For normal life and reproduction, a guinea pig needs good nutrition.
The food should contain in sufficient quantity and the required proportion those elements that are consumed in the animal’s body for energy generation, the growth of new cells and tissues. The animal needs proteins, fats and carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water. Not a single type of food, taken separately, has a set of all the nutrients necessary for the normal functioning of the body. The animal can get them only if the diet is correctly drawn up. And for this, an amateur must have at least a general idea of the meaning of certain elements of food and be able to make rations taking into account the time of year, the way of keeping, the biological and physical characteristics of his pet.
For proper feeding of animals in captivity, you need to know what they eat in nature. In addition, the daily feed intake depends on the size and age of the animal. Young animals need relatively more food than adults. The ratio of different types of feed can vary depending on external conditions (temperature), the physiological state of the animal. The individual characteristics of individuals of the same species are also great: some eat grain fodder better, others prefer white bread. It is very important to maintain the animal’s appetite. To do this, the food is diversified with the seeds of various plants, products, and the animal is not given the same food every day. The amount of feed per day is determined empirically, despite the fact that norms and rations for each age group have long been developed for guinea pigs.The animals should eat the entire daily ration of feed without a trace. They should not be allowed to choose only their favorite food from the feeder, and the rest remained untouched.
The greatest percentage of death of animals at home is caused by gastrointestinal diseases, which occur in most cases due to non-observance of measures for their prevention during feeding. This is why it is very important to maintain good hygiene, diet (diet) and feeding regimen. It is not recommended to change the composition of the feed frequently. A balanced diet must be of great importance, as most diseases in guinea pigs result from inappropriate feeding. Disruption of the intestinal flora necessary for the breakdown of cellulose can lead to the death of the animal. Poor quality feed can also cause serious illness. Food should contain 15% coarse fiber, 20% crude protein and 4% animal protein. There must be sufficient hay at all times.
All feed purchased on the market must be sieved, cleaned, rinsed in warm water and then dried in the open air. Processed in this way, they are stored in closed containers so that rodents, which are carriers of various diseases, do not have access to them.
The guinea pig belongs to the order of rodents and eats plant food. She eats various greens in summer, and coarse and juicy forages in winter.
Guinea pigs, like semi-monkeys (lemurs), monkeys and humans, belong to the few mammals that are unable to independently synthesize vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in their body. This means that they must fully satisfy their need for it at the expense of food intake.
At the same time, a guinea pig under normal conditions needs 16 mg daily, and in a stressful situation, with an increased risk of an infectious disease, and during pregnancy, up to 30 mg of vitamin C per kilogram of weight.
Therefore, it is necessary to take into account the content of vitamin C in various types of feed. There is no danger of overdose.