Juicy food for guinea pigs

Juicy feeds include fruits, vegetables, roots and melons. All of them are well eaten by animals, have high dietary properties, are rich in easily digestible carbohydrates, but are relatively poor in protein, fat and minerals, especially such important ones as calcium and phosphorus. 

Yellow and red varieties of carrots, which contain a lot of carotene, are the most valuable succulent root vegetable feed. They are usually fed to females during pregnancy and lactation, to male-producers during mating, as well as young animals. 

Of other root crops, animals willingly eat sugar beets, rutabagas, turnips, turnips. 

Rutabaga(Brassica napus L. subsp.napus) is bred for edible roots. The color of the root crops is white or yellow, and the upper part of it, protruding from the soil, acquires a green, reddish-brown or purple tan. The pulp of the root vegetable is juicy, dense, yellow, less often white, sweetish, with a specific taste from mustard oil. The rutabaga root vegetable contains 11-17% dry matter, including 5-10% sugars, represented mainly by glucose, up to 2% crude protein, 1.2% fiber, 0.2% fat and 23-70 mg% ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamins of group B and P, salts of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, sulfur. Root vegetables are well stored in basements and cellars at low temperatures and remain fresh almost all year round. Root crops and leaves (tops) are eagerly eaten by domestic animals, therefore, rutabagas are also grown as food,and as a fodder crop. 

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Carrot(Daucus sativus (Hoffm.) Roehl) – a biennial plant from the family of zotniks – a valuable forage crop, its roots are eagerly eaten by all types of livestock and poultry. Special varieties of fodder carrots have been bred, which are distinguished by large sizes of root crops and, therefore, high yields. Not only root crops, but also carrot leaves are used as food. Carrot root crops contain 10-19% dry matter, including up to 2.5% protein and up to 12% sugars. Sugars provide a pleasant taste to the carrot roots. In addition, root crops contain pectin, vitamins C (up to 20 mg%), B1, B2, B6, E, K, P, PP, calcium, phosphorus, iron, cobalt, boron, chromium, copper, iodine and other trace elements. But the special value of carrots is given by the high concentration of carotene dye in the roots (up to 37 mg%). In humans and animals, carotene is converted into vitamin A,which is often lacking. Thus, eating carrots is beneficial not so much because of its nutritional properties, but because it provides the body with almost all the vitamins it needs. 

Turnip(Brassica rapa L.) is grown for an edible root vegetable. The pulp of the root vegetable is juicy, yellow or white, with a peculiar pleasant taste. They contain from 8 to 17% of dry matter, including 3.5-9%. Sugars, represented mainly by glucose, up to 2% crude protein, 1.4% fiber, 0.1% fat, as well as 19-73 mg% ascorbic acid (vitamin C), 0.08-0.12 mg% thiamine (vitamin B1 ), a little riboflavin (vitamin B2), carotene (provitamin A), niacin (vitamin PP), potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, sulfur salts. The specific aroma and pungent taste of the turnip root crop is given by the mustard oil contained in it. In winter, root crops are stored in cellars and basements. The best preservation is ensured in the dark at temperatures from 0 ° to 1 ° C, especially if the roots are covered with dry sand or peat chips.The turnip forage courts are called turnips. Not only root crops, but also turnip leaves are used for food. 

Beetroot (Beta vulgaris L. subsp. Esculenta Guerke) – a biennial plant from the family of hayms – is one of the best succulent forages. Root crops of various varieties differ in shape, size, color. Typically, the root vegetable of the beet does not exceed half a kilogram weight with a diameter of 10-20 cm. The pulp of root vegetables comes in a variety of shades of red and crimson. Leaves with a cordate-ovoid plate and rather long petioles. The petiole and central vein are usually painted in an intense burgundy color, often the entire leaf blade is red-green. 

Both root crops and leaves and their petioles are used for food. Root crops contain 14-20% dry matter, including 8-12.5% ​​sugars, represented mainly by sucrose, 1-2.4% crude protein, about 1.2% pectin substances, 0.7% fiber, and also up to 25 mg% ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamins B1, B2, P and PP, malic, tartaric, lactic acids, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium salts. The content of vitamin C in beet stalks is even higher than in root crops – up to 50 mg%. 
Beetroot is also convenient because its root crops, in comparison with other vegetables, are distinguished by good lightness – they do not deteriorate for a long time during long-term storage, they are easily stored until spring, which allows them to be fed fresh almost all year round. Even if they become coarse and tough at the same time, this does not matter for rodents, they willingly eat any beets. 

For feeding purposes, special varieties of beets have been bred. The color of fodder beet roots is very different – from almost white to intensely yellow, orange, pink and reddish. Their nutritional value is determined by the content of 6-12% sugar, a certain amount of protein and vitamins. 

Root crops, especially in winter, play an important role in animal feeding. Root vegetables (turnips, beets, etc.) should be given raw and chopped; they are preliminarily cleaned of earth and washed. 

Vegetables and root crops are prepared for feeding as follows: sort, discard rotten, flabby, discolored root crops, also remove soil, debris, etc. Then cut out the affected areas with a knife, wash and cut into small pieces. 


Melons and gourds – pumpkin, zucchini, fodder watermelon – contain a lot of water (90% or more), as a result of which their total nutritional value is low, but they are eaten by animals rather readily. Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo L var, giromontia Duch.) Is a good forage crop. It is grown for its fruit. The fruits reach marketable (technical) ripeness in 40-60 days after germination. In a state of technical ripeness, the skin of the zucchini is rather soft, the flesh is juicy, white, and the seeds have not yet become covered with a hard shell. The pulp of squash fruits contains from 4 to 12% dry matter, including 2-2.5% sugars, pectin substances, 12-40 mg% ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Later, when the zucchini fruits reach biological ripeness, their nutritional value drops sharply, because the pulp loses its juiciness and becomes almost as tough as the outer bark.in which a layer of mechanical tissue develops – sclerenchyma. Ripe zucchini fruits are suitable only for livestock feed. Sowing cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) Cucumbers suitable for nutrition in a biological sense are 6-15-day-old ovaries. Their color in a marketable state (i.e. immature) is green, with full biological ripeness they turn yellow, brown or off-white. Cucumbers contain from 2 to 6% dry matter, including 1–2.5% sugars, 0.5–1% crude protein, 0.7% fiber, 0.1% fat, and up to 20 mg% carotene ( provitamin A), vitamins B1, B2, some trace elements (in particular iodine), calcium salts (up to 150 mg%), sodium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, etc. It is especially worth mentioning the glycoside cucurbitacin contained in cucumber. Usually we do not notice it, but in cases where this substance accumulates, the cucumber or its individual parts,most often superficial tissues become bitter, inedible. 94-98% of the mass of a cucumber is water, therefore, the nutritional value of this vegetable is low. Cucumber promotes better absorption of other foods, in particular, improves the absorption of fats. The fruits of this plant contain enzymes that increase the activity of B vitamins. 

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