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!

 

 

 

Rosh Hashanah – ראש השנה

ראש השנה

Monday, October 3rd was Rosh Hashanah and Willow was kind enough to take some time out of his day to help us celebrate the new year! He at least enjoyed the apples! 015

 

Straight from Willow’s Tunnel

The morning was what you’d expect from mom and her boyfriend. Mom got dressed quickly and was soon on her computer doing posts for work – which is silly since she said today was a holiday. I didn’t get it, but I thought that maybe I could get her attention for my need of breakfast. Usually I just get pellets and a refill of hay in the morning, but today? No. I wanted WAFFLES. Okay, maybe not, but I wanted romaine, and carrots, and green pepper, and cucumber, and apples. Seriously though? Mom said there would be apples and honey.

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Ash and the Adventure of the Mysterious Green Stuff

Ash and the Adventure of the Mysterious Green Stuff

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Ash’s face when he heard that he got to write a blog post.

Entry 1, 6:58 A.M.:

I am so excited to be writing for this blog! My last servants “owners” didn’t have a blog. Lame!

Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself a little bit. My name is Ash, and today is the first day I and my brother Brock are spending in our new home! I love exploring, and I can’t wait to see what we discover today!

 

Entry 2, 10:18 A.M.:

So far, there has been a lot to explore. There is so much room, and there is another guinea pig here, whose name is Willow! Unfortunately, my adventures will have to pause for a bit. Our new owners (I think they call themselves “humans” and “fosters” – whatever that means) are insisting on putting us on their laps. All we do is sit there while they pet us. I don’t get how Brock likes it; I think it is the most boring thing ever!

Brock enjoying his lap time with the humans.

Brock enjoying his lap time with the humans.

Entry 3, 11:04 A.M.:

What is this? Is it a test? Is it poison? Are the humans trying to kill us?

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About Fostering and Our Fosters as of August

Opening a Home to Potatoes Passing By

Upon moving out to the Twin Cities, I was only sure about one thing. I wanted to make sure that I was still able to make a difference in a life – if not lives – in this new place I would call home for the next year. So, naturally, I looked into rescues and shelters that I could help out at so I could provide a loving foster home to guineas in need while they waited for their Furever home.

While there were many great rescues, I stumbled upon Piggy Haven’s Facebook page and found a post asking for volunteers to help foster. I was enthused to become involved and help out a smaller rescue that focused purely on rescuing the little potatoes. Plus, smaller rescues that focus on a specific animal type or breed tend to have less funding and donations than larger rescues that may have a variety of animals – and therefore more people traffic.

Since joining, not only have I found great and caring people, but I also get to meet a lot of great guineas that come through my home. Some of them have never had fruits and veggies before, some were cramped in cages they weren’t really able to move around, and some just came because life just didn’t work out in their old home. I’ve seen pigs who were abused and neglected (which Piggy Haven’s founder and team helped nurse back to health), sick or had special needs, and those who were just confused and frightened. I’ve also seen pigs who were overjoyed to finally be with us because of their past conditions and have found out life can be better than what they’ve had.

I’ve only been apart of the team for less than two months, but these two months have taught and shown me a lot. My heart is bigger because of it, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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Leaving One City for Another: Moving and Adjusting to My New Home

secret-life-pets-review

(Photo From Secret Life of Pets (2016) by Illumination Entertainment)

Straight From Willow’s Tunnel

I want to be the first to tell you that the seven hour car ride was not fun. When mom said we were moving, I thought she meant down the street! We left the bustling city of Chicago behind and have traded it in for something called the “Twin Cities”. No matter how great this place may seem, it means that we’ll be traveling back and forth for holidays and I am not amused. 

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Willow Adventures: Snuggle Sack Struggle

Straight From Willow’s Tunnel:

I cannot tell you how rude my mom is. I know that they say parents are jerks sometimes, but my mom is the ultimate jerk. She even forgot to post this before she went on vacation!

In June I was out and enjoying myself when I caught sight of Cora’s snuggle sack just sitting and wasting away on top of a nearby crate. I jumped up and after a few attempts, I finally snagged it! I buried myself in it, and then I heard my mom and aunt laughing. Ignoring their rude behavior, I finally fell asleep and stuck out my foot cause it is just more comfortable when you let your foot do its thing.

 

A while later, as I was dreaming about dancing carrot tops and cucumber pieces, the bag suddenly moved and mom was trying to get me out! Something about trying to let me use a bigger snuggle sack to be more comfortable. Stupid mom, I was ALREADY comfortable! But after much struggling and complaining to her, she actually tugged me out! I backed my butt into the little sack in annoyance and gave a small brown gift before running into the other sack that was provided to me by my aunt. Which, I have to admit, was better and more comfy cause I fit, but… 

So HA mom! Take that!

Willow: 2

Ali: 1

 

Willow enjoying the newer snuggle sack.. though he seems a bit iffy…