MAKING OUR HOME BEAUTIFUL 243
retreat for females that have young, while the shelf itself is nearly always chosen by the animals as a sleeping-place.
Food and Feeding
Guinea pigs require about the same diet as rabbits. They eat frequently during the day and need a constant supply of staple dry food. Three articles should be constantly in each hutch or run—a pan of water, a piece of rock salt, and a pan of dry grain. The last may contain oats, bran, or chopped grain, and the water should be supplied fresh at least once a day. The animals should have also a constant supply of hay, of which they eat large quantities, and a daily feed of green stuff. They eat almost every kind of green food that is relished by rabbits—cabbage, celery tops, and lettuce are especially acceptable, but fresh-cut alfalfa and clover, spinach, kale, rape, and the like are also desirable green foods. For winter it is best to have a good supply of cabbages. These may be stored in the field, covered with leaves or straw, with a layer cf soil on top, and may be brought in as wanted, so that they do not need to be fed in a wilted condition. With a plentiful supply of green food, guinea pigs drink but little water, yet it is well to have water always at hand for them. In the absence of green food, water becomes an absolute necessity, as they refuse to eat grain without it.
Diseases and Enemies
Guinea pigs are not subject to many .diseases. Their susceptibility to ailments is closely related to the quality, quantity, and kind of food eaten. Improper, irregular, and deficient feeding are common causes of .inflammation of the stomach and bowels, from which losses among the animals may be very great. Sudden changes of temperatures, particularly downward to the freezing point, and insufficient and improper ventilation are common causes of pneumonia, which is an extremely fatal disease among guinea pigs. Bountiful and judicious feeding, cleanliness of surroundings, pure water,