The leek is a vegetable, a cultivar of Allium ampeloprasum, the broadleaf wild leek.
The edible part of the plant is a bundle of leaf sheaths that is sometimes erroneously called a stem or stalk.
The genus Allium also contains the onion, garlic, shallot, scallion, chive, and Chinese onion
Historically, many scientific names were used for leeks, but they are now all treated as cultivars of A. ampeloprasum.
The name ‘leek’ developed from the Anglo-Saxon word leac.
Two closely related vegetables, elephant garlic and kurrat, are also cultivars of A. ampeloprasum, although different in their uses as food.
Can guinea pigs eat leeks?
Let’s check out their nutritional data and find out more.
In particular, their acidic, water, sugar, fat, salt, calcium and phosphorus content is of most interest as far as guinea pigs are concerned.
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 255 kJ (61 kcal)
Sugars 3.9 g
Dietary fiber 1.8 g
Vitamin A equiv.
(10%) 83 μg
(9%) 1000 μg
Thiamine (B1) (5%) 0.06 mg
Riboflavin (B2) (3%) 0.03 mg
Niacin (B3) (3%) 0.4 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) (3%) 0.14 mg
Vitamin B6 (18%) 0.233 mg
Folate (B9) (16%) 64 μg
Vitamin C (14%) 12 mg
Vit E (6%) 0.92 mg
Vitamin K (45%) 47 μg
Calcium (6%) 59 mg
Iron (16%) 2.1 mg
Magnesium (8%) 28 mg
Manganese (23%) 0.481 mg
Phosphorus (5%) 35 mg
Potassium (4%) 180 mg
Water 83 g
As you can see, leeks contain a huge amount of water, quite a bit of phosphorus, calcium, a lot of acidic content, a hint of fat, and a little sugar.
This means that leeks are not a good food for them to have as part of their regular diet.
They are too full of water and acidic content. This means that if they have too much of it, eating leeks may hurt them.
If they nibble at one, they should be fine. But a little nibble should be as much as they should have.
What can they have instead of leeks?
There are many other greens that guinea pigs can have instead if you are looking for vegetables to feed them.
Green bell peppers are a great example of a vegetable that they will really enjoy and provides a good nutritious food for them.
Feeding a veggie like this, along with a little fruit, a lot of hay and some guinea pig mix will provide your guiena pigs with the nutirtional intake they need as part of a balanced diet.
For more foods that guinea pigs can and can’t have, check out our guinea pig food list.