Ten Microgreens for Raising Healthy Rabbits, Hamsters, Chipmunks, and Guinea Pigs

Ten Microgreens for Raising Healthy Rabbits, Hamsters, Chipmunks, and Guinea Pigs

I was talking with my cousin Geoff the other day about the health benefits of microgreens, and he asked me, “What are ten microgreens for raising healthy rabbits?

I couldn’t pronounce his name, Warren, so when I was little, I used to call him “Ren.” Uncle Ren, an agriculturist, and farmer, lived in the hills overlooking the city. I don’t know how he did it, but just imagine tens of rabbit hutches perched on the side of a terraced hill behind his house.

I remember Sunday visits feeding the rabbits lettuce and spinach leaves. And after my cousin asked me that question, I did some reading and talked some more with him.

Growing microgreens for raising healthy rabbits, hamsters, chipmunks, and guinea pigs are a natural process that is easy and inexpensive. The diet of these pets includes a high percentage of vegetables. By focusing on the regular intake of these pets, you, as a pet owner, can incorporate microgreens into their daily diet.

This article will show you how to introduce microgreens into the essential diet of your rabbit, hamster, chipmunk, and guinea pig pets.

Microgreens As The Basic Diet of Your Small Mammal

The basic diet of a rabbit

If you have rabbits, you know that a high percentage of the rabbits’ diet is grass or hay, while about 20% are leafy vegetables. Hay, as a significant source of fiber, is an excellent diet that promotes proper digestion. Grass hay, which contains less protein and calcium, is suitable for rabbits. Clover hay and alfalfa are not good for rabbits as they contain high protein and calcium.

Rabbits require feed to maintain maximum health. Besides hay, feeding your rabbits some pellet mixes which contain seeds, grains, dehydrated vegetables, and dried corn is an excellent way to supplement their diet. However, it is essential to note that feeding baby rabbits with pellet mixes can be harmful to their health.

You must ration the number of pellets you feed your pets, as some seeds and grains can be harmful to them. If pellets cause digestive problems for your rabbits, visit a qualified veterinarian about the number of pellets to feed your rabbits as different rabbits have different needs.

Vegetables are an essential part of the rabbits’ diet. Feeding your pet microgreens is an excellent way to ensure their maximum health. Fresh microgreens low in sugar and starch are the best to feed your rabbits. Some of them include cilantro, kale, spinach, lettuce, radicchio, and celery. Avoid peas as they are rich in sugar.

The basic diet of a hamster

Hamsters are small rodents kept as house pets. The most common pet hamster is the Syrian hamster, also known as the teddy bear hamster or golden hamster.

Hamsters like to eat seeds, grains, nuts, cracked corn, fruits, and vegetables. A captive hamster’s diet should be at least 16 percent protein and 5 percent fat, according to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies.

Hamster’s teeth grow continually. Chewing on wood or twigs keeps their teeth short. Without something to chew on, their teeth would become so long they would injure the roof of the mouth and lips.

Typically, a Syrian only requires about a tablespoon of food per day, plus a supplement or fruits and vegetables. That doesn’t mean to ration food at a tablespoon per day, like all living animals, the daily intake fluctuates. Depending on the size of the food dish, there should be an ample supply of mixed grains that your hamsters can eat. Hamsters, by instinct, know what grains or seeds to eat to give their body the proper nourishment and essential vitamins to maintain good health.

A staple diet from a respected manufacturer is a good start, but don’t forget fresh vegetables! Hamsters love plants and need them to stay in top form. Don’t overdo. A small amount of grass, clover, or carrots a day is good. Too much lettuce or leafy greens (kale, arugula, etc.) can cause diarrhea.

The basic diet of chipmunks

Chipmunks have not been in the pet world for very long, so I still consider them “semi-wild.” If purchased at a young age, your chipmunk can respond to its name and become accustomed to gentle handling. NEVER try to take a chipmunk from the wild and tame it. Wild chipmunks DO NOT make good pets.

Most pet stores sell chipmunks, but it is best to get one through a private breeder. Pet stores usually have chipmunks that are caught in the wild, whereas breeders have hand-tamed animals. Breeders also provide complete, detailed information on pet

There is no ‘perfect diet’ for a chipmunk. Each chipmunk will have its own food preference, so make sure you observe your pet when it eats. Make sure you have a food dish. A ceramic one is best. Your pet cannot easily tip it over.

Also, there needs to be a constant water source in the form of a dish or bottle. You can buy a rodent drip bottle, which is available in pet stores. It is essential to keep the bottle or dish filled and to keep the dish clean always.

Chipmunks store food in their cheeks and then later hide it somewhere safe. Don’t panic and assume something is wrong when chipmunks do this, as it is a natural process, and they do this out of instinct.

Chipmunks are omnivores. A balanced diet of your chipmunk should contain about 50% cereals such as oats, corn, barley, and wheat.

You can spice up their diet by feeding them small amounts of fruits and vegetables.

You can feed sunflower seeds and peanuts to your pet in small quantities. A healthy dose of chopped fruits like apples, walnuts, grapes, and avocados will improve the overall health of your chipmunk.

The basic diet of a guinea pig

Guinea pigs are herbivores. They survive on fresh hay, leafy vegetables, and fruits. The bulk of their food is low-calcium fresh hay because its fibrous nature gives the guinea pigs something to gnaw, and it helps wear down the continuous growth of their teeth.

Feeding your guinea pigs pellets and fresh, leafy vegetables is a great way to keep them healthy. Microgreens such as lettuce, broccoli, kale, cilantro, and cauliflower are ideal for guinea pigs.

A moderate amount of fruits high in Vitamin C and low in sugar are suitable for guinea pigs. As a pet owner, ensure to add the right amount of Vitamin C to the diet of your guinea pig to prevent scurvy.  Avoid feeding them fruits high in sugar because they can cause intestinal imbalance.

The Ten Microgreens to Feed Them

Just as important as hay and pellets are to rabbits, hamsters, chipmunks, and guinea pigs, adding a moderate amount of vegetation to their diet is an excellent way to promote their health.

When you feed your pets a healthy amount of these vegetables, you will improve their overall health and provide the required nutrients.

And yes, microgreens are a good idea for these pets and can play a significant role in their growth.  As a pet owner, add a small portion of microgreens to their diet.

Rabbits and guinea pigs are herbivores. Hamsters and chipmunks are omnivores. This means that a moderate intake of microgreens can suit them both.

Research has shown that microgreens are 40 times more vital than mature vegetables. Your pets will get a high level of nutrients when you feed them microgreens.

Microgreens contain high amounts of minerals and vitamins, especially Vitamin C.

They are safe and nutritious, providing your pets with the right amount of nutrients to enhance their growth.

Some pet owners avoid feeding their rabbits, hamsters, chipmunks, and guinea pigs microgreens because they believe that they are too bitter or spicy.

The ten microgreens I recommend are not spicy or bitter, but milder and sweeter.

Different types of Microgreens

Types of microgreens to feed your rabbits, hamsters, chipmunks, and guinea pigs

There is a wide range of microgreens to choose from to feed to your pets.

Below are ten microgreens for raising healthy rabbits, hamsters, chipmunks, and guinea pigs that I believe are best.

MicrogreensRabbitsHamstersChipmunksGuinea Pigs
Alfalfa, popularly known as the father of all foods, is a microgreen that has a nutty, crunchy, and mild flavor. It is green and rich in antioxidants, essential for the healthy functions of your pets.Don’t FeedFeedFeedFeed
Arugula, also known as rocket, is a unique form of microgreen that has a peppery flavor. Feed your pet arugula in moderation. Arugula regulates many bodily functions of your pets.FeedDon’t FeedFeedFeed
Barley is usually used as fodder for a good deal of livestock, including rabbits and guinea pigs. It is high in nutrients and dietary fiber, which promotes digestion and your pet’s development.FeedFeedFeedFeed
Basil: there is a wide variety of basil. Some have a sweet flavor, while others have a lemon-like flavor. By adding a small portion of basil leaves to your pets’ food, your pets will have a high level of nutrients.FeedFeedFeedFeed
Broccoli: it is a common form of microgreens that you can add to the daily food of your rabbits and guinea pigs. Its flavor is mild and crunchy. Feeding your rabbits and guinea pigs, a small portion of broccoli leaves provides them with adequate nutrients for optimal growth.FeedFeedFeedFeed
Buckwheat: because of its sweet flavor, it is an excellent addition to your pets’ food. However, give them small amounts of buckwheat for a start and observe their reaction. If they don’t show any sign of sensitivity, you can increase the portion. Buckwheat contains a high level of nutrients that will improve the development of your pets.FeedFeedFeedFeed
Cabbage: it is a common form of microgreens known for its high nutritional value in pets’ diet. The flavor is slightly sweet and mild, and it contains an abundant amount of Vitamin C, which is vital in the diet of rabbits, hamsters, chipmunks, and guinea pigs. By adding a good portion of cabbage to the daily diet of your pets, you are increasing the nutrients level of their diet.FeedFeedFeedFeed
Carrot: not only do rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs eat carrots, they also eat carrot microgreens. They are rich in minerals and vitamins-especially Vitamin C, which prevents scurvy in guinea pigs. Provide small portions of carrot microgreens for your pets.FeedFeedDon’t feedFeed
Cauliflower: high in nutrients and vitamins, it is an excellent addition to the diet of your pets. Its flavor is mild and slightly peppery. Introduce a small portion of cauliflower to the diet plan of your pets as it provides a high amount of fiber needed to keep them full. If you notice that your pet is sensitive to cauliflower, visit a veterinarian for proper examination.FeedFeedFeedFeed
Cilantro: it is an excellent microgreens that you can add to the food of your pets. You should give them in moderation to avoid health complications. Introduce it to their diet and note their sensitivity. A moderate portion of cilantro leaves provides your pets with a high nutritional level and vitamins.FeedDon’t feedFeedFeed
Table1: Which microgreens to feed your rabbits, hamsters, chipmunks, and guinea pigs

Microgreens to avoid

There are some microgreens that you should not feed your small mammal pets.

MicrogreensDescription
KaleAvoid giving it to young pets daily as it causes bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Only adult rabbits and guinea pigs can handle kale.
LettuceAs nutritious as lettuce is, some types of lettuce are harmful to these pets. For example, iceberg lettuce is harmful to young rabbits because it contains lactucarium. Because of the leafy and fibrous nature of lettuce, it can cause digestive problems if given in large quantities.
DillBecause of the high content of calcium in dill, it is not safe to feed it to your guinea pigs in large quantities because it can cause digestive problems.
PeasContain high levels of phosphorous, sugar, and fiber, which make it dangerous for rabbits. Avoid giving peas to your pet rabbit as it causes serious digestive problems. If your rabbit eats a pea by mistake, it will not cause a problem. Whenever you notice a sudden change in the health of your pet, visit a veterinarian for proper treatment.
RadishA large portion of radish causes bloating and gas, which threaten their health. Keep a close eye on your pet and observe any changes in their health in the first 24 hours.
SpinachContains a high level of oxalic acid and iron, which, when taken in large quantities, can be risky to the health of your pets. Avoid giving a daily portion of spinach to them.
Table 2. Which microgreens to avoid feeding your rabbits, hamsters, chipmunks, and guinea pigs

How Much Microgreens to Feed Them

As the saying goes, “too much of anything isn’t good.” Feeding your pet. The right amount of microgreens is significant. About 80% of the diet of rabbits and guinea pigs is hay.  Besides hay, add a small portion of microgreens to the diet of your pets daily.

You can combine the remaining 20% with 10% fruits and vegetables and 10% microgreens.

By introducing microgreens to the diet of your pets, you are promoting their health and ensuring optimal nutritional value.

Microgreens like celery, sunflower, and mushrooms make up a good percentage of chipmunks’ diet. Introduce a small portion of their food for their growth and development.

How to train your pets to eat microgreens

Some pets don’t enjoy eating microgreens unless you train them. Choose microgreens that are digestible and have a sweet flavor. After each successful eating of the microgreens, you can reward your pets with treats, reinforce their behavior, and improve their microgreens eating behavior.

The Cost of Feeding Them Microgreens

Microgreens can be pricy, $1.50 – $3.00 per ounce. A bag of organic spinach costs $0.40 – $0.80 per ounce. But spinach microgreens deliver five to forty times more nutrients than mature leaves.

One way to cut down on the cost of microgreens is by growing them at home.

You can grow them in small or large trays depending on the needs of your pets. If you don’t have time to grow them, you can buy microgreens from local farmers, as this will reduce the amount you will spend when you buy in food stores.

Although microgreens cost more, adding small portions to their diets will give your rabbit, hamster, chipmunk, or guinea pig a balanced diet.

You will have a happy pet.

Benefits of microgreens to your pets

Microgreens have high levels of nutrients and vitamins. They are rich in Vitamin A, C, E, and K. According to a study conducted by a U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) researcher and a team of scientists, microgreens such as red cabbage, cilantro amongst others, contain the highest concentrations of Vitamin C, carotenoids, vitamin K, and vitamin E.

When you feed your rabbit, hamster, chipmunk, or guinea pig microgreens, you ensure that they have high levels of vitamin C.

Vitamin C prevents scurvy, which can lead to a loss of appetite, diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and swollen joints.

Because of the high fiber content of microgreens, they provide your pets with something healthy to chew on. Microgreens contain high amounts of Vitamins A and C. Hence the mental health of your pets is secure.

The high fiber content of microgreens prevents bloating when given in small portions. This leads to improved digestion and proper clearing of the bowels.

Alfalfa, a microgreen rich in Vitamin K, promotes growth in your pets. By stimulating development and healthy bones, your pets will be happy.

Some microgreens low in sugar can prevent diabetes in your pets. They ensure the control of blood sugar and maintain overall growth.

Last Note

Microgreens play an essential part in your pet’s diet.

As a pet owner, you must ensure giving your pets the right proportion of microgreens.

Whenever you sense a change in the behavior of your pet, reconsider the food and microgreens you feed it.

Remember that a healthy pet is a happy pet.

D. Andrew Neves

D.Andrew.Neves Signature Small
08.23.2020

Hello. I am Andrew Neves, a cofounder of JPureFarms.

I live in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, with my wife and two sons and enjoys urban farming and growing microgreens.

When I’m not watching or coaching soccer, I write about microgreens around the world and their incredible health potential.

I’ve learned a lot about microgreens, how good they are for you, and what you can do with them.

Check out my guide, “The Beginner’s Nutritional Guide to Incredible Microgreens.”

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