Guinea pigs can eat various parts of the cauliflower plant including the florets, leaves and stalk. But how often should they eat this and how does it compare to its’ close relation, broccoli?
Guinea pigs can eat cauliflower florets but many other guinea pig websites will tell you that guinea pigs can’t eat this part of the vegetable. So we’ve looked into the nutrition contained in the florets to see why people think this vegetable may not be suited to guinea pigs.
Cauliflower has about 48mg of vitamin C per 100g which is a good amount but broccoli has twice as much of this nutrient.
We need to make sure guinea pigs get vitamin C in the food they eat each day as their bodies can’t make this vitamin and a deficiency can cause scurvy.
But although cauliflower has half as much vitamin C as broccoli, it does have more than oranges and dandelion leaves.
Cauliflower isn’t very high in sugar but it does have a little more than broccoli.
Calcium is an essential mineral in our guinea pig’s diet, helping to keep their bones and their teeth strong and healthy. Cauliflower has 22mg of calcium per 100g which is about half the amount contained in broccoli and it’s also quite a low amount if you compare it to many other vegetables.
Cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage and some other vegetables are all members of the cruciferous family.
Although they are extremely healthy, they are also very gassy and can cause bloat if fed to excess and this can be an uncomfortable but more importantly dangerous condition for a guinea pig.
With cruciferous veggies, it’s important not to feed large amounts and not give them too often either. They should always be mixed with non-cruciferous veg to provide a good balance of different nutrition which will help keep your guinea pigs healthy.
Having looked at the nutrition, we can’t see any reason why your guinea pigs can’t eat the cauliflower florets. Cauliflower florets contain vitamins and minerals that are good for your guinea pigs. But we do recommend only small quantities mixed with a good variety of other fresh veggies and perhaps a very small piece of fruit occasionally.
Guinea pigs can eat cauliflower leaves and, in fact, the main part of your guinea pigs’ fresh daily veggies should consist of a mixture of green leaves.
Although these are often cut away from the cauliflower before they reach the supermarket, there are usually some leaves still attached to the vegetable.
If you have a fruit and veg market or a farm shop nearby, you may be able to get cauliflowers with the leaves intact. And if they don’t sell cauliflower with the leaves, it would be worth asking if they can keep some aside for you.
The stalks of a cauliflower can be fed to your guinea pig. They don’t always like this part but it’s worth a try to see if your piggies might eat it. This part of the vegetable is often thrown away but it contains a lot of nutrition that is good for guinea pigs and in fact food for humans too.
Below is the nutritional value per 100g of cauliflower