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AnnikasMommy
03-05-15, 08:36 am
Good morning all. I'm Holley from Pensacola, FL. Last night two new guinea pigs joined our family. I have NEVER owned Guinea Pigs before so as you can imagine I'm totally clueless. :) My 9 year old daughter has read every book she could get her hands on and I have to say so far so good. They are 10 week old brothers named Peanut Butter and Popcorn. Hope everyone has a great day.

bpatters
03-05-15, 09:08 am
Welcome to guinea pig world, and to the forum!

My only caution to you is that much of the information in guinea pig books is out of date, and some of it is just plain wrong. On the main page of the Guinea Lynx site (http://www.guinealynx.info) there are two guides, one on raising a cavy, and other on emergency (includes just plain medical as well) care. Read both of those. Also read the stickies at the tops of the forums here. This is a good food guide: http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/22156-READ-ME-Cavy-Nutrition-Charts-amp-Poisonous-Plants-List.

See the Main tab at the top of this page for recommended cage sizes and how to make inexpensive cages. Just so you know, no cages from pet stores are large enough for two pigs, particularly if they're male.

Speaking of which, turn them over and compare the pertinent parts. Guinea pig pregnancies are VERY hard on the sow, and the death rate is high for both sows and pups. Additionally, they are susceptible to several genetic conditions that can cause painful joint problems, or result in blindness and difficulty/inability in eating. We never recommend that guinea pigs be bred. There are enough accidental pregnancies in the world to keep the population going. If you can't tell which is which, see www.cavyspirit.com/sexing.htm and http://www.pet-informed-veterinary-advice-online.com/sexing-guinea-pigs.html to figure out what they are.

You need to locate a good exotic vet. Most small animal (dog and cat) vets get little or no training in caring for exotics, and many cannot adequately treat theme even though they say they can. In the long run, you'll save time, money, and maybe the lives of your pets by finding a good exotic vet.

And we need pictures!

maddy harper
03-06-15, 12:31 am
Hi and welcome

AnnikasMommy
03-06-15, 03:34 pm
bpatters thank you for all the helpful information. I do have an exotic vet whom my friend uses for their sugar gliders so thank goodness for that. Both boys have been properly sexed because I def do not want babies in my household. We are in the process of building a C&C cage for the guys so they have plenty of room to run. I thought I could just go into a pet store to get a cage but after looking at them there was barely room for a hidey and food bowl so I started googling GP friendly cages and learned what a C&C cage was so this weekend is my project before I start my on call week. It will probably be big enough for a heard by the time I am done with it. :) I have been reading through the tabs and have found a lot of helpful information. I did not purchase from a pet store I went with an exotic small animal breeder who only keeps a handful of babies on hand at a time so there is plenty of hands on time with the babies. I know I should have adopted from a rescue but I wanted to start with a baby for Annika's first GP experience. After we learn more I would not have a problem looking at bringing rescues into our home as we are totally pro rescue. I can't wait to read and see more of this site.

maddy harper
03-06-15, 04:27 pm
that sounds great anica

BaconAndEggs
03-06-15, 09:24 pm
That's great! Glad you researched, and welcome!

A few words of caution that may not have been mentioned to you! Guinea pigs need 1 cup of leafy greens per pig per day. When you get food, I've heard Oxbow is a good brand. They should only have 1/8 of a cup of vitamin C fortified pellets per pig per day, free of any nuts, seeds, or colored bits. 24/7 hay is a must. Guinea pigs are herbivores, so grass hay should be their main diet. 1/2 timothy and 1/2 alfalfa for pregnant or young guinea pigs under 6 months, or plain timothy hay for adult pigs over 6 months. Yogurt drops are very bad for guinea pigs. Salt licks and mineral wheels, as well as balls and wheels meant for hamsters, are bad for your guinea pig. Balls and wheels can injure their backs and salt licks and mineral wheels are just bad for them.

I think I've got it all covered. Welcome to the world of guinea pigs!

Edited by bpatters: I need to correct some misconceptions here. Young and pregnant pigs do not need half alfalfa hay. What they need is extra calcium in their diets, which they can get by eating alfalfa pellets, OR by supplementing their grass hay with some alfalfa, OR by feeding them calcium rich veggies. Their pellets should NOT be limited -- it's only adult pigs that are limited to 1/8 cup of timothy pellets per day. Oxbow pellets are good but contain calcium carbonate, which may contribute to urinary tract stones. If you want to avoid that, KMS Hayloft pellets are the only ones on the U.S. market that use a different calcium source.

pepperbelle
03-06-15, 09:31 pm
Welcome! You will find tons of great info (and adorable photos) here! :)

AnnikasMommy
03-06-15, 10:20 pm
BaconAndEggs thank you for the info on the food. I didn't know I was supposed to add alfalfa as well so I will get some tomorrow at the feed store. I bought a bale of Timothy and we keep them stocked up. Annika makes them plates twice a day with kale and carrots. I'm still reading all the must have on the food part of things. I printed off a guide this morning so when I go to the grocer tomorrow their stuff will be added. Give me horses and dogs and I've got it covered. These little creatures are a whole other story.

bpatters
03-07-15, 07:43 am
See post #6 (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/usertag.php?do=list&action=hash&hash=6) , which has been edited to correct some recommendations given.

AnnikasMommy
03-07-15, 09:08 am
bpatters Thank you for the updated information. :)

AnnikasMommy
03-07-15, 09:15 am
I think I may have figured out how to post a pic. The Grey and white is Popcorn and the brown and white is Peanut Butter.
http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/15/03/07/da19e3ffbcaa092a2d4b5cd088977fec.jpg

mamaduck71
03-07-15, 12:33 pm
That's great! Glad you researched, and welcome!

A few words of caution that may not have been mentioned to you! Guinea pigs need 1 cup of leafy greens per pig per day. When you get food, I've heard Oxbow is a good brand. They should only have 1/8 of a cup of vitamin C fortified pellets per pig per day, free of any nuts, seeds, or colored bits.

Does anyone know what the colored bits are made of? We got a bag of pellets with a bunch of colored bits of different shapes. Pudge always picked those out first before she ate the pellets. Reminds me of dog food kibble.

Great post btw!

BaconAndEggs
03-07-15, 03:20 pm
Thanks for the update bpatters, I forgot to mention that! lol I only heard that Oxbow was a good brand, I wasn't trying to tell anyone to get it! Haha.

AnnikasMommy
03-09-15, 07:57 am
Does anyone know what the colored bits are made of? We got a bag of pellets with a bunch of colored bits of different shapes. Pudge always picked those out first before she ate the pellets. Reminds me of dog food kibble.

Great post btw!

I have no idea but my piggies are picking out something and leaving the rest. I need to try and figure out what it is.
bpatters or BaconAndEggs should alfalfa be limited or unlimited for juvenile piggies? TIA

bpatters
03-09-15, 08:27 am
It should just be a supplement to their main hay. Throw in a small handful.

sallyvh
03-09-15, 08:29 am
If you are feeding alfalfa it should just be a handful mixed in with their regular hay. You want to aim for 1/3 alfalfa and 2/3 timothy. If they are getting alfalfa they shouldn't be getting alfalfa pellets or a lot of high calcium veggies. You want to pick one extra calcium source and that is it.

For pellets, since they have bits and pieces I would remove any extras and just offer the plain pellets so that they aren't eating the colored bits. These bits could be a variety of things from seeds to nuts or pieces of dried fruits, all of which are no good for guinea pigs.

As far as veggies go I see that you are feeding kale and carrots. Carrots should be limited to one baby carrot per pig per day and kale should also be limited as it is quite high in calcium. It should be one cup of veggies per day per pig and you should probably try red or green leaf lettuce and green peppers. Those are great daily staple veggies. Some other daily vegetables that I feed are a grape tomato, cucumber slice and radicchio. Check out this nutrition chart for further info.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/22156-READ-ME-Cavy-Nutrition-Charts-amp-Poisonous-Plants-List#post254730

AnnikasMommy
03-09-15, 08:36 am
@sallvh I pulled up the list on here of veggies for them and was all "Well great now you just jacked them all up" lol I stocked up on everything listed as a daily and Annika marked the calendar for the 2-3 times per week veggies and the 1-2 times per week veggies. They are getting red and romaine lettuce store bought organic, green bell peppers and squash so far. I just planted my lettuces so they will have plenty once it grows this summer. Annika did slice them some grape tomatoes and one like them the other was not thrilled. They did not care for the cucumber slices, I tried those two days in a row. After reading what bpatter and baconandeggs wrote I just pulled up Oxbow young guinea pig food on Amazon so I'm going to order that for them. If I'm feeding Oxbow young GP food do I still supplement with the alfalfa? Phew is this ever a learning process :)

sallyvh
03-09-15, 08:44 am
If you are feeding Oxbow alfalfa pellets than no, you don't need to feed any alfalfa, just their regular timothy hay.

It definitely is a learning process but before you know it you will have the hang of it!

AnnikasMommy
03-09-15, 08:58 am
Thank you thank you thank you!!! I am ordering it now. Thank God for Prime shipping it will be here in a short lol

sallyvh
03-09-15, 09:02 am
No Problem! It's always nice to see new owners involved and interested in improving the care of their pigs. You have some lucky boys!

AnnikasMommy
03-09-15, 09:21 am
They are already spoiled rotten. :) I really appreciate everyone and their helpful information more then you can imagine.