Alternative to spring green

Toots33

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Could anybody recommend an alternative to spring green that can be fed daily as my guinea pig won’t eat it.

We already feed cucumber, coriander or dill, green bean, celery, pepper. I don’t want to add in lettuce because she’s had a problem with soft poo’s and we found that taking the lettuce away helped with this. I’m trying to give her some more variety as she is a very small guinea pig (possibly the runt) and i want to make sure she is getting enough nutrients in her diet.

We don’t feed pellets having had guinea pigs with bladder stones in the past. All of our other guinea pigs have been fine with this but I’m wondering if Luna needs something extra in her diet to boost her if she was the runt. She gains weight very slowly but loses it very quickly. We weigh her regularly and step in with syringe feeding if her weight drops too much. Her teeth have been checked by Simon at the Cat and Rabbit Clinic and there are no issues. Thanks in advance 😊
 

Free Ranger

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Perhaps someone more expert can correct me if I'm wrong but I think carrot might help? I give a piece daily - but it's a piece - the lady up the road lobs a whole big one in with her two girls and they're enormous! It's a root so it's where the plant stores all its energy. This might sound sniffy but mine do actually prefer organic carrots (don't - I know 😅 ) because if you give them normal carrot they'll often leave a bit but organic they eat every scrap. I buy normal for the rest of us because they're cheaper and easier to peel!

Also we're big fans of fresh grass (where you can get it that hasn't been toileted on by dogs or cats) and mine tend to get fatter in the summer when we can bring lots in each day with a few dandelion leaves. The next day we clear out any old stuff and replace it. I couldn't understand it at first - I mean it's just grass - but hubs said "look how big cows get!" and he has a point. He's from your neck of the woods and has that scouse wit!

I feel for you with the bladder stones and they can be very unpredictable. I got one of my girls to drink more by putting a bottle up with the spout pointing into the covered area where she hid most. She didn't have to come out to drink and it worked for her. If Luna is the smallest pig does she eat with the others? Do they crowd her out or stop her eating? Or are they all happy munching together and she actually eats more in the group!
 

Swissgreys

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Our long term diet guide is here:

Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets

I would not recommend carrot daily as it is very high in sugar and basically junk food for piggies - similar to use eating a Mars bar every day - it would make us bigger but not in a good way!

Spring greens can be quite high in calcium so that also isn't something I would worry about your piggies not eating daily.

I know things like sweet potato and oats are good for weight gain, but maybe your girl is also just mean to be small.
My piggies have varied in weight between 900 grams and 1.3kgs and all were healthy adult weights for their frame and body size.
 

Toots33

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Thanks for your replies. I never feed carrot as when tried it as a a treat, she wasn’t interested so I didn’t think it was worth adding it in as it would have benefit for her.

Thanks for the guide, I’ve had a look at that. The small strip of spring green was on the balanced diet recommendation as being slightly lower in calcium than kale, but she’s been given me the dirtiest look at her last two meal times when I’ve given it to her as if to say ‘what is this rubbish you’ve given me?’😊.

She’s even smaller than that. On a good week, we can get her up to 670g, on a bad week, she’ll drop down to 630g. She’s being treated for fungal issues and having regular appointments with Simon at the moment. I don’t know whether she’s just small or whether there are some genetic issues. She eats like a horse as long as it’s something she likes and lots of hay too but just doesn’t seem to gain weight like other piggies we’ve had.
 

eileen

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Just a thought,has your piggie had a thyroid hormone check ? it can be overactive,if she is eating loads and not gaining weight.i hope you get to the bottom of this.
 

Toots33

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Just a thought,has your piggie had a thyroid hormone check ? it can be overactive,if she is eating loads and not gaining weight.i hope you get to the bottom of this.
Thanks for this, she hasn’t but we’re at the vet tomorrow so I‘ll mention it. She has so much energy and even though she’s small, she’s trying her best to gain top spot and can be a really bossy boots.
 

DougalandDiego

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Have you tried carrot tops? My two love them just make sure you wash them properly as the ones from the supermarket can be a bit sandy/gritty from whatever they’re grown in!
 

Seven7

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I introduced variety of veggies to my Finn and Lara and they can eat many different veggies.
I buy romaine lettuce from Costco mostly during the winter months and give it to them along with other herbs, and veggies.

When I feed veggies 3 times a day, I find their poops break a bit easier so for lunch, I give them Oxbow Garden Select Guinea Pig Food. Then I still give their veggies for breakfast and dinner, and this seems to work for us.

I still prefer veggies and fruits over their Oxbow Garden Select Food. But, I am careful not to end up with soft poops.
 

Free Ranger

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Carrot tops! Of course! Do you know, I've never thought to give these because we don't eat them! Unless people can eat carrot tops and I've just been missing out? I'm going to Google it now!
Good luck at the vets, tiny wheeker!
 

Toots33

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Thank you for all the replies. I’m going to try her with a variety of things and I’m sure she’ll love all the things she can’t have on a regular basis 😊. I’m also going to try adding in some forage that I’ve ordered from Piggie Parcels to balance out not having nuggets. I’ve ordered some grass seed and I’m going to try growing some grass in pots indoors that I can introduce her to gradually. I just need to be careful that she doesn’t have too much calcium and introduce things one thing at a time and very slowly so as not to cause bloat. I’ll see how she gets on. She may be tiny she sure is mighty.
She had a very long journey to see Simon yesterday to check on the fungal issue and he thinks that the fungal issues have potentially impacted on her growth. He hopes that once we get that under control (if we can) then she may grow a bit bigger although she’ll always be a petite piggy.
 

Swissgreys

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Thank you for the update.
It sounds like she is a very lucky piggy who really is receiving the absolute best care.
Fingers crossed you find a few more things she likes to eat.
 
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