During the spring and summer, people will start cutting grass in their yards. With all of those grass clippings left on the lawn, most of it will end up in the bag and taken away for recycling or used in the compost. If you own a guinea pig, you may be wondering if it’s safe to feed them. After all, it’s grass and it’s similar to hay, so it should be fine to feed them right?
In this guide, we’ll go further in-depth on what grass clipping is, if it’s safe to feed them, and how to prepare them to feed your guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Grass Clippings?
With grass clippings, there are a lot of things you need to consider first before feeding them to your guinea pigs.
Below are some of the dangers of grass clippings:
Unless you’re using a manual grass cutter or an electric lawnmower, a normal gas-powered mower will expel harmful exhaust gas. Grass clippings will be exposed to these harmful gas as it’s getting mowed.
Therefore, feeding guinea pigs grass clipping could potentially make them sick.
During the spring and summer months, weeds will start growing in the yard. As you mow the lawn, the weeds will get cut and end up with the grass clipping mix. Most types of weeds are toxic to guinea pigs. This includes Mallow, GoldenRod, Coltsfoot, Sorrel, and Ivy.
If you have a garden full of vegetables and other plants, you may use chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. These chemicals will eventually get onto the grass.
While these chemicals will make plants grow and keep pests away, they are very toxic to your guinea pigs. By feeding them grass clippings, they can be ingesting these harmful chemicals too.
If you do plan on feeding grass clippings to them, make absolutely sure the grass is free of any chemicals.
Grass clippings will ferment really fast. Within a day or so, the grass clippings will start to turn yellow as it’s fermented.
For a guinea pig, eating grass clipping could cause them to become bloated and sick. These creatures don’t have the ability to get rid of gas. For that reason, it could be fatal for them.
If you’re unsure how long since the grass has been cut, it’s best to avoid the risk of feeding them.
Can You Feed Guinea Pigs Grass?
The grass is a kind of hay and guinea pigs primarily eat hay as part of their daily diet. It’s full of fiber which they need to stay healthy.
Therefore, the grass is perfectly fine for guinea pigs to eat. The only problem you need to be aware of is what the grass is exposed to.
In the backyard, grass can be exposed to harmful chemicals used to treat the lawn and garden, bird droppings, and other pet’s urine and feces.
In order to safely feed grass to guinea pigs, you’ll need to make sure the grass is perfectly clean.
Also, make sure the grass is fresh and only use a shear to cut the grass.
Introducing Grass To Guinea Pigs
With any new food that you give them, it’s always a good idea to introduce it gradually. When it comes to grass, the same rule applies.
It’s important to introduce grass gradually to them to ensure the balance of bacteria in the hindgut is kept in check. If the grass is consumed too quickly, the bacteria can become unbalanced and cause digestive problems. Most of the time it will lead to bloating and diarrhea.
Start by introducing grass in small quantities by mixing it with the foods they are used to eating. Mixing grass with hay is a good way to introduce new food to them.
Over a period of about 1-2 weeks, gradually increase the amount of grass to feed them.
How to Prepare Grass for Guinea Pigs
Grass makes excellent food for guinea pigs, only if it’s prepared properly. This means the grass will need to be extremely clean and free of any chemicals.
Gather a small amount of grass and use a shear to cut it. Always use fresh grass to feed them to prevent any fermentation to the grass.
With the fresh grass in hand, place it into a colander, and wash it thoroughly with water.
Make sure to clean it well and that there are no droppings, urine, and bugs on it. As for pesticides, it’s not possible to remove them by washing.
How Much Grass Can a Guinea Pig Eat?
For a baby guinea pig, they should only be given a few pieces. Make sure to introduce grass to them gradually. After a couple of weeks, you can give them more grass.
For an adult guinea pig, you can give them a big handful of grass. If this is their first time having a taste of grass, mix it with their staple food of hay. This will make it easier for them to eat it.
How Often Can A Guinea Pig Eat Grass?
Since grass is a natural diet for guinea pigs, they can eat it every single day.
Make sure to feed them other food as well so they won’t get bored with the same food every day.
As for their staple food, it’s important to feed them fresh hay every day too. The hay should be available to them 24/7. Hay will keep their digestive system running smoothly.
Can grass make the guinea pig sick?
Actually, grass can make your guinea pig sick. Feeding them too much fresh green grass at once can make them very ill. It’s better to give them grass gradually to prevent any digestive issues.
Can guinea pigs eat grass from the yard?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat grass from the yard. However, you need to make sure it’s absolutely free of any chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Also, make sure your other pets don’t urine or poop around the area where you’ll be harvesting the grass.