Feeding Ms. Charlotte

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Kendall

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We recently rescued a guinea pig that was bought from mom for her 8 year old (and was easily traded up by mom and child for a kitten. :o( ) Ms. Charlotte is at least 5 or 6 months old. We received her in a small dirty cage, nails never clipped, never groomed, had lice and has never been given greens or any type of fresh vegetable of fruit. She has been given mostly junk food treats for guinea pigs. I have been introducing different fresh vegetables and fruit as in a spinach leaf, romaine, small piece cucumber or green pepper, a blueberry or a little piece orange. My issue is that she will not eat any fresh food, but I continue to put fresh food in her bigger C & C cage everyday in hopes she will eat or try, but she always turns her nose up to whatever is offered. I took her off the seed and pellet food and put her on oxbow and give her plenty of Timothy hay. I have never had a guinea pig refuse fresh food. Any suggestions? Also, I am giving her liquid vitamin C for the time being via dropper.

Any suggestions really appreciated.
 

Veggies Galore

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It takes time for guinea pigs to get used to new foods so it is well worth persevering. You are obviously aware of the need for guinea pigs to have vitamin C so I think it is a good idea that you are supplementing this until she starts to take some vit C rich foods. I assume she is eating plenty of hay?

Are you thinking of getting her a companion? Guinea pigs are more likely to try new foods if they are with other guinea pigs - they seem to "play one off against the other ".

The only other thing I can think of is of you try guinea pig favourite - coriander / cilantro
 

Kendall

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She is eating plenty of hay. She just basks in it. lol. Yes, we are currently looking for a female companion. I waiting until next week so that she could get acclimated to us the new owners and surroundings. I have a bigger C & C for when I get the companion and know to introduce them on neutral grounds.

Thank you, I will go and get cilantro today. We are getting companion on Monday. :o)

It has been a while since I had guinea pigs and never remember any of them not giving in to fresh goodies. :0)
 

Kendall

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Thank you. :o) I am happy she is with us as well as the previous owners. They did not do their research prior and did not realize that there was so much to caring for a guinea pig. Thank you again.
 

Wiebke

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Re. diet, this thread here can hopefully help you: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/recommendations-for-a-balanced-general-guinea-pig-diet.116460/

It is much more difficult with guinea pigs that have never had a chance to learn either from their elders or in their new home what vegetables are. Fresh herbs and grass are usually the best to start. Guinea pigs learn from others what is safe to eat; you see babies snatching food from their mum's mouth as part of this learning process. it is very good that she is eating lots of hay; that should make the mainstay of her diet.
 

Kendall

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Thank you, I am aware what nutrition they are to have. I have her on oxbow. I was concerned about her not eating fresh leafy greens or vegetables. But yesterday she did eat cilantro. Today I will be getting her a companion piggie.

thank you,
 

Wiebke

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All the best! You are a caring piggy mommy!

Please be aware that you may need to quarantine any guinea pig that has not undergone one at their previous place (like a good standard rescue). You will also have to conduct introductions on neutral ground. Give both girls time to get to know each other and to settle down for a much smoother ride and less risk of them not hitting it of. You also have to brace yourself for some not very nice dominance behaviour while they establish a hierarchy.
These information threads here can hopefully help you:
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/importance-of-quarantine.108034/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/introducing-and-re-introducing-guinea-pigs.38562/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/dominance-behaviours-in-guinea-pigs.28949/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/sow-behaviour.38561/
 
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