Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Product Review: Oxbow Bene Terra Organic Guinea Pig Pellets

Some nutritionists have called breakfast the most important meal of the day. For years now, we've been loyal fans of Oxbow's Essentials - Adult Guinea Pig Food for breakfast; it gives us the energy we need to scamper around, chew on things, and then take naps. Today we're reviewing a new type of pellet: Oxbow Bene Terra Organic Guinea Pig Pellets. Will this new pellet unseat our current pellets as our #1 breakfast choice?

Oxbow and organic. Both good signs!
Munch, munch...
Hey, it's pretty good!
The instructions for these pellets are the same as the other ones: 1/8 a cup per day per guinea pig. The pellets themselves look and taste pretty similar to the other ones as well (although we read that some other piggies have a preference for one or the other).

Some people may ask: Does buying organic matter, or is it just hype? Well, according to the Mayo Clinic:
  •  Nutritionally, there does not appear to be a significant difference between conventional and organic produce.
  • "Organic produce typically carries significantly fewer pesticide residues than does conventional produce."
  • Organic produce restricts the types of food additives that may be used.
  • "Organic farming practices are designed to benefit the environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil quality." 
We should also point out that there are plenty of studies critical of organic produce. However, the Mayo Clinic seems like a reputable source, and they're willing to state that organic produce at least contains less pesticides, that's good enough to make use prefer it over conventional.

Based on the organic label alone, you would think we'd be ready to switch. However, we also have to point out that there were some ingredients in this pellet that concerned the diet expert at
  • Limestone - no apparent reason for its inclusion.
  • Wheat straw - not very nutritious.
  • Sunflower meal - contains oils that can be fattening.
In addition, someone else was concerned about the higher calcium levels in this pellet. Too much calcium can lead to bladder stones, so this is a bit concerning. We'll have to keep a closer eye on the amount of calcium in our diet while we're eating this stuff.

So here's our verdict: Organic ingredients are a good idea, but Oxbow should have just kept the same formula as their other pellets (Oxbow's Essentials - Adult Guinea Pig Food). There were a few concerns raised about this formulation which prevent us from switching pellets, mainly the higher calcium content. These are good pellets, but why settle for less than the best? We'll give Oxbow Bene Terra Organic Guinea Pig Pellets 4/5 stars, but recommend you stick with the 5-star pellet (again, that's Oxbow's Essentials - Adult Guinea Pig Food).


  1. Sounds like it's not very healthy, but very good. We use Kaytee Fiesta mix guinea pig food. Could you review it sometime? Thanks!
    Ashley & Wendy

  2. Where can you get an empty wood ball to stuff timothy hay in? I want my guinea pigs to have a toy where they can also eat out of. thanks!
    Wendy & Ashley's owner

  3. There's Ware Willow Branch Balls, although you'd have to take the peanut out, and we're reluctant to endorse that product for that reason. Petco has a similar product, although I don't think we've ever reviewed it.

  4. The organic pellets are ALL my disabled guinea pig will eat! He won't touch anything else, and yes, I've tried EVERYTHING, including mixing a slowly increasing ratio old:new pellets. When the amount of organic pellets is less than 75%, HE WON'T EAT.