Suddenly Stopped Eating Pellet Food

ashleemelda

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I feed my guinea pigs Oxbow Essentials (Adult) for their pellet food, and suddenly within the past 4-5 days, they have stopped eating it - they will either eat a few or sniff their bowls once and walk away altogether. As I am normally in my room getting ready for the day while they eat (which usually takes them about 30-45 minutes), I can tell that this is something they have both started to do. It is not affecting one solely, or more, than the other.

I have not changed their routine in any way, the time and amount I feed them has remained exactly the same. I did move them into a new, larger cage about 3-4 weeks ago, but up until the last few days, there were no problems. I did have another bag on hand (the closest store/pet store that sells anything other than muesli-based pellet food in 45 minutes-1 hour away, so I usually stock up with one to two bags of pellet food and hay each trip), which I opened to see if maybe the current bag was "off," but the same thing, they just sniffed their respective bowls and walked away.

I even tried removing their hay racks so that their pellets would be the only source of food in the cage, but that didn't work either. Speaking of hay, they are continuing to eat that and their daily vegetables with no problems, and have even started eating more hay than is normal for them in the past week or so (I'm finding myself refilling it more and more). This might be due to the fact that, up until this past weekend, the pet store I frequent did not have their favorite hay in stock (Oxbow Western Timothy Hay/Orchard Grass Blend) so I had to temporarily switch them to just regular Oxbow Western Timothy Hay before getting my hands on another bag of Hay Blends. They might just be super happy to be eating their favorite hay again?

Based on all this, what do you guys think could be the cause of this sudden last of interest in their pellet food, and what can I do to try and peak that interest again (they used to wheek and run around when they heard me pull out the bag, but that has stopped)? I have stuck to my routine, continuing to offer the pellets at the same time every day, and have even begun leaving their dishes in the cage for the majority of the day, but they remain mostly or completely by the time I'm ready for bed.

As I mentioned earlier, because I live in rural Virginia where the closest pet store that sells straight up pellets and not muesli-based ones is so far away, it's hard for me to get my hands on other brand or different type of Oxbow for them to try, especially with the spread of COVID-19 and my state being under a stay-at-home order until June. Speaking of COVID-19, my vet (their vet) is closed until further notice aside from "absolute emergencies such as sudden, serious injury or euthanasia" due to one of the staff members' family members testing positive and amid the staff awaiting their own results, so I could not even get them into the vet. I am very worried about any potential weight loss, especially after seeing a weight gain in both of them recently after months of remaining stagnant.
 

Siikibam

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I wouldn’t take hay away. It makes up the majority of their diet and should be in constant supply. Pellets make up only 5% so if they’re missed it’s not too big a deal.

Just keep an eye on their weight weekly. I’m not sure it will drop with their not eating their pellets. If it does then they’re not eating enough hay.
 

Pound Shilling & Pig

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Hi if as you say they are eating more hay than usual and eating their veg then I wouldn't worry about the pellets, they may just have got tired of them and they should only make up a very small part of their diet anyway. Please don't remove their hay as it is the most important part of their diet and needs to be available at all times.
 

parkdaleangela

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My girls 'go off' various foods from time to time. Sometimes it looks as though all they've done with the bowl of pellets is pee in it; other times the bowl will be nearly empty. It's the same with veg. Peppers are definitely not in favour at present but kale is the one they love. As long as they're well, I don't worry too much.
 
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