002 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar

Post   » Thu Sep 12, 2002 10:12 pm

I generally get pigs in eating Hartz or sweet feed or dried corn or some garbage food. It´s rare that I am able to switch slowly--maybe it´s happened twice. Once I went to a shelter to pick up a pig, and he was eating cat food! New pigs here just get what I feed, but they always seem to like the food and eat it right away. I have never had a case here of a pig having problems because of switching feed suddenly, but maybe that´s because I give them so much hay, like Josephine. If you have the option to switch slowly, however, there´s certainly no reason not to.

User avatar

Post   » Thu Sep 12, 2002 10:48 pm

I go cold turkey and have not had a problem. It seems I´m always switching from one brand to Oxbow, and the pigs love it.

User avatar

Post   » Mon Sep 23, 2002 2:04 pm

So far the mixing the two types of feed together is not really working out for me. The pigs just dig through the feed dishes, or dump them out, and pick out the old stuff. Then the new stuff gets lost in the bedding, making the cage more of a mess. I think Queen Amidala even urinated in her dish, letting me know exactly what she thinks of the new pellets.

Most of the pigs have lost one to two ounces. A few of the darlings have gained! I´m keeping with the mix, but am putting less and less of the old stuff in, and more of the new. By next week it should be all new stuff.


Post   » Mon Sep 23, 2002 3:04 pm

Why is it that some piggies (mine) doesn´t like the good stuff, only the crap food, like Hartz? I´ve switched him to Kaytee Forti-Diet, but he hates it, so I´m mixing 50/50.

User avatar

Post   » Mon Sep 23, 2002 4:37 pm

While you´re checking out Oxbow´s site, Sunder, check out their timothy based pellets. I used to use Kay-tee´s Forti Diet until I was clued into Oxbow. I feed it mainly because I have two sows with UTI´s often. I figured the less calcium for all my pigs, the better.


Post   » Mon Sep 23, 2002 7:11 pm

I switched my own pigs cold turkey to Cavy Cuisine and then again to Kaytee Forti-Diet when I added the Moms and babies. No problems. I´ll go back to Cavy Cuisine once I have no youngsters, I like the product very much and the pigs do well on it.

Chocolates m, the Hollister pigs were fed whatever pellets were donated. They must have had at least 6 or 7 different types of pellets since July!

User avatar

Post   » Sun Sep 29, 2002 2:45 pm

Well, I had to give it up. My bunch was just losing too much weight on the grass hay pellets. Maybe because they were so big and chunky compared to what they are used to. You should have seen them when I gave them back their usual stuff! Perhaps I will try the Cavy Cuisine.

User avatar

Post   » Sun Sep 29, 2002 6:35 pm

Mine really love the Cavy Cuisine. But they sure haven´t lost any weight (you´re supposed to see some weight loss -- I´m kinda skeptical).

User avatar

Post   » Sun Sep 29, 2002 8:49 pm

Yes, I expected some weight loss with my bunch (and a few could spare a few ounces), but some were losing so much, and they were my skinny pigs to begin with. I guess that is why the fat ones are so fat--they will eat just about anything.


Post   » Thu Oct 10, 2002 7:50 am

I have recently been trying to switch to Oxbow Cavy performance recently to no avail. The little bugger still prefers Hagen! When I found myself giving him the talk of how it was better for him, I realized I really have to get out more!


Post   » Thu Oct 10, 2002 5:30 pm

The pellets I now feed -- I´m now blanking on the name of them, but they´re a UK brand and the name includes the words "Guinea" and "Supa" and "Excel," but I forget in what order and I´m too lazy to go look -- anyway, these pellets had on their packaging what seemed to me a good protocol, which I followed -- basically probably exactly what you did, now that I think of it. You just decreased the amount of old feed and upped the amount of new -- they actually had percentages for each, for each day of the month (you were supposed to do this over the course of a month), but I didn´t exactly measure.

Anyway, the pigs did the selective-feeding thing, only going for the old stuff, until they weren´t getting it any more. Then we had a few days of untouched pellets. They were still eating hay and all their veggies, so I didn´t worry too much -- I just kept giving them the new pellets. Finally they decided the new pellets weren´t poison, and now they love them. Except for the "Gerties" mix crud they were eating when I got them, I´ve never seen them run to the bowls for pellets before, but now they do. And I like these pellets -- from the listed ingredients, they seem pretty high-quality. And they were literally the only feed on the shelf not claiming to be "everything your guinea pig will ever need!"

(rereading this, I realize that yes, I do sound as sleep-deprived as I feel)

Post Reply
14 posts • Page 1 of 1