View Full Version : New piggie owner with questions

11-25-08, 11:27 am
I recently "inherited" two female piggies. They came in a 3ftx18inch cage. I am getting the stuff together to build a 3x7 C&C cage. I am really excited about this.

One of my girls is really fat. She gets stuck in her igloo and drags it around the cage with her. What can I do, besides building the new cage, do help her slim down. I am feeding free choice Timothy hay, and Kaytee brand feed. I also feed fresh fruits and veggies, more veggies than fruit. Any other suggestions?

Also, does fleece bedding do ok with odor control or does the aspen work better?

I have really been amazed at how attached I have gotten to these girls in the month I have had them. Please help.

11-25-08, 03:38 pm
Fleece bedding works well for bedding. See the sticky on the top of the Bedding page for more info.
Kaytee food and hay are junk. Oxbow, Kleenmama, Mazuri and Sweet Meadow are quality foods to feed.
Good luck with your girls!

11-25-08, 06:58 pm
Thank you for the recomendation. I checked online, and I can order the Oxbow for the same price or less than I payed for Kaytee. Unfortunately, there is nowhere close that sells any of these products. Their hay price is pretty good too.

11-25-08, 09:55 pm
Hi & welcome.

You wanting to "slim down" your piggies got me laughing. When I first got my white Abby, all I wanted to do is to "fatten" her up (she looks "starved" at the petstore)... while my 2 other gals (mom & daughter) got 1st grade treatment from the rescue (they were stocky & well "plumped").

I recently adopted a 4th from a private owner who has other GPs (and boy were theirs fat). She is about the same age as Bubbles but it seems Bubbles is slimmer than she is. What the owners told me is that b/c they kept theirs in a smaller cage, hence they do not get good exercise while they know I gave mine free-run of my living room & kitchen daily.

So due to the exercise, no wonder while my gals wheeked constantly for food, pig out all the time... they still maintain pretty "slim". Although the truth is I am partial to little fat piggies & will continue to try to "plump' them up (not caging them to do so; want them fat yet healthy).

Slave to the Wheek
11-26-08, 03:09 am
Umm..err..you POSITIVE that they are both females? Even if they are, you new little girl just likely is pregnant!! It's very often the case when someone gets rid of a pig, because they keep having babies. Can you post up a picture of her? If she has a pear shape it's good chance she is. If she's pregnant you'll have some fun times ahead and a ton of work, since CC cages have to adjusted to caring for babies.

If it's just sheer overindulgence (which would be weird if they are both housed together) then just getting them out for some good floor time for a few hours every day would help them burn up some calories fast, See if you can set up your living room or dining room as 'piggie friendly' so that they can get out and get a good run, but have plenty of places to hide. I use baby gates to shut off different parts of the house so that they can have lots of fun. There are hundreds of ideas posted here on ways to do floor time but the important thing is to get her out and moving and grooving.

In addition to that you'll want to read about proper diet and nutrition so that you can make sure you get her off of any extra caloric food as well. (Get off the Kaytee pellets as fast as you can, they have bad chemicals in them) The very best place to get that information is on Guinea Lynx where they have posted up a wonderful Guinea Pig Care Manual online. When you get to the page, you'll notice that there are blue links in the text, and also there are links of the left side of the page. Be sure to explore all of them as you need to. Be sure to bookmark that webpage for future reference as well.
Guinea Lynx :: Guinea Pig Care Guide (http://www.guinealynx.info/healthycavy.html)

The other thing I should ask is if she has long hair. Long haired pigs are often all hair under that appearance and a good short haircut will sometimes fix it.

In the meantime, look into getting something other than a pigloo. Personally I hate them, since they only have one door and pigs often argue which leads to tossles inside them. I like to use Super Pet Brand Large sized Grassy Hutches. They can be ordered online or ask your local pet supply shop to order one for you if they don't carry them. Most small local non-pet selling stores are happy to do special orders. I keep a couple in the cage and they use them to go from one to the other, plus they are large enough for adult guinea pigs.

There are also these in several sizes. They are also made by "Super Pet" but sometimes the petstores have different brands and styles.


There are hundreds of other options as well. Including something as simple as a box! Just find a good sized box, cut a door into it, then FLIP it over so that the open end is on the bottom of the cage. (keeps them from peeing/pooing on cardboard)
http://www.cavycages.com/photos/data/500/thumbs/HayRackFlat_CokeBoxes_FunTown2.JPG (http://www.cavycages.com/photos/showphoto.php?photo=6657)
http://www.cavycages.com/photos/data/500/thumbs/HayRackFlat_CokeBoxes_FunTown3.JPG (http://www.cavycages.com/photos/showphoto.php?photo=6654)

There's also another page that talks about diet and nutrition here:CavyMadness: guinea pigs and the people who love them (http://cavymadness.com/carefood.html)

11-26-08, 10:17 am
I double checked, they are both female. The family I got them from says there have been no other piggies around them. Ruthie is definately pear shaped though. She looks like she swallowed a baseball. Rosie is the same size from head to backside and looks good.

Thank you for the info about the houses, I will look into them. I will try turning them out for more floor time. I made the mistake of doing that on the carpet once, they made quite the mess. I do have a large bathroom they could explore.

I will be ordering some Oxbow feed as there is within about 30 or 40 miles of me that carries it. Everybody carries Hartz or Kaytee.

I hope to have my c&c done this week.

Slave to the Wheek
11-26-08, 11:36 am
Sounds like your right on track. I sure have a lot of fun finding ways to make my little furries happy and it sounds like you will too! I found this forum to be such a lifesaver. I was so lost and this place was so awesome. Everything I learned about pigs is from exploring the websites that GPC hosts as well as Guinea Lynx too of course. So many places are breeder boards with kids hosting them, or are filled with outdated information on guinea pig care.

The bathroom isn't a good place since there floor is too slippery for guinea pig feet, and it's really not large enough anyway. It was the first place I tried too, as well as the kitchen floor, but they can't get a good grip and so they can't really get any good laps going. Plus the mess of pee/poo mixed together is really gross! Some pigs won't even walk on anything slippery at all.

I've pulled up some information on floor time for you to review. The main thing is to give them lots of connecting places that they can run from one to another. Think of it as if they are in the battlefield and always 'looking for cover' since that's pretty much how they feel all the time. By providing all kinds of stuff to run through and hide under it relieves stress and also encourages them to explore. Here are some more links, and some pics to get you inspired.

This one will give you a link to the GPC gallery of floor time pictures:

Here's a some links that Teresa posted up here on GPC about floor time:
http://www.guineapigcages.com/floortime.htm (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/../floortime.htm)
http://www.guineapigcages.com/freerange.htm (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/../freerange.htm)

Folks do all kinds of things to protect carpeting from piggie pee. From laying down shower curtain liners with newspaper paper over the top, to using large sheets of fleece (what I use) or old blankets. To keep them from getting under furniture you can use more of those handy grids and zip tie together to make a wall. That's probably a good use for those new Target grids that aren't piggie safe.

This shows what you can do with grids if you just zip tie them together for example. You can buy these but they are outrageously priced and are really tiny. So using grids is much cheaper and better.


11-26-08, 04:34 pm
You're right, my girls didn't like the bathroom floor. My bathroom is quite large, but the floor is too slippery. I'll put my cubes together as a fence until I get my coroplast, and put them in it for a bit every day.

This forum has been very helpful. Thanks to all the knowledgable piggie people!!

11-26-08, 05:58 pm
Cut the fruit out of the diet completely, get a better brand of pellets even if it costs a bit more and give more floortime to encourage more exercise. Then feed a good healthy balanced veggie meal and tons of hay. These things should help your sow trim down a bit.

11-26-08, 09:07 pm
Also, you can put their hay rack and their water bottle a tiny bit higher (just a little bit. If you put them too high the won't drink or eat). That'll make them move a little bit more than usual. Also, you can make them play follow the food. That will help them move around.

Did you see this chart: http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/diet-nutrition/22156-everything-you-need-know-about-cavys-diet-read-me-nutrition-charts-info.html