After combing through a bunch of healthfood sites, these are some of the things I found:
Most of the wheatgrass we see is from red wheatberry seeds, which is very close to barley in terms of nutritional content.
It looks like the Ca:P ratio should be pretty good (1.07:1). It's high in Vitamin C and fairly high in protein (approx. 30%), which are some of the things I look for. It's also quite high in Vitamin K and is one of the more alkaline grasses.
Two watch-outs are 1) it's high in iron so it shouldn't be fed everyday and 2) if you're growing it yourself or using flats, be careful about mold.
I started to get excited when I saw an article about guinea pig health and wheatgrass, until I noticed the date of publication—1938.
- Obey My Authority
We buy seeds at the farmers market, comes $1/pound, and we can get 4 trays out of 1 pound of seeds.
We keep them outside too, we find that it was a mold magnet when we kept them inside last summer. We also find they tend to grow faster outdoors, and have had not a mold incident since then.
I guess I'm asking if chia's watercress would be edible or if I should just try to grow some wheatgrass instead?
If you wanted to go with the chia pet, you wouldn't have to use their seeds. Other seeds would work too.
It's pretty easy to have a potted herb garden too. I've only got a patio garden in pots, but through the growing season, we've got lots of goodies for the pigs to eat.
cutemomomi, if your piggy has an issue with wetter poops with wheatgrass, don't feed as much at one time. I started out with about the size of my thumb, per piggy, once a day. And increased it from there. Now we just cut off a huge clump and throw it in their cage twice a day. I have only let them "free feed" off of our wheatgrass flat a couple times for photo ops. :D
- Supporter in '06
Keep in mind when growing greens that they will "bolt", or go to seed at temperatures higher than 80 degrees. Parsley and cilantro will also bolt in hot weather. So if you live in a warm climate, now is not the time to plant. There are numerous perennial herbs that will last in patio planters if you plant them now. My pigs like oregano , thyme, and lemon balm.
Mine didn't find watercress interesting either. I thought I'd grow some in my smaller aquarium for them and it worked but they wouldn't eat it. Watercress will grow with standing water around it's stem and the top leaves above the surface. You can just toss in the stems you buy at the grocery store and they'll sprout. No need for seeds and doesn't make too bad of aquarium plant.