Raising a piggy in India

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Pooja Mehta

Post   » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:23 am

Hi SeaBabu, welcome to the forum :) I live in Mumbai.

1. rshevin is right about the hay. Timothy hay is not available in India and if you order online then you need to order atleast 1000 tonnes which is a lot. Few local shops sell imported hay, dont know if it is timothy hay, but again very expensive. I give my piggies fresh bermuda grass as much as I can. If there is a shortage in the market, then they get wheatgrass in limited quantity because I can't grow much at home due to space constraint.

2. I don't give pellets because the local ones have seeds and many other things which u generally give as a treat to guinea pigs. They get fresh and good quality vegetables.

3. Never tried drumsticks. I don't know if you can feed it to the piggies. Maybe someone else can help with this.

4. In summers, my piggies are under a fan and in a cool room 24 hours. It is generally not too hot in Mumbai as compared to other cities.

Bpatters is absolutely and 100% correct about exotic vets in India. Everybody here is facing this problem. Local vets say that they have treated guinea pigs before but when you go there, you will find that you have more knowledge than them about guinea pigs. And the first and the biggest mistake they do is prescribe Penicillin drugs to guinea pigs which should not be given at all to them as it is very dangerous for them.

Hope all this will help you in making your decision.

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Post   » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:06 am

I live in India, Gujarat and I absolutely agree with the vets part here. They don't have much knowledge about piggies and they don't give antibiotics even when it is required. My Jai died because of dislocated jaw before few days and the vets here were not ready to give anesthesia saying its very risky. We people are pretty helpless over here when dental problem comes and somehow my piggies always have problems with incisors. Even while hand feeding we have very little options available and we have to manage with fresh veggies.


Post   » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:58 am

Is this thread still active and can I get some help? I have recently got two males which are about 2 months old. I am a student and have great difficulty finding proper food for them. I am feeding them veggies twice a day one bowl each time giving a variety as much as possible. I have ordered for a bag of pellets purely Timothy. I could not get only alfa alfa based pellets. The main problem is finding affordable hay. For now they eat grass but I do not know if that is the right thing to do. I am based in Mumbai and would like to know if anyone has any contacts for getting hay.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:26 am

I don't think we've got any users in Mumbai.

Timothy pellets are fine. You can supplement their diet with some high calcium vegetables until they're six months old -- parsley, or small amounts of spinach or kale.

However, hay is VERY important. It's what keeps the teeth ground down and the gut moving properly. There are several horse racing establishments in Mumbai, and hay that's good for horses is good for guinea pigs. I'd contact one or more of them and see if you can buy some from them. Fifty pounds of hay would last you well over six months, so it's not like they'd be giving up a significant amount needed for the horses.


Post   » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:40 am

Hi bpatters,

Horses are generally fed alfa alfa hay and I am not sure if I can feed them alfa alfa in unlimited quantities. Even though they are young and can be fed alfa alfa, do I not need to give them another type of hay as well?

Also my piggies are extremely picky about almost everything. They refuse to eat spinach or kale and do not even touch parsley. One of them occasionally will eat spinach if he is hungry for too long but the other one will just not eat no matter what.
In veggies they eat capsicum and yellow bell pepper and cilantro. They even eat a small amount of cucumber and carrots each day. I give them cucumber cause they haven't been able to learn to drink water from the bottle.

I had been feeding them a mixture of fresh grass instead of hay. I feed them alfalfa and bermuda and what grass each day. This is what is easily available here.
However if the grass is even a little dry they do not eat it. I tried with a bag of hay as well. They did not eat it at all either. It was expensive as it was imported and they just refuse to eat it.

I do not know how to get them to eat a lot of things.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:34 pm

Horses here are mostly fed timothy hay. Difference in either horse raising philosophy, or availability of hay, I guess.

Grass will work. Bermuda is best of the three you mentioned, and is actually a grass hay. Alfalfa is too high in calcium for adult pigs, although it's fine for pigs under six months old. Wheat grass is ok for an occasional treat.

Here's a post I wrote for another forum: https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/105287-How-to-teach-a-guinea-pig-to-eat-vegetables


Post   » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:59 pm

I do feed them fresh bermuda grass for majority of the time. Once they are above 6 months old I will stop the alfa alfa and even now it only forms a little portion of their feed.
I read the link you gave. I will definitely try it for tricking them into eating most of the veggies. However they are picky in the sense that one day they want to eat something and the other day they just won't touch it.

The same is happening since last three days with bermuda grass. They used to love eating it even though they would waste half of it since they won't touch grass that's dried even a little because of something as simple as fan in the room. However now they do not want to eat bermuda grass at all and are almost avoiding it while they are eating alfa alfa and veggies at the same pace.

I do not know whether it's just these two babies or piggies in general are so moody. I believe they are taking to my eating habits.

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Post   » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:17 pm

Feeding them fresh grass (they are doubtlessly used to it) is a great idea. I would continue to do so, especially since it is hard to find grass hays.


Post   » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:39 am

Thank you. I got most of my doubts cleared now about what I was doing was correct or not. Just to tell everyone here that this is such an important forum for any guinea pig owner. I would not have survived a day without it. From making a house for them to what to feed them, I have read it and made my decisions easily based on that. Guinea pigs are not a common pet in India and its here that I have found all the information I could to provide a better life for my piggies.

However, I have a question. I get very paranoid when sometimes I pick them up and their tummy seems heavier than usual days. I always feel that it's a bloat and start with my sleepless nights. I do not have a good exotic vet I can take them to whenever needed. I really wish to know how a full heavy tummy and bloat are different. I can never figure out with the sound by flicking their tummy thing.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:52 am

Bloat is a full-on medical emergency, and a pig that has it will be obviously sick. And thumping the stomach isn't a particularly reliable diagnostic took, in my opinion.

Given the fact that they eat ALL the time, it would be unusual if their stomachs weren't fuller than others sometimes.

Pooja Mehta

Post   » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:53 am

Hi Admiral404, I am based in Mumbai, India. My piggies are over 7.6 years, so I have gone through almost every possible difficult situation faced in India.

My piggies eat Bermuda grass which is easily available in Mumbai. Timothy hay is available online and at good exotic vet's clinic. My piggies dont like timothy hay since they have been on bermuda grass since really long. Also timothy hay got available recently in India.

There are few exotic vets in Mumbai. Both my vets are exotic vets. Where exactly do u reside in Mumbai?

Do let me know if you need more help.

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Post   » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:43 am

You might want to write Admiral404 using the mailer, since his/her last visit was last December.

I am so glad you've found some vets who can help you with your guinea pigs, Pooja Mehta.

Pooja Mehta

Post   » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:24 pm

Lynx, I have already sent a personal message to Admiral404 through guinealynx. Hope to hear from Admiral404 soon.

Correction in the age of my piggy. He is above 7.7 years.

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