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walrus_2001
07-28-04, 07:04 pm
Hey guys,

this question isn't related to C&C cages, but more to the types of products you guys use for your guinea pigs. Firstly with bedding...i'm using wood shavings, cause it's about a sfar as the money will stretch (i'm a student at uni :)). Lots of places round here sell pine shavings, but i ask them whether they're kiln dried or not and they have no idea, and it doesn't say on the packet. they don't smell too strong, so i figured they're not too bad and i'm using them until i find some that are definitely kiln dried. next is food...i can only ever find bags of "rabbit and guinea pig food". I've heard that rabbit food often contains too much vit. d, only the packets i've seen never tell you what's in the mix. and my final question regards hay (for eating). everyone around here sells lucerne hay and nothing else. is this the aussie equivalent of the timothy hay or not?? i've heard many conflictiong opinions. well thats all my questions for now...i live in sydney by the way, so if anyone knows a good place to buy this stuff, let me know..

thanks for your help, i look forward to hearing back from yas.

icesprite
07-28-04, 07:31 pm
Woohoo, somebody else from my neck of the woods :)
For one, I gave up on wood shavings long ago. I am such a messy cage cleaner, that I ended up with shavings deeply ingrained in my carpet. I switched to fleece, and it is fantastic! At first I bought a length of fleece from the fabric shop near Tandy (behind the library) (hehe, since you live in Hornsby, I can speak in local terms). However, I soon discovered that Woollies occasionally has specials on fleece blankets and it is much cheaper to buy a queen sized fleece blanket and cut it up. In the end, fleece is cheaper than shavings, it is a one of investment, and then all it takes is a bit of water and detergent in the washing machine.

Pellets. Well, time to face facts. Pellets in Australia suck. You're right, they all seem to be dual purpose - Rabbit and Guinea Pig pellets. I had never heard about the vitamin d, but problems I have heard associated with rabbit pellets are: they can contain an antibiotic which is deadly to guinea pigs, and they are not fortified with vitamin C. However, neither of these things appear to be an issue in Australia - they don't put the antibiotic in the pellets and most of them do have vitamin C. I was using Peters pellets from the supermarket. More recently someone has put me on to a feed store in Carlingford that sells pellets in bulk at a bit cheaper. It is near the station, if you are interested.

Hay. I get my hay from a stockfeed place in Dural. Last time I bought a bale of "grassy hay", it cost me $14. Timothy hay, from what I can gather is just a type of grassy hay, and it is the "grassy" bit that is important. Sometimes the supermarket has Peter's pasture hay. This is a grassy hay and would do nicely if it wasn't so expensive. Lucerne is not the equivalent. Lucerne is actually what the rest of the world (it seems) calls alfalfa, and should only really be given to young or pregnant/nursing sows as it is very high in calcium. You're right, that is all that petshops seem to sell here, and that annoys me no end.

One last thing that I discovered recently and feel I should share. You know the fruit and veggie shop opposite Woolworths. They sell gigantic bunches of endive (I don't know if endive is actually lettuce or just something similar) for $2.40 and they last for ever. Much longer than a head of lettuce! These days it is very rare for my pigs to get actual lettuce, they like endive just as much and it is so much more economical.

Hope all that helps :)

Cheers,

Jen

Tfrog
07-28-04, 09:27 pm
Wow - More people from the land of cats & dogs!!! :) I am so thoroughly frustrated with pet stores here in Australia it's not funny. I use old cloth nappies sewn together to make a blanket for bedding in most of the cage. Then, at one end I have an area of 2x1 that I have woody pet and hay (that crap you get from the pet store that looks like straw). My gp's tend to use that as a toilet which is great and makes it heaps easier to clean.
I brought some "Pasture Hay" made by the RSPCA. I brought it online through PetWorld (I think they might even have a store in Sydney) and they freight to anywhere in Oz. A 2kg bag cost $8.00. The food I'm using is the typical Rabbit and Guinea Pig mix but I thought next I might either try Doctor Harry's mix (Woolworths) or the pellets and the feed store.
Have you tried taking your Cavvy to the Vet yet? Poor buggers haven't got a clue. I mean - it's got 4 legs but.......how'd you bred a cat so small?

Just re-read this post and I realise I sound really nasty. Sorry, I'm just fed up and frustrated. Especially when people talk about going 'to the shop' and getting everything they need when we have to hunt around for it.
Someone needs to open an online specialty store here in Australia just for Guinea Pigs.

icesprite
07-28-04, 10:11 pm
Haha, it is not so bad :) It's funny how this thread has sparked such long essays, though.

I am not sure if you are in Sydney, Tfrog, but there appears to be a couple of vets around the place that know about guinea pigs. There is one in Baulkham Hills, who is apparently brilliant. I have never had the misfortune of having to make a vet trip, but I am going to get my boy desexed soon and have already been in correspondence with the vet there and she sounds great.

Is that straw stuff in petshops really supposed to be hay!?!? Good lord. My pigs would laugh at me if I tried to feed them that. Seriously, go to a feed store and buy a bale. It lasts forever and the pigs love it. Well, actually, its probably about the same as the pasture hay that you have been buying, but very much cheaper.

From all I have read, I would avoid mixes. They contain seeds, which apart from constituting a choking hazard, are fattening and not all that great for pigs. Go with plain pellets if you can. The Peters ones (RSPCA endorsed) are also sold in supermarkets and are definitely preferable to mixes.

walrus_2001
07-29-04, 04:04 am
thanks...thats some really helpful info....

whats the name of that store in dural where you buy the hay?? i might make a trip down there to get some...all i have at the moment is a bag of lucerne, and i'll probably just keep that for treats from now on...

icesprite
07-29-04, 04:44 am
It is called Dural Stockfeeds. I have only been there once, and from memory we had a bit of trouble finding it. It is behind a big petshop.

Banana
09-13-04, 03:21 am
I've had the same problem and was looking at the ingredients of the peters mix. I guess its not too bad considering the other stuff we have out here....i can't believe Doctor Harry endorses his feed, its full of seeds!
i wish oxbow exported to asutralia, they export to the rest of the world! They sell a 50 lb (which i believe is 25kg bag?) for around US$17 so roughly $35 here? I don't know how much shipping is though, but it seems like that would be a big bag. Maybe we could buy in bulk and share it around? my girls seem to go through about 3kg of pellets in two months. anyone else interested?

ice_on_fire
10-02-04, 07:15 am
So the pasture hay is not good for the piggies..?? cuz that's the only hay i can find around my place..

Banana
10-02-04, 07:42 am
So the pasture hay is not good for the piggies..?? cuz that's the only hay i can find around my place..
yeah i saw that stuff at coles, sold by peters right? its clover and something else...cant rememeber, anyone else know, it seemed pretty expensive though, where do you live ice on fire?

ice_on_fire
10-03-04, 04:26 am
sydney.. i bought the hay from big W.. it's like from the RSPCA or something..

icesprite
10-04-04, 11:33 pm
Pasture hay is fine. The only problem with it is that it is expensive to feed it in a constant supply (which you should do). If you are able to make it to the Dural/Galson kind of area, you will be able to buy bales of hay for a fraction of the cost of pasture hay.

agpiggy
10-21-04, 12:18 am
hi im from brisbane and i was wondering if any one that lives in brissy knows where you can get guineapig supplies because at the moment i am buying bags of this hay stuff, no idea what it is but my pigs love it and i also feed them dr harry seeds from the supermarket!

Nicole - Adel
07-22-05, 12:30 am
Gosh this is all so confusing. Does anyone live in Adelaide? I am finding it hard here to find products also. I went to a fodder store and they sold me a bag of hay, I think they said it had lucerne in it. I am a new cavy owner (actually picking them up on Sunday) and so I have bought my first supplies. I am finding it very confusing though. I figured hay was hay so I just bought a bag of it. i didn't realise there are different sorts (what should I ask for?) I also bought some of the Dr Harry pellets mix at woolies, I thought they should be good because of Dr Harry however should I have just bought the Lucene Pellets (Peters brand) instead? Gosh I am totally confused.

icesprite
07-22-05, 01:23 am
Edit: I am such a moron - I got two posts muddled up together in my head. Trying to edit to make it answer your q, nicole - adel

Pellets - I have never found any specifically for guinea pigs either. I buy a rabbit and guinea pig pellet from a stockfeed place around here but when I was in Sydney I used to use the ones made by Peters (sold in most supermarkets).

Hay - ugh.
Lucerne is alfalfa (high calcium) and not timothy, and therefore not advisable to be fed in large doses, particularly to adult cavies. Of course everybody (petshop employees, stock feed places, the occasional vet) will tell you that you should be feeding them lucerne and that everyone feeds them lucerne, but that is all garbage - lucerne is too high in calcium. You should be feeding them a grass hay (timothy is a grass hay). I am not sure how easy it is to find in Adelaide (in Sydney it was next to impossible, possibly due to the drought) - ring around stock feed places and ask for grass hay or meadow hay - don't mention that it is for guinea pigs - they will try to foist lucerne on you! Otherwise, you could come on an excursion to the nation's capital where it is fairly easy to get hold of. Come to canberra for fireworks, porn and hay.

Hope this helps - if your new pigs are babies, don't sweat about giving them lucerne, they need the calcium for growing bones. But do try to track down some real hay!

icesprite
07-22-05, 01:36 am
As for pellets - I have read that the mixes are junky and not so good for them. Though, I have to confess that if I had a box of the Dr Harry's mix, I would probably get a box of the peters and mix them together and feed em to the pigs anyway..

Alanas
07-22-05, 07:55 am
Hey people and piggies :)

I have tried many food brands, Dr. Harry's isn't good because it is primarily seeds and not a lot of pelets and grains, and my guinea pigs don't eat much of it, they eat the bits they like and leave the rest as squeal for more food. Peter's is okay not much better though. I get my piggy food from Blacktown yes, yes I am a westie. Anyway Blacktown pet food and produce is fantastic because they have massive containers full of food for birds, guineapigs, rabits etc but they are all seperated so you get a bag, and go to the pellets container and get your pellets and grains, a bag of fine grass, basically all the things you need. You then weigh them on the scale and pay for it like that. So you aren't paying for packaging and you can choose what goes in your own guinea pig mix, of course it is best to do some reading, but it seems like you have already done that :) anyway it is a really cheap way to do it, it is really good quality food, and the people that work there really know what they are talking about, and they don't over charge on other things like water bottles, food containers etc either.

Alanas
08-04-05, 07:48 am
Do you know the name of the one at Baulkham Hills? I live close by and have been around everywhere to find a good Vet....it is like you walk in and there is cat and dog stuff anywhere. I took my Cavy to the vet to get her teeth checked for overgrown molars, I asked if he knew about guinea pigs and he said yes. He stuck a torch in her mouth and said they were fine then he cut her incissors down to nothing almost, I swear they are about 4 mm long, and she can't eat properly now! Then as I was leaving he said "What a baby cavies called?" and I said "Pups" and he said "good" I thought he was asking me to see if I know enough info about cavies to own them but then he continued and said "I have been trying to find that out for years." Oh my goodness! I was shocked! So before I left I wrote down the site details for Guinea Lynx. I have tried 3 vets in the area, and they say "Yes I can see guinea pigs" but you look around and it is just cats and dogs, I don't care if they 'can see guinea pigs' I need someone who knows guinea pigs, loves guinea pigs and appreciates guinea pigs.

icesprite
08-04-05, 04:40 pm
Alanas - it is the Baulkham Hills Veterinary Hospital - it's somewhere on Windsor Road. Here is the webpage: http://www.baulkhamhillsvet.com.au/home/index.cfm
It is probably all dog and cat paraphanalia around the place (I can't remember), but there are also plaques and certificates up for some of the vets showing that they are specialised in small animals. I just noticed on the webpage there is an "About the Staff" link and it tells you what their specialties are. Marilyn is the one who did Tuck's desexing.

Along the same lines as the "pup" story, last time I took a pig to the vet (in Canberra) the guy asked if Tuck's aby coat was "normal" or whether perhaps he had some kind of "condition". That was scary! He was very indignant when I asked what kind of antibiotics he had prescribed but I did not trust him not to give penicilin.