India piglet feeding
As with all other animals, the feeding of the guinea pig varies according to the age and condition of the pig. A newborn guinea pig does not eat the same as an adult or a pregnant Guinea pig.
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It is very common for the tutors of these animals, being less usual than the dog and the cat, to question their nutritional needs and how to feed the guinea pig .
In this article of the Peritoanimal we will explain to you how it should be a balanced diet of a little pig of India in all its stages of life. Keep reading!
Feeding of the newborn India piglet
Did you know that Indian piglets have only two nipples? It is true! For this reason, litters of more than 3 pups are advised to remain longer with the parent before they are weaned.
If the litter has only two puppies, they should stay with the mother for about 21 days. If you have 3 or more puppies, you should stay with the mother for at least 30 days. It is very important that you be aware of the behavior of the males, because as soon as they begin to show attempts at the mother, they must be separated from it. Males reach their sexual maturity by about 3-5 weeks, so staying with the mother can lead to an unwanted pregnancy. On the other hand, females reach sexual maturity later, between 4 and 6 weeks.
It may seem surprising, but even though they suckle, on the second day the piglets begin to try to feed on solids , ie, ration, vegetables and hay. You should encourage puppies to eat solids early. Have it available in the cage for them to complement the mother’s milk. A lot of fresh vegetables daily is the most important for both puppies and mom! You should leave the feed always available for the puppies to get used to and eating. When they reach adulthood, then it will be necessary to restrict the feed to prevent them from eating only feed and depreciating the hay.
Feeding orphan puppies
You should never feed by hand the puppies that are with the mother and she is breastfeeding. However, if due to a complication in childbirth the mother ends up dying, or for some reason is not breastfeeding, it is necessary to feed the puppies.
The ideal would be to find an adoptive mother , that is, a little Guinea pig with babies that is willing to breastfeed these babies. Breast milk is an essential part of the orphan baby’s diet.
If it is impossible to find a foster mother for them, you can use a ration mix for guinea pig puppies . Mix 40 mg of feed to 10 ml of water (you can use other measures as long as you provide). Cut the tip of a 1 ml syringe and use it to provide this mixture to the puppies. Offer 1 to 2 ml of food every hour or at most every 3 hours. Most importantly, the piglet does not aspirate this mixture into the lungs. For this, you can never feed the belly cubs up. You must feed them in their natural position.
Ideally, you should consult a veterinarian who specializes in exotic animals to ensure that everything goes well and in case something happens, have his number always at hand.
Balanced Feeding of Guinea Pig
At the time of weaning, or even before, piglets already eat everything, including hay. Let’s start by talking about hay because this is the most important food and should be the basis of the guinea pig’s feeding throughout his life.
The hay must be green, wide and long! A quality hay guarantees a sufficient supply of fiber, allows a correct functioning of the intestinal tract, besides being essential to the prevention of the dental problems of the guinea pig, which are one of the most common diseases in these animals. That being the case, you should allow your Indian pig to have hay available 24 hours a day and always fresh. The ideal is to change the hay 2 to 3 times a day.
In addition, the guinea pig should eat ration (prefer standard rations to keep the piggy from picking just a few grains) and lots of fruits and vegetables! Avoid rations that indicate they are for various species (pigs, rats and rabbits). Each animal species has different needs, so the rations must also have different compositions. Choose a ration specifically formulated for guinea pigs and for their age.
Generally, piglet rations are supplemented with Vitamin C. This vitamin is essential in the piglet feeding in India, since like humans, they do not produce the vitamin C itself and need to ingest it. You should avoid buying supplements of this vitamin. A proper ration for guinea pigs coupled with fresh fruits and vegetables rich in this vitamin, is enough!
To know which fruit is best for guinea pigs, read our complete list of good fruits and vegetables for the Guinea pigs .
Summarizing, the key to India’s piglet feeding being balanced is:
- Unlimited hay
- Specific feed (limited)
- Fresh vegetables and fruits (limited)
- Fresh water always available
How many times a day do you feed the guinea pig?
The amount of feed has to be limited to avoid the risk of obesity and that the piglet eats more feed than hay, because as we have already mentioned, this promotes the onset of dental diseases. The teeth of these animals are constantly growing and hay allows them to wear out. Thus, the ration should constitute only about 20% of the piglet diet in India.
The ideal is to give ration only twice a day to their little pigs and in small amount. Since different rations have different constitutions, the caloric intake may vary. Therefore, it is best to follow the packaging statement in terms of grams.
Food that guinea pig can not eat
There are different forbidden foods for guinea pigs in India . Among them are:
- Products of animal origin : Guinea pigs are herbivores and this type of food can be very harmful to their health;
- Corn and Derivatives : Too much calories and some pigs may be allergic;
- Seeds and nuts : They are not natural of the diet of the pig and are usually in rations that are not specific for them;
- Sweeteners : sucrose, corn syrup, sodium nitrate, etc. All kind of sweeteners, dyes and preservatives should be avoided in the piglet diet of India.
Guinea Pig Feeding Pregnant
The gestation of the little pigs of India lasts between 60 and 75 days. The most usual is to last about 65 days. This is a very sensitive stage of the female and requires extra care. Throughout the pregnancy of India’s little pig, you can never neglect fruits and vegetables ! The supply of calcium and vitamin C are essential for the pregnancy to go smoothly. During this phase the female will consume more water than normal, so keep this in mind to ensure that there is always fresh water available to her.
Therefore, the diet of pregnant guinea pig should include foods rich in vitamin C, such as these vegetables :
- Green and red peppers
These fruits are also rich in vitamin C:
O importante é variar na alimentação do porquinho da Índia, independentemente da fase de vida em que ele se encontrar. Como em tudo na vida, é importante existir moderação. Ofereça sempre pequenas quantidades, principalmente se é a primeira vez que o seu porquinho está provando determinada fruta ou verdura. Observe as fezes dele depois do consumo desse alimento, se não existirem alterações, pode continuar dando. Cada porquinho é um mundo diferente. Alguns porquinhos são sensíveis a determinados alimentos enquanto outros não são. Para além disso, nem todos os porquinhos gostam das mesmas coisas. Tente ir conhecendo as reações intestinais do seu porquinho e os gostos dele para escolher as melhores frutas e verduras para ele.
Also read our article on how to properly pick up a piglet from India in order to avoid accidents and injuries.