What do they eat in a day?
I have a whole section on this website dedicated to nutrition, but here I will break it down into daily amounts. They should be given hay each day (ensure there is a constant supply), at least two vegetable meals and optionally supplement feed.
How much and what times?
Guinea pigs like routine, so having a set time each day to feed them is optimal. It doesn't matter what time of day you choose to feed your guinea pigs, but try to stick to those times each day. The amount of food depends on how many you have, their age, weight and many more factors. Hay should be offered in unlimited amounts. Forage may partly replace their vegetables during the warm season if given in large quantities and if it is varied. A supplement may be offered once a day if required.
What daily cleaning is needed?
Guinea pigs kept on fleece should be spot cleaned at least once daily. The amount you should clean their habitat depends on factors such as how many guinea pigs you have and the size of their enclosure. Using a litter tray can help keep the habitat cleaner, particularly with a smaller group, or a pair.
Part or full bedding change?
Usually spot cleaning is sufficient if done regularly. This saves money and reduces waste. Doing a full clean every so often is a good idea (including disinfecting). For larger herds, doing regular full bedding changes may be a more manageable way to maintain the cleanliness of the habitat.
Use vinyl flooring as the base of your cavy home to make it waterproof.
Line with newspaper for an extra absorbent layer.
Use a water and vinegar solution for cleaning (mix equal parts in spray bottle).
Use low dust horse bedding (saves money).
daily routine example
Here is a guide you can implement into your own daily routine.
Please note: the timings you do the jobs doesn't matter so much. It is more important to have a routine that fits around your schedules and commitments.
Keep it simple! A basic routine is likely to be more sustainable and feel less overwhelming.
Prepare fresh food and feed them as much as needed. Check they are all coming out for food and ensure they are all behaving as normal. A quick observation may detect any signs of illness
(e.g. refusal to eat, lethargic, signs of pain)
Spot clean if needed, removing any soiled areas of bedding, or alternatively sweeping up faeces and changing litter trays if fleece is being used. Wash fleece if required.
Change their water and wash out any food bowls if needed. Top up hay racks if they are starting to run out. In the warm season, this is a good time to start collecting forage (this could also be done in the morning).
Top up of fresh food. Wether that be vegetables, herbs, forage and grasses or a combination of these. It is best for guinea pigs to consume fresh food little and often so their should be enough to last until the next feeding.
Close up any doors, windows etc. During the cold season, providing straw in the evening inside their hutches is an ideal if housed outdoors.