View Full Version : New to the Forum!

11-02-08, 12:13 pm
Hello everyone! My name is Ally and my husband has recently allowed me to rekindle my childhood obsession and get some guinea pigs!

I adopted two young sisters a few days ago. They are only sixteen days old today! Take a look:
http://www.cavycages.com/photos/data/541/thumbs/16_days_-_Reba.jpg (http://www.cavycages.com/photos/showphoto.php?photo=12885) http://www.cavycages.com/photos/data/541/thumbs/16_days_-_Dolly.jpg (http://www.cavycages.com/photos/showphoto.php?photo=12884)

Adorable aren't they!? I think they'll end up having a lot longer hair...

My mother and I used to breed guinea pigs when I was a child. It was a wonderful experience. I just recently found this forum when I was trying to refresh myself on all the cavy care information! I'm just now realizing how much I still don't know!

I don't have a C&C cage for them (didn't discover those until after I had already bought another cage) but I think my store-bought cage is an adequate size. Its 36" long, 14.5" wide and high. Does that fit the recommendations? I hope so! I want happy piggies!! I've been using aspen shavings but am considering going to fleece. Any input on that?

Well, just thought I'd give myself an introduction - this is a wonderful site!

http://www.cavycages.com/photos/data/541/thumbs/16_days_-_Both_1.jpg (http://www.cavycages.com/photos/showphoto.php?photo=12883)

11-02-08, 12:21 pm
Hello and welcome to GPC!
Your piggies are just adorable! Did you adopt?

I hope you don't plan to breed anymore! For every piggy you breed more are put down in shelters. So don't breed or buy while shelter animals die!

The minimum for two guinea pigs in inches is 27" x 41". So no, your doesn't make it. You can always incorporate your old petstore cage into your new one! Here's what I did: http://www.guineapigcages.com/photos/showphoto.php?photo=12267

I also use fleece. I think its great but it's high maintanence. I have to spot clena the poops everyday but I love it. It adds your own personal touch to the cage and is so much softer.
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11-02-08, 12:29 pm
Hi and Welcome to GPC.

Sixteen days is too young for them to be taken from their mother. They shouldn't have been taken from their mother until they were at least 21 days old. They learn things they need to know from their mother.

The cage is an ok size for the moment, but not for long term as it's too small in overall square footage. Please consider making a C&C cage in the next 2-3 months. The minimum square footage for 2 sows is 7.5 sq. ft. but bigger is always better.

Care has changed so much from just a couple of years ago. Please read all the sticky threads at the tops of the different forum areas.

11-02-08, 12:53 pm
Welcome to GPC! I hope you enjoy it here!
Like AnimalHouse, I hope you don't plan on breeding again. There's a huge overpopulation and the sow has a 20% risk of dying of pregnancy complications. For the C&C, 2x3 is fine for two sows like Ly&Pigs said, but 2x4 is better, if you can manage it. Make sure that you babyproof the cage if you make it now-add cardboard or extra coroplast to the sides so they can't get their heads in the cubes while their young. And, feed them alfalfa hay mixed with normal grass hay or alfalfa pellets until they're 6 months.

11-02-08, 01:02 pm
I'm not getting the over-population thing. It took me four months to find these two guinea pigs! What area are you from? And I don't plan on breeding (hence the two females).

11-02-08, 01:14 pm
Glad you don't want to breed. Many people abandon their pigs after they realize how much time and money they take, or they buy them for their kids and then their kids get bored of them.

11-02-08, 01:25 pm
I understand that. Its just a little bit offensive when my first post on this website leaves people jumping on me for having bred guinea pigs in the past. I live in Arkansas. Guinea pigs are not common here, not even at the chain pet stores. I think people shouldn't assume that there's overpopulation everywhere.

And I hate the idea that guineas should NEVER be a child's pet. It was a great part of my childhood and my guineas were well cared for. We only got rid of them due to my dad's allergies. I hope that one of my future children will get to have such a good experience!

11-02-08, 01:29 pm
Ditto Ly. These babies should still be with mom. They also look like Satins so you should read up on their health issues.

Did you get them from a breeder?

Some areas are more overpopulated than others but there are still ways to adopt and rescue if you do leg work.

They should be a family pet - a child should not be expected or is able to do all the work. They are also less valued in general since they are a 'toy' for the child.

And you rehomed yours; that should be a testament against it in of itself. You also bred them and didn't know they were not weaned yet at 16 days old.

11-02-08, 01:34 pm
Its been eleven years. Sorry if my memory isn't too good.

11-02-08, 06:05 pm
I live in Arkansas. Guinea pigs are not common here, not even at the chain pet stores. I think people shouldn't assume that there's overpopulation everywhere.Don't give me that please. I live in Arkansas and there are plenty of pigs here in Arkansas. I managed to find many to adopt over the years from different places.

11-02-08, 06:08 pm
So instead of telling me where these places are in Arkansas you instead JUST point out how I'm wrong. Thanks for the wonderful help.

11-02-08, 06:18 pm
If you wanted to find pigs to rescue, you'd do it. If you want to get pigs from a breeder or pet store, you'll do that.

There is an overpopulation problem everywhere. All Ly said is that if she could do it, certainly you can and you can't use where you live as an excuse not to.

No one says guinea pigs should never be children's pets. Parents need to be prepared to be the primary caregivers of the pigs, though, because children are not able to recognize illnesses like an adult would, and they aren't able to care for them like an adult can.

You can't come here and disagree with many of the fundamental points of this website and then whine when people take issue with it.

11-02-08, 06:18 pm
Great another person who yells at us for trying to help...
Ok allyscavies maybe you should just calm down all we're trying to do is help you and your cavies. We're not yelling just simply advising you.

P.S love the piggies!

11-02-08, 06:19 pm
Also maybe you could look at craigslist.

11-03-08, 11:51 am
I didn't give you exact names and addresses of rescues because I don't know them. I know there is a rescue in Fayetteville and have heard there is one in Jonesboro. I said what I did in my last post because you were trying to imply that AR doesn't have an overpopulation problem where pigs are concerned but that's simply not true. We may not have as big of a problem as other states, but we do have one. Whereever there are guinea pigs, there is an overpopulation problem.

I found some of my pigs though ads in the newspaper or from other people on the forums here and at guinealynx.

Try petfinder.com, Guinea Pig Home - Home (http://www.guineapighome.com) (our sister site), craigslist, your local and area newspapers. I didn't give resources because you weren't looking for more pigs.

And I'll tell you what, if you want to think I am mean or rude or whatever, it doesn't bother me in the least. I don't sugar coat my replies and they are often short and to the point and perceived as rude, when in fact they are not and were not intended to be rude. It's all in how you read into it. I'm here for the animals first and foremost and I've given great info over the years here on the forum and have taken the time to answer many questions even if they've been asked a hundred times before.

11-03-08, 04:23 pm
ally- I'm sorry if I offended you. I really didn't mean to. I'm not saying that children shouldn't have them, but they shoud be a family responsibility instead of solely the child's, it's a very big responsibility.

11-04-08, 12:02 pm
Allys, hi and welcome. Sorry your intro was a bit ridiculous.

The SPCA and Humane societies tend to have guinea pigs that they get in. If you call them, they can let you know if they have any if there aren't any guinea pigs rescues near you. Like other people have said, Craig's list and the paper sometimes have guinea pigs but some of the time the people on these are breeders that treat their pigs horrible and are looking to make an extra dollar.

I doubt you'll be getting any more pigs since you already have two but welcome and your girls are absolutely beautiful!

As for the cage, if you don't want or can't build one, you could purchase one too. When your girls get older you will want to build a bigger cage. It's amazing how much their personalities come out when they have more room to run and play.

11-04-08, 03:57 pm
Hi, and welcome to GPC! Those who said the girls should still be with mom are right. Where did you get them? A reputable shelter or rescue would know the correct time for them to be weaned. If I come across as rude, I'm very sorry, but I honestly only want what's best for your girls.

11-04-08, 08:09 pm
Welcome Ally!
Your babies look adorable!
I am worried about your girls being separated from mom so young.
My rescue's babies were not ready for separation at day 19-20.
Technically weaning age is between 14-21 days, but it is best to keep the females with mom on the longer side if not as long as possible and to separate the boys at exactly day 21.
At 18 days of age today, there probably isn't much you can do.
Keep a close eye on those girls this week and be extremely patient in the future should they not "take" to things well. My rescue's babies learned alot from their mom on days 16-21. Things like better potty habits, and that other veggies are good too. They already had figured out things like where the hay and water bottle were, but they benefited from not being stressed out in an early separation.
I would have to look up my research documents, but the studies show that early mom/baby interactions that are less stressed benefit small animals for life's future stresses. Babies that are with mom longer tend to deal with stress better and have a better immunity in their lifetime because of it.
Your girls should be ok the rest of this week, because most of the milk needs should have been taken care of, but you should consider being extra patient with them, and have a nice back-up cushion of money for vet bills.
Even though my rescue's babies were still milking a bit on day 20, they understood the main veggies, hay, pellets and water at 16 days.
It was right around 16 days that mom started weaning them. (She naturally avoided them more and taught her babies that she was dominant over them.) This is normal behavior for moms and your babies may have some serious issues around puberty.
Don't freak out, just be aware and read up on puberty in guineas and don't separate unless blood is drawn.
I'd probably talk to the place you got them from and make sure that they have the resources they need to understand when to properly separate babies from mom. It is rather shameful that the people you "adopted" them from didn't know this. It makes me think that they are not a rescue, and are uninformed. At least you will be informed for the future and will know how to avoid people that are scamming you to make you think that you are adopting.
The dimensions you gave for the cage simply are too small. It calculates to 3.6 square feet. That is pretty bad, that is the size of my girl's potty area. In fact, I'd use the store bought cage as the "kitchen area" if it were me and then add on 10 square feet in C&C cages.
Since I have 2 girls and 2 boys, both sets get 13 square feet. (One C&C cage is on top of the other to save on house space.) It would be way too expensive to use disposable bedding for all of that, so I use fleece and then the disposable bedding only goes in the potty and hay areas. It saves me like $100 a month.
There are a ton of ideas on this site on kitchen areas and how to build the cage, so feel free to peruse the site.
Guinea Lynx :: Reproduction (http://www.guinealynx.info/reproduction.html)

11-05-08, 08:49 am
Hi, congrats & welcome... I am a newbie here myself. ;)

As many others have stated, the store bought cage is too small... & do think about using your store bought cage as part of your C&C set-up if you are interested. It is so handy to have a store bought cage when you need to quarantine a sick piggie or intro a new pig... so it is not a waste to have a store bought cage.

I did quite an extensive research before even bringing my gals home... thanks to this site, guinealynx, cavymadness, cavyspirit & youtube of course... all great reference site to check out.

I have found one of the most in-expensive Grids at Bed, bath & beyond (http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=13652600&RN=1009&) if you are interested for only $14.99 (the best price so far that I have searched on the internet).

Link: Bed Bath & Beyond Product (http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=13652600&RN=1009&)

& for the fleece, I found mine at Walmart for a roll of (48" X 70" I think that is the sz but I could be wrong since my tags came off the day they were bought) fleece throw (bedding section) for only $3.99. I bought 3 of course.

Many other "fill-ins" can be found at the dollar store (like my boho-rug, micro-fiber super absorb towel that I line my gals bed with etc. etc.)

As for the base (Coroplast), if you choose to use cardboard (like I did), it can be free (just look at your local bikeshops, costco, BJ, Sams or even the local grocer... ).

When there is a will... there is always a way!

I am not rich & deeply believe is recycling... but through love & passion for our piggies... one can always depend on our "creativity" when it comes to the best environment we can help provide for our loved ones.

Be creative, imaginative, have fun!!! :love::love::love:

P.S. Your babies are beautiful!

11-05-08, 11:25 am
I am worried about your girls being separated from mom so young.
My rescue's babies were not ready for separation at day 19-20.
Technically weaning age is between 14-21 days, but it is best to keep the females with mom on the longer side if not as long as possible and to separate the boys at exactly day 21.

There's a lot of conradicting information on this site and others. While it is important that the pups get the most from their mother in dietary needs and social behavior when a sow dies giving birth and the pups need hand-reared, everyone says don't worry about it. "They'll get along fine. They don't "need" milk. They are precocious and can eat on their own." This is a new member and you are giving her great advice but some of you are making it seem like her babies are "marked" because they were taken away so early and won't thrive. That's what I'm getting from it anyway.

If she had got the pups from a rescue, and the mother had suffered a tragedy and someone adopted them, you'd be saying "Good job, etc."

Allys has the pigs now and all she can do is care for them and love them as much as possible and hope that she expands her cage size.

11-05-08, 11:39 am
You still need to do something if the mom dies and the babies are orphans. They need to be kept warm, have their bottoms stimulated so they can poops, etc. They may not need milk (milk supplements are bad for them) but they do need special diets and possibly handfeeding.