Everybody that has a guinea pig has been at least once tempted to feed the cavy with some tasty foods that we humans eat. Guinea pig owners know how cute it is to give the little furball something new to eat but not every type of food is safe for them. In this article, we will explore a very common food that most people have in their breakfast, and naturally, we are talking about the eggs.
Most people love eggs as there are many ways to prepare them for example sunny-side-up, scrambled, poached, boiled eggs, and so on. But, are eggs healthy or tasty for the cavies? We have to keep in mind that guinea pigs are herbivore animals and eggs certainly don’t fall into the list of safe foods for their diet. Nevertheless, let’s find out more about guinea pigs and eggs.
Can guinea pigs eat eggs? Guinea pigs can’t eat eggs because they are herbivore animals, which means that their digestive system is not designed to process foods such as eggs. They can eat roots, herbs, leafy greens, veggies, fruits, and even some flowers. Their diet mainly consists of hay, pellets, water, and occasional leafy greens and fruits.
Eggs are known to be very healthy and beneficial for humans, but why is this food so harmful to guinea pigs? In the following sections, find out what are the possible risks if you give eggs to guinea pigs. Let’s begin!
Nutrition Facts of Eggs
In 100 g of eggs, there is:
- Energy – 148 kcal
- Protein – 12.4 g
- Total lipid (fat) – 9.96 g
- Carbs – 0.96 g
- Dietary Fiber – 0 g
- Sugars – 0.2 g
- Cholesterol – 411 mg
- Calcium – 48 mg
- Iron – 1.67 mg
- Magnesium – 11.4 mg
- Phosphorus – 184 mg
- Potassium – 132 mg
- Sodium – 129 mg
- Zinc – 1.24 mg
- Thiamin – 0.077 mg
- Riboflavin – 0.419 mg
- Folate – 71 µg
- Vitamin B-6 – 0.063 mg
- Vitamin B-12 – 1.02 µg
- Vitamin A – 180 µg
- Vitamin C – 0 g
- Vitamin D – 2.46 µg
Risks of Feeding Eggs to Guinea Pigs
Considering that there are not enough beneficial nutrients in eggs and no health benefits of feeding eggs to guinea pigs, in this section, we will take a look at the most important risks.
Bad for Digestion
As we have already said, guinea pigs are herbivores, and they have a sensitive digestive system that is made for processing only plant-based foods. They shouldn’t consume any food that comes from other animals such as milk, cheese, or meat. Also, there are no dietary fibers in eggs, and without fibers, their digestion will be slower and more complex, considering that fibers help guinea pigs to have easy and fast digestion.
Even for humans, too many eggs, or having eggs every single day is not recommended. This is mainly because of the amount of cholesterol and fat in eggs. Cholesterol and fat are needed for some basic functions in the body, but they still increase the risk of cardiovascular problems and can damage the blood vessels. The amount of cholesterol and fat in eggs is simply too high for guinea pigs to handle.
The most damaging risks of eggs are the calcium and sodium levels. This is what makes eggs very unhealthy food for guinea pigs. These amounts of calcium and sodium in eggs aren’t good for guinea pigs because calcium together with sodium can create urinary problems such as stones in the bladder or kidneys. Otherwise, calcium is good for healthy and strong bones, but for adult guinea pigs, this mineral is not useful.
No Vitamin C
Eggs have no vitamin C. Without it, guinea pigs can get a disease called scurvy. The symptoms of this disease are the following: rough coat, swollen joints, internal bleeding, no appetite, and so on. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for guinea pigs because they can’t produce it in their bodies, and they need different foods that have a good amount of this vitamin in order to lead a healthy life.
More Information About Guinea Pigs and Eggs
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Scrambled Eggs?
Guinea pigs can’t eat scrambled eggs, even though this way, eggs are processed, it’s important to remember that guinea pigs shouldn’t eat any processed food. Their digestive system isn’t made to digest that type of food, so you need to avoid feeding scrambled eggs to guinea pigs.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Boiled Eggs?
Now that we know that guinea pigs can’t eat scrambled eggs and eggs in general, what about cooked or boiled eggs? Can guinea pigs eat cooked eggs? Guinea pigs can’t eat cooked or boiled eggs because, as we have said, they can’t eat any processed foods which also includes cooked foods. Even if it looks good to feed guinea pigs with hard-boiled eggs in the morning, please don’t do that as you could even potentially cause fatal damage to them.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Fried Eggs?
Guinea pigs can’t eat fried eggs for the same reasons that we mentioned for scrambled and boiled eggs. It would be hard for their digestive system to process fried eggs, and guinea pigs will get serious digestive problems and stomach pains. They can only eat fresh and raw foods in form of vegetables and fruits.
Do Guinea Pigs Lay Eggs?
Guinea pigs don’t lay eggs. They are mammals, and have their own specific way of breeding and reproducing. They are divided into males and females, male guinea pigs are called boars, and females sows. Female guinea pigs can get pregnant, and their pregnancy can last for around two months. Little piggies that have been born are called pups. These little pups are born with hair and teeth, and they can also see and walk.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Egg Boxes / Egg Cartons?
Guinea pigs shouldn’t eat egg boxes or egg cartons, but you can use them for other things. For example, egg cartons can be toys for playing, chewing, hiding, and pushing around. Also, you can be creative and make different DIY toys for guinea pigs by using egg boxes.
Some guinea pigs owners have reported that they use egg cartons for serving guinea pig’s food in them. Open the egg box and put inside a few pieces of bell peppers, cucumbers or zucchini, and some hay. Your guinea pig will love it. Just be sure to use egg cartons made from paper (reusable and biodegradable materials).
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Egg Whites?
As we have already said, guinea pigs can’t eat eggs, so the same thing applies to the egg whites. Guinea pigs can’t eat egg whites, and you should avoid feeding eggs in general to guinea pigs. Even if you heard that some guinea pig’s owners give egg whites to their guinea pigs, you shouldn’t do that. Guinea pig’s stomach will get upset, and they will not have any benefits from eating egg whites.
Can Guinea Pigs Eat Egg Shells?
Guinea pigs can’t eat eggshells. Eggshells are too hard and sharp for their mouth, they will upset guinea pig’s stomach or even cause them fatal problems. Also, eggshells don’t have any beneficial nutrients for guinea pigs. Eggshells have a lot of calcium, which isn’t good for guinea pigs because this mineral can cause kidney stones.
Quick Facts on Eggs and Guinea Pigs
- Guinea pigs can’t eat eggs because eggs lack a lot of nutrients they need.
- Also, eggs have no vitamin C, which is an essential vitamin for the guinea pig’s health.
- Eggs have lots of cholesterol, which is terrible for the heart and blood vessels.
- Eggs lack carbs and fibers.
- Also, eggs have lots of calcium. This is bad because calcium can create urinary stones in guinea pigs.
Before I let you go, one final thought on food. With food, you can’t ever be too careful which is why I get all guinea pig food from a reliable source such as Amazon. If you are not sure what to order but believe your little piggies deserve some great treats please check our Helpful Guide to the Best Guinea Pig Treats to get some ideas. We have also made a full list of foods that guinea pigs can and can’t eat (150+ Types of Foods). Be sure to also check our recommended products page for everything you will ever need to assure a happy life for your Guinea Pigs. Hope this information was helpful and you have found the answer you were looking for.
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List of Sources
National Research Council (US) Subcommittee on Laboratory Animal Nutrition, Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals: Fourth Revised Edition, 1995., Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1995.
Norman, R., Wills, A. P., An Investigation into the Relationship between Owner Knowledge, Diet, and Dental Disease in Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus), Animals: an open access journal from MDPI, 2016.
Witkowska, A., Price, J., Hughes, C., Smith, D., White, K., Alibhai, A., Rutland C. S., The Effects of Diet on Anatomy, Physiology and Health in the Guinea Pig, Journal of Animal Health and Behavioural Science, 2017.
Hirsch, E., Some determinants of intake and patterns of feeding in the Guinea pig, Physiology & Behavior, 1973.