HELP! my Guinea pig is veggie crazed..

cndl24

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so a couple months ago i brought home Pepper, a young female Guinea pig. she was a little skittish, but not too bad. my son mostly bonded with her. he held her more than his sister or I at first, and would let her lay in a soft little bed while they watched videos about guinea pigs. she seemed to enjoy the little bed and just sat there, making little squeaks. she has become a veggie crazed maniac. all she wants is veggies or fruit all the time. she is very very loud about it, every time she hears anything she starts screaming. i give good pellets daily and timothy hay gets filled multiple times a day. she's never satisfied. she now tries to bite everything and everyone thinking it's some sort of treat and is just flailing around when we try to hold her, looking to muckle on to something. we are still trying to hold her for at least short periods of time, but she's making it very difficult. i'm afraid she will wildly leap from my arms. i used to let her lay against my chest and she'd be fine, but not anymore.

i will note that after having her for about a month, i got a larger cage, and another female pig, Potato. we kept them separate cages for a couple weeks and introduced in a play pen area. Potato was much smaller and very shy, but pretty laid back and chill. there was a little dominance by Pepper at first, but nothing aggressive. they are now housed together and aside from Pepper stealing her veggies and hay, they do get along just fine. in fact if one is removed from the cage the other will start squealing. we have to give Potato her treats outside of the cage or she does not get to enjoy any.

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cndl24

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oops, i also want to note, that when hand fed before, she would just nibble and munch. she how tries to rip the food from my fingers like a savage.
 

Piggies&buns

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It’s normal for them to beg for more veggies. As long as there is always fresh hay available then she won’t be hungry but will still beg for veg, you just have to ignore it.
She just sounds like she is confident. Most piggies don’t like being held though so the fact she is trying to get away is normal

Is potato allowed to eat within the cage - you say she is stealing her hay. It is normal for them to take food from each other’s mouths but as long as she is allowed to eat freely when she wants to and isn’t being bullied, then don’t be concerned
 

cndl24

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It’s normal for them to beg for more veggies. As long as there is always fresh hay available then she won’t be hungry but will still beg for veg, you just have to ignore it.
She just sounds like she is confident. Most piggies don’t like being held though so the fact she is trying to get away is normal

Is potato allowed to eat within the cage - you say she is stealing her hay. It is normal for them to take food from each other’s mouths but as long as she is allowed to eat freely when she wants to and isn’t being bullied, then don’t be concerned
Potato is able to eat pellets, and i put up a second hay bin. the hay ends up on the floor also, so she is getting some. i just don't know how much. however if it's a piece of carrot, apple ect.. Pepper will take the whole thing before she gets much eaten.
 

Zanzan

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I have a Pepper too who takes everyone's treats! But they have learnt now to run away before she can snatch them. Potato might do this too when she gets a bit more confident.
 

Piggies&buns

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Potato is able to eat pellets, and i put up a second hay bin. the hay ends up on the floor also, so she is getting some. i just don't know how much. however if it's a piece of carrot, apple ect.. Pepper will take the whole thing before she gets much eaten.
Hay is the most important part of the diet and needs to make up 80% of the daily food intake. If she is only being allowed to eat pellets then she will not be getting what she needs - pellets are the least important part of their diet, they should only have one tablespoon per pig per day and it only makes up 5% of the daily food intake.
You need to weigh piggies weekly as part of lifelong health checks so if potato is eating enough hay, then she will be gaining weight and growing well. If she loses weight then it’s because she isn’t eating enough hay.
Veg (not fruit including carrots as they are too sugary and should be regarded as an occasional treat) makes up 15% of the daily food intake. Do you feed them at opposite ends of the cage and have two food bowls - it’s important to have two of every item to prevent hogging, or scatter feed veg and pellets so they have to forage for it and it 1) provides enrichment and 2) ensures both have equal opportunity to get food
 

cndl24

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Hay is the most important part of the diet and needs to make up 80% of the daily food intake. If she is only being allowed to eat pellets then she will not be getting what she needs - pellets are the least important part of their diet, they should only have one tablespoon per pig per day and it only makes up 5% of the daily food intake.
You need to weigh piggies weekly as part of lifelong health checks so if potato is eating enough hay, then she will be gaining weight and growing well. If she loses weight then it’s because she isn’t eating enough hay.
Veg (not fruit including carrots as they are too sugary and should be regarded as an occasional treat) makes up 15% of the daily food intake. Do you feed them at opposite ends of the cage and have two food bowls - it’s important to have two of every item to prevent hogging, or scatter feed veg and pellets so they have to forage for it and it 1) provides enrichment and 2) ensures both have equal opportunity to get food
Potato is growing, we can see that. but she's still half the size of Pepper! i do not have two bowls for pellets, but i do have the two hay bins and i do give treats to Potato at another location in the cage and will drop a few around. Pepper usually gets one and takes it in the igloo and i'll put more on top of that and she knows to look there. every time i go near the cage she starts looking on top of the igloo. i do apples or berries occasionally. mostly it's peppers, carrots, broccoli ect and once in a while cherry tomatoes. no steams or leaves on those of course!
 

Piggies&buns

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Potato is growing, we can see that. but she's still half the size of Pepper! i do not have two bowls for pellets, but i do have the two hay bins and i do give treats to Potato at another location in the cage and will drop a few around. Pepper usually gets one and takes it in the igloo and i'll put more on top of that and she knows to look there. every time i go near the cage she starts looking on top of the igloo. i do apples or berries occasionally. mostly it's peppers, carrots, broccoli ect and once in a while cherry tomatoes. no steams or leaves on those of course!
I’d get another bowl for pellets if you’re going to use bowls.
Ensure you weigh them both weekly.
Carrots should only be fed once per week. Ensure you also give them some leafy veg such as lettuce (keeping parsley, spinach and kale limited to once per week due to its high calcium content), they can also have cucumber, and coriander daily as it is good for vit c
 

cndl24

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I’d get another bowl for pellets if you’re going to use bowls.
Ensure you weigh them both weekly.
Carrots should only be fed once per week. Ensure you also give them some leafy veg such as lettuce (keeping parsley, spinach and kale limited to once per week due to its high calcium content), they can also have cucumber, and coriander daily as it is good for vit c
thank you. i look up everything before i give it to them but do not have a list of what is good for daily or weekly ect. i do lettuce also :)
 

Lady Kelly

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I have amended the title and initial post. As someone who used to work as a personal assistant to a lady with cerebral palsy, the terminology you chose to use can be very offensive.
 

cndl24

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I have amended the title and initial post. As someone who used to work as a personal assistant to a lady with cerebral palsy, the terminology you chose to use can be very offensive.
so sorry, i had no idea. thank you! i wouldn't want to offend anyone.
 

Freela

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Some pigs are very invested in their treats and come to learn the sound of the fridge opening or bags crinkling... just because they squeal for it doesn't mean that they NEED it! I try to give treats at regular times so that they know when to expect things and are less apt to get overly excited at other times. Of course, my kids are "better trained" than me and since the pandemic Leela at least gets fed all the time, she mooches off my son and he just gets her what she wants. She has him wrapped around her finger! LOL!

It's also normal for pigs to squabble for the treats... hopefully as Potato gets a little bolder she will get better at getting her share. In the meantime, giving her separate treats on your lap or otherwise separated is probably a good idea. We have two food dishes because several of our pigs have tried to hog the food (basically dragging it into the pigloo and then blocking the door to keep it for themselves.) Having a second bowl prevents this. During floor time they get treats and although there is some squabbling for treats, the more submissive pig has learned to run away with her treat in her mouth and eat it far away from bossy sister!
 

KathT

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I chop my veg into small chunks so that there are plenty of bits for them to go at and one can’t run away with one big chunk and deprive the other.
 
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