Are you curious whether can guinea pigs eat yams? Well, the answer is a big YES! Yams are a type of root crop. They contain essential vitamins and nutrients that can help in the development of your cavies.
However, though a guinea pig’s diet is diverse, an excessive amount of food could disrupt their digestive system. They are sensitive to a lot of factors, and it could lead to confusion.
Do not worry, though. This article will talk about the good and bad sides of this “yam-azing” crop! Keep on scrolling to know more.
Quick Facts About Yams
- Yams and sweet potatoes commonly refer to be the same, but they are not.
- In China, there is a species of yam that serves as a replacement for dye.
- Many species of yams are dangerous and poisonous. However, when it is boiled and cooked, it can be safe to eat.
- Yam is a vegetable that contains much starch.
- The taste of yams vary. It can be sweet, bitter, or tasteless at all.
- Yams are rich in carbohydrates and energy. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals.
- You can cook yam in different ways. May it be roasted, boiled, fried, or baked.
- Some people call yam as sweet potato, but these two are very different from each other.
Health Benefits Of Yams
Can guinea pigs eat yams? Well, here are just some of the benefits if you feed your guinea pigs with yams:
Vitamin A is considered an antioxidant responsible for boosting the overall immunity and well-being of guinea pigs. It keeps the organs healthy and ensures that it is functioning well. Its essential role is to shield their body against free radicals that bring unfavorable conditions to your pet.
Guinea pigs cannot make their Vitamin C. In addition to this, guinea pigs are unable to store it inside their body. Scurvy happens when the body lacks Vitamin C, thus affecting the overall health of guinea pigs.
Foods with vitamins are very much needed, such as yams, to prevent health issues. Some symptoms include loss of appetite, bleeding, and weight loss.
Healthy blood and smooth digestion
You can also find iron, vitamin K, and fibers in yams. These contribute to healthier blood and regulate normal blood flow—sufficient fibers in their body help smooth digestion and excretion of waste.
Calcium makes this happen. Young guinea pigs need calcium to build and maintain strong bones. Meanwhile, adult guinea pigs should have a monitored amount of calcium in the body because too much of it may cause complications like urinary tract infection.
Energy and less stress
Riboflavin and Pantothenic Acid converts food to energy so your guinea pig will be more active. Vitamin B6 makes serotonin or the hormone that makes your pet sleep more and creates relaxed surroundings resulting in less stress.
Risks To Consider When Feeding Yams To Guinea Pigs
Making your guinea pigs healthy will surely make them happy. However, although yams contribute to making your guinea pigs strong and healthy, neglecting some conditions can make your guinea pigs weaker. Below are the risks you should consider when feeding yams to your guinea pigs.
For a baby guinea pig, calcium is essential for its growth and development. However, an excessive amount can lead to bladder and kidney stones, painful urinating, blood in the urine, and urinary infections for an adult guinea pig. Thus, consider giving yams as an occasional treat only.
Yams have a high amount of carbs and calories. Consider giving only small portions of yams to your guinea pigs, or else this would lead to rapid weight gain.
How To Prepare Yams For Guinea Pigs
Providing your guinea pigs with a tasty and healthy treat will brighten their day. Let us dive into the methods of preparing yams.
Step #1. Choosing a yam
First, choose a yam that has no cracks and is firm to touch. Yams should not be wrinkled. When storing yams, avoid putting raw yams in a refrigerator to contribute to a faster decay and spoilage rate.
Step #2. Washing it
Second, thoroughly wash the skin of the yams to eliminate pesticides that are harmful to guinea pigs. Third, peel the yams and slice them into smaller portions to avoid any choking hazard. Take note that you should not feed your guinea pigs cooked yams.
Can Guinea Pigs Have Yam Skin?
Guinea pigs cannot have yam skin because it could contain traces of pesticides and fertilizers harmful to them. Moreover, there is currently no significant scientific research concerning the nutritional benefits that the skin could give.
Why Can Not Guinea Pigs Eat Cooked Yams?
Guinea pigs are unable to eat cooked food. If you desire to feed your guinea pigs with this root crop, you should buy them fresh, organic ones instead.
How Often Should I Feed Guinea Pigs With Yams?
Yams could affect the health of your cavies when given in excessive amounts. They can only eat this root crop twice a week to prevent any abnormal food intake that could deplete health quality.
What Other Root Crops Can Guinea Pigs Have?
There are a lot of root crops that guinea pigs can add in their food intake. For instance, sweet potatoes are a great addition. They provide nutrients and minerals, as well as its leaves and stems.
Moreover, beetroot is also great for your piggies. These contain fiber, folate, potassium, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for their growth.
However, avoid giving potatoes to your cavies. Though they look familiar with sweet potatoes, both species are different. Potatoes contain alkaloids that are bad for the health of your pets. They also have high levels of starch, and it could upset their stomach. You should avoid giving them this.
It is also essential to take note that you should serve all root crops in adequate amounts. These contain high phosphorus levels and calcium that could affect your guinea pigs’ health when given daily. These should be considered as treats and be given only once to twice a week.
Are Sweet Potatoes The Same As Yams?
Though commonly interchanged, sweet potatoes are not the same as yams. Your guinea pigs, however, could consume both of them. You can either give them yams or sweet potatoes. Make sure to serve them in adequate amounts only.
Can guinea pigs eat yams? Absolutely! This root crop provides them with a lot of nutrients. However, consider feeding them in sufficient intervals and servings only. Any excessive food intake could lead to a lot of complications.
Your bond with your pets is an essential aspect of your life. May this guide serve as a reminder for you to prioritize your cavies’ health all the time. Good luck and best wishes!