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guinea pigs and alfalfa hay

Guinea Pigs and Alfalfa Hay

Alfalfa Hay is one of those hays that is often recommended to guinea pig owners to give to their piggies, but can they eat it?

Often when one looks for what hay to provide their guinea pigs, it can be hard to dicifer which is the best type of hay for them and also the difference between them all.

A good way to discover more about them is to get the right facts about that hay, so as to discover what hay the is like.

Here are 12 facts to help establish what alfalfa hay is and whether it is any good for piggies.guinea pigs and alfalfa hay

  1. Alfalfa is great hay for young guinea pigs and pregnant mother piggies.
  2. It is more commonly eaten by hedgehogs, hamsers, gerbils, mice, rats or rabbits.
  3. It can be given as a treat to adult guinea pigs due to its high calcium content
  4. It can be used to supplement the diet of some adult guinea pigs if necessary
  5. It is a south asian perennial herb that has compound leaves
  6. It is a legume which is a herb
  7. It is tended to be grown for forage for animals
  8. It is originally from the middle eastern countries adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea and in Iran
  9. The name originates from arabic and means ‘best fodder’.
  10. It is the preferred forage for horses.
  11. It is a perennial crop as it grows for many years after planting.
  12. It is tended to be planted in the fall or the spring.

image wikipedia

Can guinea pigs eat alfalfa hay?

Alfalfa is idea for pregnant guinea pigs and very young baby guinea pigs up to 7 months, but it has a very high calcium content and so is not good for piggies to eat after that.

How long should baby guinea pigs eat Alfalfa Hay?

They really should be moved onto Timothy Hay which is much better for guinea pigs and should be their staple diet after 7 months.

Feeding Alfalfa Hay to Adult Guinea pigs

Alfalfa Hay can be fed to guinea pigs sporadically as a treat as something different from their normal diet of timothy hay but don’t feed it to them too much. Once or twice a month at the most.


can guinea pigs eat alfalfa

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Alfalfa Sprouts?

Also called lucerne, Alfalfa is a flowering plant that is grown throughout the world as a forage for cattle.

You may know of Alflafa hay which is commonly used with guinea pigs. You can find out more about that here.

But for this post we are looking at alfalfa sprouts which are often eaten in salds and sandwiches.

can guinea pigs eat alfalfaIf we can eat it, can guinea pigs eat alfalfa sprouts and if so, how much can they eat?

Lets have a look at its nutritional data and find out.

As usual we’re looking particularly at its calcium, oxelate acid, fat, sugar, and phosphorus content. It would also be a bonus it had a good amount of vitamin a and c content.

image flickr

Carbohydrates 2.1 g
– Dietary fiber 1.9 g
Fat 0.7 g
Protein 4 g
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.076 mg (7%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.126 mg (11%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 0.481 mg (3%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.563 mg (11%)
Vitamin B6 0.034 mg (3%)
Folate (vit. B9) 36 μg (9%)
Vitamin C 8.2 mg (10%)
Vitamin K 30.5 μg (29%)
Calcium 32 mg (3%)
Iron 0.96 mg (7%)
Magnesium 27 mg (8%)
Manganese 0.188 mg (9%)
Phosphorus 70 mg (10%)
Potassium 79 mg (2%)
Sodium 6 mg (0%)
Zinc 0.92 mg (10%)

souce USDA

As you can see Alfalfa sprouts do contain a fair amount of phosphorus plus a hint of calcium and fat. But the rest of its content looks fine particularly the lack of sugar and oxelates.

So guinea pigs can eat alfalfa but in small amounts twice a week at the most because of their high phosphorus content.