1. Thoughts on giving a perfectly healthy pig critical care? My 11 month old pig Riker loves it, which I discovered by giving him some leftovers when nursing a sick pig. He'll gobble up the mash from a plate.
I have a bag that I likely won't use before it expires, and I'm wondering if giving it to him as a "treat" now and then would be a good idea.
2. Thoughts on the true expiration of Critical Care? It seems like every bag I've ever purchased (from two different vet clinics) had an expiration date of about 6 months out (maybe Oxbow does this on purpose for quality control)? If unopened or stored properly, would you feel good using "expired" CC for a sick pig?
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I wouldn't give it to him regularly, because it's higher in calcium than an adult guinea pig needs. But for years, I've put a glob on my pigs' dinner plates once a week or so. They love it, and it makes feeding it to them when they're sick MUCH easier.
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I always keep track of the date, order a new pack the month before it expires and give all pigs a weekly batch tho gobble down, which they love.
In the EU, JR farm breifutter is also sold as a type of CC, which the pigs actually love a lot too. When I have a sick pig which won't recover fast, I alter between giving CC and JR Farm, to keep them interested in being force fed.
And I make veggie juices to add to it, instead of pure water. I mix veggies with water and use that juice, not the pulp, so it still goes inside a syringe well. Those juices can be used for 24 hours max, so I choose another veg the day after. I never had a pig who wasn't eager for that idea, except when they were literally dying and could not even be force fed anymore. And even on their dying moment, when all organs fail, they were keen on having some of that juice, as they all seemed to still have some thirst left and refused water even.
In very severe cases, I even give a few recovery mix syringes with fruit juice once a day, when I am certain that the pigs aren't diabetic, so they can get some strength from the carbs in it, which seem to perk them up.