View Full Version : New to the site, new to guinea pigs-Meet Nibbles and Moo

Oragami Sauce
02-19-09, 08:55 pm
Hi. My name's Kara (although I tend to go by Oragami sometimes). I'm 21 years old, I've owned guinea pigs for about 3 weeks. I've just joined this site.

I've read the information on the GuineaPigCages.com site about the 'cubes and coroplast cages', and I really hope to build one day for my 2 piggies.

I 'rescued' them from someone giving them away on craigslist. When I got them, the bottom of the cage only had bits of shredded newspaper, there was poo caked to the bottom, and since the bottom is made of metal (the tray part), it's rusting, and the paint covering it is 'bubbling' in places.
We have a bigger former ferret cage (about 3 or 4 times the size of their current one) that I want to get out of storage, but I need my mom to get it for me.

They get fed the Hartz brand guinea pig food. I want to buy some better food, but at the moment I can't afford it. They do get some 'treats' of apple, and sometimes lettuce (iceberg, only a little since i know it's not the best, but still safe). They have a handful of Timothy Hay each day, and usually most ends up on the bottom of the cage XD I may buy some bermuda grass hay if I can get ahold of the 'supplier' and i find out the quality is good.

Currently I have 2 guinea pigs, both male (i checked). Their names are Nibbles:

And this is Moo:
Sorry if the pictures are too big, i didn't read anything about the 'maximum size' for pictures allowed here. If there is, can you please direct me to where I can find out that information?

02-19-09, 09:18 pm
Welcome to GPC! Your piggies are adorable.:love:

Please throw out the hartz, it's one of the worst brands out there and try to find some Oxbow, Sweet Meadow, Kleenmamas (online only) or Mazuri 4667(?) ASAP. You may think the better brands are more expensive, but in all reality they are about the same, if not cheaper. When I found oxbow, it was cheaper than the dangerous stuff I was giving my pigs.

Also, it sounds like your cage has a wire bottom. If that is the case, PLEASE get rid of it IMMEDIETLY!!! Wire bottoms can cause bumblefoot, and many other serious foot/ankle problems. Even if you need to very temporarily use the ferret cage, which will likely be too small, it will be much safer than a cage that has a wire bottom.

C&C cages are very easy to build. If you haven't already take a look at the find materials link on the home page to see where you can get coroplast and grids in your area. Be wary of Target grids, the holes are too large and can kill or injure your piggies. The best place, I think, to get them is Bed, Bath and Beyond. A package of 16 can make a 2x3 with a lid or a bottom (both of which are optional depending on the setup) and bigger if you just need the sides. (For example, if you have it on a table that is bigger than the cage, you don't need a bottom to keep the coroplast in the grids, unless you plan on moving it around a lot.) I find that small mom and pop shops are the best place to find coroplast, and don't try to rip you off like large chain stores do (Kinkos wanted $120 for a 40"x40" piece!)
http://www.guineapigcages.com/where.htm (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/../where.htm)

Also, iceburg lettuce is not a good lettuce to feed at all. Not only is it low in nutrients, but it has nitrites/nitrates (can't remember which) hat are not good for your piggie. They can have all other lettuces though. Romaine tends to be a big hit with the pigs. Check out Ly&pigs veggie/fruit chart as well as the sample diets to see what a good selection of veggies are.
http://www.guineapigcages.com/food/Veggie-and-Fruit-Charts.pdf (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/../food/Veggie-and-Fruit-Charts.pdf)

Have fun with your little guys, they are a blast!

Oragami Sauce
02-19-09, 09:26 pm
I know Hartz is among the worst, if not the worst. I'm trying to get a better brand for them. I have access to PetSmart and a local 'mom and pop' store. Online is unlikely, but possible if I have enough money to put on one of those 'prepaid credit cards'. I know the better brands might be more expensive in the 'right off', but cheaper in the long run since my piggies would need to eat less to get them full/same nutrients. At least, that's what I think.

The cage doesn't have a wire bottom. If so, I would have covered it with cardboard and asked my mom to get me the bigger ferret cage out of storage as soon as possible. I wouldn't want my babies to break a leg.
All Living ThingsŪ Deluxe Guinea Pig Kit - Habitats & Cages - Small Pet - PetSmart (http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2752701)
That is the cage they have. I know it's way small for one guinea pig, but two? Even before I did my research on guinea pigs, I would know something that small isn't good.

I'm trying to search around for local stores that sell the 'cubes' things. I heard the Target brand isn't good also, although I can't remember where I read it. I searched on the websites listed on this site, but i couldn't find them on any of them I think...I'd have to check 'in store'.

I thought iceberg was ok, but in small amounts...I guess I was wrong. I'll have to remind my mom when I give her the money to get some 'piggie treats' to get ROMAINE lettuce, not iceberg.

My piggies get to roam around outside for an hour or so 3 or so times a week. It would be more, but I have things I need to do around the house that prevents me from taking them out mroe. They do get some 'inside roam around' time each day since i clean their cage on a daily basis.

02-19-09, 09:34 pm
It's not that they woud need to eat less, it's that the nutritional content is way better and the other brands don't have dangerous cancer causing preservatives, choking hazards (make sure there are no seeds or colored bits), and fattening fillers. Try calling feed stores and small animal vets to see if they carry Oxbow, or if they are willing to order it for you (that's how i got my feed store to carry it). If you have to, you can get it at PetSmart.

Oragami Sauce
02-19-09, 09:35 pm
I found someone that is selling 'bermuda hay grass'. Would that be ok as part of their diet? I don't know what the quality is yet, so i'm not sure if I will buy it.

02-19-09, 09:38 pm
Yes, bermuda is fine to feed on a daily basis. Any grass hays can be fed on a daily basis. This includes Orchard grass, brome, timothy, bluegrass, and bermuda.

Alfalfa is a legume hay and is best for babies, and pregnant/nursing sows.

Grass hay should be fed daily and in unlimited amounts.

Oragami Sauce
02-19-09, 09:39 pm
My piggies get some Kaytee Timothy Hay on a daily basis, but not much since I don't have a lot.

If I can get a hold of the person selling the hay and find the quality is good, i'll get some. Depending on the size, it might last my piggies a long while.

02-19-09, 09:41 pm
They really should be given a constant supply of hay as it is essential for wearing down their molars.

Oragami Sauce
02-19-09, 09:43 pm
They seem to have enough for their purposes, and there is usually a little left in the 'holder' at the end of the day.

I heard wood blocks are ok for them to help keep their teeth down...I have some small ones (1inx1inx1in) blocks, and some bigger ones (unsure of size). Would those be ok? There's no paint, glue, or anything else on them.

02-19-09, 09:48 pm
I would think they would be ok as long as there are not treated with anything, which you said they weren't. But honestly, most pigs ignore them. Also, those don't wear down molars. That would be more for their front teeth.

If they have left over hay, I would say you are providing enough through the day, just make sure they always have at least some in there and that it's never empty.

Oragami Sauce
02-19-09, 09:53 pm
I fill it once a day, and a few times I have had to fill it twice, although I wouldn't put as much in the 2nd time since it's usually near the end of the day.

I'll put a few of the blocks in there to see if they're interested, and see over a few days if they're nibbled on...But wouldn't any splinters hurt them?

02-19-09, 09:54 pm
Once they start to get really chewed up they shoud be removed. Be sure to check them often to see how they are faring.

Oragami Sauce
02-19-09, 09:55 pm
oh...Ok XD I'll do that.

Thanks for the info =3 I have a forum I go to for ferret information, now one for guinea pigs :)