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Low On Nutrients/picky Eater

bruceandwillis

Junior Guinea Pig
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#1
Hope I'm posting this in the right place! I'm new to the forum.

I rescued my third little man about a week ago from my local SPCA. He's a year and six months, unneutered, and seemingly very healthy, with his weight being around 3 lbs. However, in his time being here, he's turned his nose to any and every veggie I offer him. So far, we've tried romaine lettuce, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and snow peas. This and the fact that he barely touches his pellets makes me worry that he isn't getting enough nutrients.

On the daily, he eats plenty of hay, which I suppose is better than nothing, but surely isn't ideal. Considering he was a rescue, I assume he was never fed vegetables in his old home, which is why he hasn't acclimated towards them at all. Does anyone have experience with pigs like this? Is this behaviour healthy?

Thanks!
 

Jaycey

Forum Donator 2017/18
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#2
@bruceandwillis It's not healthy, but it is very common. Pigs tend to stick to what they know and it takes time and a lot of wasted veg before they'll try new things.

My avatar pig came from a rescue and for weeks he would only eat carrot, as that's all he'd had before. I'd always offer him new things and throw it away at the end of the day. Eventually he tried it and never turned back. Carrot ended up being his least favourite and often left.

Some people find eating the veg with them sometimes kick starts them into seeing that the "weird" food isn't evil. You could give that a try.

You just have to be persistent and eventually he'll eat something else.
 

Wiebke

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#3
Hope I'm posting this in the right place! I'm new to the forum.

I rescued my third little man about a week ago from my local SPCA. He's a year and six months, unneutered, and seemingly very healthy, with his weight being around 3 lbs. However, in his time being here, he's turned his nose to any and every veggie I offer him. So far, we've tried romaine lettuce, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and snow peas. This and the fact that he barely touches his pellets makes me worry that he isn't getting enough nutrients.

On the daily, he eats plenty of hay, which I suppose is better than nothing, but surely isn't ideal. Considering he was a rescue, I assume he was never fed vegetables in his old home, which is why he hasn't acclimated towards them at all. Does anyone have experience with pigs like this? Is this behaviour healthy?

Thanks!
This is normal for a guinea pig on a a very limited or no fresh veg diet. Youngsters learn from their elders what is safe to eat. Your boy is in new surroundings, alone and without guidance when he is confronted with stuff he doesn't know whether it is edible or safe to eat in the first place.

Please be aware that the vast majority of the food intake (over 80%) should be hay. As long as he eats that, he is on a good keel. Try fresh herbs and slowly introduce grass by starting with small quantities; fresh greens often go go down best. Fresh veg should make only about 10% of the daily diet, and pellets about 5%.

By far the best way of introducing him to a wider diet is a companion who teaches him by example once he past his quarantine and any necessary medical care.

Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet
 
Joined
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#4
I had a similar problem long ago with a piggie never get used to eat correctly...
Anyway, there is a yummy and nutritious food which you are not mentioning and you could try: the fresh common grass. If your pigg will eat grass it will be enough because grass contains all the minerals and vitamins.
Give it a try...
Fresh grass is the basis of my piggies' diet and their health is great.
 
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