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livelifelow
02-05-15, 03:20 pm
Hello, my name is Lori and I've been perusing the forums, but decided to join since I had questions.

I have 1 sow (purchased April 2014) in a Midwest cage, possibly going to a C&C in the future. Don't worry, my pig is not alone, I also take care of my sister's 2 sows (younger was purchased about 1 year ago and the older about 1.5 years ago) while she is at college and connect our Midwest cages so they have room for my dork to go on her daily spaz-runs.

Questions:

1- I got a queen-sized top sheet that is nice and think and 100% cotton. Would it be possible to use this instead of fleece for the bottom of the cage? I was hoping to sew it to one of the U-Haul furniture protector things or whatever they were. Also, since its such a large sheet, what are some creative ideas of things to use it for in my cage?

2- Do guinea pigs need baths? I know when my sister was looking up guinea pig things she found that you could bathe them once a month, but I thought I saw something here that implied otherwise.

3- I'm thinking that next time I need pellets I will get the KMS Timothy pellets. With these, is it ok to free-feed the pigs since its just timothy or would that still make them prone to obesity? Also, about how long does it generally take for the pellets to arrive? I imagine I would order them far enough in advance, but I would hate to be out of pellets briefly.

And of course I'll have pictures later, I'm writing this from my laptop and the pigs are mostly on my phone.

livelifelow
02-05-15, 03:31 pm
I forgot one of my questions: Something I was reading made it sound as though having the dividers in the cage was a bad thing. May I ask if this is true, and if so, why?

Mowgs
02-05-15, 07:10 pm
My thoughts on your questions:

1: I'm honestly not sure about the sheet. I supposed it would work, but I've only ever used fleece or aspen wood shavings.

2: They don't really need baths according to my vet. I have some piggy shampoo from Gorgeous Guineas, but I haven't bathed mine too frequently. Just if they happen to be really gross/smelly. My female likes to sleep in the litter box and my male, well is a male and his grease gland gets gunky more frequently. The only other time I've really bathed them is when I was trying to get them to get along and had to do "buddy baths."

3: KMS Hayloft are great pellets. I used them briefly as I had read on here that a few people felt their pigs' calcium deposits decreased while on those pellets compared to Oxbow. Well, I live all the way in PA, so getting those pellets from CA, cost me over $40 with shipping. I'm a vet student and get the 10 lb bag of Oxbow pellets for under $10 through a program. When I owe so much already for my education, I decided to just stick with Oxbow out of convenience and they are a good pellet. I still wouldn't free feed them. Oxbow Pellets are only timothy hay, but they still recommend 1/8-1/4 cup daily. As for the time frame of shipments, I think it took like a week to get to me.

4: As for the dividers, do you mean like making a little cubed off area within the cage that is kind of like a hidey/kitchen area, or are you taking about dividing a cage entirely in half and having a pig on each side? If it's the first option, I think most people say they're bad because a pig can get cornered and feel trapped and it may lead to fights. If you're talking about the latter, I've done it when my pigs didn't get along so that they could interact with each other without feeling threatened. Only issue I had was grid chewing, but I just put a strip of coroplast along the divider to prevent them from chewing on the bars.

pinky
02-05-15, 07:29 pm
A cotton sheet won't work because it won't wick. It'll get wet.

bpatters
02-05-15, 07:38 pm
Ditto pinky. Cotton isn't good at all. They'll be sitting in their own wastes, and may get bumblefoot. And you can bathe a pig whenever you want, but they usually don't need it. If you keep the long hair trimmed around their butts, they'll keep themselves pretty clean. If not, they may need butt baths. But as far as harming the pig, it won't, unless you use a really harsh shampoo, or bathe so often that their skin gets dried out.
Mowgs, Oxbow uses calcium carbonate as the calcium source for their pellets, and there's plenty of anecdotal evidence that some pigs have problems with sludge/stones when eating Oxbow. Those pellets are not just timothy hay, they've got a ton of stuff added to them.

Mowgs
02-05-15, 07:48 pm
@Mowgs (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/member.php?u=27325), Oxbow uses calcium carbonate as the calcium source for their pellets, and there's plenty of anecdotal evidence that some pigs have problems with sludge/stones when eating Oxbow. Those pellets are not just timothy hay, they've got a ton of stuff added to them.

What I meant by only timothy is that there aren't other hay types, seeds, artificial colorings, etc. And actually, if you look at the current list of ingredients for Oxbow pellets, calcium carbonate is not listed anywhere. They use calcium iodate which is the same in KMS Hayloft. It does have colbalt carbonate if that's what you're referring to. And if you compared the ingredient list for both pellets, you'll see a lot of similarities. Some differences, yes, but eh.

Either way, I didn't see an improvement in my pigs while they were on the KMS Hayloft pellets, so I saw no reason to pay $40 for pellets.

BaconAndEggs
02-05-15, 07:52 pm
I see the questions were already taken care of, so welcome! Please post pigtures as soon as you can!

Mowgs
02-05-15, 08:50 pm
An edit from my previous post. Totally missed where it said Limestone in the ingredient list for Oxbow, so you are still correct. Totally thought for a second that they had switched up their ingredient list, so what I said regards to the calcium portion can be disregarded.

bpatters
02-05-15, 08:57 pm
Calcium iodate is the iodine source, not the calcium source. The calcium source is limestone, which is calcium carbonate.