Hazelnuts, also known as the cobnut and the filbert nut are popular around the world and are found in all kinds of food. They are renown for their flavouring qualities and are used in many foods like this.
The kernel of the seed is edible and a shell has to be cracked open to access it, and it is often eaten either raw or roasted.
So if we can eat them, can guinea pigs eat hazelnuts?
Unfortunately, guinea pigs can’t eat any kind of nut. They are strictly out of bounds for any guinea pigs. Lets find out why by checking its nutritional data.
Energy 2,629 kJ (628 kcal)
Carbohydrates 16.7
– Starch 0.48
– Sugars 4.34
– Dietary fiber 11
Fat 60.75
– saturated 4.464
– monounsaturated 45.652
– polyunsaturated 7.92
Protein 14.95
Water 5.31
Vitamin A equiv. 1 μg (0%)
Vitamin A 20 IU
– beta-carotene 11 μg (0%)
– lutein and zeaxanthin 92 μg
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.643 mg (56%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.113 mg (9%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 1.8 mg (12%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.918 mg (18%)
Vitamin B6 0.563 mg (43%)
Folate (vit. B9) 113 μg (28%)
Vitamin C 6.3 mg (8%)
Vitamin E 15.03 mg (100%)
Vitamin K 14.2 μg (14%)
Calcium 114 mg (11%)
Iron 4.7 mg (36%)
Magnesium 163 mg (46%)
Manganese 6.175 mg (294%)
Phosphorus 290 mg (41%)
Potassium 680 mg (14%)
Sodium 0 mg (0%)
Zinc 2.45 mg (26%)
(source: Wikipedia)
As you can see they are really high in phosphorus, calcium, have loads of fat and are very acidic. All the things that are really bad for guinea pigs.
This is why guinea pig experts say that they should not eat nuts at all.
They do contain quite a bit of vitamin c but it is really not worth risking feeding them to guinea pigs.
If they do happen to nibble on one, then they should be fine, but if they eat too much of one then it might be worth seeking some veterinary advice.