How and what to feed for different ages & needs in a group?

OkiDoki

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I've got 5 piggies and apart from lots of hay, some veggies (I'm trying to add more variation at the moment), and some dried herbs/forage mix, I feed them Science Selective pellets. Recently I've also started feeding them the grain-free version, but they don't like it too much. I currently give them 50 grams of each per day (for all 5, so 20g in total per piggy). As they all have different needs, I'm wondering if this is the right amount of food and the right type of pellets for them.

I have looked at the diet guides here, but can't figure out how to give the youngsters 40g of alfalfa-based pellets and at the same time the older ones just a tablespoon of timothy-based pellets without separating them. I don't think giving them different bowls would work, as my 'heavyweights' tend to eat fast and a lot at once, while the others eat a pellet here and there, throughout the day.

My small herd consists of:
- a 6-year old sow, Sprite, who has had a bladder infection 2,5 years ago, but no other problems. When she was overweight, she had cystic ovaries, was treated for them and when hormonal symptoms reappeared, they disappeared again as she lost some weight when I switched to other pellets she didn't like. Two months ago she had some constipation, which was cured with probiotics in the end (meds hadn't helped). She is at a nice weight now, shiny coat. Because of her age I'm a bit wary of her losing weight.
- a nearly 3-year old castrated boar, Casper, who is quite overweight at the moment. He almost seems round when you look at him from above and you can't really feel his ribs anymore. He is 1400g now - looked best when he was 1150-1200g.
- a 3-year old Swiss Teddy sow, Stoffer, who is a bit chubby and easily packs on the pounds, and she absolutely loves pellets.
- an 8/9 week old sow, Lizzy, have recently adopted her and now she is growing steadily at 50-70g per week.
- a 6-month old Swiss Teddy sow, Coco, who I got from someone who couldn't take care of her anymore. It wasn't visible because of her fur, but she was quite underweight at 600g when I got her a few weeks ago. Her ribs were/are way too easy to feel and her hipbones are protruding. She has gained some weight in the last few weeks, happily munches on hay and veggies and she seems the only one to actually like the selective grain-free pellets. She is just over 700g now.

Science selective are seen as the best pellets here in The Netherlands, and they're recommended by most vets, but I've recently been told by one of the best clinics for guinea pigs around here that starches in pellets can be problematic for digestion, so I have been looking at other brands as well (also because I recently lost a piggy due to intestinal problems after she had been given penicillin-based antibiotics by a supposedly piggy-savvy vet). Some of the other grain-free foods seem really good, ingredient-wise (and versele laga complete cavia, for example, is easily available around here), but I'm not sure if it would be good to switch for my old piggy and the youngsters.

Sorry for the long post... I hope someone has some good advice for me.
 

Jaycey

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@OkiDoki Until recently we couldn't get alfalfa based pellets for youngsters so mine always had regular ones. Along with a good source of hay and veg too. They all grew up to be fine..

I have a pig with weight loss issues so I get him out every few days to have an extra amount of food for himself.

I used to have a pig with bladder issues so he had a very limited diet. I used to take him out at dinner time and he'd have his own food whilst the others ate their regular stuff.
 

OkiDoki

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Good to hear your pigs grew up fine on regular pellets.
I'll see if I can figure out a way to separate them at dinner time or to get at least the piggy that needs to gain weight out every few days.
 
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