During the summertime, gardeners will grow marigolds in their garden to keep pests under control and to make the garden beautiful. If you’re growing marigolds and have guinea pigs too, you might wonder if they can eat these flowers.
Can guinea pigs eat marigolds? Yes, guinea pigs can eat marigolds, which includes the flower, leaves, and stem. These edible flowers should only be given to them in small quantities. Marigolds are full of nutrition that the guinea pigs can benefit from.
Is It Safe For Guinea Pigs To Eat Marigolds?
Yes, marigolds are safe for guinea pigs to eat. They don’t contain any natural toxins that could hurt them. Be sure to feed them in moderation as it isn’t one of their staple food.
While marigolds itself is safe, what you need to watch out for are chemicals that it may contain. Since most people don’t consider marigolds as food, they will spray chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides on them. Even if you didn’t spray any in your yard or garden, your neighbor might.
Therefore, it’s best to ensure that the marigolds are free from any of the chemicals. Feeding them marigolds that contain these chemicals can harm your guinea pigs. Even worse, it could kill them.
Health Benefits of Marigolds for Guinea Pigs
Marigolds are a safe flower and have a lot of nutrition that the guinea pigs can benefit from.
The flower itself is edible and rich in fiber, antioxidants and low in sugar.
Below are some of the health benefits of marigold:
Marigold is a good source of fiber. By eating marigolds, it promotes a healthy digestive system.
Fiber helps promote regular bowel movement and prevent constipation. Also, the foods that the guinea pigs eat will move smoothly through the digestive tract.
Prevent Cells Damage
Marigolds are rich in antioxidants. This substance helps prevent cell damage in the body caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that are from the food that guinea pigs eat, from cigarette smoke and even radiation.
Lessen Skin Problems
As an ointment, you can apply marigolds to their skin to help treat skin problems. Guinea pigs are prone to bug bites, wounds, blisters, and dry skin if they are allowed to roam outdoors.
By applying some ointment of marigolds to their skin, it will help heal it quickly and prevent infection.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Marigold Leaves?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat marigold leaves. The leafy greens are very nutritious and the guinea pigs can benefit a lot from it.
You can feed them fresh to the cavys or mix it with their hay to boost the nutrition.
Before feeding them leaves to your guinea pigs, make sure that it’s clean and free of any chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. These chemicals can’t be removed by simply washing the leaves. If the cavys ingest leaves with chemicals, they will be seriously sick.
How To Feed Marigolds To Guinea Pigs
To feed marigolds to your guinea pigs, cut the flower from the stem, and give it a good wash. This is to help remove any debris or bugs that may be in or on the flower. Then toss it into their cage and your guinea pigs will start to eat.
Since every part of the marigold is safe for guinea pigs to eat, you can give them the entire flower plant if you want. Cut the stem close to the ground off first. Then wash it under cool water to remove any dirt, pests, and debris. Then give them to your guinea pigs. They will start to munch and chew on the tasty and nutritious plant.
Another option would be to add some marigolds to their staple food of hay. Place the flower in the hay and mix it up a bit. This is a great way to boost the nutrition of the hay while letting them enjoy a tasty treat.
How Much Marigold Can A Guinea Pig Eat?
Marigolds aren’t a food that should be fed to them in large quantities. Instead, this flower should be given to them in moderation.
For baby guinea pigs, you should not feed them any marigolds at this age. Their stomach is still developing and it’s not strong enough to digest the flower yet.
For an adult guinea pig, 1 or 2 large marigolds or 2 to 3 small marigolds should be fed to them.
Guinea pigs have a very sensitive digestive system. This means, if this is their first time eating marigolds, you should feed a small amount of them and monitor your guinea pig closely.
Even though the guinea pigs won’t be eating a lot of marigold at once, there could be a small chance that they may get sick from it.
For the first 12 hours after eating marigold, keep an eye on them and look for signs such as bloating, diarrhea, and upset stomach.
If they seem fine after that, you can offer them some more marigolds.
On the other hand, if they seem sick, you should avoid giving them any more marigolds. Every guinea pig is different and you should not try to force them to eat it. There are other foods that you can try to feed them with.
How Often To Feed Marigolds To Guinea Pigs?
Marigolds aren’t one of their staple food so it should be fed to them in moderation. This means that once or twice per week is enough for them to enjoy this flowering plant.
If you’ve purchased dried marigold supplements, those can be given to them more. Make sure to follow the instructions on the package for the correct amount to give your guinea pigs.
Dried marigolds can simply be mixed into the guinea pig’s hay and make it more nutritious.
Other Flowers That Guinea Pigs Can Eat
During the spring and summer months, these yellow flowers will appear all over your yard. Dandelions make an excellent treat for guinea pigs as they contain a lot of vitamin C. This vitamin is something that the guinea pigs can’t produce themselves, which they need a lot of to stay healthy. Every part of the dandelions can be fed to them that includes the root, stem, leafy greens, and petals.
Roses are not only beautiful looking, but they can be fed to the cavies too. Before feeding them roses, make sure it has not been treated with any chemicals. Feed them roses in small quantities (5 to 10 grams, 2 to 2 times a week).
Lavender is great for guinea pigs to eat. This flowering plant is known for its calming and cleansing properties. Lavender is a good source of vitamin C, which the guinea pigs can benefit a lot from.
Can marigolds make guinea pigs sick?
If marigolds are fed to them in moderation, it’s unlikely they’ll get sick from it.
The only thing you need to watch out for is if the marigolds have chemicals in them. If it does and you feed your guinea pig with it, they’ll get sick from it.