Am I feeding my guinea pigs too much?

Post Reply
Cutepiggies

Post   » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:07 am


Hello guys, haven’t posted here in a while. My guinea pigs are both female. Pumpkin is 7 months old and Bella is 6 months old now. The reason I am posting this is because I am wondering if I should cut back on the food they’re getting. Pumpkin weighs 1020.58 grams and Bella weighs 963.88 grams.

They’ve been gaining weight consistently for months now and while I am thankful that there’s nothing wrong with them I looked up the normal weight for a female guinea pig and it was 700-900g which my guinea pigs are way over.

They always have access to hay and pellets and whenever I go to see what they’re doing one of them will be eating. They also get quite a lot veggies twice a day and the occasional snack. Also if this is too much, what should I cut back on pellets or veggies?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:11 am


I wish I could cut that 700-900 gram weight standard totally out of the internet so that it's never visible again. It's old, outdated, and based on laboratory animals, not pets. Your pigs aren't even grown yet, so you definitely don't want to restrict food.

Guinea pigs are herbivores, and as such, are very rarely overweight. About the only way they can become overweight is if they're overfed on pellets, and/or they've got mobility issues so they can't move about much. It would be like you becoming obese eating nothing but salads. Not gonna happen.

Every guinea pig I've had except one routinely weighed about 1300 grams, give or take. The one that didn't hovered around 1250 grams, and she was smaller-boned than the others.

Adult guinea pigs should get about 1/8 cup of pellets per day, and about a cup or a little more of veggies. More veggies wouldn't hurt them, but they can come to prefer veggies over hay, and that's not good. Hay is what keeps their teeth ground down and their gut moving properly, so you don't want to interfere with that.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:54 pm


There is an excellent description by a vet to determine if your guinea pig is a good weight on this page:
www.guinealynx.info/weigh.html

Scroll down to: "Determining The Correct Weight For Your Guinea Pig"

Cutepiggies

Post   » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:29 am


@bpatters Oh I see, it gets quite confusing because they mention that it is what veterinarians recommend your pet to weigh. I just don’t want them to get any of the diseases associated with being overweight.

I usually just fill their bowls with oxbow pellets and let them eat as much as they need because one of them eats more than the other. I feel like if I restricted their pellets Bella wouldn’t be getting her share of them. As for veggies I give them veggies at least twice a day and whenever else they won’t stop squeaking for more (I am having a little trouble with getting them to quiet down once they hear the fridge door)

I guess I’ll just let them eat as they’ve been doing, I just thought they were overweight for their age. My other guinea pigs never got over 980g, but I guess they were smaller boned as well.

@Lynx thank you that’s really helpful!

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:51 am


You need to cut back on the pellets. One of the reasons for free-feeding pellets to young pups is so they'll get enough calcium for the skeletal development. But too much calcium can contribute to bladder stones, and those and painful for the pig and for your pocketbook.

As for feeding them when they wheek, you're just teaching them to do that. Let them wheek. As long as you've got plenty of hay in the cage, they'll be fine. Hay is by far the most important part of a guinea pig's diet -- they can live perfectly well without veggies if they get a vitamin C supplement, but not without hay. If you put them on a feeding schedule, they'll adjust, and only wheek for food at those times.

Cutepiggies

Post   » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:31 am


Oh I see, yeah I was going through bags of food quite quickly. I’ll start measuring them from now on, I thought oxbow didn’t have as much calcium as the other brands though.

I do let them to wheek when they wheek normally but sometimes they scream so loud and I live in an apartment building. I don’t want to get noise complaints from my neighbors, they’re my alarm clock there’s no sleeping past 6 in my house haha. However, I am trying to get them on a schedule of feeding them twice a day, but sometimes I give them snacks which probably throws the whole thing off.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:43 am


Make the room they are in quieter by adding rugs, curtains, and cloth/weavings/decorative rugs on the walls.

Cutepiggies

Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:43 pm


I’ll see what other decorations I can find for my walls, so far I have a lot of my paintings on the walls, but maybe I’ll add something else. It’s just that these walls are basically paper thin. However, they’ve been getting better. They rarely squeak now unless if it’s feeding time.

While I am on the subject of food, I don’t know if I should start a new thread or not, but I just recently got some bell peppers from the farmers market and I gave some to my pigs. However, they didn’t eat much of it, after I tried it I discovered why. The bell pepper was a little spicy, should I be worried? I’ve never seen a spicy bell pepper before but I’ll be trying every bell pepper before giving it to my guinea pigs from now on.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:47 pm


If it's spicy, it's probably not a bell pepper. Unless it's some new variety I never heard of. Bell peppers are considered sweet peppers.

Cutepiggies

Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:54 pm


At the farmers market it was listed as a bell pepper and it looked like one too. Maybe it’s some kind of combination between a bell pepper and a spicy pepper. I only got it because they were listed as pesticide free. I usually wash my veggies with baking soda, but I doubt that’s safe for guinea pigs so when I saw these I got them. Would it be safe to wash guinea pig veggies with baking soda and then rinse them with water?

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:04 pm


I have run across some supposed bell peppers that I think got accidentally cross pollinated with a hot type. Maybe you need to be their taste tester for any farmer's market peppers?

Cutepiggies

Post   » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:13 pm


Yeah, I didn’t even expect it to be spicy, but I am definitely trying all the bell peppers they’re getting from now on. I’ll still try the farmer’s market because after tasting the bell pepper they taste a lot better than regular ones, so I am sure they’d enjoy them. Just not the spicy variety.

Post Reply
12 posts • Page 1 of 1