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Veggie Troubles! Need Help To Replace Some Things...

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Medina

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Hello!
I'm still new here so please be patient and pardon any ignorance hahaha
So I adopted this super cute piggie from a rough situation.
His whole life, he's eaten only one handful of timothy hay and half a carrot daily - that's it!
I'm not sure how old he is, so I don't know how long he's been on this weird diet. I only know he's an adult, like 1-2 years old if I had to guess?

I've learned A LOT and I feel like I'm 85% aware of what I can and can't feed him, what he needs, diabetic issues, etc. Here's where I need the help:

He hates bell peppers (all 3 colors), hates cucumbers and is even a little picky about lettuce.
He loves carrot (obviously lol), herbs (mint & parsley especially), kale (which I feed in moderation) & apple (as a treat like once a week). At the moment, grass is not an option unfortunately.

So right now I feel his food really needs some help.
I go to the international farmer's market 1 time per week to stock my home. I always grab different things for him in the hopes that what he does eat will become his regular diet. I use the list from this forum to guide me lol
I need to know what to give him and how much, since he's being a bit picky about some veggies I think he might need in his diet.
Please let me know your thoughts on this. Or even just tell me what your usual serving consists of.
I need some options to improve the health of this little guy! :D

Currently, I give:
1 sprig cilantro
1 sprig mint
1 sprig parsley
2 inches of carrot
1 sliver of bell pepper, 1 slice cucumber (I keep trying, but he never eats it and I toss it every day lol)
1 Green bean
(kale twice per week, apple once per week, 1 tbs living alfalfa sprouts when I have them, which is every other week or so)

I feed him some dry things to supplement any lack of fresh food.
He really loves the dry food but I try to control the amount.
So here is the extra Feeding Info if you're interested:

2 Tsp Daily of Gerty Guinea Food, which I remove some pea and corn flakes from so there aren't too many.
"Supreme Petfoods Tiny Friends Farm Gerty Guinea Pig Food"
"A nutritionally balanced, tasty mix for guinea pigs, Promotes natural foraging, Best ever taste - no added sugar, Added Vitamin C for health & vitality, Delicious ingredients such as maize, oats, wheat, peas and Lucerne"

2 Tsp eCOTRITION Guinea Pig Diet, Essential Blend
Contains: Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Ground Corn, Heat Processed Soybeans, Oat Groats. Whole Corn, Wheat, Soybean Meal, Wheat Middlings, Hulled Sunflower Seed. Green Split Peas, Yellow Split Peas, Spanish Peanuts, Corn Gluten Meal, Feeding Oatmeal, Carrot Slices, Diced Apples. Raisins, Brewer's Dried Yeast, Dried Whey, Salt, Cane Molasses (+ lots of vitamins and nutrients)

Any help or advice means a lot to me, as this is the first guinea pig I'm keeping. He's such a good, loving boy who deserves a great life. Your assistance will mean so much to me!:luv:
 

Medina

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Also, are raisins bad? They're in the food, and I pick them out because I read somewhere that they might be toxic. Just wondering if that's true or not.
 

Swissgreys

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The selection of fresh you are offering sounds fine, with the possible exception of the alfalfa shoots - I am not sure about those, but I am sure someone else will have an opinion.

I would try to wean him off the muesli style Gerty food to be honest, and try to replace it with a complete nugget food. This will stop him eating selectively and insure he is getting a full range of nutrients.

The supplement (eCOTRITION) has a lot of ingredients in it that I simply would not feed to a guinea pig.
Things like peanuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, molasses, etc. are all definitely not recommended for guinea pigs, so I would save your money and remove that from his diet asap. To be honest I am quite surprised that this can be marketed as appropriate for guinea pigs in the first place.
Is there a specific reason that you felt he needed the supplement?

If he is receiving unlimited, good quality hay, a variety of fresh food, and a small amount of complete pellets daily, and is healthy and well and active, then he really does not need any additional supplements.

This is a good place to start if you would like more information:
Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet

It really sounds like you are doing a great job and offering him a wonderful quality of life after his rough start.
 
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I think your piggie is quite stubborn and looks like my former piggie who also disliked vegs and ate only some carrot, hay and pellets. Luckily he ate also fresh grass but he developed some typical health issue due to his not balanced diet.
You should only be careful to the ratio calcium- phosphorus. That's all. It is easy to get it wrong... especially when you use parsley and kale whose ratio is totally wrong. Guinea Lynx has a calculator online and it can help you.
Another thing: pellets are made of wrong ingredients. In the list of the pellets you are using I see:
: Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Ground Corn, Heat Processed Soybeans, Oat Groats. Whole Corn, Wheat, Soybean Meal, Wheat Middlings, Hulled Sunflower Seed. Green Split Peas, Yellow Split Peas, Spanish Peanuts, Corn Gluten Meal, Feeding Oatmeal, Carrot Slices, Diced Apples. Raisins, Brewer's Dried Yeast, Dried Whey, Salt, Cane Molasses (+ lots of vitamins and nutrients)
... no words!:yikes:
If you want to use pellets, at least prefer the ones made cereal and sugar free and the one made only of grass... anyway it is just the dry food which causes health troubles in pets.
I would use a supplement of vit C only, the one for humans in drops, so that your piggie will get used to the syringe, which might be useful for the future... The taste of drops are very good. Do you know Cebion? or any similar product?
 

Medina

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The selection of fresh you are offering sounds fine, with the possible exception of the alfalfa shoots - I am not sure about those, but I am sure someone else will have an opinion.

I would try to wean him off the muesli style Gerty food to be honest, and try to replace it with a complete nugget food. This will stop him eating selectively and insure he is getting a full range of nutrients.

The supplement (eCOTRITION) has a lot of ingredients in it that I simply would not feed to a guinea pig.
Things like peanuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, molasses, etc. are all definitely not recommended for guinea pigs, so I would save your money and remove that from his diet asap. To be honest I am quite surprised that this can be marketed as appropriate for guinea pigs in the first place.
Is there a specific reason that you felt he needed the supplement?

If he is receiving unlimited, good quality hay, a variety of fresh food, and a small amount of complete pellets daily, and is healthy and well and active, then he really does not need any additional supplements.

This is a good place to start if you would like more information:
Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet

It really sounds like you are doing a great job and offering him a wonderful quality of life after his rough start.
In the past, the fosters have been so skittish or even mean that it's a struggle just to get them to where they have a calmer nature and will allow hand feeding and petting. I usually get them well, make sure they're sweet, and rehome with people who I trust, that have visited them a few times, and etc.
BUT... I really love him! So, even though I mostly foster small animals for a short time and I don't really keep any, we (my fiance, roommate and I) have bonded with him due to his sweet nature and decided he should be a part of our home.
Never have I ever come across a sweeter and more personable GP :wub:

So my goal is to get him on a diet that would be more fresh - hay, veggies, grass and maybe a good pellet. At this moment, I'm a little stuck because I knew he was coming to me, but had no idea what to feed... I had to make lots of decisions for him in a 24 hour period before he came home, and I'm learning now that lots of these "Guinea Pig" marketed items are simply not good! :oops:
I spent quite a bit buying the "best" items because I wanted to make sure he'd eat after the stress of being rehomed... only to find now that I was completely lied to... especially with regard to eCotrition, I can't believe they're allowed to sell something with so many bad ingredients for piggies.

Thank you for this advice, I'm learning so much and you've all been so quick to respond - it helps more than you know!
 

Medina

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I think your piggie is quite stubborn and looks like my former piggie who also disliked vegs and ate only some carrot, hay and pellets. Luckily he ate also fresh grass but he developed some typical health issue due to his not balanced diet.
You should only be careful to the ratio calcium- phosphorus. That's all. It is easy to get it wrong... especially when you use parsley and kale whose ratio is totally wrong. Guinea Lynx has a calculator online and it can help you.
Another thing: pellets are made of wrong ingredients. In the list of the pellets you are using I see:
: Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Ground Corn, Heat Processed Soybeans, Oat Groats. Whole Corn, [you]Wheat[/you], Soybean Meal, Wheat Middlings, Hulled Sunflower Seed. Green Split Peas, Yellow Split Peas, Spanish Peanuts, Corn [you]Gluten [/you]Meal, Feeding Oatmeal, Carrot Slices, Diced Apples. [you]Raisins[/you], Brewer's Dried Yeast, Dried Whey, Salt, [you]Cane Molasses[/you] (+ lots of vitamins and nutrients)
... no words!:yikes:
If you want to use pellets, at least prefer the ones made cereal and sugar free and the one made only of grass... anyway it is just the dry food which causes health troubles in pets.
I would use a supplement of vit C only, the one for humans in drops, so that your piggie will get used to the syringe, which might be useful for the future... The taste of drops are very good. Do you know Cebion? or any similar product?
Thank you for the RED words! This really clearly helps me to identify why it's bad and what I should look out for when I read the ingredients. I feel like when I read the label now, I'll see it just like that hehe

Yes, this little guy is so stubborn! Total sweetheart, but I really can't get him to eat things that I'm learning are quite essential LOL
He came to me as a bit of a chubby pig, so I've been worried about diabetes, but he's looking better and becoming more spry.
I think I'll stop giving him kale altogether... I think now that it's not necessary and I don't want to take away his dearly beloved and coveted parsley :)) He basically inhales it... Last night actually, I offered him a treat (amazing little homemade pea & carrot cookies) and he kept dropping it like he wasn't into it. I came back with one sprig of parsley and he ate it straight away - and only THEN ate his cookie!

I'm going to remove eCotrition food from his diet altogether! Everyone is telling me that it shouldn't even be sold! I'm furious, because I spent $$ on it that I could have spent on pounds of fresh veggies :no: I got it at Petco and I'll be calling them about it soon. I think it was $13.99USD and I bought 2 of them! I'm oblivious sometimes.
I'm going to research the ingredients and see if it can be used for my hamster instead... but their diets are pretty similar so the ecotrition might end up in returned to the store or in the trash anyway.

Thank you as usual rome_italy! You're always so helpful while I figure this all out :nod:
 
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unfortunately all the labels have something wrong... some days ago I bought a little box of Cavia Complete by Versele Laga because it was cheap and is cereal and sugars free. But "derivate of vegetable-7%timothy, blah blah" is something which sounds bad to me. The fact that firms must add vitamins and minerals in such "good food" demonstrate that such food is a "no food" and a waste. Without those added substances such "food" would be considered only garbage. I would prefer a good supplement, if necessary. Anyway there is a fact: it might happen that the piggie gets a diarrhea and needs to cut off all the vegs... it might also happen that he stops eating for multiple reasons and he needs a concentrated food... we could need pellets in certain situations.. it might happen that you are ill and nobody goes to the market, or it might be too hot or too cold for going shopping... In certain days it could be necessary to have another ready food at home... We also sometimes have the necessity of eating canned food; they are not good at all but don't kill us.
You should not stop anything in my opinion... a kale has nothing wrong; but try to have a glance at the ratio chart because a good amount of calcium in the diet is necessary, but if there is daily too much calcium or too few phosphorus a stone could start forming into the bladder... It is not necessary to have a long list of vegs... also zebras and giraffes always eat the same food...:))
My former and beloved stubborn piggie was interested only in pellets and carrots! at the SHOP he was used only to eating that! a disaster! when I talked of him with a very good cavy savvy vet he told me "I bet he died young for this and that" and the answer was yes... and the vet said "of course...". I started fuming! then he said that the rules for piggies' diet were reviewed in 2009 and that before that date there were a lot of wrong habits done with rabbits and guinea pigs. All I did with my poor Ugo is considered a mistake nowadays... My grand-grandmother was right when she used to say "dry food? garbage!" and her female cat lived 16 years eating only scramble eggs (one a day!), raw meat and mice. And she had never seen a vet...
 

Medina

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unfortunately all the labels have something wrong... some days ago I bought a little box of Cavia Complete by Versele Laga because it was cheap and is cereal and sugars free. But "derivate of vegetable-7%timothy, blah blah" is something which sounds bad to me. The fact that firms must add vitamins and minerals in such "good food" demonstrate that such food is a "no food" and a waste. Without those added substances such "food" would be considered only garbage. I would prefer a good supplement, if necessary. Anyway there is a fact: it might happen that the piggie gets a diarrhea and needs to cut off all the vegs... it might also happen that he stops eating for multiple reasons and he needs a concentrated food... we could need pellets in certain situations.. it might happen that you are ill and nobody goes to the market, or it might be too hot or too cold for going shopping... In certain days it could be necessary to have another ready food at home... We also sometimes have the necessity of eating canned food; they are not good at all but don't kill us.
You should not stop anything in my opinion... a kale has nothing wrong; but try to have a glance at the ratio chart because a good amount of calcium in the diet is necessary, but if there is daily too much calcium or too few phosphorus a stone could start forming into the bladder... It is not necessary to have a long list of vegs... also zebras and giraffes always eat the same food...:))
My former and beloved stubborn piggie was interested only in pellets and carrots! at the SHOP he was used only to eating that! a disaster! when I talked of him with a very good cavy savvy vet he told me "I bet he died young for this and that" and the answer was yes... and the vet said "of course...". I started fuming! then he said that the rules for piggies' diet were reviewed in 2009 and that before that date there were a lot of wrong habits done with rabbits and guinea pigs. All I did with my poor Ugo is considered a mistake nowadays... My grand-grandmother was right when she used to say "dry food? garbage!" and her female cat lived 16 years eating only scramble eggs (one a day!), raw meat and mice. And she had never seen a vet...
That's so interesting!
Poor Ugo... I've seen that problem often at pet stores :(
I always think about Jack Lalane "The Godfather of Fitness" and he always said "If you can't read it, don't eat it!" hahaha
Also, my senior chihuahua is 14 and still healthy! He eats human-grade food and always has :)
So, I kinda feed my pets along those guidelines. I also think - if I'm afraid to eat it, why would I feed it to them? With the exception of some things like meal worms, which my hamster adores LOL but at least I can read and understand "meal worms" :nod:
So, I am having issue with finding good pellets, as you are all from EU/UK etc and this has been the most informative forum I've found. However, the brands here are different... and sometimes even the same brands have different ingredients overseas.
I'm open to ordering them online, but I'm not sure which to get as an "essential" part of his diet.
I do worry, because I'm going to be traveling so much from September 9 - January 10 and I have to leave a friend in charge of pet feeding. So, I try to make things as simple for them as possible. I like dry food because I can make pre-portioned bags for each day that I'm gone, and make sure each bag has variety.
Ideally, during those months, I could have the bags prepared and leave an instruction like "one bag, 1/4 carrot & always fill hay/water"
First I need to learn the healthy foods that this picky eater will eat! :doh:
 
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That's so interesting!
Poor Ugo... I've seen that problem often at pet stores :(
I always think about Jack Lalane "The Godfather of Fitness" and he always said "If you can't read it, don't eat it!" hahaha
Also, my senior chihuahua is 14 and still healthy! He eats human-grade food and always has :)
So, I kinda feed my pets along those guidelines. I also think - if I'm afraid to eat it, why would I feed it to them? With the exception of some things like meal worms, which my hamster adores LOL but at least I can read and understand "meal worms" :nod:
So, I am having issue with finding good pellets, as you are all from EU/UK etc and this has been the most informative forum I've found. However, the brands here are different... and sometimes even the same brands have different ingredients overseas.
I'm open to ordering them online, but I'm not sure which to get as an "essential" part of his diet.
I do worry, because I'm going to be traveling so much from September 9 - January 10 and I have to leave a friend in charge of pet feeding. So, I try to make things as simple for them as possible. I like dry food because I can make pre-portioned bags for each day that I'm gone, and make sure each bag has variety.
Ideally, during those months, I could have the bags prepared and leave an instruction like "one bag, 1/4 carrot & always fill hay/water"
First I need to learn the healthy foods that this picky eater will eat! :doh:
you are right! and worms... uhmmm! ahaha!:vom: but there is nothing wrong, it is meat!
There is another very good website, Guinea Lynx, have you read anything from that? it is very interesting and explains very well all the important things. It is very "scientific" but easy to understand. It is updated, there are a lot of useful links, too. I have found it very good. About the fact someone else will have to look after your piggie, I think this person can also put into the bowl a simple mix, even always with the same vegs; something which can be considered complete and right for the gut.
About the brands of pellets, when you find out one brand online and cannot visualize the list of ingredients, make a fast research on google and you will find it. Then, when you find a good brand let's hope your piggie will appreciate it! because they sometimes simply refuse the pellet as much as they can refuse a pepper... a friend of mine has some cats and have ordered online an expensive dried food produced in Canada, which seems to be very healthy ( cereal-free and only made of desiccated organic meat and wild herbs), but the cats refuse to eat it! my friend is cursing! :D
Carrot has a problem: it is rich of sugar and vit A. Our liver absorbs only the amount of vit A we need; pigs' body absorbs all the vit A and the liver might suffer for an excess; therefore the vegs rich of vit A should be given not every day... there is a debate about it, though. And a little piece of carrot cannot be dangerous, I guess.:)
 
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