Would you lump pine cones in w/ seeds as a no no? I think pine cones have little seeds in the tips. My piggies enjoy chewing pine cone tips. It seems like it would be good for the teeth and not too bad for the diet. ---Jody
My guess is if it is an occasional treat, it would be fine. Interesting idea, that.
I'm visualizing guinea pigs climbing trees to beat the squirrels to them in the wild.
Are you talking about pine cones or fir cones?
Ha ha to cavy climbers.
Yes, Pine as in Slash, Long leaf, Sand, Loblolly or Pond pine. I don't think we have fir trees here.
I also ordered the Cavy Performance from Oxbow as all my piggies are under one year old and I think would benefit from the Alfalfa based pellets.
Love this site...
Couldn't they choke on those? Some of our pinecones have really sharp points on the 'seeds'. They really hurt if you get poked with one. Do you pull them apart or give them the whole thing?
We have the long soft ones also, they would probably like them. Have you given them yet, or seeing if it is okay? That would be interesting to know if they do like them.
Before giving them, I would suggest baking them in an oven for an hour or so at a higher heat. This will kill any bugs that happen to be on the pine cone. =)
What is the temperature that the seeds pop out at? Probably a lot higher than the oven I think.
I have been giving them w/o incident so far. I throw one in and pull it out when I notice it is all chewed on the tips, a few days to a week later. I have never seen any bugs on the pine cones. Some of the cones do have very pointy tips, some less sharp. FWIW, I scrounge around for a less pointy one, but all have a little prickle.
Isnt pine not good? Isnt it the natural oil in pine bad for piggies? As far as what I can recall, pine cones have a strong pine smell.
Plus the seeds will probably be a choking hazard...
I would think that pine cones are perfectly fine. They are an encouraged treat for bunnies, so I doubt they are harmful to piggies. In nature the cavies wouldn't be climbing trees to eat them, they simply nibble on the ones that have fallen to the ground.
I know a local rabbit rescue that gives the buns pine cones every week as a chew toy/treat.
You can find them on Busybunny.com where they sell them in baskets and such. Their products are organic and everything is clean and safe for the critters.
As far as pine not being good for cavies, that is constant exposure from using it as bedding. A pine cone in their cage is not going to distribute the smell to every corner of their cage and they can easily walk away from it. Perhaps you could just use them during floor time if you worry about it.
But hey, if you'd rather use fir cones, I could sell you some for, say, $1 each? You'd need about 50 or so, right? ;)
One of my chinchilla friends gives her chinchillas a pine cone every few weeks. She bakes them at 200f to insure that bugs are killed. She bakes them for 1hr at a time; and then turns the oven off and lets them cool.
I'm sure since its safe for both Chinchilla's and Rabbits, pigs wouldn't have a problem with it.
Also, you may not see bugs, but its better to be safe than sorry. Atleast where any animal is concerned.
I dont know.. I assumed that if pine bedding is harmful to pigs, then pine cones should be not too great either.
Isnt there some oil in pine thats harmful?
Hey, I may be totally wrong..
I think the pinecones would be fine. If they were very resinous (had desposits on them -- maybe you've seen some like this? I have) I would not use them but pinecones are not the same as resinous wood.
ChunkyPiggie - It is my understanding that long exposure to aromatic hydrocarbons in the pine bedding is what needs to be avoided. When used as bedding the piggies have no where to escape the constant inhalation of them. It eventually starts to affect their respiratory system. I do believe that pine bedding is processed from the trunk of the tree and do not know that the cones even contain the same.
At any rate, by putting one or so pine cones in their cage, surely does not force them to be contsantly exposed to the strong elements continually. They can nibble and walk away. I also believe that pine shavings are pretty safe when used in moderation. I know there is alot of diversity on the issue, but when it comes down to it, I have never seen or heard of it to happen where a critter dies gasping for breath after a few short days on pine as I do hear of from Cedar.
Here is a thread on another forum that may be of use. A lot of the questions asked here have been asked and answered there- such as why pine bedding is harmful to animals, yet the pine cones are perfectly safe.
This is a chinchilla thread, but there really is some useful information about pine cones. You can see both sides of the 'story' -Why people think its good, why people think its bad. Nancy/Hedgehogmom is the person I got my info from, and personally - I'm willing to try pine cones as I trust her.
http://www.chins-n-quills.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=38551 ...happy reading, lol