Grass Time for Guinea Pigs - Some Top Tips!
GRASS - GUINEA PARADISE!
Serious nom nom appeal!
Like many herbivores, guinea pigs love munching on grass! Our HayPigs!® will spend most of the Summer out on the lawn* keeping our grass trimmed. Like hay, grass is great for a guinea pigs digestive system and is also a source of vitamin C as well as many other useful vitamins and minerals. When planning to feed you piggies grass, please consider the following:
- Make sure the grass has not been contaminated by any chemicals or pesticides
- Make sure there is no mould present on the grass and that it looks healthy
- Avoid areas that may have been soiled by other pets or livestock
- Avoid feeding from lawn mower clippings
There are a couple of obvious ways to let your guinea pigs eat grass; bring it to them or find a secure spot to let them eat it straight off the ground. If you plan to collect it yourself (to pop in their run, hutch or cage), please always cut the grass with a pair of scissors and don't just rip it out of the ground. The roots on grass can actually be harmful to piggies, so please avoid them.
If you are planning to let your guinea pigs forage for their own grass (which they will love by the way!) please bear in mind that they need introducing to grass gradually. To begin with, limit the amount of grass they consume a day or they will very quickly become bloated and may suffer from diarrhoea. Over time, their guts will become more used to the grass and they will be able to eat more. That said, please still provide them plenty of hay throughout the day, regardless of whether you think they've got enough grass to keep them busy munching!
A secure run or cage with a sealed or covered roof is great for outdoor grass time.
FIVE TOP-TASTIC TIPS FOR GRASS TIME:
TOP TIP 1:
Make sure it is warm enough for your piggies to be outside. Feel the ground temperature with your hand, it shouldn't feel cold. Remember your piggies move around with their bodies very low to the ground, if the floor is cold, they will get cold too.
TOP TIP 2:
Introduce your piggies to Spring grass gradually so their tummies can get used to it. For example, on day 1 they might have 10 minutes out on the lawn, day 2, 30 minutes, day 3, an hour, day 4, 2 hours etc.
TOP TIP 3:
Avoid putting your piggies out on damp grass, this is dangerous for them. Wait until the morning dew has burned off in the sun or rain drops have dried up.
TOP TIP 4:
*Please ensure that your guinea pigs are properly secured when foraging outside. A secure run or cage with a sealed or covered roof is essential to protect them from predators and keep them from running off.
TOP TIP 5:
Provide your piggies with a cover over at least half of their outdoor run. This can be done with a towel or sheet pegged over the top of it. Not only will this provide them with shade from the sun, but it will also make them feel safer from predators and they will therefore be more active.