View Full Version : New Piggy Mommy, need some tips!

05-12-15, 12:18 pm
Hello my name is April, and I just got my piggy Elvis, I have read a lot of books before bringing a piggy home, so I know all the essentials of care,however this boy was rescued from a pet shop, I know, I know, before anyone tells me the horrors of a pet shop, listen to my story first, I was all set to adopt a piggy from a shelter but I went to petco to get all the supplies I needed and you just have to see him to understand, I couldn't leave him behind and he has a way better home now, plus he is very healthy, he has beautiful shinny fur, clean bright eyes, clean nose, eating normally, is the right weight, breathing normally, very fast! and active. Also I know you should have two piggies but he has been alone a long time, and when he was placed with other males he didn't do well, but he is going to have a ton of attention from all the family, so I think he will be okay on that!

Anyhow the only thing I couldn’t find in the books or don’t know much about is what I should do during his first days, because he is very skittish let me explain:

He is fine if you hold him, he doesn’t bite, or scratch, or wiggle, but to get him is a trick, he runs away, and he hides when we go into the room, and this morning after a good spot cleaning I sure had a hard time catching him, because he is very fast! my questions are these:

Should I just leave him alone for a couple of days, and just talk to him and pet him when I go to fill up his hay rack?

or should I pick him up every time I check in?
or is there something else anyone has to suggest?
Thank you! :love:

05-12-15, 12:26 pm
HI and welcome to the forums!!! You can learn a lot just by reading through previous threads. You can also read how to properly introduce him to a new friend when you are ready to add to your herd, and I bet you will. :) Think about it from his perspective... He is this little guy about 4" tall, in walks this GIANT!!! Holy Toledo Batman this thing is going to eat me... run!!!! :) Ok so seriously you get the picture. Anyway just keep doing what you are doing. We have had our boys since March and they still hide. What kind of cage do you have him in? But really just read through various threads and you will obtain a lot of information here. Again welcome!

05-12-15, 12:29 pm
See http://www.guinealynx.info/healthycavy.html and http://www.guinealynx.info/emergency.html. See the Main tab at the top of this page for recommended cage sizes. If you bought one from the pet store, it's too small.

I'm sure he's very cute, but you've purchased a product from a pet store. They're going to order another one to replace him. That one is going to come from a breeding mill where sows are kept continually pregnant until they can no longer bear healthy pups, and then they're killed. The guinea pigs are very inbred, get no medical care, are shipped in plastic containers where they're so crowded that the live ones trample the bodies of the dead ones. They're often ill, missexed, have parasites, and the females are often pregnant.

If you'd been just a little patient, you could have found a pig at a shelter or rescue that would also have been adorable, and who needed a good home. Taking that pig would not have created a demand for another pig to be bred to take its place, but would have freed up a spot in the shelter or rescue for another unwanted pig to be cared for.

He may or may not be OK being alone. You have no idea whether he's ever been properly introduced to another pig, or whether the people putting them together set it up for failure. And if the only place he's ever been with other pigs is in the overcrowded conditions at the pet store, he's never been given a chance to see whether he could live with another pig if he had the right sized cage.

05-12-15, 12:31 pm
When you first get a guinea pig, it is advised to leave them alone for 1-2 (maybe 3, depending on how skittish they are) days other than refilling hay/pellets and starting him on veggies.
It's common for him to be that skittish and run into hiding when you enter the room. Guinea pigs are prey animals and an unfamiliar sight will kick in their instinct to run. I have owned my two female piggies for about a month and they will eat out of my hand and won't mind me moving around in my room, but the slightest unfamiliar sound or sight will terrify them.

It's extremely recommended to put piggies in pairs, because you never know what kind of situation will come up that you can't be around almost 24/7. Another option rather than adopting a boar, is to neuter Elvis and then get a sow. It's honestly hit or miss when attempting to introduce guinea pigs. You're lucky, or you're not. I thankfully didn't have to go through that process because I adopted a mother and her pup.
Just out of curiosity, where are you housing him and what in? (:

Anyways, hope I answered your questions. Good luck!

05-12-15, 12:32 pm
Thank you for the kind advice! I can't wait to meet more kind members and show pictures of him when he calms down a bit, he has a very nice cage it has two floors, no wire bottom! and I am using a fleece baby blanket with a towel under, its 30x54 so he has a ton of space, he really likes having the run of the place, better than that horrible little tank he was in, I think he is unsure what to do with all the space :) also he has room to himself to exercise and stuff, it used to be my baby room, there is nothing he can get trapped behind or get into.

05-12-15, 12:36 pm
Sounds like quite a nice environment! I hope you enjoy your new addition to the family. Once tamed, guinea pigs can be very lovable (and let's not forget entertaining) pets.

05-12-15, 12:39 pm
Thank you tobyandheidi, and I will definitely search for a partner for him, but from a shelter, I feel really bad about adopting from a pet store I know they are horrible, but I fell so completely in love with him, and I am willing to spend and do whatever for him, will the cage dimensions be enough if I do get a spayed sow or another boar in the future or will I have to expand?

05-12-15, 12:44 pm
Will you "rescue" the one from the pet store that's bred to take his place? And the one who takes that one's place?

The problem with pet stores isn't that the pigs aren't cute, and that they don't deserve better lives. It's that their "better lives" comes at the expense of the sow and the other pups who are born to replace them. There are other cute pigs that deserve better lives, and if you get one of those from a shelter or rescue, you not only get a cute pig, but another pig can then be rescued because there's now room for it.

Take a look at www.petsmartcruelty.com. Rainbow Exotics is still in business, still supplying sick and dying animals to pet stores.

05-12-15, 12:49 pm
I understand bpatters, I feel terrible, but I won't ever make that mistake again, however since I already bought him there is nothing I can do to mend the wrong I did, all I can do is learn from my mistakes, and get him a partner from a shelter when I find one available.

05-12-15, 12:52 pm
It sounds like you have about a 2x4, and that's minimum for two sows. I'd say that'd be enough space if you were to get a sow, but a minimum for two boars is a 2x5, because they tend to squabble a bit and need their own space - no matter how well they get along. You won't get two boars that never fight, it's just not possible. But either way, minimum of 2x5 for two males.

05-12-15, 12:54 pm
Alright so I will expand, even if I get a sow, thank you :)

05-12-15, 12:57 pm
Yes, sounds about right. No problem, glad I could help.