Guinea Pig Care
Feeding Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs like rabbits will selectively feed from the coarse “muesli” type mixes taking ingredients that are high in starch, low in fibre and low in mineral content, specifically calcium and Vitamin C.
Such an unbalanced diet can be fatal.
We advise feeding a complete pelleted diet such as Burgess Excel Guinea pig food. It is a single component nugget preventing selective feeding and provides a nutritionally balanced diet. If a dietary change is needed then Supra Guinea Excel must be introduced gradually.
Introduce 10% Supra Guinea Excel with existing food a day and increase this daily. By day 15, 50% of the food should be Supra Guinea and by day 30, 100%.
Excel also contains “PROFEED”, a blend of natural carbohydrates which provides an energy source for the beneficial gut bacteria, which help to combat pathogenic bacteria such as E Coli and Clostridia which can lead to digestive upsets.
Long hay provides roughage in the diet and allows guinea pigs to forage and alleviate boredom whilst also providing dental exercise to wear down their continually growing teeth.
We recommend that a guinea pig diet should contain at least 20% indigestible fibre (long hay, varied greens, plants from fields, vegetables etc) along with Excel.
The Importance of Vitamin C in a Guinea Pig’s diet
Guinea pigs and man are the only mammals that cannot produce their own Vitamin C so it is vital that they get sufficient Vitamin C in the diet to prevent scurvy. Signs of deficiency include painful joints, loss of teeth, bleeding gums and hair loss.
Vitamin C is a very delicate vitamin and breaks down very quickly so Excel contains very high levels of protected Vitamin C providing up to 3 times the level of other guinea pig foods.
If a guinea pig and rabbit live together Supra Guinea Excel should be fed to both to ensure the guinea pig receives enough Vitamin C.
Spaying Female Guinea pigs
They are not usually spayed unless they develop polycystic ovaries as the procedure does carry some risk. It is also worth noting that if female guinea pigs are bred after 9-12 months of age the pelvis may be fused and therefore not allow passage of the babies through the pelvis and a caesarean operation may be required.
Castrating Male Guinea pigs
Males can be neutered from 3 months of age. If you breed from a male and female guinea pig you must remove the male at least 2 days before the female gives birth otherwise he will mate her again on the day of birth. If you neuter your male guinea pig he will remain fertile for 6 weeks after the surgery so he MUST be kept separated from all females for this time.
Also ensure there is always fresh, clean drinking water.
Regularly weigh your guinea.
The average guinea pig will need 30-50 grams per day or 3-5% of their body weight of Excel.
Do not let your guinea pig over feed and become obese.
More Excel should be fed in cold weather and less in hot weather.
Guinea pigs are social so please keep them in groups.
For more information on Guinea Pig Care and Feeding ask a member of our team or go to http://www.burgesspetcare.co.uk