View Full Version : New to guineapigs (I'm in NZ) - excited!

01-21-15, 02:12 am
Hiya! I'm Nikki, about to be mum to 3 wee guinea girls who are not quite ready for me yet. My three human children have no idea they are coming but I'm super excited and have been scouring the net for research. I managed to buy C&C cages and have made a 2x4 cage attached to a large wooden pet carrier to make it bigger. I have made a lid (we have 2 very friendly cats) and also have an outdoor hutch and run for those nice days - in NZ I have never heard of indoor guinea pigs until i started reading all about it - I'm keen, I like them to be part of our family and luckily have a good space for them so yay, inside and fleece for us :) no doubt all my friends will think we are odd but that's ok ;) the hardest hit now is keeping it a secret and the waiting!!!

01-21-15, 07:00 am
Grats on your soon-to-be piggies! Remember to adopt and not buy from breeders or pet stores that fuel the overpopulation cycle.

01-21-15, 11:28 am
Make VERY sure they're all girls. Sexing young guinea pigs can be hard, but you definitely don't want babies having babies, and they can reproduce at roughly four weeks of age. At the very least, turn them all over and compare them to make sure they look alike. See www.cavyspirit.com/sexing.htm for more info.

01-21-15, 12:17 pm
Thanks! Yep I have found a breeder through a friend so avoiding the pet store. She is pretty sure she had 3 girls but is getting someone else to confirm, they aren't ready for me yet so just waiting!

01-21-15, 12:31 pm
Cold you adopt instead? Breeders also fuel the cycle, and there are thousands of piggies in shelters waiting for homes.

01-21-15, 12:56 pm
We are off to the SPCA next week so will see if any at the shelter. I'm in a small city so not many options here.

01-21-15, 12:59 pm
I've just contacted Morleys Transport so hopefully in the near future Auckland Cavy Care will be able to do adoptions out of Auckland. If there isn't a rush, may I suggest waiting until we may be able to transport them?

01-21-15, 01:04 pm
I agree. It is best to wait for a piggy to be available from a shelter than to buy from a breeder.

Have you checked Craigslist and facebook buy/sell pages in your area? If you can't get a piggy nearby, make a chain of people to get the animal to you from farther away. Get creative!

01-21-15, 01:15 pm
I don't think this is a "breeder" - it's a family who have babies and need to home them. Nothing in my area on "trademe", most of those are similar situations to the one in using anyway..and getting them here from afar is far to costly for our family sadly. But yep I'm off to the shelter next week to have a look, can always change my mind, nothing is settled yet! Thanks though for the advice, I agree with it all. Whatever piggies I get will be so well looked after here, most people in nz have outdoor piggies and no idea of all this info! I shall try to educate everyone lol

01-21-15, 01:20 pm
I'm so sorry I just can't afford the adoption costs and transport costs :( I'm looking at SPCA (free/donation) and this lady is selling for $10 each. I know it shouldn't matter but We spent the money setting up the proper care facilities for them and just can't afford - I did look though!!!! All the best, I will send the word out about cavy care as I have lots of friends in auckland. Please don't think I'm a baddie - we did adopt our bunnies and our cats!!

01-21-15, 02:33 pm
I understand.

However, when you compare the cost of a 2x6 c&c cage (which is what you can make with 16 girds) to the biggest pet shop cage (smaller than a 2x3)..you'll notice that $65 compared to $150 is much better - same as with the cost of de-sexing. We pay over $110 per spay and $80 for a neuter, but our adoption fees are only $70 for a female and $55 for a male - if you were to look at spaying them, for a female you'd be looking at around $150 - $250 and for a male $110 - $180.

I'm sure you can offer some guineas a wonderful home. and if the family did not breed on purpose and are not going to breed again (so are either finding a new home for the male or de-sexing) then I don't see why offering them a home wouldn't be okay. However, please do understand that vet care is not cheap, and if they are intact then in the future you may have to battle uterine cancer, ovarian cysts, mammary tumors, and other reproductive organ tumors with the girls, which de-sexing would eliminate. Having rabbits and cats I'm sure you understand that.

01-22-15, 07:45 pm
They sound lovely [emoji4] I must ask, do you know a guinea pigs proper diet?

01-22-15, 08:31 pm
Funny question! Yes thanks I'm all good, have been scouring these sites all month. All ready now :)

01-23-15, 02:05 pm
Welcome to the world of guinea pigs!

Just let me tell you, guinea pigs are amazing little creatures who will quickly brighten up your day with their adorable little wheeks, and the snuggle time is more rewarding than you can imagine!
Of course, guinea pigs require specialized care, as you already know. I suggest setting some money aside and slowly make it grow, just in case of an emergency vet visit.

My boys have amazed and captured my heart since the day I first laid eyes on them, and I'm sure your girls will too! Good luck.

01-23-15, 02:32 pm
Thank you! I have a nice big home ready (2x4 with a lid with a 2 foot wood crate kitchen), have babyproofed it, have made fleece liners and potty pads, purchased all required bits and bobs and am feeling well researched! We pick up our 4 week old girls next Sunday! This website has been very helpful in preparing me

01-31-15, 11:50 pm
Meet our month old sisters: Millie, latte and coco! Coco has hidden under the hay feeder and not moved, her sisters have explored a little and love the cardboard hidey. No eating so far, it's all a bit new! Thanks for all the help preparing! 7218972190721917219272191

02-01-15, 12:33 am
Very nice set up and great job on doing your research before getting the pigs. I have read threads here about grids having squares that are too big and baby pigs can get their heads stuck. I think yours might be too large. Perhaps someone else can chime in who is familiar with the proper size for babies.

02-01-15, 12:57 am
Thanks for the tip - if you look closer you can see I have cardboard, Corflute etc all the way along the grids to babyproof :)

02-01-15, 12:59 am
Is it usual for them not to eat/drink much when new? One hasn't barely moved and none have eaten or drunk, I don't want to disturb them though unless I should be concerned?

02-01-15, 01:03 am
How long has it been since you have had them? It seems that all of my pigs had taken to eating and drinking right away. My very first pig I had didn't move and it turns out she was very ill and passed away 12 hours after I brought her home. The previous owners knew it and chose to let her be sick rather than put her down humanely. I was so angry at them. I would keep a very close eye on them. I hope they are just a little freaked out about being somewhere new.

02-01-15, 01:16 am
Hmm we only got them 5 hours ago so hopefully they are just being shy - the kids have been a bit excited around them so maybe now it's quiet in the house they will get more active. They look very healthy, only small of course being a month old! We did give them a cuddle just before, maybe that was too much. Two of them have been exploring a bit :)

02-01-15, 01:19 am
I am pretty sure they are just unsure of their new surroundings. lol They will come around once they get used to everything.

02-01-15, 02:07 am
Welcome to the fourm! Your piggies are adorable and you made them an awesome cage! I'm sure there going to be very happy piggies :)

02-01-15, 02:08 am
Give them time there still getting used to everything. As long as you are patient and give them attention they will come out there shells soon enough!

02-01-15, 02:25 am
I love your setup, you've done such a good job, & your girls are just gorgeous. They look healthy, just keep an eye on them. They may well have settled by now, so try not to worry, pk? You'll be a great piggy mum. Keep in touch, yeah?

02-01-15, 02:47 am
Thanks everyone! They ate a litte fresh grass, I put it right in the hidey with them. They have been kept outside until today so I'm sure it's just all the newness. Can't wait to spend more time with them, they are so beautiful :)

02-01-15, 03:20 am
Yay I turned the light out and hello girls! They all came out to do some exploring and zooming and happily (?) chatting away to each other.

02-01-15, 05:42 am
Doesn't it just melt your heart to see them happy and comfortable with you? I finally had 2 successful lap times with my Penelope this week after 2 years of trying to earn her trust. I was almost like one day she had an epiphany that I wasn't there to hurt her.