An Overview of Guinea Pig Nutrition and Diet

Offering your cavy with a weight loss program tailor-made to swimsuit its dietary wants could be a difficult job. Nevertheless if you understand what your cavie’s wants are it may be simply completed. To know what a cavie’s physique requires we first should perceive how its digestive system works.

Organic Construction

A cavie’s digestive system is designed to acquire cellulose from numerous vegetation, primarily within the type of hay. They’re hind-gut fermentors that observe coprophagy (consuming ones personal feces). That is essential to acquire B nutritional vitamins and minerals. Nearly all of digestion takes place within the cecum and colon which is positioned on the finish of the digestive tract. The cecum is positioned close to the small and enormous gut and performs a significant position within the digestive course of. It comprises 65% of GI ( gastrointestinal flora) which comprises micro organism and protozoa which support in breaking down meals. If this delicate stability of intestinal flora is compromised resulting from an incorrect weight loss program, or a weight loss program to excessive in fat, carbohydrates and sugars it could trigger extreme digestive upset and might trigger Gastrointestinal ileus. Fibre and protein The micro organism contained within the cecum is stored in stability by fibre. With out the correct quantity of fibre this micro organism which is crucial for the well being of your cavy can’t operate correctly. Fibre is categorized into two separate parts.

Digestible fibre and indigestible fibre.

Digestible fibre is damaged down by enzymes and micro organism within the intestine and supplies power and important nutritional vitamins and minerals all through the physique. Indigestible fibre helps support in correct digestive exercise by maintaining meals and plant materials consistently transferring. With no weight loss program excessive in fibre a cavy will undergo from extreme digestive upset which might vastly result in different sicknesses and decrease the immune system. It is going to additionally decelerate the gastrointestinal tract leading to adjustments to the cecum pH. When designing a weight loss program to your cavy you could bear in mind this rule: The rule of thumb is the fibre content material ought to at all times be greater than the protein content material. When you’ve got a weight loss program excessive in protein and low in fibre it could compromise the well being of your cavy. You need to by no means have an inverse ratio.

The extent of protein within the weight loss program is set by its proportion within the complete weight loss program, the bio-availability and its amino acid profile. At all times be sure that your protein content material in your pellets by no means exceeds the fibre content material. A superb protein degree is 15-16% crude protein. Fibre should at all times exceed 20%. You need to at all times purpose for the very best fibre content material potential and keep away from excessive carbohydrate, sugary meals as they’ll trigger the micro organism inside the hind intestine to subsequently change. You don’t want this. You need the digestive system working effectively to keep away from Gastrointestinal ileus (malfunction of the digestive tract resulting from intestine slowdown).

Grass hays include approx. 19% crude protein and legume hays include 22% crude protein. If feeding a HAFF (Hay and Contemporary Meals) weight loss program this can meet the dietary wants of your cavy successfully. See under for additional particulars.


Your cavie’s weight loss program should be low in fat. In case your proportion of fats is as excessive as 3 – 5% it’s transformed into starch and glucose. As talked about earlier than this alters the GI, leading to digestive upset and the hind intestine will decelerate. Your cavy wants power that is obtained from greens and hay. You do not want to overcompensate with a weight loss program excessive in fat and sugars, a cavy ought to have a weight loss program tailor-made to swimsuit its digestive and dietary wants. That is why it is strongly recommended you don’t feed excessive fats, excessive starch meals resembling candy potato, oats, cracked corn and sure grains frequently. In sure instances resembling the place a cavy wants to realize weight oats could be given as a complement of their weight loss program.

Pellets ought to have a fats proportion of ideally 1- 2%. (Please be aware: On a private be aware this is the reason I don’t suggest grain mixes as it could alter the gastrointestinal flora. Additionally they have an inverse Ca: P ratio. Nevertheless for those who want to feed them please examine the protein, fibre and fats proportion, and make sure you by no means have an inverse ratio)

Calcium to Phosphorus

The calcium: phosphorus ratio can be an essential a part of a cavie’s weight loss program. When you’ve got an inverse ratio it could contribute to bladder stone formation. A superb ratio is 1.5: 1 Minerals are described as 1:1, 2:1, or 3:1. The numbers are the ratio of calcium to phosphorus within the product. For instance a 2:1 mineral might be 14% calcium and seven% phosphorus or 20% calcium and 10% phosphorus.

In a cavie’s weight loss program it is advisable have a better calcium to phosphorus ratio. That is why sure meals should not fed frequently as they’ve an inverse ratio which might contribute to bladder stone formation. Calcium is liable for wholesome tooth and bones. There must be a correct stability between the degrees of calcium, phosphorous and magnesium. For those who observe any white substances being excreted out of your cavie’s system by means of its urine you understand that there’s an extra of calcium within the system and you could analyze your weight loss program to make sure that you lower that quantity. Generally feeding a decrease calcium wealthy hay is adequate. The HAFF weight loss program A Hay and Contemporary Meals weight loss program is what I feed personally for over 12 years. It will increase muscle mass, and from expertise all cavie’s stored their weight up which is over 1kg. Additionally they lived lengthy and completely happy lives.

This weight loss program is just not for everybody and is private selection as as to whether you feed it. A HAFF Food plan eliminates sure unhealthy high quality elements from a cavie’s weight loss program resembling an extra of fat. This weight loss program is probably the most pure, free from processed meals, and it intently resembles the dietary make up of what a cavy would eat within the wild, making it a recent and wholesome different. Not solely is that this weight loss program wholesome, the greens which might be included (and must be included in all diets)additionally include antioxidants resembling Beta-carotene. Beta – carotene traps free radicals, and some research in animals counsel that it could additionally scale back tumor improvement. It additionally boosts the immune system and has anti most cancers results.

A superb supply is Capsicum, which can be a each day supply of vitamin C and must be included in any weight loss program.

What does it include?

Cavie’s already require hay and greens of their weight loss program. A HAFF Food plan is simply taking away pellets. Nevertheless in a HAFF Food plan you could be sure that hay and greens are elevated. Your cavy might be requiring greater quantities to realize the correct quantity of nutritional vitamins and minerals. You could additionally make sure you feed excessive vitamin C greens each day, with a number of different greens which have magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, protein, and different nutritional vitamins and minerals. This can guarantee your cavy will get the required quantity each day. Grass should even be offered every time potential.

Forages are additionally a wonderful addition.

What Greens are finest?

Capsicum is a wonderful supply of absorbic acid (vitamin C). One crimson capsicum comprises sufficient vitamin C to fulfill the RDI (advisable each day consumption) of as much as ten cavie’s. Cavie’s require 20-30 mg of vitamin C each day, pregnant of lactating sows require 30 – 50 mg. Capsicum will present the advisable each day consumption of vitamin C. It additionally comprises the advantage of antioxidants and considerably boosts the immune system. Crimson capsicum comprises 190 mg of vitamin C, inexperienced 80.four mg and yellow 183 mg. As you’ll be able to see it far exceeds the each day necessities of guinea pigs.

Different excessive vitamin C meals which might be advisable each day are:
Coriander 6.Eight mg per 25 grams
Kale 120mg Cos lettuce 24 mg
Chard 30mg

Protein and Fibre Grass hay will meet your whole cavie’s each day fibre necessities. Grass hay comprises over 35% fibre. With 65% digestible fibre liable for appropriate GI. You may also add quite a lot of forages which aren’t solely wonderful supply of pure fibre however protein as nicely.

Diges. Vitality% C.P.% Ca P% Vit A% Protein% Forage kind Mcal/lb Legume.94 17 1.24.22 19 090 22 Mid-Bloom Grass.80 8 620 19

Greens and fruits additionally include protein, and fat. Good grass hay is crucial on this weight loss program to make sure there are not any deficiencies. Offering your cavy with the proper proportion or fat, protein, fibre, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus allows homeowners to make sure that their cavies digestive system is just not compromised and allows appropriate digestion. Offering good high quality grass hay, greens and forages will guarantee your guinea pig is supplied with sufficient minerals and vitamins. At all times examine the dietary content material of any pellet/mixes to make sure that their are not any inverse ratios.

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