• You can find lots of information on how to settle in, understand your new guinea pigs in our New Owners Guide Collection but please ask any questions you have in Wannabe and New Owners' section.

Feeding Baby Guniea Pigs?

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ginnyweasley

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I don't own guinea pigs yet but I plan on getting two young ones. I read that it's best to give young pigs alfalfa instead of the usual timothy hay, I plan on giving them alfalfa pellets should I still give them alfalfa hay as well or is that overkill? Also if I should give them alfalfa hay does anyone have any brand recommendations for quality hay because I would go with KMS Hayloft but they don't have alfalfa.

Lastly unrelated, but I plan on using a litter tray (I know they can't truly be trained but I have fleece lining but I just want to place this where they go most often). What kind of litter/bedding do you use and where do you get yours? Sorry so many questions thanks in advance!
 

Wiebke

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#2
I don't own guinea pigs yet but I plan on getting two young ones. I read that it's best to give young pigs alfalfa instead of the usual timothy hay, I plan on giving them alfalfa pellets should I still give them alfalfa hay as well or is that overkill? Also if I should give them alfalfa hay does anyone have any brand recommendations for quality hay because I would go with KMS Hayloft but they don't have alfalfa.

Lastly unrelated, but I plan on using a litter tray (I know they can't truly be trained but I have fleece lining but I just want to place this where they go most often). What kind of litter/bedding do you use and where do you get yours? Sorry so many questions thanks in advance!
Hi and welcome!

Great that you are doing your research beforehand.

Please consider adopting guinea pigs from a good rescue; there are several excellent guinea pig rescues in your state where you get guaranteed properly sexed, not pregnant, healthy and carefully bonded guinea pigs from. As a newbie, you will also be rather matched up with guinea pigs that are used to human interaction (unlike many shop or breeder piggies). With youngsters, you usually get some pretty wiggly bundles that are not able to sit still for cuddles for very long - and they stay young for only a very few weeks. If you'd like an instant cuddler, you might prefer to opt for older piggies that are known to be interactive with humans. A rescue can really help you find exactly the piggies that give you most of what you want from them, be it snuggles, personality or antics. You will amazed just how many sows cme into rescue pregnant, so there are very often some youngsters up for adoption, too.
Good rescues also support you during the settling in phase and the whole life of their adopted guinea pigs.
You may find this link here useful: Boars, sows or mixed pairs; babies or adults?
Here is a list of good standard Californian rescues: Guinea Lynx :: US Guinea Pig Rescue and Shelter Organizations

Please don't overdo the alfalfa/lucerne bit! The actual extra amounts needed are in fact very small and should not be overdone for the sake of missing out on other vital nutrients. Either feed max. 40g of alfalfa based pellets per piggy per day OR a handful of alfalfa hay in addition to the normal hay.
Our balanced diet accounts for most nutrients; you may find it very helpful as it discusses all food groups: Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet

Hay trays/corners you should be able to find in most pet shops, but you can also use any low, wide plastic tray. I use old photographic trays and seed trays from a DIY shop etc.
Personally, I prefer some absorbent layer underneath the hay, which helps to bind the smell better. You can use any product you like apart from sawdust and pine shavings. But everybody has their own method! You will have to work out what suits you best.
Bedding For Guinea Pigs - Overview

You may find our collection of guides in these two links interesting and hopefully helpful for a smooth start:
Quick Information Bundle For Wannabe Owners
New Owners' " How To" Starter Kit
 
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