Peas are an excellent snack for guinea pigs, and our guinea pigs love to munch on them, but what about pea flakes? A lot of guinea pigs owners often ask if their guinea pigs can eat pea flakes? How good is it for the guinea pigs? I also had a few doubts regarding the same in my mind, so I decided to do some research, and here is what I learned.
Guinea pigs can eat pea flakes. Pea flake is a great snack for them; however, serves it in moderation to avoid health issues. If you feed them excessively, the high protein in pea flakes can lead to obesity and urinary problems in guinea pigs.
So, pea flakes are not a regular part of their diet, then what is? A balanced diet for guinea pigs consists of 80% hay, 15% Vegetables, 5% pellets, and some occasional treats.
If you want that your guinea pigs remain healthy and live a long life, then you should make sure you provide them a well-balanced diet.
If you live in the U.S, then pea flakes might not be something you can get in your local store nearby. If you can find them, I’m sure your guinea pigs will fall in love with them. My guinea pigs can’t stop wheeking when they know it’s coming!
If you are unsure what pea flakes are then let me clear it out first:
What are pea flakes?
Pea flakes are snacks basically made out of dried split green peas. The peas are processed and rolled using a rolling pin(with no added ingredient) and then baked further to form a crunchy and tasty looking snack.
They are healthier than other treats as they contain no added additives like sugar or preservatives. They are made up of a single organic vegetable, and that is green pea.
So, now that you know what pea flakes are let us look at its nutrients.
Nutrition in pea flakes?
Pea flakes are rich in Vitamins, Protein, Fiber, and other essential nutrients like Lysine, Magnesium, Etc. As pea flakes are made out of peas, they are rich in Vitamin c, Vitamin A, and other essential vitamins that are needed for the proper functioning of the body.
Pea flakes are also an excellent source of protein, which is necessary for the growth of the body. It also helps in gaining some weight for the ones who are underweight.
They are also rich sources of Lysine and magnesium, which is used for the prevention of various diseases and making the immune system stronger.
Okay Okay! I got that pea flakes are excellent sources of vitamins and other essential nutrients for our guinea pigs, but is there something wrong that can harm our guinea pigs? Let’s find out!
Are pea flakes bad for guinea pigs?
No, pea flakes are safe for our guinea pigs unless we overfeed it. Anything in excess can be bad for their health, and the same goes for pea flakes also.
Here are some common problems that can be caused by overfeeding pea flakes to your guinea pigs:
- Obesity: Pea flakes are high in protein and also contains some fat in it. It is okay if we feed it in small quantities; however, excessive feeding can result in weight gain and obesity in the long run.
- Urinary problem: Pea flakes are an excellent source of rare nutrients like Lysine that is needed in a small amount. However, excessive doses of the Lysine can lead to urinary problems in guinea pigs.
- Diarrhea: Guinea pigs have a sensitive digestive system. If we feed anything in excess or introduce new food quickly, then it can lead to diarrhea in guinea pigs. Always make sure you add new food slowly and feed in it small quantities to avoid such health issues.
Are pea flakes good for guinea pigs?
Yes, pea flakes do contain some good nutrients which are beneficial for our guinea pigs. Some of the benefits of pea flakes for our guinea pigs include:
- Rich source of Vitamins: Pea flakes are an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and other essential nutrients that are needed by our guinea pigs. While Vitamin C helps in fortifying their immune system, Vitamin A helps in improving eyesight and recovery of tissues. Vitamin K is also crucial for them as it helps in quicker healing of wounds.
- Helps prevent diseases: Pea flakes are rich in lysine & other antioxidants that help prevent several diseases in guinea pigs. It is necessary to provide a diet rich in such an antioxidant for the good health of our guinea pigs. Tomatoes, Pears & bell pepper are other sources of such antioxidants.
- Good for their gut: Pea flakes are rich in fiber as well. Fiber is one of the most crucial nutrients needed by our guinea pigs. Having a sensitive digestive system, guinea pigs need a diet rich in fiber to make sure their digestive system remains balanced, and their bowel movement remains good.
Are pea flakes good for training guinea pigs?
Yes, pea flakes are an excellent choice to train and tame our guinea pigs. Guinea pigs can build a close bond with owners who hand feed them, and there cannot be anything better than pea flakes for the same.
Some guinea pig owners also use pea flakes as a positive reinforcement to teach their guinea pigs some tricks. Although if you are planning to do the same, make sure you split the flake into half and serve only a couple of pieces to avoid excessive feeding.
So, how much pea flakes can you actually feed to your guinea pigs? I asked a few experts in the community as well as my vet friend to get a little more insight. Let’s see what I found out!
How much pea flakes can guinea pigs eat?
Experts in the community recommend feeding one or two pea flakes daily. You can toss an extra one in if you are taming your guinea pig but never go beyond that number.
Do make sure you don’t go beyond two if your guinea pigs are overweight already. Doing so can lead to obesity in the long-run, which can further lead to serious health issues in your guinea pigs.
Young guinea pigs or nursing guinea pigs do need some extra protein and nutrients, so feeding them two-three flakes shall be reasonable.
You can also feed two-three chips to an underweight guinea pig if you want to help them gain some weight.
Can guinea pigs eat pea flakes daily?
Yes, guinea pigs can eat pea flakes daily, considering you serve it in moderation. If you don’t exceed the suggested feeding we have discussed earlier, then you should have no problems at all.
Pea flakes are healthy snacks for our guinea pigs, and you can feed them regularly without any potential risks.
How to make guinea pig pea flakes?
Making pea flakes at home is pretty simple. You can follow the steps below to make it for your guinea pigs:
- Get a bag of organic split green peas and soak it in lukewarm water for a few hours.
- Once the pea is soaked and soft, you can use a rolling pin to flatten the peas.
- Next, you can use a baking tray, place aparchment paper sheet and place all the rolled peas on top.
- Heat the oven(convection mode) at 50°C or 125°F and place the baking tray in for baking. It should take around 25-30 minutes for the pea flakes to completely dry out and become crunchy.
- You can now store it in a closed airtight container for a few weeks without any problems. Serve it to your guinea pigs whenever you feel like offering one.
Yes, you can also make pea flakes at home; however, I have noticed that the size of the flakes and the quality of homemade flakes are not the best ones for hand-feeding your guinea pig.
Other healthy treats for guinea pigs
Yes, pea flakes are excellent snacks for our guinea pigs, but what are some other options of healthy snacks you can offer them?
Here are a few my guinea pigs go crazy for. You should give it a try, and I bet your guinea pigs will love it.
Commercial ready-made treats: Commercial treats make a tasty treat for our guinea pigs; however, they are high on calories as well.
Fresh fruits: Fresh fruits also make amazing snacks for our guinea pigs. You can offer fruits like Oranges, Apples, Watermelon, Peaches, Bananas, Strawberries, Etc to your guinea pigs. There are lots of other fruits as well. You can refer our list of 70+ fruits for guinea pigs to learn more about it.
Are pea flakes an excellent snack for your guinea pigs? Yes, guinea pigs love to munch on pea flakes, and that is healthy for your guinea pigs as well.
However, pea flakes are rich in proteins, and good fats that can lead to weight gain in the guinea pig is fed excessively. Thus, it is recommended to serve small quantities of pea flakes to your guinea pigs.
Source: The effects of diet on anatomy, physiology, and health in the guinea pig, Is Your Guinea Pig’s Diet Providing the Right Nutrients? Care of Guinea Pigs