Hawthorn branches

KHBz

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I understand that hawthorn leaves are safe for guinea pigs and so am drying a few batches. However, I don't know if the branches are safe to gnaw. I imagine they would be and so am drying some, but I would like to check with any experts on dried forage . Thank you!
 

KHBz

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Another question: can piggies who are off all fresh veg be given fresh branches (without the leaves)?
 

Swissgreys

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The branches are safe to gnaw as long as you are certain they have come form a source that has not been treated with chemicals, etc (like your own garden).

As for giving them to piggies who are off their veg it would depend on the reason they are not getting veg to be honest.
If it is becasue they are having stomach issues then I wouldn't introduce a new food at this time.
But branches dry well and can always be fed later - I hang mine up to dry and feed them all through Winter.
 

KHBz

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The branches are safe to gnaw as long as you are certain they have come form a source that has not been treated with chemicals, etc (like your own garden).

As for giving them to piggies who are off their veg it would depend on the reason they are not getting veg to be honest.
If it is becasue they are having stomach issues then I wouldn't introduce a new food at this time.
But branches dry well and can always be fed later - I hang mine up to dry and feed them all through Winter.
That's very helpful. Yes, the hawthorn is in our garden at some distance from the road. I'll dry the branches too, then. Thank you.
 

Elthysia

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Some hawthorns seems to be thornless varieties but some have nasty spikes. I’m not sure I’d have those around my pigs - how are your pigs with the thorns?
 

KHBz

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Some hawthorns seems to be thornless varieties but some have nasty spikes. I’m not sure I’d have those around my pigs - how are your pigs with the thorns?
It's good of you to reply. I have stripped all the cut branches of their leaves (we had to cut the hawthorn back) to dry separately. I found that the spindly new branches are indeed full of thorns but the thicker sections of branch don't have the spikes too close together and so I have either snapped off the couple of thorns that are there or cut a section between them. I'm going to make sure there is nothing at all protruding from the those sections I put in their run. I looked at PiggieParcels where they now have apple twigs (I bought from there too!) and have gone for similar lengths and sizes. So it should be ok. I'll be very careful about what I give them, though. I'm guessing that twigs/branches will take a long time to dry?
 

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It's good of you to reply. I have stripped all the cut branches of their leaves (we had to cut the hawthorn back) to dry separately. I found that the spindly new branches are indeed full of thorns but the thicker sections of branch don't have the spikes too close together and so I have either snapped off the couple of thorns that are there or cut a section between them. I'm going to make sure there is nothing at all protruding from the those sections I put in their run. I looked at PiggieParcels where they now have apple twigs (I bought from there too!) and have gone for similar lengths and sizes. So it should be ok. I'll be very careful about what I give them, though. I'm guessing that twigs/branches will take a long time to dry?
Thanks for replying about the thorns!

when I dry branches (for non-piggy purposes)i lay them out on towels in a sunny window sill for a few weeks. To be honest you can’t set a time on it as it all depends on how big the branch is, if it’s already drying from autumn, how thick it is etc.
 

KHBz

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Thanks for replying about the thorns!

when I dry branches (for non-piggy purposes)i lay them out on towels in a sunny window sill for a few weeks. To be honest you can’t set a time on it as it all depends on how big the branch is, if it’s already drying from autumn, how thick it is etc.
Thank you for this. I think I have a lot more drying to do then, with regards to the branches, as it has only been a week. Patience!
 
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