Alfalfa, also known as lucerne is a type of herb which is used in all sorts of ways. It is used to make hay, for its sprouts, flowers and leaves.
For people, alfalfa is full of health benefits with essential vitamins and minerals- but can guinea pigs eat alfalfa?
Yes but once a month in tiny amounts
Alfalfa is too high in calcium for safe consumption but babies under six months and pregnant sows may have small amounts for their health. With adults this can lead to bladder stones and other health problems because it is far too rich to be a staple diet.
Alfalfa Sprouts- can be eaten once or twice a week in tiny amounts.
Alfalfa Hay- you may have already heard of alfalfa hay which comes in bales or bags from the pet store. Although guinea pigs need hay to keep their ever-growing teeth down, alfalfa hay is only beneficial to babies under six months old, pregnant and/or nursing females. Note: It is more commonly known as lucerne hay!
Alfalfa Pellets- Some companies use lucerne instead of meadow hay in their pellets and this should be avoided unless your guinea pig needs the extra calcium.
How to Grow Your Own!
Remembering that you can only pick a tiny bit at a time as a treat for your guinea pigs. I recommend growing alfalfa sprouts because you only need to use few at a time, but the plant is a perennial that is easy to grow and keep. To grow sprouts, you can either use a jar of water or a container of soil.
To grow the sprouts in a jar- put the desired amount of seeds in a jar and pour enough water to cover them on top. Leave them overnight in a cool, dark place. Rinse the seeds twice a day until you begin to see sprouts appear. Dry them out before serving them but remember that most of them will be for you! Only a couple for your guinea pigs 😉
To grow sprouts in soil- Fill a seed tray partly with soil and then, with a teaspoon spread your seeds evenly over the tray. Now sprinkle soil over the seeds and water with warm water twice a day every day. Within six days you should see the sprouts coming up!
Alfalfa Plant- The alfalfa plant loves lots of sun and well drained soil but is very hardy once it has been fully established.
For information on the correct diet care- please see the “diet section” of this website! If you have any questions please feel free to leave me a comment and I will get back to you asap. Thank you!