Saturday, July 30, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Pineapple?

In our recent review of bell peppers, we half-jokingly asked if there is a a competitive eating league for guinea pigs. As it turns out, there was recently a parsley-eating contest for guinea pigs! Unfortunately, it was all the way on the other side of the world, so there's no way we could have put our eating skills to the test. Also, parsley can be fed to guinea pigs 2-4 times per week; it probably would have been better to have an eating contest for piggies with a food that they can have almost daily, like cilantro or Belgian endives. Today, we're going to review a food that you should definitely not use if you are going to have an eating contest for piggies; pineapples should only be fed to piggies 1-2 times per week since they're high in sugar. Also, make sure you do not feed us the pineapple leaves.

I smell a new fruit! If I could climb over this cage, I would!
I'm liking it so far...

Okay, sick of that now. All yours, Buffy.

We're done. You can eat the remainder, humans.

Pineapple smelled good, but the taste is a little too strong for us. We'll give it 2/5 stars.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pignics for Guinea Pigs

We are so excited right now! We just learned that on October 2nd, 2011, we're going to our first ever pignic! What is a pignic, you ask? Well, it's only the most awesome social event of the season! A pignic is a picnic just for guinea pigs, where we can meet other pigs, run around outside in the (chemically untreated) grass, and munch on delicious fresh clover. The humans are driving almost two hours to get us there, but it'll be worth it to be able to meet some new pigs!

Living in a cage with only each other can get boring. We're social creatures by nature, and we love the chance to get out of our cage and run around outside. In fact, this will be the first time we've ever really been outside in the grass. We can't wait!!


WHEN:
October 2nd, 2011, noon-4:00PM
WHERE:
Reisterstown Regional Park
401 Mitchell Drive
Reisterstown, Maryland 21136
RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=192617804130028

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Bell Peppers?

Honestly, we guinea pigs don't usually care for surprises. Unexpected noises send us running for cover. But there is one kind of surprise we like--tasty surprises! Here's the situation: the humans opened our cage door, making us think it was floor time. Then Lola noticed they left the blue plate on the floor:

Lola, is that the blue plate? I'll be right there!
I knew there's a reason I follow you around during floor time!

We devoured that red bell pepper in no time flat. Is there a competitive eating league for guinea pigs? We should be getting medals for eating talents! As with most red fruit/vegetables, we're going to give red bell peppers 5/5 stars. Please keep in mind that while green bell peppers can be fed almost daily, red bell peppers have more sugar and should only be fed to us 2-4 times per week.  We haven't tried the green ones yet, but our friends at Undercover Guinea Pigs prefer the red and orange ones.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Baby Corn?

We recently reviewed corn on the cob, and you could argue that this food is actually the same thing. Baby corn is actually immature corn. We think it's different enough to warrant it's own post, though. (We tend to agree with any argument that gives us more food to try!) If you are going to feed baby corn to your piggy, make sure you buy it fresh in the produce section of your grocery store, not in a can. As with regular corn, it's probably best to only give it to us 1-2 times per week.

All for me? This is nice!

Oh, I see. You weren't giving baby corn just to me, you were just feeding us separately.

The humans prevented me from stealing Buffy's food this time, but there's always next time. We left a mess of baby corn kernels in their laps, so hopefully they won't want to repeat this little experiment.

Baby corns are pretty good, but our favorite part of the corn is the husk and the silk. The baby corn didn't come with either one. We'll give baby corn 4/5 stars.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Belgian Endive?

We don't know a lot about Belgium or their food. We know they have waffles (which we can't eat), chocolate (which we also can't eat), and beer (which we definitely should never have). We'll gladly leave all that stuff to the humans if they give us Belgian endives!

Munch, munch, munch.

Munch! Munch! Munch!

After trying the white Belgian endive, the humans let us try the red kind. Red Belgian endives are more bitter, so the humans thought we wouldn't like them as much. As it turns out, the humans were wrong. We love red foods!

Munch! Munch as fast as I can so I finish before Lola and she doesn't try to steal my Belgian endive!
Belgian endives can be fed to us almost daily. We give them 5/5 stars for being crunchy and delicious!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Corn on the Cob?

Today the humans decided to give us corn! Guinea pigs can eat corn, but only 1-2 times per week, although the corn husks and silks can be fed daily. You should not give us COOKED corn, though. Only raw. We can't digested cooked food. We guinea pigs love to eat corn, and we actually prefer the husks and silk. In fact, our favorite part is the husks, followed by the silk, followed by the corn. We aren't really interested in eating the cob, though.
One thing about the husks: please throw out the outer most husks and only feed us the leaves of the husk that are closest to the corn. This cuts down on the danger of pesticides, and it is safer for us overall.
 The three edible parts of the corn.
We ate the husks first, followed by the yummy corn silk.
video

Lola and I fought over the corn. You can hear her whining about it in the video above when I stole it back from her. I think you humans are crazy for not wanting to eat the husks and silk. Don't you realize what you're missing? We give corn 5/5 stars!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Papaya?

Papaya can be fed to us once or twice per week, and are a great source of vitamin C. But will we like them?

Our humans scooped all those seeds out with a spoon before giving it to us because they're a choking hazard.

Tastes good! I might have to steal yours, Buffy!

That was good! Did we miss any in here? I guess I won't be able to steal any of yours after all, Buffy.
When we rate a food, there are several things we take into consideration, such as: Does the smell of the food make us excited to try it? Do we like the taste of it? Did we like it enough to finish the whole thing? Papaya passed all these tests with flying colors, so it gets a 5/5.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Mango Nectarines?

The humans have a knack for finding really strange fruit for us (like that prickly pear). Yesterday, they did it again. Have you ever heard of a mango nectarine? We hadn't either until the humans presented us with this:

Kind of looks like a granny smith apple.
Whoah! I take it back.
Let's see how it tastes...
Wow! It's delicious!
Humans, keep the strange fruit coming! 5/5 stars!

How to Get Carefresh Pet Bedding Cheaper (By Buying in Bulk)

We guinea pigs are rather high maintenance pets. Readers of our blog have seen the humans' attempts to save money on our hay by buying in bulk from Hayloft (formerly Kleenmana); now they have started searching for deals on our favorite brand of litter. Carefresh is a great choice for guinea pig bedding, but it is quite expensive. Usually pet stores carry it for $18-20 for a 50-50 liter bag, and one bag will last us about two weeks. Therefore, the humans have been paying up to $40/month just for our bedding!

There are cheaper options out there. Some guinea pig owners choose to use fleece to line their cage, and wash it every so often to keep it clean. This is probably the cheapest way to line your guinea pig's cage, but if you live in an apartment without easy access to a washer/dryer like we do, this isn't possible. Even some guinea pig owners who choose fleece sometimes will still use some Carefresh to control odor. Whatever you do, don't use wood shavings- the natural oils and dust can cause serious lung and skin problems for us. Guineapigcages.com has a great comparison sheet with more information on the pros and cons of different types of bedding.

If you're going to buy Carefresh, don't pay $20 per bag like the stupid humans have been doing. Buy it in bulk and save! Using the following method, you can get a 60 liter bag of Carefresh bedding for $14.15 delivered right to your door. And that includes tax and shipping! Here's how:

1. PETCO sells Carefresh Natural in bulk. Three bags cost $44.91 (not including tax), and if you buy three at once, shipping is free.
2. After adding to cart, use the following code for a 10% off discount: GEEK10
3. With the discount code, the free shipping for buying in bulk, and tax, your three bags come to $42.44, making each bag only $14.15!

How cool is that? Readers, if you have additional suggestions for guinea pig discounts, feel free to reply. We'd love to hear them.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Mint Leaves?

We've been pretty lucky lately with the foods our humans have been buying us to review. Our most recent food reviews have been 4-5 star foods. Unfortunately, lucky streaks like this can't go on forever. Today we're reviewing mint leaves. (Yuck!)

Lola felt tricked. Usually, the blue plate means good eats. This time, it only meant mint leaves. Here she is looking for something else on the plate worth eating.

Even though Lola hated them, I decided to give them a fair chance...

...but they turned out to be inedible! I should have listened to Lola. Here I am going home after spitting it out.

Humans, don't ever inflict these things on us again! 1/5 stars.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Review of Carefresh Ultra Pet Bedding

Back in April, we posted "10 Things You Should Know Before Buying or Adopting a Guinea Pig." Number two on that list (appropriately enough!) was "All that eating leads to a lot of waste." Buffy and I care about our blog, so we try to use pictures without lots of guinea pig poop in them. Ordinarily, the humans buy us the brown Carefresh bedding, which makes the waste less visible. The problem with Carefresh Ultra is that it's white. I mean, really bright white. That means that the stuff we usually try to downplay becomes really visible.
Look how white that stuff is. This stuff made it look like it snowed in our cage.
Yuck! That's unsightly! (Do we really want this on the blog?)

Just look at our cute faces and ignore the mess, okay?

Other than the color, this stuff works great, just like the other Carefresh. It controls odor, it clumps, and it's comfortable for us to walk on. But we've got to take off a point for appearances. 4/5 stars.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Watercress?

Today we're going to review herb #4: Watercress. Watercress should only be fed to your piggy once or twice per week.

As usual, I lead...
...and Buffy follows!
Buffy, I feel like we're sharing a real moment here. (You're going to get it if you eat any pieces I've got my eye on, though!)
Although some guinea pigs don't care for watercress at all (examples: 12), we thought watercress was good. We'll give it 4.5/5 stars.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Asian Pears?

There's a list of foods guinea pigs can eat at The Guinea Pig Hutch, which has a "question foods" section for foods they just don't know enough about to say if they're okay for us to eat or not. For some reason, a lot of the question foods are Asian fruits. We don't know why. If anyone knows which ones are safe, please comment! We'd love to try lychee or mangosteen if they're safe for us. One of the few Asian fruits that's on the safe list is Asian pears, which we're reviewing today.



Asian pears are delicious! 5/5 stars!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Kleenmama Hayloft Hay for Guinea Pigs Review

Up until now, the humans have primarily fed us Oxbow hay. We love it. It has a great percentage of seed heads to crunchy green stalks. But at around $10 for bag, it is rather expensive. Petco's brand of Natural Premium Timothy Hay is less expensive, but it is not as tasty. It's more yellow than green and has fewer seed heads and we just don't like it as much as Oxbow. 

But we go through a bag of hay per week, so the humans began exploring more economical ways to keep us well fed. Guinea pigs need unlimited, unrestricted access to fresh hay. Hay is really the most important part of our diet, and choosing the right hay for your budget and piggies is a task worth exploring.

We heard great things about Kleenmama hay (now called Hayloft) from other guinea pigs. Even with shipping, this hay cost way less than any other hay out there, and it comes right to your door. We had high hopes for this hay, and we were very excited when the 15lb box of second cut timothy hay arrived at our pigloo door.

But for the first two weeks, we really didn't know what to make of it. It was bright green and clearly fresh, though it did have fewer seed heads. It was just very different from the pet store hay we were used to eating. We honestly did not like it very much at first. We wheeked and pushed the hay around our cage. We didn't eat it and the humans began to worry about us.
New hay!
Hmmm... 
In fact, Buffy lost 30 grams over those two weeks and Lola lost 27 grams. While guinea pig weights can vary due to a number of different factors, losing this much weight and not eating much of the hay was worrisome.

After about two weeks, we realized that this new hay was not going to hurt us, and we began to eat it up more enthusiastically. We gained back some of the weight we lost. We are starting to like Hayloft hay more and more each day.

But you know what? This isn't Hayloft's fault. Astute readers will notice what our humans did wrong: rather than introduce this new alien hay bit by bit into our diet, they cut off our supply of our usual hay all at once and just started feeding us this strange new hay out of the blue. What they should have done is introduce it gradually into our diet. Start out by mixing 75% old, familiar hay and 25% new hay, then increase it to 50/50, then 75/25, and finally switch to 100% of the new product. That would have been less of a shock to our systems. I guess they were just too excited about the new hay to remember to do it.

So in conclusion, we will be asking our humans for Hayloft hay from now on. We may even wish to experiment with first and third cut hay types!

(Because the humans messed up, we're going to hold off of rating Hayloft hay for now. We feel we haven't given it a fair trial yet.)

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Santa Claus Melon?

Did you know that there is a Wikipedia entry on "Christmas in July" about Christmas-themed parties held during this month? I'm not sure if the humans planned this, but we just had a little Christmas in July party in our guinea pig cage. There was no drinking at this party (except from our water bottle), but there was good food. We got to try Santa Claus Melon.
Wow, is that whole thing for us? It's bigger than the plate!
Oh, I see. The cut-up bits are going to be ours. I guess we couldn't have eaten the whole thing anyway.
Thank you, Santa Claus!
This is a great Christmas in July party!
Santa Claus melon, also known as Christmas melon, tastes a lot like Honeydew melon with a hint of cucumber. We liked it a bit better than Honeydew melon, but we weren't as enthusiastic about it as some of the red fruits we've been eating recently. So, we'll give it 4/5 stars. (I hope we won't get lumps of coal next Christmas in July for taking off a star!)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Toys for Guinea Pigs: Paper Bags

At www.guineapigcages.com, you can find lots of great guinea pig toy ideas. The humans decided to try giving us a paper bag to try as a toy.
Lola approached the paper bag...
...but got scared and ran to the opposite corner!
I wasn't scared, but wasn't sure how to get in at first.
The humans decided to put some hay and a sliced-up grape in the bag. I just followed my nose and found the entrance!
Even after Lola saw me get in and out of the paper bag, she was still scared. The humans watched her for several minutes to see if she'd warm up to the idea of going in. She didn't. They tried to lead her with a piece of hay to the entrance, which she'd follow right up to the entrance, and then run away. The humans even tried cutting a hole in the side of the bag, but she didn't care. She's the dominant guinea pig, and yet she's scared of a paper bag? It doesn't make sense to me, but it meant that I was able to eat all the food the humans put in the bag by myself without Lola harassing me. Hooray for paper bags, I say! I'd love to give them five stars for this reason, but then I'd have to hide in the paper bag indefinitely from Lola, so I'll be fair and give them 3/5 stars.