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Heart_Roxie
04-23-15, 10:57 pm
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So, hi! I am a long time hamster mommy recently crossing over to piggie-land! My kids (aged 5&7) and I have had hamsters for years. We had four at one point and the living room was devoted to cages! After a few sad losses we were left suddenly with no furry friends. As the kids are slightly older and I know how they love their pets, I decided to get a friend who would live with us a longer time and be more...social...? Roxie came from a family that wanted her briefly and then wanted a puppy. They had her in a very small cage (they clearly knew nothing about piggies), in the corner, all alone. When I brought her home in her cage I had to clean out all the pine bedding as it was soaking wet from a leaking water bottle. The poor girl was so scared... I hoped by showing her a little love she would come around!
The next day I purchased a 12' section of wire shelving, some materials for a base, and made her a 3 foot by 3 foot cage! I stitched her up a cuddle cup, made a pigloo, and draped in a fleece tent. And added a fleecy cat "carpet square" thing that seems pretty cozy. After about two days of hating me (and my constantly tending hands in her cage) she starting to wheek at me every time I came down the stairs! Now I can't pass by her without hearing her call to me! I stop and say hello and give her hay or tease her with her fox toy. If that wasn't what she wanted she will climb right in her veggie bowl and wheek until I come back with a snack! She still doesn't like to be picked up, but if I trick her she likes to be held. She entertains us all by running laps around the cage and dancing her funny dance! if I hadn't seen other piggies "popcorn" I'd swear something was wrong with her! But alas, she has become a fast friend to us all and we love her dearly! I hope to add a second level to her cage and I want to get her a cagemate! I wanted to keep her alone for a bit to see how she was, and knowing her a little better, I think she would do well with a friend.
If you stuck to the end, thanks! Sorry it's so long... I have gotten carried away with her for sure. :P
I can't wait to learn more and make some Piggie loving friends! <3

ciaraelise
04-23-15, 11:03 pm
Welcome!!! I see you already have the cavy sickness ;)) she looks so happy to have such a loving home. You are for sure doing right by your Piggie. Keep us all updated with lots of pigtures :))

CavyMama
04-24-15, 02:28 am
Hi Heart_Roxie, Roxie is an adorable little lady! It sounds like you have really given Roxie a great home, especially considering the less than ideal situation she came from.

3littlepigz
04-24-15, 07:39 am
I loved reading your introduction! And Roxie looks so sweet! Love the tuft of hair on top of her cute head! It sounds like she'd enjoy having a cagemate! Hope you're able to find one soon for her. In prep for that, it looks like you'll need to expand the cage. You mentioned adding a second level but the first level needs to be big enough to accommodate 2 piggies running laps and having their own space. Looking forward to hearing more about you and Roxie's adventures!

80s_piggies
04-24-15, 07:42 am
Congrats to you and to Roxie! The sound of wheeking is what makes my house complete! And I know just what you mean about entertainment, our boys always keep us laughing.

Heart_Roxie
04-24-15, 01:15 pm
Thanks everyone! I definitely want to expand, thinking of making the addition a gated entry to start with and allowing them to become friends through the bars, then opening the gate and letting them run free! What is a good size for the lower level for two piggies? We have 9 sq.ft. as it is, is 12 sq okay?
And yes, she's an Abyssinian but not a "perfectly" tufted variety...she has that cute little Mohawk on the top of her head! Our next adventure is nail clipping...I'm sure she'll make it an adventure!
I have gotten cavy fever for sure! I can't believe I never knew how wonderful they are! <3

bpatters
04-24-15, 02:02 pm
Letting them become friends through the bars and then opening the gates is NOT the way to introduce guinea pigs. See http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html.

Heart_Roxie
04-24-15, 10:27 pm
Letting them become friends through the bars and then opening the gates is NOT the way to introduce guinea pigs. See http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html.

I guess I didn't word that right... I know they need to be introduced in a neutral space to actually meet and get to know each other, I just meant before they're living "together" they would be seperated during any time it took for introductions and then they would have free reign of the whole area together.

CavyMama
04-25-15, 02:36 am
Introductions should be one and done. To introduce, then separate/put a divider between them, then introduce, then separate is very stressful to them because every time you bring them together, they have to start over. Introductions should be one time - for as long as it takes. Could be an hour, could be 3 hours after which, if successful, they can live together without a divider.

Heart_Roxie
04-25-15, 10:42 am
Thank you! In trying to find out everything all at once, I think I confused the quarantine time when they are separate with introduction time as being done over a period of time....? Somehow it got mixed up, thank you for clarifying that for me! Especially I just heard back about a new piggy, I should be picking her up one day this week from a local animal shelter! I have a lot of work to do!!!

3littlepigz
04-25-15, 11:48 am
Yay! Congrats!

For quarantine time, the new piggie should be housed in a completely separate room for approx 3 weeks. This gives you enough time to evaluate any worrisome symptoms that the new piggy might (hopefully not!) display. After the 3 weeks, if piggy is healthy (no sneezing/coughing/runny or crusty nose/excessive scratching, etc) then you do a one-time introduction. Take them both into a room that hopefully neither has been in, make sure there is no place for them to run and hide behind or under furniture and place a big pile of hay in the middle. Also have a water bottle for them as introductions could take 1-4 hours. Then place them both in there at the same time and watch them....don't interact with them or interfere unless you think they are about to attack. Make sure you've got a towel ready to throw on them if they do start to go for each other.

I recently asked my vet about adopting from the shelter and she said that they should still be quarantined once adopted because they can catch bordatella and other illnesses from other animals at the shelter.

Let us know how it goes and share pictures!!! Lots of them!!!!

CavyMama
04-26-15, 12:22 am
Thank you! In trying to find out everything all at once, I think I confused the quarantine time when they are separate with introduction time as being done over a period of time....? Somehow it got mixed up, thank you for clarifying that for me! Especially I just heard back about a new piggy, I should be picking her up one day this week from a local animal shelter! I have a lot of work to do!!!

Okay, I think I can help clear up the confusion for you.

Quarantine should be 21 days. In a separate room and behind closed door. This prevents any airborne illness to transmit from one to the other and gives any dormant illness that might have affected another pig, a chance to present itself and be treated.

Introduction should be one time for however long it takes. Separate only if blood is drawn. A lot of new owners get nervous when they see the scuffles during introductions but don't. This is simply a normal part of the process. They are figuring out who is the boss. So you will see mounting, chasing, nose-in-the-air contests, teeth chattering, etc. Sometimes it takes an hour, sometimes it takes 3 hours.

Piggly12
04-26-15, 01:10 am
Here is a link that goes through introductions in great detail:

http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html

Heart_Roxie
04-26-15, 11:00 am
Thank you all so much for the help! It's a lot if info all at once, I've never had a piggy before! And I've had to digest everything I could about owning one in less than two weeks only to add another one and have to learn that too! And of course I have nothing else going on in my life...!!! So thank you! I have one more question....does any if this change if the new member of our family is a baby? She will be six weeks old when I get her. I am possibly getting two from the same litter (I would really rather not, buy I feel bad saying no in the situation they're in... If the other girl can't be adopted out before I get the one, I'll have both...) So, does any of this change with her being a baby? And do I introduce the two babies to my one at the same time? Or the one baby and then the second...? And how big is a good cage size for three? I'm hoping the answer is smaller than my living room! Lol