Can Guinea Pigs Eat Kohlrabi? (Benefits, Risks, Serving Size & More)

How many of you have tried kohlrabi, or heard of it? This is quite a strange name and it resembles something very familiar. It is a veggie with big leaves, and many people say it resembles a beetroot for example. Basically, this veggie is a type of turnip (german turnip), so you can often see it in different colors like white and sometimes purple! There is a lot to say for this veggie, and the focus now is whether our guinea pigs can consume it or not.

Can guinea pigs eat kohlrabi? Yes, guinea pigs can eat kohlrabi. This veggie has good nutrients that the guinea pig needs, such as the essential vitamin C. There are other nutrients as well, so this veggie is a really nice addition to the diet of the guinea pigs. It is best to feed guinea pigs with kohlrabi 2 times per week. 

Guinea pigs can eat kohlrabi and reap all the benefits of this veggie. This veggie is also called cabbage turnip or German turnip. It belongs to the same veggie family as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and collard greens. Now let’s talk about its benefits for guinea pigs.

Main Health Benefits of Guinea Pigs Eating Kohlrabi

  • Healthy weight – the kohlrabi will not make your guinea pig chubby. This veggie doesn’t contribute to a rapid weight gain because it is low in calories, carbs, and proteins. These are the main factors that increase weight when consumed in excess.

  • Antioxidants – the role of antioxidants is to remove the damage of the free radicals that cause early aging and diseases. In kohlrabi, there are some very beneficial and strong antioxidants. For example, vitamin A, manganese, and selenium. Vitamin A keeps the bones, soft tissues, teeth, white blood cells, and the whole immune system healthy. The manganese reduces the risk of diseases, reduces inflammation and it normalizes the sugar levels in the blood. The selenium reduces the risk of some cancers, as well as heart diseases.

  • Scurvy prevention – there is vitamin C in kohlrabi, and this is almost all your cavy needs! This is the one and only essential vitamin needed for the health and survival of guinea pigs. They don’t make vitamin C naturally, and when they have it in the organism, they cannot store it. So, vitamin C from supplements or food is always a good thing. With a lack of vitamin C, guinea pigs can get scurvy (these are the symptoms of this disease: no appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, fatigue, discharge, bleeding…)

  • Healthy blood – the iron and copper in kohlrabi contribute to healthier blood that will be less prone to anemia. The iron is a vital mineral that fights the anemia and gives energy and boosts the immune system. Iron is mostly found in the red blood cells. The copper creates new red blood cells, and this mineral also helps with better absorption of the iron.

Related: Vegetables: Give kohlrabi a try

Nutrition Facts on Kohlrabi

Nutrition Facts on Kohlrabi

Here are the nutrition facts for 100 g (3 oz) of kohlrabi, raw:

  • Low in calories – 27
  • Low in carbs – 6.2g
  • Low in protein – 1.7g
  • Fibers – 3.6g
  • Sugars – 2.6g
  • Vitamin A – 1%
  • Vitamin C – 103%
  • Vitamin E – 2%
  • Thiamin – 3%
  • Riboflavin – 1%
  • Niacin – 2%
  • Vitamin B6 – 8%
  • Pantothenic acid – 2%
  • Calcium – 24mg
  • Iron – 2%
  • Magnesium – 5%
  • Phosphorus – 46mg
  • Potassium – 10%
  • Copper – 6%
  • Manganese – 7%
  • Selenium – 1%

Risks to Consider When Giving Kohlrabi to Guinea Pigs

  • Urinary complications – this veggie contains calcium and phosphorus. These two nutrients are harmful for the guinea pigs, if they consume them in large amounts. Why? Well, when too much calcium and phosphorus is ingested by guinea pigs, they will pile up in their urinary systems. Further, they can create kidney and bladder stones, or cause bloody urine, painful urination, or even frequent urinary infections.

  • Digestion problems – there is a small amount of sugar in kohlrabi but you should still be careful. Sugar can’t be properly digested by cavies, and it causes stomach pains, bloating or cramps to them. Also, kohlrabi is a type of veggie that often causes gassiness and bloating, so try to serve it sparingly each time. More details in the sections below.

Kohlrabi: Serving Size, Frequency, and Preparation for Guinea Pigs

The serving size of kohlrabi shouldn’t be too big, because otherwise, it may cause bloating. A small chunk/piece is generally a good serving size. For example, 3 cm of the bulb is perfect or if you serve the leaves too, then one medium size leaf. As far as frequency, 2 times per week is more than enough.

The preparation is simple – do not cook the kohlrabi because guinea pigs cannot eat cooked food. Also, you must peel the bulb before you cut a piece of it for the cavy. If you give him the leaves, rinse them well with water. Same goes for the bulb, rinse it, and then peel it.

What If My Guinea Pig Consumes Cooked Kohlrabi?

The cavy will survive, but it will most likely have stomach pains, or bloating and digestion problems. The stomachs of guinea pigs are not designed to digest cooked foods well, so give only raw kohlrabi and its leaves.

What Other Veggies Can Be Served Together with the Kohlrabi? I Want to Make a Salad for My Guinea Pig, so What Can Pair Well with This?

Prepare a nice salad treat for the guinea pig by mixing veggies that are safe for consumption. Let’s say, leaves and bulb of kohlrabi, then some spinach, a bit of broccoli florets, and kale. Or, combine the kohlrabi bulb and leaves with some bell pepper, and parsley. Be creative, and your cavy will be thrilled to try a nice colorful salad!

Fun Facts on Kohlrabi

  • The name kohlrabi comes from the German word ‘kohl’ meaning cabbage, and ‘rabi’ meaning turnip.
  • This veggie originates from northeast Europe.
  • Back in 1554, a European botanist described kohlrabi for the first time.
  • In the 16th century, this veggie was widely known in Germany, Italy, England, Tripoli, Spain, and the Mediterranean area.
  • In the USA, kohlrabi is used since 1806.
  • Today, the countries that produce the most kohlrabi are Germany, Austria, and Switzerland
  • The height of this plant can be between 25-40 cm
  • The largest kohlrabi was grown in the USA, by Scott Robb. it weighed almost 97 pounds.
  • Many varieties of kohlrabi are grown, these are some of them White Vienna, Grand Duke, Purple Vienna, Gigante, White Danube, and Purple Danube.
  • The flesh of kohlrabi is crispy and slightly sweet. The flavor is similar to broccoli, or the cabbage heart (except sweeter).
  • The leaves of kohlrabi can be purple or green.
  • The young kohlrabi is quite sweet and the texture resembles a mix of cucumber and radish. The matured kohlrabi is quite chewy, woody, and even unpalatable.
  • Certain kohlrabi varieties are cultivated as cattle food mostly.
  • We usually prepare kohlrabi in these ways: steamed, braised, stir-fried, or stuffed.
  • Kohlrabi is harvested in October.
  • The skin of kohlrabi is quite tough, that’s why you have to peel it.
  • For reaching full maturity, kohlrabi requires a time period of 45-60 days.
  • In the fridge, kohlrabi can last up to a few weeks.

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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