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KiwiCavyAdorer
11-18-10, 03:10 am
Hi there,

I chose this title because I have adored guinea pigs for my entire life, I've not yet had the pleasure of being a slave to cavy's, but I am anticipating the time when I am able to give them the palace I think they'd enjoy the most!

In my childhood I did however have a hamster called Hamish, who I happily slaved over and adored his entire life. He was given to me by a well meaning relative who blissfully believed, whoever she got Hamish from, that he was a guinea pig! Hamish lived inside and I took him into the garden or the bushveld every day for his exercise and nature time. I even took Hamish down to the beach for walks there and to investigate seaweed etc. He was a curious devil, Hamish and in those days there was no such thing as a harness, so we must have had a pretty good relationship for me, to have managed, to call him to me where ever we were.

The animals who share my life, are all rescues. Beautiful is our cat, Blue is our dog, and two horses Annie and Lilly. Our animals are equal members of our family which consists of my husband and I.

My husband is nearing the end of his advanced photographers tuition with the PhotoSchool.co.nz, he's an engineer who went into Safari adventures in Africa years ago, and he plans now to combine his photography with specialised tour groups. I am a private researcher for health and well being in people and an orthopaedic hoofcare specialist for horses - I work as a holistic consultant in both of those fields; with the guiding motto of "prefering to adhere to the simple in medicine and the logic of nature" which comes from Dr Batmanghelidj and his simple saline revolution.

While I pre-pave the guinea pig era of our lives, I'm finding such joy at reading the up's and down's of others stories. The contrasts are so helpful because its through them that I can more clearly define what it is that my preferences might be. The joy of living that I might be able to provide to the cavy's who come into our lives.

The vision of housing I've developed so far looks a little like this:-
I've read that cavy's are very sociable, so keeping them in one room feels less good than allowing them a flow from room to room. The practicalities of this I've not worked through, as it would depend on where you live. It might be as simple as creating a hole through a wall, so they can run through to the other room and along a bit - so they can watch you while you are either in the lounge or in the kitchen. Move with you in a sense.

My husband came up with the idea of extending this tunnel type (closed c&c cage) wall mounted run, to including an outdoor option (summer) or an indoor turfed option year round. We sprout oats for our horses every day and it forms a very solid mat of grass if we keep it several days - he thought we might be able to engineer something of the sort for guinea's to self feed on especially at night - when they are out in their natural environment. Just thoughts at this stage and I've a whole forum to read through to weigh this concept up against. But as with our horses we aim to give our future guinea's unrestricted exercise options in a fun place to live that keeps them naturally healthy.

I'm really glad I found a guinea pig site so dedicated to well being and devoted care.

Domino & Bedhead
11-18-10, 08:36 am
Welcome and a beautiful introduction. :-)

brindyzoeycandy
11-18-10, 09:37 am
Welcome to GPC!

What kind of horses do you have? Myself I have a quarter horse named Spirit.

KiwiCavyAdorer
11-18-10, 04:23 pm
Hi BrindyZoeyCandy,

Annie is a St James mare, these horses were left wild to breed on a huge station in the South Island for the last hundred years or so and recently the Department of Conservation bought the station and exterminated the remaining horses. She is a deep chestnut with wavy stripe blaze and 2 white socks.

Lilly is a Holsteiner mare, who was gifted to me, as the owner was at her wits end on how to get her back to being healthy after trying for several years to chemically induce pregnancy. (Lilly lived with diahorrea for 10 years before she came to me.) We fixed that for her in 6 weeks.
She is a bay, with black points and a crescent style white star on her forehead.

I've never met a quarter horse, but used to look longingly a pictures of them in books. Spirit is a beautiful name.

KiwiCavyAdorer
11-18-10, 04:31 pm
:cheerful: thank you for the welcomes!

GuineaLove
11-18-10, 04:48 pm
Hello and Welcome!* It sounds like you are going to have some very happy guinea pigs.

1frankie7
11-18-10, 07:08 pm
Welcome to GPC!!

Great intro by the way!

I would love to see pics of your pigs, their cage, and I would just love to see horses. They are so incredibly beautiful!

cam767
11-18-10, 07:54 pm
Welcome! Great intro. It sounds like your future pigs are going to be some of the luckiest with the plans you have going for the cage. Growing grass for them to munch on will definitely be a plus. They'll love you all the more for it. :) Make sure to share pics of both pigs and cage when you get them.
Be sure to read all the stickies at the top of each section. They are chock full of great info. If you have any questions be sure to ask. Everyone is wonderful on this site about answering when they can.

KiwiCavyAdorer
11-19-10, 03:04 am
Thank you each so much for the welcomes!

I have been reading my through stickies and posts and everything that's said "must read", I trust it will all fall into place ok. And that my square computer screen eyes come back round again! I doubt I have even scratched the surface yet.

I am SO very glad that I did not make the pet shop impulse purchase a month or so back! Sad for the piglet who so completely caught my eye though. I think about him so often - wondering where he ended up and thanking him for the google searches he set me onto!

This site is amazing. Its clear and coherent. Though admitedly I am a bit lost and am pretty sure I made the classical newbie mistake of posting in two different threads about the same thing... both were old threads from NZ sector and both were about hay. The first one, realising that some people were having issues finding good fresh meadow hay in ready supply - I offered that I have great horse hay every year should anyone have difficulty in finding their cavy supply. And the second post I made was a correction to a belief that Timothy hay isn't grown in the Southern Hemisphere. It is, and in the post I mentioned that I'd contacted several farm supply stores and asked for Timothy and they all had seed stock of it. I also mentioned that its usually sown as a percentage of a mixed grass sward and that there were local people cutting hay from it. I've left a few messages on phones, so will post the reply when I have a supplier.

I am wondering if I should post back in the NZ category when I do - as it was an old thread I bumped up incase, like me, new Kiwi's were onsite; and wondering at the situation.

Shurrim
11-19-10, 10:45 am
Welcome, wonderful intro and how piggies will be happy with you!!! It makes me want to be a cavy in NZ ;)

KiwiCavyAdorer
11-19-10, 11:59 pm
Thank you Shurrim! that's really nice of you to say, I am sure that our cat Beautiful has taken it upon herself to break us into being good cavy slaves - it might just be as her dotage (old age) is advancing she is using it as leverage, but every time one of us walks to the kitchen she squawks with an increasing number of meow sounds! She also tries to convince us that the other hasn't fed her yet! I set up a keyring of message cards, some years back, on the fridge door: they read:- Darling, Beautiful has had her full breakfast. Darling, Beautiful has not breakfasted yet. Darling, Beautiful has had her full dinner. Darling, Beautiful has not dined as yet. Darling please check the fridge as Beautiful has only had half her meal.... From what I read about the nature of cavy's love of food and instinct to the refridgerator door, I am thinking perhaps Beautiful is listening in on the anecdotes of cavy's that I relay to my husband. Hearing the range of conversation she is blessing us with lately...   

KiwiCavyAdorer
11-24-10, 02:31 am
I read somewhere on the net a scientific paper on guinea pigs that the limiting factor, with regards to ambient temperatures, was a very narrow range. Don't quote me it was a couple of days ago but what stuck in my head was "more or less" (only by 2 degrees though) 16 degrees celcius to 26 degrees celcius.... this is such a narrow band and certainly one that doesn't apply to New Zealand... which is obviously why the Cavy did not originate here... or pretty much everywhere else... Our cottage would be far too hot in the full summer - to even consider having them, it kind of breaks my heart because I've adored guinea pigs for so many years... I'll have to think some more and see what I can come up for a cool house in summer...

KiwiCavyAdorer
02-19-11, 12:57 am
Updates

My Husband has completed his advanced photographic tuition now, and he has decided to combine this with his previous safari tours experience. We are offering and planning trips for small groups of people to destinations of their choice. Having a professional photographer along is going to be the addition that so many people mentioned needing all those years ago!! Funny how life turns out - he custom built a safari truck specifically for being able to photograph over the first line of trees in Etosha game reserve and now he's a professional photographer! First trip is planned to the far north eastern province of China to attend a wedding in August and we've just been asked to organise one into Namibia, combining crystals and adventure! that should be pretty life enhancing! So I've been thinking about visiting South America to check out the habitat of "wild" living guinea pigs over there - and how they are housed indoors... I know there will be a whole chunk of stuff I don't want to know about :melodrama like having them for dinner... but I'm hoping to get a real feel for "where they come from" from the idea of going. I have a sister in law who comes from Peru so in time this trip idea might just pan out... who ever really knows?

I've not altered my mind much on my initial guinea pig housing ideas other than the important change around to using fleece. If you'd bet me anything in the begining of reading and researching here that I'd use fleece - you would have won. I never thought I would consider it... and I've learned so much about the advantages of it here that I'm now "ear marking" fabric stores near me. This site is wonderful for defining your ideas!! Thank you to everyone who contributes here!

Great find recently is that I've a full time supplier of Corflute. So I can expand away to hearts content when the time comes.

I think I am more drawn to the looks of the Abbysinians and Merino's but then again there are some smooth haired guineas that I could not possibly resist if I were to meet them face to face. I guess it comes down to the time and pig who chooses you. I can't wait!!:D