Monday, June 13, 2011

Guinea Pigs and Fruit - How and What to Feed

Guinea pigs don't produce their own vitamin C and it's necessary that you supplement their diet with it. If this isn't done, it can lead to vitamin deficiency related diseases. It's important to add small amounts of fruit to a guinea pig's diet once in a while because they're rich in vitamin C and are also liked by most piggies. There's always the one odd cavy that completely dislikes anything to do with fruit but in general, guinea pigs favor fruit.

Not all guinea pigs like the same kind of fruit. One of my pigs won't even touch apple but absolutely loves mango; another dislikes both, but will chow down on apricots all day long if you let him. All piggies are different, so if you find that a guinea pig doesn't eat a certain type of fruit, don't force him or her. Remove the fruit from the cage before it spoils and replace with a different one.

Dried Fruit

No matter which fruit you're going to feed your pigs, make sure you cut them up into pieces that can be easily digested by the pigs. As a rule, I always remove the seeds from all fruits (if there are any) before cutting them up. When I was new to raising guinea pigs, I encountered instances of seeds choking the pigs, so be sure not to make the same mistake I've made in the past; always feed small pieces.

I generally feed my pigs apple, mango, banana, orange (occasionally), and apricots. I've tried feeding them pears but none of my five pigs liked them; one got indigestion. I've abandoned pears since. Rarely, I add kiwis and strawberries for variety. Favorite fruits in my piggy household include apples, apricots and carrots. I would assume that this is because these items are all "gnawable" and thus liked by the pigs.

I've also fed my pigs dried apples once and they seem to like it; you can try other dried fruits with your cavies too.

Remember, though, to never feed too much fruit to guinea pigs. Fruits are merely supplements; whatever guinea pig food you usually buy is always the main course, the fruits are only there to spice up the menu. Plus, variety is the key to raising a healthy guinea pig, so try to keep augmenting your pig's diet with different types of food, and alternate menus.

Guinea Pigs and Fruit - How and What to Feed

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