Alfalfa also called Lucerne is a perennial flowering plant in the legume family Fabaceae. It is cultivated as a forage crop in many countries around the world and is known as a high-quality protein and low sugar legume crop that stands for repeated harvesting and is well-liked by cows, horses, and other grazers. For cows and horses (and probably other livestock too), it can cause problems if it is the primary forage source and is a valuable addition to the forage content of an animal’s diet. Alfalfa has nutrients packed together to provide health benefits for humans and animals. Does that mean that guinea pigs can eat alfalfa? Can Guinea pigs suffer health risks from feeding on alfalfa? All other questions related to alfalfa and guinea pigs will be answered in this article
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Alfalfa?
The relative answer to this question is yes, guinea pigs can feed on alfalfa, but it should be in small quantities and not regularly. This is because of the decent amount of calcium, protein, mineral, and vitamins present in the nutrients, too much or overfeeding your pet with this legume will result in health issues (obesity, kidney stones) for your guinea pigs. The best method to feed your guinea pigs with alfalfa is when combined with pellets and this will help in the reduction of calcium and other nutrients ratio present in the legume. Not all guinea pigs like to feed on alfalfa, so the best method to know whether your pet like the legume is to give it a trial. You can gradually add alfalfa to your pet diet to know the status of your guinea pigs with alfalfa.
Can Guinea Pig Feed On Alfalfa Sprouts?
Most guinea pig likes to feed on alfalfa sprouts. Alfalfa sprouts are a shoot that comes from the germination of alfalfa seed, it is usually harvested before the plant matured. Alfalfa sprouts are considered very safe for your guinea pigs because the process of sprouting secretes and provides an enzyme that can help your pets when they feed on it. The sprouts also contain vitamins, minerals, phosphorus, and a lesser amount of sugar which can be beneficial when given to your pet in measured quantities. Overfeeding or regular intake of alfalfa can be detrimental to the health of your guinea pigs, and the result may sometimes lead to death if not properly monitored.
In What Proportion Should Alfalfa Be Given To Guinea Pigs?
Alfalfa is hay that is essential for agile and active animals like horses. This is due to the amount of protein, calcium, and other active nutrients in the legume. Therefore, Timothy hay is the best for your guinea pig all other Hay should be given to them as treat and not regularly. Half a handful of alfalfa serving should be given to them once or twice a week. It should be served with other vegetables or pellets, and it should be changed regularly for them to retain the nutrients. Fresh alfalfa goes a long way in helping your guinea pig to remain healthy.
What Are The Health and Nutritional Benefits of Alfalfa For Your Guinea Pig
It has been established above that alfalfa contains various nutrients which are packed together and can be beneficial for your guinea pigs. Alfalfa, when fed to your guinea pigs in the appropriate proportion can produce more health benefits than health risks for your pets, and some of the benefits are listed below
Alfalfa is known to have a low-calorie content which is essential for the reduction in weight gain. Guinea pigs suffering from obesity or diabetes should endeavor to feed on these legumes because of their low calories and sugar content.
Alfalfa contains a decent amount of calcium which is useful, especially in pregnant or nursing guinea pigs to help them increase their activity performance. Little or baby guinea pigs can also feed on alfalfa in other for their bone to be strengthened
Antioxidants are nutrients known for protecting both plants and animals from harmful or toxic diseases which can lead to Inflammation, or early aging Antioxidant is an essential nutrient found in alfalfa, when fed to your guinea pigs in moderation will help them fights against diseases in other for them to be healthy.
Fiber is an essential nutrient that is responsible for regulating the intestinal and digestive tract of guinea pigs. It just so happens that Alfalfa also contains a decent amount of these nutrients. It will help them regulate the digestive system of their body and also prevent them from stomach aches or any other stomach issues.
Alfalfa contains about 8.2mg of vitamin C per 100g, and this vitamin C is essential in keeping your guinea pig scurvy free among all other diseases. They are also useful in providing good eyesight and improving the appetite of your pets when given to them.
What Are The Health Risk Of Feeding Alfalfa To Your Guinea Pigs
Alfalfa does not only have a health or nutritional effect on your guinea pigs, but they are also capable of causing a serious health risk for your pets when given to them in the wrong proportion. Some of the health risks have been listed below.
This can arise as a result of overfeeding or too much intake of alfalfa by your guinea pigs. Their digestive system is sensitive thereby, all their food should be measured and given to them in the right proportion. The solution to this health issue is to place them on 24 hours diet to monitor and reduce the gasses or bloat ness.
This is one of the common health problems that result from giving your guinea pig the wrong proportion of alfalfa. This is because it contains a decent amount of water and nutrient which can cause diarrhea in high proportion. The solution is to place your pet on a one to two days diet to stop diarrhea.
Yeah, guinea pigs can feed on alfalfa, and they provide a lot of essential nutrients for guinea pigs when they feed on it. Just like any other meal they consume, overseeing them can cause health risks which can range from mild to detrimental. That is why pet owners should be aware of what they feed their pets as stated in this article, the correct proportion should be given to them.