Why Limit Carrots?


Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:32 pm

Hidey ho...new member and I was reviewing the general care tips at GuineaLynx on accounta my getting my first cavy since I was a kid (many moons ago)

Had wanted one for past ten years but my wife was very negative about "having a rodent in the house".

Then almost out of the blue, she offered to get me one this past October.

She was very nervous but within about a week, Petey is now her favorite house pet.

QUESTION...I see a reference in the dietary tips section about "Carrots - but only one per day"

What are the reasons for limiting carrot intake?

We have been feeding him a solid handful most days since we got him.

Also green peppers and romaine lettuce...Apples, melon, occasional grape. He's fairly cool about tomatoes...ignores them usually.

Oh, Peter J Cartman is now approximately 6 months, weight unknown (gonna buy a scale asap), but he's steadily grown and maintained weight since we got him as a baby in October.

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Still supporting in 2014

Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:37 pm

Carrots are too sweet and can throw off their tummy flora. They should be treats. Our boys love them, too, but it's not good for their long term health. Same goes for apple and melon. Leaf lettuce and hay should be the staples. We feed romaine most of the winter as that's about all we can get other than the expensive bags of chopped up stuff or iceberg.

And where are the pictures of Petey?

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Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:39 pm


I believe it's the sugar content in carrots that's not great for them.

In addition to romaine, please add green leaf, endive, red leaf, etc. The calcium content in romaine is a concern for some pigs (stones).

Don't forget unlimited hay is a must for cavies. Alot of us get our hay from www.kmshayloft.com.

Have you checked out C&C cages at www.guineapigcages.com? They're large, easy to build and so cheap. I don't know if your pig is already living in one. It's fun to build (really gets the engineer/construction blood going in you) and it's so rewarding to see your pig zooming and popcorning with delight at the large living space.

Finally, you have to post a picture of your Petey! It's always a requirement here!

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Supporting my GL Habit

Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:55 pm

For carrots, its the sugar and the vitamin A and something else I can't remember. Anyway, too many can cause problems with the liver.

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I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:57 pm

I'm betting that your pig has orange poop, right?

A handful it absolutely too much sugar - and carotene (think carotene poisoning in people - they turn orange).

So, back to one small baby carrot per day, and a variety of other fresh leafy green veggies (at least one cup per day)!

Unlimited grass hay, such as timothy, should be the staple, along with 1/8 cup high-quality pellets per day.


Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:31 pm

Bethie-can't you get other lettuce?

I can usually find round, curly and little gem quite easily. Get mine at Tesco.

I am a little ashamed to say that my pigs must be the only ones in the piggy universe that are indifferent to carrots. I moved their bowl a short while ago and the half carrot my daughter sneaked in is still there-sliced up and untouched.

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Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:08 pm

I know what you mean Bethie! I have resorted to buying pre packaged lettuce this winter for the first time. It costs £1.83 for a 2 day bag for four pigs and another £4 for four days lettuce for the other two pigs(they have a special diet).. Yeeps I am spending alot this winter! The ones with ice berg in are ALOT cheaper, meh cheap rubbish!

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Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:14 pm

I am gonna have to gloat then (my apologies Steve for doing it on your thread)

I spend £5 - £6 a week on veggies from the market, and I get Endive/Escarole, Romaine, parsley, Coriander, Lollo Rosso (I think thats what its called, the red curly/frizzy one), and the one like the Lollo Rosso but green - I call it curly lettuce.

Plus the green grocer has a tortoise so she totally gets me buying these veggies for my piggies and even keeps over little bits of fruit for me that are an odd shape, or have been bruised on one side but that can be cut off and the rest given as a treat to the piggies. This week they got an apple that was bruised on top, but the bottom half I would have eaten, so the top part got sliced off and they got the rest. And all for free too!


Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:15 pm

I claim no ownership to any thread and appreciate any sincere feedback. Thanks for Replies so far.

Gotta tell you that I pulled up GuineaLynx when we first got Cartman (wife will only call him Petey...what can I tell ya) and I overlooked the Forums.

So I did see them today while refreshing my info on food advice and holy cow....

I am a gardener by trade, but also an avid sports handicapper. As such I happen to be an active member of the busiest sports handicapping forum in the world. They have in eight years about 3.5 million posts covering every major sport in North America and the UK. I think that's pretty busy online activity.

And then I see you folks here have over 1 MILLION posts about GUINEA PIGS?

There's obviously some serious need here for pyschiatry.

And thus I feel right at home.

Pictures of Peter J Cartman to follow...had to dust off the digital cam and put in fresh batteries for this Big Event


Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:29 pm

General stock photo of Petey at a distance (suitable for framing or advertising for major studio films etc)



Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:31 pm

One of the challenges facing the life of any SuperHero is of that they often have both a Dark Side and a Lighter Side

Dr Evil Petey


Good Petey (via skycam)


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Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:34 pm


Carrots and fruit are like candy for piggies. A little is fine, otherwise it's like feeding too much candy.

So... you considering a buddy for the very handsome Peter J Cartman?....


Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:35 pm

Not only did my wife impede me from having a cavy for many years due to misguided prejudice (had them slotted with city street rats...heh), but she was also concerned that one or both of our cats would eat him.

As we can see in this Warm Family Foto below, she is now leading member of Petey Fan Klub and our female cat is utterly bored by Petey's presence

(Our 20# Tom cat runs from the bed when we bring Petey in to visit...Who knew?)



Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:42 pm

ZOE, thanks for the good metaphor. He's off of carrots now save for one per day.

Wife did buy some turnip greens today and he's not digging it. But she likes em, so he'll make do with the steady lettuce, pepper timothy hay.

Ayuh, I want to hook up a housemate for Petey, but I need bigger housing. He's already outgrown the 20gallon fishtank I had on hand when he came on board.

I see PetSmart has a pretty good looking 3-tier "cage"-style house with ramps connecting the two levels.

Seems that would be good for 2+ cavys (ssshhhh...wife is still absorbing the reality of one), especially if I put food on top level where they would need to climb

I need to consult with youse here before I do that (probably this next month) so I correctly handle the social aspect of putting a baby boar in with a more mature boar. I'm guessing there's some Threads on that here, eh?


Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:45 pm

Oh, I do get Petey some exercise probably once a day average by just closing off the door to my office (and the two closets) and just letting him loose on the floor.

The only thing he can get behind is the TV stand which is on wheels so I can flush him out when ready.

Hell, I get some exercise myself because it probably takes me at least five minutes to corner him.

Are there effective techniques to get a cavy to come to me on command (or via attraction of some kind)? Guessing you got a Thread for that one too.

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Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:48 pm

You're gonna love this - because we're going to tell you no Petsmart, no commercial cages, no tiers.

Cubes (available at Target and other stores) and coroplast (available at sign stores and other places.) That's the trick. Cheaper than commercial cages, easy to clean, and make your pig(s) very happy.

You ain't seen nothin' til you've seen the high-speed cornering of a highly competitive heat of butt-tag in a C&C cage!

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Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:50 pm

Ah! The next website you MUST visit is www.guineapigcages.com

That petsmart cage, in addition to being seriously overpriced, is never going to be pig enough. Pigs need horizontal space. Layers and levels are pretty much useless to them and should only be used in addition to a suitably sized base.

And don't forget, you should ADOPT a friend for Petey! There are so many homeless pigs in shelters and rescues around the world. Poor little homeless babes.

Oh, and Petey will likely come to you for food, things that might be food, things that smell/look like food, or to beg you to go get him some food. It's a good party trick.

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Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:51 pm

You're right, there are many of threads on introductions already. You can just use the search feature on the top right!

The cages at PetSmart are really expensive, and none of them are big enough, especially for 2 boars. I have sows, but I've read that 2 boars need a little more room to breathe sometimes.

I think someone mentioned www.guineapigcages.com
A nice, large cage will only cost about 25 dollars to build following the instructions on that site. People often think they need a store cage for security if they have a cat. However, you can actually make a study lid with shelving units on a C&C cage. I'm sure there are many threads on cat-proofing too! ;o)

Oh, and welcome to GL!

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Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:54 pm

Pigs are not so interested in commands. Pigs are interested in food.

They will respond to rustling plastic sacks, the sound of the fridge door, the opening of the vegetable bin, or any other sound that they've learned indicates food.

They can and will learn a single word, if you're very consistent, that means FOOD. We use "chow" but others use "treats" or "foodies".

If it makes you feel better, you can use "Come here!" when rustling the plastic bag, and pretend they're being obedient. ;)


Post   » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:05 pm

Smart stuff on the housing...It did occur to me that the horizontal element was missing from a tiered house

I have no particular loyalty to PetSmart, so am happy to check out ..umm...Smart-er alternatives

The cubes and coroplast certainly seem more amenable.

When we first got him, I even looked at one of the small (perhaps coro)plastic bins designed for a landscaping "pond". It was maybe 4' across (oval shaped) and was about eight inches on the sides which appeared too tall for the baby cavy.

Doesn't appear we need to be "cat proof" after all. The fishtank has no cover (up on a dresser), but neither cat pays him any interest whatsoever.

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