In addition to high-quality hay, fresh or green fodder is one of the main foods for guinea pigs. Various herbs, vegetables, and fruit provide the animals with all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Find out everything about the fresh food requirements of guinea pigs here.
Since guinea pigs, like humans, cannot synthesize vitamin C in their bodies themselves, they have a particularly high need for this vitamin. For good care and the health of your guinea pigs, fresh foods such as parsley, kale, broccoli, paprika, and spinach should be on the daily menu.
How much green fodder do guinea pigs need?
Give your guinea pigs at least 50 to 70g of greens per day. It is best to divide the fresh food into at least two to three portions daily. If your guinea pigs are used to little or no green fodder, the diet is slowly switched to a healthier diet. The juice feed must of course always be fresh. Rotten green fodder and kitchen waste do not belong in the feeding bowl, as they can cause diseases in guinea pigs.
Suitable fruits and vegetables for guinea pigs
You can give your guinea pigs fruit for the necessary vitamin intake. The following types of fruit and berries are suitable for this:
- bunch of grapes
Due to the high sugar content, fruit should only be fed in small amounts. It is, therefore, all the more important to offer the guinea pigs vegetables as food:
- spinach leaves (in small amounts)
- Chinese cabbage
- iceberg lettuce
- Lamb’s lettuce
- fennel bulbs
- Kohlrabi (with leaves)
- carrots (with greens)
- parsley root
- radish leaves
- Romaine / Romaine lettuce
- Jerusalem Artichoke
- Sweetcorn (leaves only)
Caution with cabbage: Some types of cabbage can lead to slight gas formation in the intestine. Animals that are new to cabbage are best accustomed to it slowly. If your guinea pig often suffers from intestinal problems or is sensitive to cabbage, it is better not to feed it.
Intolerable fruits and vegetables for guinea pigs
However, not all types of fruit and vegetables are well tolerated by guinea pigs, and some plants are even poisonous to them. You should therefore be careful when feeding and stay away from the following foods:
- exotic fruits (e.g. papaya, pomegranate, physalis, kumquat, lychee, mango, etc.)
- Legumes (lentils, peas, beans)
- radishes (except for the leaves)
- Stone fruit (cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, mirabelle plums, etc.)
- Bulbous plants (e.g. leeks, onions, and chives)
Herbs, flowers, and leaves as fresh food for guinea pigs
Herbs can also be fed to guinea pigs. Some of them have healing properties. However, they should only be offered to the guinea pigs from time to time in small quantities or in the event of illness.
Dried herbs, flowers, and leaves are particularly rich in vitamins and minerals. About 20 g of dried herbs per animal can be fed weekly as a feed supplement. Giving too many dry herbs can lead to an oversupply of calcium. Dried leaves and blossoms from trees and shrubs, on the other hand, may also be served in larger quantities. These plants are suitable for this:
- Mugwort, more common
- Nettle (dried only)
- blackberry leaves (dried only)
- Echinacea, Coneflower
- Green Cereal
- clover (in small amounts)
- dandelion (also dried)
- Alfalfa (also dried)
- lemon balm
- Parsley (also dried)
- peppermint leaves (also dried)
- marigold flowers
- Sunflowers (plant and petals)
- Plantain (also dried)
- Small burnet
- meadow sage