Guinea pigs are grazers which means they are eating moderate amounts very regularly throughout the day. Like other grazing animals such as cows, the digestive system of guinea pigs has evolved to process continual consumption vegetative foods in standard amounts.
So unlike most of our other pets like cats and dogs where they are normally given meals, usually two relatively substantial main meals per day, guinea pigs aren’t thought of as meal-eaters and their digestion and health is primed for them to graze on healthy and appropriate food throughout the day.
What about at night time? Do guinea pigs go many hours all night without eating like we do?
No, guinea pigs will naturally want to graze on their hay during the night as well, so it’s critical that high quality hay is always provided and available – even at bed time.
Make sure your grass hay supply is checked at least twice a day and make sure it’s ready to go for night time grazing when you probably won’t be checking on your guinea pigs for 7 or more hours while you’re asleep. Do not put your guinea pigs in a hay-less enclosure or cage at night – they must have a good amount of grass hay with them.
Because guinea pigs are crepuscular, they don’t sleep in one big block all night like we do and if you’re within earshot of your piggies at night, you’ve probably heard them rustling around at random times throughout the night.
Something else you should know is that guinea pigs want to eat their night poop. Yes, their night feces is a highly desirable and in fact necessary “food” that they need to access, so make sure your guinea pig’s enclosure is solid based so they can get to that poop. This behavior is called coprophagia.