PDA

View Full Version : Mommy to be!



lianyc
01-29-15, 10:36 am
Hello everyone! I came across this forum during one of my guinea pig researches. I don't have a cavy right now but I'm planning on getting one as soon as I feel that I have enough knowledge.

Initially, I was looking for one guinea pig but I keep reading that they're happier with a buddy. I was hoping to get some recommendations on what would be a good size cage for 2 guinea pigs and if I'm better off with two males or females as starters. I really love the C&C cages from guineapigcages.com that comes with cubby storage. (If anyone has any experience with them please let me know!) I really want to avoid Petco/Pet Smart so if there are any breeders or shelters in NYC or even NJ (I will drive) please please please drop the info below.


Any other toys, food, hay or additional info are welcomed!


Thanks in Advanced,
Lia

AmberCalzone
01-29-15, 11:04 am
Hi and welcome :) Many people on this site use the C&C cages from the cage store.

If you get a pair of girls, you'll want a 2x4 C&C or larger. If you get a pair of boys, you'll want a 2x5 C&C or larger. It's true that some boys can live in a smaller area, but generally speaking they need a bit more space than girls. On the other hand, it's also true that some girls need more space than usual! So those are the 'basic recommendations', but we advocate that bigger is always better. Go as large as you possibly can :)

I'm so happy to hear that you're avoiding the pet stores, but you should know that we are also anti-breeding. This forum is only prorescue. You can check for adoptable guinea pigs in your area by looking on PetFinder.com, GuineaPigZone.com, Craigslist, or rehoming groups on facebook :) There is one group on facebook called, "New England Guinea Pigs"... New York isn't exactly apart of New England, but there are many adoptable guinea pigs, and there ARE many USRs from New York in that group.

As far as toys... my girls really liked fleece tunnels, willow balls, cat treat balls, and cuddling up with their stuff-less dog toy reindeer toy.

You're going to go through A LOT of hay, so it'll do you good to find a local dealer, they'll give you the best bang for your buck. If you can't find one and prefer the ease of getting it delivered to your door, there are 10lb boxes on Amazon for $25, free 2 day shipping with Prime. That's what I used to get. I'd have to order 2 boxes every month because they ate about 1.5 boxes.

For food you're going to want a high quality plain pellet. Oxbow is a good brand, but there are others (but I always forget the names of the others, because I only gave my girls Oxbow/pelletless)

piggielover200
01-29-15, 11:09 am
Small pet select and Kms hayloft are great pellet brands

lex_tw
01-29-15, 11:31 am
C&C cages from the guinea pig cages store is definitely the way to go! And like others said bigger is better, look at their recommendations for how many pigs to a certain size cage and always try to go larger if you can! But they are by far the best place to get a C&C cage. I searched for months and months hoping there was something that was the same size but just a little bit cheaper and there are but cheaper price 99% of the time means cheaper quality.. Customer service is great too! I placed an order around midnight on a Sunday and the order had shipped mid afternoon that Monday.

boys vs girls, I've herd people say they thought girls were easier because it was "less cleaning" but I've only had girls and neutered boys so I can't say. I'd go to guinea Lynx and read their stuff about care, cleaning boys etc..

All my pigs have loved KMS Hayloft hay and pellets. I personally think they have the best prices. But also I've used Oxbow and liked them too! I've even seen them in pet stores and super stores from time to time which was helpful when we ran out and couldn't wait for our next shipment.

You could try petfinder.com I started there and found a few shelters that had pigs waiting to be adopted. A lot of SPCA's and other shelters will often post on adoption websites like that. Or you can just try to google shelters in your area and check their websites to see if they have any pigs waiting!
Good luck!

lianyc
01-29-15, 11:34 am
AmberCalzone Thanks so much for the info. I will check New England Guinea Pigs. Oh Im sorry! I must of missed the anti-breeding. Is there a reason why breeding is bad if the person looks responsible?

I actually work in a Pet Store, however, we don't sell animals only supplies. Getting supplies/food would be no problems for me.

Do you think I can get one girl? Or two is the way to go?

lianyc
01-29-15, 11:40 am
C&C cages from the guinea pig cages store is definitely the way to go! And like others said bigger is better, look at their recommendations for how many pigs to a certain size cage and always try to go larger if you can! But they are by far the best place to get a C&C cage. I searched for months and months hoping there was something that was the same size but just a little bit cheaper and there are but cheaper price 99% of the time means cheaper quality.. Customer service is great too! I placed an order around midnight on a Sunday and the order had shipped mid afternoon that Monday.

boys vs girls, I've herd people say they thought girls were easier because it was "less cleaning" but I've only had girls and neutered boys so I can't say. I'd go to guinea Lynx and read their stuff about care, cleaning boys etc..

All my pigs have loved KMS Hayloft hay and pellets. I personally think they have the best prices. But also I've used Oxbow and liked them too! I've even seen them in pet stores and super stores from time to time which was helpful when we ran out and couldn't wait for our next shipment.

You could try petfinder.com I started there and found a few shelters that had pigs waiting to be adopted. A lot of SPCA's and other shelters will often post on adoption websites like that. Or you can just try to google shelters in your area and check their websites to see if they have any pigs waiting!
Good luck!

I did see some on pet finder but I saw males and mostly adults. I read how its best to have babies because you can tame them easier and they won't have any bad habits? Since I'm inexperience I think a baby is probably easier for me. I don't know.. What do you think?

lex_tw
01-29-15, 11:45 am
@AmberCalzone (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/member.php?u=31096) Thanks so much for the info. I will check New England Guinea Pigs. Oh Im sorry! I must of missed the anti-breeding. Is there a reason why breeding is bad if the person looks responsible?

I actually work in a Pet Store, however, we don't sell animals only supplies. Getting supplies/food would be no problems for me.

Do you think I can get one girl? Or two is the way to go?

I think many of us here could tell you horror stories of breeders.. But there's a lot more that goes into breeding pigs than most would think, if bred incorrectly it can be fatal to the babies. It's also a lot of stress on the moms body and I've seen it be fatal to her and the babies. They aren't often kept in the best of conditions and similar to big name pet stores they sell two pigs to whoever will buy them, the person often doesn't know the best way to take care of the animals and end ups abandoning it at a shelter or worse outside. There's too many pigs in shelters to be breeding as much as people tend to. Unfortunately even the really good looking ones can sometimes be the ones who end up on the news for having hundreds of pigs kept in unsanitary conditions. And guinea pigs in big name pet stores almost always come from local breeders so it'd be the same as going to petco anyways.

I would say unless you find a pig who's specific needs are to be a single pig, get a bonded pair. Even if you spend every moment you can with the one pig they can still get lonely, imagine being the only human in a world full of elephants I'd imagine you'd get pretty lonely from time to time..

lex_tw
01-29-15, 11:55 am
Sorry I'm on my iPad and it doesn't update everything right away, but, I've never herd that about babies. Babies tend to be harder to find because everyone wants them but I've found in my personal experience that adults are more adaptable to change and more hardy(?) to their conditions, also if you found one adult, started with that one, then later wanted to add a baby I've been told it's more likely they'll get along.

lianyc
01-29-15, 12:13 pm
Sorry I'm on my iPad and it doesn't update everything right away, but, I've never herd that about babies. Babies tend to be harder to find because everyone wants them but I've found in my personal experience that adults are more adaptable to change and more hardy(?) to their conditions, also if you found one adult, started with that one, then later wanted to add a baby I've been told it's more likely they'll get along.

Thats nice to know. I'm looking now to see if i find any shelters. I'm wondering if like hamsters, do guinea pigs need bedding all over the cage? or can I use like a little section and put bedding separate? For example and I do one corner Food another Bedding and middle toys? Or would it be too crowded?

AmberCalzone
01-29-15, 12:31 pm
In my experience... babies are way harder. I had babies born in my home (I adopted a girl who was already pregnant), and they were SO skittish, even being held everyday. They weren't totally tamed by the time they went to their new homes, even with constant handling. They're SUPER fast so you have to keep your eyes on them literally every second they're out of the cage, even when in your hands, because they can wiggle their way out in super speed time.

And if you do get babies, you will *definitely* need to get at least 2, because a baby would be especially scared being all alone without another guinea pig. Not saying you shouldn't get two anyway, two or more is definitely the way to go, because they are social animals. Some say, "Oh, you can get one of the rare ones, where the shelter says they can't be paired with another pig". True, you can. BUT a lot of shelters won't adopt out a single pig, even if they can't be paired, because it's still better for them mentally/emotionally to be in seeing/hearing/chatting distance from another guinea pig, even if they're separated by a divider. Personally, I believe getting one is just out of the question. But that's a personal opinion.

I think your best bet is to get a bonded pair of pigs who are a little older, not 'old', but not babies. When they're older they'll already have their individual personalities (because trust us, all pigs are different and unique!), so you can get a feel for how tame they are.

But you're definitely going to need bedding all over your cage. Guinea pigs don't care where they poop, they'll go everywhere... where they eat, in their beds, etc. It doesn't all have to be /disposable/ bedding though. Many people do fleece + absorbent layer, and a kitchen area with disposable bedding, combo.

lianyc
01-29-15, 12:46 pm
In my experience... babies are way harder. I had babies born in my home (I adopted a girl who was already pregnant), and they were SO skittish, even being held everyday. They weren't totally tamed by the time they went to their new homes, even with constant handling. They're SUPER fast so you have to keep your eyes on them literally every second they're out of the cage, even when in your hands, because they can wiggle their way out in super speed time.

And if you do get babies, you will *definitely* need to get at least 2, because a baby would be especially scared being all alone without another guinea pig. Not saying you shouldn't get two anyway, two or more is definitely the way to go, because they are social animals. Some say, "Oh, you can get one of the rare ones, where the shelter says they can't be paired with another pig". True, you can. BUT a lot of shelters won't adopt out a single pig, even if they can't be paired, because it's still better for them mentally/emotionally to be in seeing/hearing/chatting distance from another guinea pig, even if they're separated by a divider. Personally, I believe getting one is just out of the question. But that's a personal opinion.

I think your best bet is to get a bonded pair of pigs who are a little older, not 'old', but not babies. When they're older they'll already have their individual personalities (because trust us, all pigs are different and unique!), so you can get a feel for how tame they are.

But you're definitely going to need bedding all over your cage. Guinea pigs don't care where they poop, they'll go everywhere... where they eat, in their beds, etc. It doesn't all have to be /disposable/ bedding though. Many people do fleece + absorbent layer, and a kitchen area with disposable bedding, combo.

A kitchen area sounds nice and cute! I also like the idea of fleece and absorbent layer. Do you have any experience with this and/or know where I can get these supplies?

Kelsie
01-29-15, 01:01 pm
I have used the fleece and absorbent pads for my pigs for at least 5 years. I always buy my fleece from either Jo-ann's or YourFleece.com. A lot of members have purchased their fleece from Wal-mart. I have to honestly say I didn't like the quality of their fleece. I felt that it was too thin. As far as the absorbent layer for under the fleece. I have always used the U-Haul recycled denim pads. One full pad folded in half works great for my 5x2 c&c cage.

AmberCalzone
01-29-15, 01:03 pm
Fleece is pretty awesome :) My cage didn't have a lip (I totally suggest using a cage with a lip) so I used towels as my absorbent layer, BUT if my cage did have a lip I totally would have used kiln dried pine pellets as my absorbent layer... and I suggest pine pellets. It has worked wonderfully for many USRs, there is an entire thread on it somewhere on the forum. I used pine in my kitchen area and it worked phenomenally.

Fleece can be bought by the yard at fabric stores. I used fleece blankets, bought them at KMart.
The absorbent layer can be towels, UHaul pads, some people use puppy pads or bed pads, you can use kiln dried pine pellets. There are many options.

The kitchen area is great. Guinea pigs usually poop most where they eat. So the kitchen area is a large tray filled with disposable bedding (I still suggest the kiln dried pine pellets) where you keep the pigs hay, water bottles, veggie bowls, and food bowls. That will catch most of their mess, so it'll make cleaning easier. Not to say they still won't go on the fleece, you'll need to sweep the poops off the fleece at least once a day (this is called "spot cleaning"), but the kitchen area helps a lot.

lianyc
01-29-15, 01:32 pm
Fleece is pretty awesome :) My cage didn't have a lip (I totally suggest using a cage with a lip) so I used towels as my absorbent layer, BUT if my cage did have a lip I totally would have used kiln dried pine pellets as my absorbent layer... and I suggest pine pellets. It has worked wonderfully for many USRs, there is an entire thread on it somewhere on the forum. I used pine in my kitchen area and it worked phenomenally.

Fleece can be bought by the yard at fabric stores. I used fleece blankets, bought them at KMart.
The absorbent layer can be towels, UHaul pads, some people use puppy pads or bed pads, you can use kiln dried pine pellets. There are many options.

The kitchen area is great. Guinea pigs usually poop most where they eat. So the kitchen area is a large tray filled with disposable bedding (I still suggest the kiln dried pine pellets) where you keep the pigs hay, water bottles, veggie bowls, and food bowls. That will catch most of their mess, so it'll make cleaning easier. Not to say they still won't go on the fleece, you'll need to sweep the poops off the fleece at least once a day (this is called "spot cleaning"), but the kitchen area helps a lot.


That sounds great! I definitely would be adding a kitchen area. However, I'm confused on the term a cage with a lip?

PeanutnCookie
01-29-15, 02:16 pm
I did see some on pet finder but I saw males and mostly adults. I read how its best to have babies because you can tame them easier and they won't have any bad habits? Since I'm inexperience I think a baby is probably easier for me. I don't know.. What do you think?
You don't have to get a baby. A lot of adults can just as easily be tamed. If you get some from a shelter or petfinder, chances are they will have been handled a lot, so no taming worries. It is true though, that the baby will probably live longer than an adult, but they can die at any age. I have a nine month old and her baby, a two month old. Unfortunately, I got the older one from a petstore, and she is pretty skittish. My cousin has a one year old he got a few months ago and she is the sweetest thing. The one year old is tamer then than the younger ones. It really depends on the pig.

PeanutnCookie
01-29-15, 02:18 pm
That sounds great! I definitely would be adding a kitchen area. However, I'm confused on the term a cage with a lip? The lip is the coroplast with a side. No lip is flat and has no side. The front of my kitchen area has no lip, but the other sides do. it is like a box with one side cut off.

lianyc
01-29-15, 02:27 pm
The lip is the coroplast with a side. No lip is flat and has no side. The front of my kitchen area has no lip, but the other sides do. it is like a box with one side cut off.


Ahhh I see! So basically when setting up the cage I will get a cage w/ coroplast, spread the absorbent layer and then the fleece on top?


@AmberCalzone (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/member.php?u=31096) I reached out the FB Group New England Guinea Pigs & someone contacted me from CT who runs a small shelter! They told me they have two bonding sisters @ 5weeks of age! Awaiting for more info.. So thanks a million for that group page.

PeanutnCookie
01-29-15, 02:37 pm
yes, but you will have to clip the fleece to the sides with something. Most people use binder clips, but I don't have any, so I used plastic clothespins.