Can Guinea Pigs Eat Corn?

Can Willow Eat It? …Yes!

It’s closing in on warm weather which means most of the Once Upon a Wheek team will be enjoying an assortment of BBQ and grilled items including a crowd favorite – corn. Luckily, it’s also a favorite sweet treat for our guineas! So yes! Guinea pigs can eat corn, but you need to be aware of what you can and cannot feed them.

The best part? Even if you want all the yummy corn kernels for yourself, you can still make your guinea happy by giving them the parts you wouldn’t eat anyway. If you’re creative, or have some extra time on your hands, you can even make them some toys or boredom busters from the husks (see below under ‘Getting Creative’).

Remember – wash the corn thoroughly before giving any part to your guineas!

 

How Often Can Guinea Pigs Have Corn?

Inner Corn Husk, Corn Hairs, and Corn Kernels

Edible parts of the corn for guinea pigs include the inner corn husk/leaves, corn hair, and corn kernels.

Raw kernels on the cob can be fed to guinea pigs as a treat 1-2 times a week. Due to the amount of starch in the kernels, you don’t want to feed them anymore than that. Cooked corn is not okay because they aren’t able to digest cooked vegetables. Raw corn in any sort of can or in a juice is also something to avoid due to the amount of salt. The added salt and other ingredients aren’t good for your pet.

Some parts of the corn on the cob can be given daily. These include the inner husk (the outer husk is not recommended due to the use of pesticides and therefore should be discarded) and the corn silk/hairs (cut off and discard any parts that hang unprotected from the husk due to exposure to pesticides). The nutrient value of husks is similar to hay and grass, so this is great for them to have because of the fiber and helping grind down their teeth! Corn hair has also been proven to be good for their bladders.

Guinea pigs will not eat the middle part – the part we always throw away – so once they seem finished, make sure to toss it away in the trash.

Corn Husks

Why Shred the Corn Husks?

Shredded inner corn husk.

Some shredded corn husk for the guineas.

Corn husks are pretty tough. While guinea pigs can certainly chew through that fibrous husk, tearing them up into thinner long pieces makes it easier for guinea pigs to eat the pieces with less effort. We find that Willow and Cora will eat more of it, and enjoy it more, when we shred them up. The pieces don’t have to be super thin, but we like the width of a large blade of grass. It’s not an exact science, so if some are wider or thinner than the others, that’s okay!

Should the Corn Husks Be Dried Out?

There are two ways you can feed your guineas the husks.

Bag of shredded corn husks

Bag of shredded corn husks.

If you plan to feed it to them within the next few days, you can place the husks in a bag and seal it to keep them tender. If you want them to last longer you can leave them out to dry before putting them in a bag to save for later. It’s essentially like hay at that point, so you can feed it whenever you’d like!

All the guineas at Once Upon a Wheek love both dried or fresh husks.

How Do You Dry Out Corn Husks?

They can dry out pretty quickly! Dry them off from any water that’s on them from your washing. Leave them out on the counter to dry out. Placing them outside in the sun is also a good idea if you have a way to make sure they don’t get blown away.

Tip: The thinner they are, the faster they dry out.

Getting Creative

Hanging some fresh husk pieces on the side of the cage for Willow and Milo to tug and have fun with.

Sometimes we like to spend some extra time making boredom busters for our furry potatoes. Whether or not you can braid, weave, or do other crafts, we can guarantee that your guinea won’t mind. They just want the end result – a tasty and fun treat!

Whatever you decide to do with the husks – you can hang them on the side of the grid (tying them up on the cage so your pig can pull on it and enjoy a challenge), place it on the ground, make a ‘puff ball’ and use other husk pieces to hang it from the ceiling so they have to try to eat and pull it as it moves – you can be sure that the little wheekers will appreciate and love you for it.

Here are some fun things you can do with the shredded husks, but remember, the only limitation is you and your imagination!

Braiding corn husks is an easy, fun, and simple thing you can do.

Fun options: Tying together some loose pieces, weaving a design (we opted for a carrot look here but woven mats, balls, or even other designs are fun and create a great challenge for you!), or braiding.

Demolishing the woven carrot – less than 10 minutes in. Willow sure knows how to tear it up…

 

Willow and Milo stuffing their faces with corn hair.

What About You?

What about you and your pets? Do you feed them corn, corn hairs, and husk? Have you done anything fun or creative with your husks? Let us know below!

 

 

 

Boredom Buster: Veggie Kebab

The veggie kebab is one of the more fun and exciting boredom busters our furry family members can have.

How to Make It

  • Gather the correct materials
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    Enjoying a carrot piece. Yum!

    • The kebab: metal, appropriate wooden skewer (with the sharp point cut off after skewering), or a willow stick
    • Something to put on the end of the kebab so everything doesn’t fall off such as cardboard, a carrot piece, or etc (not required if hanging kebab horizontal)
    • Veggies and/or fruits your guinea pig or rabbit likes: Remember! Fruits are a treat, so go easy on them!
    • Something to tie up the kebab: string, yarn, wire, zip tie, twist tie, etc
  • Make the kebab
    • Wash all the fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
    • Cut fruits and vegetables big enough so pieces so there’s enough of a rim between the center and the outside.
    • If you’re using a skewer, you can use the sharp end to skewer the fruits and vegetables. If not, use a knife and cut a square big enough for the stick to pass through. For carrots, we took the knife and spun it in the center of the carrot slice on one side, turned the carrot slice over, and did it on the other side to make a big enough hole. For lettuce/romaine, cut a slit in the center and put the stick through.
    • Slide on the fruits and vegetables in any order. For pieces like parsley, cilantro, or etc, gently tie them around the kebab.
      • Tip: Use the leafy side to tie to reduce the chance of it breaking or ripping in half. This part is more flexible!
    • Secure the end piece to the kebab to ensure your furry friend doesn’t just yank the pieces down off the stick.
    • Once satisfied, hang the kebab securely up in the cage!


Our Kebab

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Made with some broccoli pieces, carrots, cilantro, green pepper, and romaine.

For this one we used a willow stick so they can also enjoy the stick itself afterwards, but metal ones from stores also are great since you can reuse them. Some of our members enjoy the metal one best because they can be cleaned thoroughly.

We used romaine, carrot, green pepper, cilantro, and three broccoli pieces. Despite the picture, not all of it went into the kebab and some pieces were saved for another day!

Reminder: Some types of food are best given as treats and not in excess. Broccoli and cauliflower are on that list. These vegetables can cause bloat – so it shouldn’t be given often or in large amounts. 


019Mixing It Up

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Vertical hanging kebab waiting for the hungry cavy to sniff it out.

Not only can you customize this boredom buster in many different ways, but it can be put in the cage in different ways!

  • Vertical
  • Horizontal
  • Diagonal

You can also choose to secure it tightly so it doesn’t swing around, or secure it loosely so that your furry family members has to put a little extra effort to get some great treats.

 

And that’s it! Hope you and your guineas enjoy their little boredom buster!

 

 

 

 

Willow’s Kiwi Bed Completed!

Straight From Willow’s Tunnel: 

It has been forever since you heard about my particular predicament in regards to having a kiwi bed. Mom said that it was not that long ago when she posted the picture of the overly small bed, but I am quite positive that it has been over a month since that happened. Even two months! She cannot fool me. I have been waiting for my own bed for ages!

While Cora’s bed – because that is who mom gave it to – was way too small for me, though…I mean… I think I was doing pretty well getting myself to fit. Mostly anyway. BUT, this new bed mom just completed is HUGE! She said it is because I sleep mostly in a straight line with my foot thrown out either beside me or behind me. (I do not appreciate it when she keeps calling it a chicken leg. She called it a frog leg once, but took it back since it was not webbed and I became self conscious.)

Cora’s bed is too small. My bed is too big. Kalsie’s bed is just right.

So, while I started to complain, it dawned on me. Who actually wants to settle for ‘just right’? Goldilocks did not know what was good for her. Softer and bigger is better!

Here is my completed kiwi cuddle cup bed with me in it! And there is also a picture to show the size comparisons between everyone’s beds. Kalsie’s bed is not stuffed yet since we ran out of stuffing, but it should be finished soon!

It is really comfy and since we all fall asleep on it quickly, mom said she will probably do a DIY project post for it. So stay in touch! (Edit from Ali: Stay tuned!)

As you all enjoy your day, I will be napping away on my new cloud. (Mom thinks that I have given up on my ‘sleep on hard things’ ways, but we will see mom… we will see.)

Willow: 1

Ali: 1

“Rest your head close to my heart, never to part, Baby of Mine.” –Dumbo

For More Pictures, check out my tumblr page!

Sleep My Little One: First Fleece Cuddle Cup Trials 2/2

Willow Rating and Review:

Estimated:  5/5 Stars!

**Estimated due to the bed being too small, but it seems pretty obvious what his rating would be! Right now, he’d probably put it at 3/5 due to not being able to fit… but he certainly loved it!

The Little Potato tried SO HARD to fit. He’s still waiting for his bed though!

Note: Formal rating and review will occur once we are able to make his properly sized bed. 

 

Sleep My Little One: First Fleece Cuddle Cup Trials 1/2

Sleep My Little One… You must be Exhausssttedd…

– Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride

 

I mentioned in “To Fleece, or Not to Fleece…! That is the Question” post that I have already tested out the fleece a bit by making a kiwi cuddle cup for the guineas – with hilarious results! Mostly because it was too small for two of the guinea pigs. We used it to be the ‘test’ kiwi, but it created a lot of funny pictures – as you’ll see below!

I was inspired to make my own after browsing Pinterest and seeing this picture:

Credit of Idea and Picture to: TheCozyHut on Etsy which I found through Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/449867450259664986/).

It seemed like a fun little thing to see the guinea pigs sleep in! Tropical, bright, and packed with vitamin C! — at least the actual fruit is. 

 

This is our first Kiwi Cuddle Cup – with four more or so to follow! This one was made with specifications that York gave us. Not too shabby, right? Definitely more fluffy!

Note: We will be posting the tutorial on how to make the beds later this month, but until then, enjoy the pictures of one of the piggies loving the bed! Due to sizing after our size trials – this is now Cora’s bed. She is the smallest of the guinea pigs so she fit perfectly! The other two.. well… that’s another post for another day. 



CORA’S Rating and Review:

 5/5 Stars!

Cora now sleeps in comfort alongside her human as he does gaming, watch anime, and other computer things. She loves the bed so much that she’ll crawl into the bed and happily sit alongside York for hours (until nature calls anyway). It’s her new favorite place to nap, even including her igloo! Comfy, safe, and loved. 5 Stars from this cavy!