Anyways, spoke to my friend. She buys her hay from ebay.com, from a user called "farmer dave". This user sends packages to India regularly, from what she tells me. You'll need to open an account with them, and have a credit card handy.
Be aware, though, that customs officials can sometimes wonder why you're having hay delivered, rather than use Indian hay, especially in a place like Punjab, where agriculture is so common! Let them know what the situation is, and you should be fine.
Packaging and shipping charges constitute the main bulk of the price, but in the long run, it still comes out cheaper than if you were to buy the smaller bags here. She stays in Bangalore, also, but buys her hay online, as it is more economical.
Living in a tropical region, we have a large variety of vegetables that are common here and may not be in other countries. The opposite is also true: many veggies commonly fed there are not easily available here (i.e. lettuces).
Sooo here's a few things that I've had my eyes on, and would like to know if I can feed them:
1. different types of gourds - bottle, ridge, bitter, ivy, etc
3. squashes: eggplant, etc
4. guava, custard apple, coconut, fig, tamarind, gooseberry
5. basil, fenugreek leaves, mint
6. lotus root
Some of these items may have alternate names, so please let me know if you would like me to find another name or describe the fruit/vegetable/leaf.
I have a feeling that some of the listed fruits will have a very high fat content, but I would still like to check and see if they are alright to give.
And eggplant like tomato is a member of the black nightshade family. The leaves should never be eaten and the fruits should be ripe. Eggplant doesn't seem right for a guinea pig.
I have heard that pigs don't like basil or mint and that it's a rodent repellant, but I think some people on here have said their pigs eat those. The only herb I feel good feeding my guys is cilantro (coriander). Maybe fennel is okay, but it's sweet and I'm guessing you would need to go easy on that.
If anyone disagrees, please post. I am just spewing my opinions here off the top of my head and if it's not accurate I'd like to know!
Good luck with your India pigs Pimpinpuji! I always love to know what it's like for pigs and their owners in places besides California!
If they like any of the gourds, they are probably ok in small amounts and mine loves orange mint. She does not like a heavy licorice flavor and many mints have that flavor.
I personally don't like okra so I've never feed it to mine. Too bad about the lettuces. Is it too hot where you are for them?
I'm actually from Orange County, California, but I'm studying here. I bought them here, and will bring them back home with me when I'm done. I REALLY look forward to raising them at home, where pig-friendly products and accessories are much more accessible.
I think the climates here are just not very lettuce-friendly. There is an organic produce company about a half hour from here that grows their lettuce, but their non-iceberg lettuce comes in bags as a mix. Unfortunately, the bags only last a maximum of 24 hrs, and so I can't buy in bulk. Thankfully, they enjoy cilantro.
Pinky and The Brain have become so unbelievably finicky lately, that I don't know what to do with them! If I give them only one or two veggies and cilantro at a time, they won't eat. They need to have the tomatoes, the cilantro, the capsicum, the beans, the pomegranate, the sweet lime, the cucumbers, etc all at once - or its just not up to standard. They may not eat it all, but it has to be there, nonetheless.
Unfortunately, even that has become boring for them, and I'm not sure how to make them eat, considering they are on the small side, as it is.
I will definitely try out some gourd and goosberry!!! Thank you so much for your help! I'll post an update on here, as soon as these experiments have some results.
From what I have researched, there is no quarantine required on Guinea Pigs, as they do not carry any natural diseases. After landing, a vet has a look at them to make sure everything looks fine and healthy, and they can be on their way!
I'll be leaving here in another 2 years, so lots of things can change between now and then. Hopefully, they will change for the better and not for worse! Kingfisher Airlines (an Indian company) has recently started travelling internationally, and they are quite pet-friendly. Hopefully, this attitude of theirs continues. Right now, though, they only fly into New York, which is another problem on its own, as I would have to find a way to get them across the US. I am really hesitant to send them in cargo, and would rather take them in the cabin. I suppose research will have to be done when the time comes.
About the plants, I've never thought about that! I'll look into it! What plants are good for indoor growing?
1. my camera sucks
2. the boys don't pose for me
3. I end up getting more pictures of their bums, than I do of their faces.
No air conditioning... I have a fan? lol
So, here is a fun picture from when the piggies were still really tiny, and when they were still using hidies (Now they have tents).
ETA: Ok, that was a flop.
Pinky on the right, and The Brain on the left.
Over here, Pinky is on the left. In the beginning, I used one of those pet store cages layed on its side, and made two levels. In place of a proper cage, I had used a cut up refrigerator box. This isn't a very good angle, but I like the expressions on their faces.
The boys going for a walk on the balcony, while their cage is being cleaned. This series of pictures was taken at my boyfriend's place - he took care of them, while I had gone home for a few weeks.
The Brain, harassing Pinky, as usual.
The Brain knocked over the bowl of water, and then walked around in the puddle a bit. If you look closely, you can see little footprints in the background.
Yay!! I finally posted pictures!!! I'll put some newer ones soon.
When hideys are not available, cheap plastic bowls and cardboard are great to use!
I'll get up a picture of my old cage with the cardboard as soon as I can find it.