Product Type: Burgess small pet food
Newest Review: ... thing that had originally attracted me to this food was the information about the Excel, Burgess company on the packaging. After r... more
Those greedy pigs ate it all!
Burgess Excel Guinea Pig Nuggets
Member Name: MelissaRuth
Burgess Excel Guinea Pig Nuggets
Advantages: They provide a balanced diet. They prevent selective feeding. The ginea pigs like them and eat all.
Disadvantages: They don't look very appetising.
Burgess Excel tasty nuggets form the main part of the diet for our three little (guinea) pigs; that's quiet Misty who loves to sing, scruffy Malty and the oh so greedy and noisy Maisy. They do talk a lot in their own cute squeaky way and I'm sure they'd be telling you how much they enjoy their food. Their bowl is always emptied when they are fed with this food and that is definitely not the case when we've tried other brands such as the Gertie Guinea pig food, where they pick out their favourite bits and leave the rest which means that they don't get a fully balanced diet and that I am paying for food that I then throw away.
Burgess make these pellet foods for other small animals and we first used it on the recommendation of the pet shop when we brought our rabbit about ten years ago. He sadly died and when we moved onto having guinea pigs we kept our allegiances with the Excel food, but moved onto the orange bags that are especially formulated to meet the nutritional requirements for guinea pigs. Rabbits need to have the green bags, but it is very clear on the labelling of each bag which pets they are suitable for. The packaging states that Burgess Excel is the number 1 vet recommended food for small animals, and I know that it is sold in our vetinary surgery.
Burgess are an English company with their mill in Yorkshire. They pride themselves on sourcing all of their ingredients locally and their grass is grown just a tractor ride away from the mill. They also have a Forever Promise where they commit to making the lives of pets better by not only providing food that is healthy and tasty, but by also supporting pet rescue centres and encouraging responsible pet ownership.
Guinea pigs are 'fibrevores'. That means that their natural diet which is primarily as grass grazers is very high in fibre. Burgess excel therefore is formulated to include a high fibre content (36%). Ingredients include grass, maize, wheat, lucerne, soya bean hulls, peas, soya, oat bran, yeast, unmollased beet pulp and soya oil. Other supplements include calcium carbonate, mono calcium phosphate, vitamins A, D3, E and C, Fructo - oligosaccharides (some form of sugar, at a guess), salt and minerals. With 17% protein being provided this seems like it contains a pretty good all round nutritional package.
Burgess do point out that the nuggets should not be the only food that your pigs should eat. They also manufacture their own herbage/ forage which is similar to hay. We haven't used this as our pigs seem to be very happy to eat regular hay that I buy very cheaply by the bale from our garden centre. There are also Excel Nature Snacks which I don't think we've tried, but ours do occasionally eat a variety of small animal treats - they're supposed to be good for their emotional health. Although as ours get loads of play time and cuddles I'm not too worried about it from this point of view. The final elements to a healthy diet are fresh greens, that ours eat in abundance, as well as grazing on the grass in their run and obviously a plentiful supply of fresh water. Right now Maisy has been plonked on the chair beside me, as I write by my daughter, and is trying to break into the new bag of food that I'm using to write this review - she loves it so much. I've had to tell her that bright orange plastic does not form a part of a balanced guinea pigs diet!
**Other health benefits**
Guinea pig teeth continue to grow all of the time as grazing causes them to constantly wear away. The nuggets are very hard so they help to grind the teeth down and keep them in good condition as the pigs nibble on them. Grazing on grass and hay should also be included to ensure healthy teeth, but these really do seem to help too. I've not noticed any smelly breath problems with our little ones either.
**What do they look like**
Unappetising and uninspiring is the best I can say about their appearance from a human point of view, but the guinea pigs don't seem to have any complaints, although I think they go for smell rather than looks. There are two types of pellet, the original flavour that I'm primarily reviewing, but there is also a blackcurrant and oregano version, blackcurrant for tastiness and oregano to relieve stress. The original nuggets are a crescent shape forming about 2/3 of a 1cm diameter circle. They're a lovely greeny brown colour, not too dissimilar to their poos! The blackcurrant ones are small cylinders of just under 1cm in length with the same colouring - now they look even more poo like due to their shape, so not highly appetising in my opinion. The pigs don't rate these as highly either and if given the choice will always polish off the original ones first. We just give the others occasionally, as you know what they say about variety being the spice of life.
**What do they taste like**
Well here I do draw the limits of researching for review writing - I am not going to taste them, so you'll just have to buy some and try yourself or take the word of my three little pigs and believe them that this is a tasty breakfast and tea. No lunch though - they have two meals a day, as well as grazing, and the pack recommends feeding each pig 30 - 50 grams a day. I give ours a handful each a day - I'll have to go and measure to make sure I'm not giving them too much.
This food seems to be readily available in most reputable pet food suppliers, although I've not seen it on supermarket shelves along with their pet food selections. I buy mine from the garden centre pet store, Pets at Home where a 2kg bag costs £4.89 or from my local independent pet shop where my latest bag has a price tag of £5.09. The blackcurrant ones are slightly more expensive. The nuggets are also available in a 4kg bag for £9.49. Although this is slightly better value I don't tend to buy the bigger bags, partly as they are heavy to carry, but mostly as I want to ensure that the food stays fresh. The bags are not resealable and although we do use a large food bag clip to keep them closed the air does get to them and I'm sure that by the time we got to the bottom of a large bag they would be pretty stale. If I had a large storaeage box this probably wouldn't be such an issue. A small bag lasts us a good 6 weeks with our three, so buying these doesn't cause too many frequent trips to the pet shop.
I highly recommend these nuggets as my pets have remained healthy eating the balanced diet that they provide and they obviously enjoy eating them. I give them five stars.
Summary: Healthy pellet food that provides guines pigs with a tasty balanced diet.