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Edible And Forbidden Veg And Fruit List With Vitamin C Grading

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Jan 23, 2006
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Recommended Food Proportions
- Fresh water
daily, preferably filtered in hard water areas.
- Unlimited meadow, orchard or timothy hay - should make at least three quarters of the daily food intake.
- 1 cup of mixed veggies per pig per day (ca. 50g)
- Good quality pellets (no dry mixes or mueslis):

Ca. 2 tablespoons (ca. 30g) for youngsters up to 4 months (quick growth phase), then reduced to 1 tablespoon for fully grown adults over 12-15 months old per guinea pig per day.

General Important Diet Advice

Please consider sprinkle feeding or making your piggies work for their veg and pellets and turn feeding time into enrichment time. And please note that 'one bowl full' literally means one small bowl full.
Enrichment Ideas for Guinea Pigs

It is vital for long term gut and dental health that guinea pigs are encouraged to eat as much hay and fresh growing grass (dog pee free and whenever available) in between because they have evolved as a species on nutritious grass fibrea and their body is fully designed for it. Veg and pellets together only replace the supplementary role of wild forage in their original diet and should not be available at all times; ideally you serve only enough to be eaten in one go.

Also be aware that not every edible vegetable, fresh herb or fruit is equally healthy and should be part of a regular diet. In fact, some of the most commonly fed foods can be life-shortening and illness promoting if fed on a daily basis. Feeding carrot to a guinea is like feeding a block of chocolate to a human every day!

For more detailed information on how much to feed how often to make sure that your guinea pigs get a good mix of nutrients that is sustainable for the long term and helps promote a good life span:
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets

List of edible veg, herbs and fruit

HIGH Vitamin C foods
Guinea pig pellets (no dry mixes/mueslis) with stabilized vitamin C:

- alfalfa based for youngsters up to max. 4 months, pregnant & nursing sows, slim or sick pigs;
- timothy based for healthy, grown, chubby pigs

- Fresh growing grass (must be dog pee free!)
- Parsley - curly or plain (high in calcium)
- Coriander / Cilantro / Chinese Parsley
- Celery leaves

- Collard greens (USA) - Spring greens (UK)
- Mustard greens / Leaf Mustard
- Water Cress
- Garden Cress
- Swiss Chard, Red Chard
- Beet greens
- Spinach (feed in moderation, linked to formation of kidney & bladder stones)
- Carrot tops / leaves
- Mangetout snow peas, pea Shoots (not dried)

- Dandelion greens
- Grass - wheat, winter rye (grown in pots from seed)

- Kale and Cavolo Nero - curly or plain
- Broccoli, Broccolini (stems are liked better than flowers)
- Broccoli Rabe / Rabe / Rapini
- Cauliflower / Broccoflower
- Brussels Sprouts
- Savoy, white/green and red Cabbage
- Kohlrabi leaves

- Bell or Sweet Peppers - any colour (not hot or chile)

All fruit (inlcuding tomato) counting together no more than once or twice a week to prevent potentially fatal lip sores (cheilitis) caused by the acidity in these foods.
- Tomato (greens are poisonous)
- Tamarillo (leaves poisonous)
- Orange
- Tangerine / Mandarin
- Grapefruit
- Lemon, Lime (home-grown best, otherwise feed cautiously)
- Currants - yellow, red or black (leaves also edible)
- Gooseberries
- Strawberries
- Kiwi Fruit
- Mango
- Guava
- Feijoa / Pineapple Guava
- Papaya / Paw Paw / Tree Melon
- Persimmon - american or oriental
- Rosehip

- Cantaloupe and Honeydew melon (don't come under the fruit rule)

LOW Vitamin C foods:
- Hay - timothy, meadow, alpine and others (must always be available)
- Alfalfa - green or dried (high calcium & calories - only for youngsters up to 4 months, pregnant & nursing sows)

- Romaine Lettuce
- Lettuces - red, green, butter, Boston and other (avoid iceberg)
- Arugula / Rocket / Roquette / Rucola
- Green Endive
- Belgian Endive
- Radicchio / Italian Chicory
- Treviso Radicchio
- Salad mix (without iceburg lettuce)
- Artichoke
- Asparagus
- Anise
- Basil
- Dill
- Mint
- Thyme
- Celery stalks (cut into small pieces)
- Corn on the cob (strings, leaves & stalks are edible too)
- Bean Sprouts
- Green Beans in pods / String Beans (not dried)

- Carrots (feed in moderation, vit A in carrots said to cause liver problems)
- Yam / Sweet Potato (high in vit A? - leaves edible)
- Beets
- Celery Root / Celeriac
- Kohlrabi bulbs
- Radishes (if mild)
- Turnip
- Parsnip
- raw beetroot
- Rutabaga (aka Swede)
- Parsley root

- Cucumber (fresh only, not pickled)
- Squash - acorn, banana, butterhorn, spagetti, and others (feed in moderation)
- Courgette / Zucchini
- Pumpkin and marrows - the same parts and varieties that are edible for humans

- Pineapple - fresh (sores around lips & mouth can develop)
- Apple (avoid seeds; if too tart, sores around lips & mouth can develop)
- Crabapple
- Pear
- Asian Pear
- Plum, Prune (dried high in sugar - as treat only)
- Nectarine
- Apricot
- Peach
- Cherries (remove pits)
- Cranberries (whole fruit, not concentrate or juice)
- Raspberries
- Blackberries
- Bilberries
- Blueberries
- Watermelon (can cause diarrhea - high water content)
- Banana (feed in great moderation - can cause constipation)
- Passion Fruit / Granadilla
- Grapes (in moderation, high in sugar)
- Figs (dried high in sugar - as treat only)
- Dates (dried high in sugar)

EDIBLE wild grasses, plants and herbs
Please make sure you know what you are picking! Be sure to pick from places free of contaminants such as pesticides, exhaust fumes or animal urine; pick plants that are healthy looking, without insect damage, fungus spots, breakage, or wilting.

More information on forage: Wild UK forage for guinea pigs

- Grass (common grasses are edible, avoid ornamental grasses with sharp edges)
- Clover (Trifolium repens or Trifolium pratense)
- Dandelion (Teraxacum officinale) - pick leaves, stems, flowers (even root OK)

- Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
- Blackberry leaves (Rubus plicatus) - pick young & tender leaves and shoots
- Calendula (Calendula officinalis) - leaves and flowers
- Caraway (Carum carvi)
- Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
- Chickweed (Stellaria media)
- Cleavers / Stickyweed / Goosegrass / Bedstraw (Galium aparine)
- Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
- Cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaeae) - berries, leaves in moderation
- Cow Parsley (Anthiscus sylvestris)
- Dog Rose (Rosa canina) - ripe fruits
- Duckweed (Lemna minor) - aquatic
- Fennel (Foeniculum capillaceum)
- Field Violet / Wild Pansy (Viola tricolor)
- Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris)
- Lemon Mint / Melissa (Melissa officinalis)
- Linden / Lime Tree (Tilia cordata or Tilia platyphyllos) - flowers with pale yellow leaflets
- Miner's Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata)
- Pepermint (Mentha piperita)
- Plantain (Plantago major or Plantago lanceolata)
- Raspberry leaves (Rubus idaeus) - pick young & tender leaves and shoots
- Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
- Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)
- Silverweed (Potentilla anserina)
- Vetch (Vicia x)
- Yarrow (Achllea millefolium)
- Whortleberry / Heidelberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) - berries, leaves in moderation
- Wild Chamomile (Matricaria chammomilla)
- Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca) - berries and leaves
Not recommended and dangerous foods

- Any frozen, tinned, pickled, fried or otherwise cooked/processed veg or fruit

- Iceburg Lettuce (low nutrition, high water)
- Hot Peppers / Chillies / Paprikas
- Hot herbs and spices

- Garlic or pungent onions
- Tomato leaves & stalks (poisonous)
- Tomatillo leaves & stalks (poisonous)
- Rhubarb (poisonous)
- Seeds (only in small measures as to too high in fat; no hard shells; small risk of getting stuck in between teeth)
- Dry beans and peas
- Nuts (too high in fat)
- Avocado (too high in fat)
- Coconut (too high in fat)
- Horseradish (leaves probably ok, root too pungent)
- Mushrooms (too high in protein, not suitable)
- Potatos (poisonous if green or sprouted) - sweet potatos / yams are ok
- Taro (dangerous if eaten raw / unprepared)
- Fruit juices (sugar-free, or unsweetened juices are OK)
- Teas, coffee, colas
- Peanut butter, cakes, cookies, baked goods
- Milk and milk products (including yoghurt) - lactose intolerance

- Wild grasses, plants and herbs that you are unsure of, or that look different from ones you know
- Flowers (commercially grown decorative plants contain preservatives & pesticides)

Questionable foods (lack of information)

- Please don't feed or only feed with caution.
- Mediterranean herbs high in essential oils like thyme, sage, rosemary and lavender are not recommended as part of a regular diet. Please stick to fresh green soft-leaved herbs.
- Please stay off any foods high in starch like beans, potatoes etc. or that are very high in sugar, like dates and sugar cane.
- Dried fruit and herbs are often higher in sugar and/or calcium and should not be fed regularly or in any quantities.

Asian Fruit and Vegetables
(I tried to include names in various languages when possible)

- Abiu / Caimo / Canistel / Dan Huang Guo
- Bamboo Shoots
- Banana Leaves
- Betel Leaves / La Lop
- Bitter Melon / Bitter Gourd / Balsam Pear / Balsam Pod (must remove seeds)
- Chinese Broccoli / Gai Lum / Kai Lan / Kairan
- Chinese Flowering Cabbage / Choy Sum / Sawi Manis / Saishin
- Chinese Cabbage / Wong Baak / Kubis Gna / Hakusai
- Pe-Tsai Cabbage
- Chinese Chard / Bok Choy / Pak Choy / Pak Tsoi / Pechay
- Baby Bok Choy
- Chinese Spinach / Amaranth / Een Choy / In Tsoi / Bayam / Santonsai
- Chinese Mustard / Gai Choy / Kaai Tsoi / Mustaa / Ha Karashina / Cai Xanh
- Chinese Keys / Khao Chae / Suo Shi / Temu Kunchi (like ginger)
- Chinese Long Beans / Yard-Long Beans / Asparagus Beans / Dau Gok
- Chocolate Fruit / Black Persimmon / Black Sapote / Kaki Noir
- Durian / Dourian / Lau Lin
- Ginger Root
- Hairy Melon / Moa Gua
- Jute / Jew's Mallow / Meloukhia / Meloukhiya Sheitaani
- Kaffir Lime Leaves
- Longan / Litchi Ponceau / Loon Ngan / Lengkleng (like Lychee)
- Lychee
- Mangosteen / Saan Jook / Manggis
- Sin Qua / Luffa - smooth and angled
- Soursop / Guanabana
- Star Apple
- Taro / Woo Tau / Dalo / Sato-Imo leaves (leaves ok? raw taro root poisonous )
- Water Spinach / Convolvulus / Ung Choy / Yeung Choy / Kang Kung
- White Radish / Daikon / Loh Baak / Mu
- White Sapote / Casimiroa
- Winter Melon / Wax Melon / Dong Gua
- Yam Bean / Jicama / Di Gwa / Sinkamas / Seng Kuang / Kuzuimo (root ok?, leaves & stems poisonous)
- Yam / Shuyu / Ubi / Yama Imo (this tuber is safe for guinea pigs to eat)

Other Fruit and Vegetables
- Acerola- West Indian, Pitanga, Surinam, Sour, Sweet
- Babaco
- Borage
- Breadfruit
- Burdock
- Cardoon
- Cassava / Yucca Root
- Catus
- Chayota
- Cherimoya
- Custard apple
- Dock (only young leaves before flowering)
- Eggplant
- Fern bracken - Fiddlehead Fern shoots
- Ginger
- Jujube (high vit C)
- Kailan
- Kiwano
- Komatsuna
- Kumquat
- Lemon Grass
- Longan
- Loquat
- Mizuna
- Okra
- Opuntia Cactus
- Oregano
- Plantain banana (needs cooking, high starch)
- Pomegranate
- Quince
- Rosemary
- Sage
- Sakata
- Salsify / Oyster plant
- Sapodilla
- Sorrel
- Soy beans and soy products (too high in protein)
- Star fruit
- Sugar Cane (too high in sugar)
- Tapioca (too high in starch & calories)
- Yucca

AOL Lifestream : Login - uses info from:
United States Department of Agriculture: Food Industry Red Book: Nutrient Tables. US Government Printing Office (1998). Washington, DC:

Fruit Nutrition Facts. Nutrient Facts For Fruits, Content Charts. - uses info from:
Nevo Foundation: Nevo table, Netherlands Nutrition Centre (1996)

http://www.naturalhub.com/natural_f...t_vitamin_c.htm - uses info from:
Unites States Department of Agriculture: Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 12 (1998)

Thanks to Michele for posting this on the Squeaky Pigs Forum!
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