The parsnip is a root vegetable closely related to the carrot and parsley.
It is a biennial plant usually grown as an annual. Its long, tuberous root has cream-colored skin and flesh; and left in the ground to mature, it becomes sweeter in flavor after winter frosts.
In its first growing season, the plant has a rosette of pinnate, mid-green leaves. If unharvested, it produces its flowering stem, topped by an umbel of small yellow flowers, in its second growing season.
By this time, the stem is woody and the tuber is inedible.
The seeds are pale brown, flat, and winged.
Can guinea pigs eat parsnips?
Let’s take a look at their nutritional value and find out more.
In particular, their acidic, water, sugar, fat, salt, calcium, and phosphorus content is of particular interest as far as guinea pigs are concerned.
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 314 kJ (75 kcal)
Dietary fiber 4.9 g
Thiamine (B1) (8%) 0.09 mg
Riboflavin (B2) (4%) 0.05 mg
Niacin (B3) (5%) 0.7 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5) (12%) 0.6 mg
Vitamin B6 (7%) 0.09 mg
Folate (B9) (17%) 67 μg
Vitamin C (20%) 17 mg
Vit E (10%) 1.49 mg
Vitamin K (21%) 22.5 μg
Calcium (4%) 36 mg
Iron (5%) 0.59 mg
Magnesium (8%) 29 mg
Manganese (27%) 0.56 mg
Phosphorus (10%) 71 mg
Potassium (8%) 375 mg
Sodium (1%) 10 mg
Zinc (6%) 0.59 mg
Water 79.53 g
As you can see, parsnips contain a huge amount of water, a lot of phosphorus and acidic content, a little calcium and sugar, and a hint of fat.
This means that parsnips are not a good food for guinea pigs to eat, unfortunately.
The huge amount of water that they contain is not good for them, not to mention the phosphorus and acidic content that they have is not good for their stomachs.
If they were to eat a little of it they would be fine, but it isn’t a food that is particularly good for them and isn’t a veggie to fed to them as part of their regular diet.
This means parsnips in any form or in any cooked state.
What other vegetables can guinea pigs eat instead?
There are better veggies for them to eat. Bell peppers, sugar snaps, kale are some of the veggies which are good for them to eat and will provide a better nutritional input for them.
Veggies are a vital part of a guinea pig’s diet as they provide them some of the nutritional benefits that other foods such as guinea pig pellets and mix don’t provide.
They also love them and will consume as much as you give them.
For more foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat, check out our guinea pig food list.