Guinea pig is a cute rodent that originates from South America. Wild specimens of these animals inhabit grassland areas of Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil. It is believed that guinea pigs were the main source of food in Peru before Incas era. Historians and archeologists argue that the domestication of guinea pigs began about 5000 BC at a plateau near the Lake Titicaca, in the area between Bolivia and Peru. In the Andes, guinea pigs were traditionally farmed for food and were also used as a currency in various social rituals. Shortly after the Spanish conquest of Peru, guinea pig was brought to Europe and became a popular pet.
Nowadays, guinea pig is one of the most beloved and popular pet in the world. They are tame, cuddly and not particularly demanding as a pet. They are common choice for people who would love to have a pet, but do not have conditions or time to take care of a cat or dog.
Guinea pigs are extremely friendly and playful little animals. They are very social animals in the wild, where they live in large groups. Therefore it is advisable to keep a couple of guinea pigs. The same sex couple is the best option.
Proper guinea pig diet
Dry hay is the base of their diet, so it must always be available. It is important, because it helps them to keep their teeth in good shape. Most of the rodents have constantly growing teeth, so it is essential to keep it short in their natural way.
Guinea pigs are herbivores and they don’t need any food of animal origin. The best combination for healthy diet includes prepared commercial food and fresh vegetables and fruits. Commercial food contains dried and extruded grass and vegetables, but it is not enough for the proper diet. Guinea pigs love fresh fruits and vegetables, but you should be careful with the type of these food, as well as the amount and the frequency of giving it. While some of the vegetables and fruits can be included more often, other should be only given as a treat.
It is important to note that guinea pigs love routine, so try to feed them the same time every day. Sudden changes can be stressful. If you change the type of ready to eat food, do it gradually, adding small amounts of new food to the one they are used to. Also, do not feed them with too much fruits and vegetables, because it can cause diarrhea, especially f you introduce a new species.
Corn in guinea pig’s diet
Since our furry friends are allowed to eat almost all of the vegetables we normally do, what is the answer when it comes to the corn? Is it good or bad for them and what parts of the corn they should eat? The opinions are separated on corn kernels, while all guinea pigs can safely eat the husks and silk. Some experts and owners argue that it is not advisable to feed cavies corn kernels. You should be cautious if you give your pet corn kernels, because of the choking possibility. Also, some guinea pigs can normally digest corn, while others have great stomach problems with it. Baby corn is a good solution for both.
Corn kernels are not so nutritional for guinea pigs. Corn contains just 6 mg vitamin C per 100 gr and can also cause gas or bloating. Large quantities of corn kernels could lead to overweight and cause more serious health problems. So, fresh corn should be given only one or two times a week.
On the other hand, corn husks and silk can be given daily. They are high in fiber and considered as good treats. Feed your cavy with the husks nearest to the corn and make sure it was not treated with chemicals. When preparing corn for your little friend cut it into small pieces and avoid the risk of choking on silk and kernels.