View Full Version : Starting week 3 of pig ownership

11-23-10, 01:07 am
Hey guys,

My name is Sarah. I just got my first guinea pig from a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago. His name is Chub Chub (or Gizmo...still calling him both...). He was born in July of 2010 so he's still young. He's pretty shy, probably because he's used to being around other pigs and now he's the only one. I'm looking into getting a buddy for him, but I don't want to buy from a pet store (they just don't look healthy to me and I don't want to bring one into his safe environment and I don't want to promote their trade).

Anyway. Chubs is a long haired boy like his father and purrs when you scratch his butt. He loves carrots, celery leaves, and hay. So far my only mistake with him was that I tried to cut costs by giving him horse hay (I have horses) instead of buying the somewhat pricey (in comparison to my $20 400lb round bales...) bagged hay. He didn't eat much hay and his poops got very soft and he wasn't making it to the litter box. Now I've stolen some hay from my roomie who has a bunny and things are back in order.

He has two cages since we travel home from college every weekend. He rides in a cat carrier going down the road. The home cage is a 2x4 C&C and the school cage is a cage I bought on Amazon with very similar dimensions. He loves his Igloo and I'm working on making him some exciting new toys. Sorry for the long post. ;)

11-23-10, 05:24 pm
Welcome! What kind of hay was the bale? A lot of people here will also buy bales of hay since it is cheaper. What other veggies is he eating? You want to feed carrots as more of a treat and start with the basics. Most kinds of lettuce (except Iceberg), cilantro, and green pepper. You can keep expanding from there. There is some great info in the nutrition thread with charts that most of us find helpful.

Now on to the fun stuff. Got any pics? :)

11-24-10, 12:18 am
Hey there,

My hay is a mixture of several different types of grasses. Some timothy, some alfalfa, some fescue, etc. My horses love it. I don't think it was aromatic enough to interest him to be honest. The home I got him from fed him the special guinea pig hay and after seeing it myself I can understand why he wasn't interested in my hay. That stuff smells so good I would eat it! :P

He's eating a few different things. I have carrots and celery for little treats, (for him and my boyfriend...) tomato, green pepper, grapes, and tangerine as well. He hasn't shown much interest in the tangerine since inhaling a slice one night. He ate another half slice the following night. He had the same reaction to the grapes. He ate three in one night (how many is good for him?) then one the next night, then half of one and he stopped. I suppose that sensory specific satiety at work. He seems to love tomato and green pepper. I'm going to get some cucumber soon. I've given him lettuce as well.

I have lots of pictures! I posted an album of him on my profile. He's quite handsome in my opinion and my father even admitted it tonight. =]

11-24-10, 03:23 am
I love the "heart" you reflect for Chub Chub, aka Gizmo. A very handsome boy.

I could write a book about experiences with my boys, as could a lot of others here. This is the best place to find advice and realize that you are not alone in your love for your piggie. This site will become a must check like email and can take over your life. It has mine in a terrific way.

I've tried different kinds of hay:

*Kaytee Timothy from Petco,
*Petco brand timothy hay (I liked the way this came in little bales, but quite a bit wasted in tiny crumbs) and I know now that my boys were not getting the best,
*Bale of timothy hay from a local feed store/barn (my boys wouldn't touch it, but my friends piggies inhaled it),
*Kaytee Western Timothy at Target: It is about $4 cheaper than Kaytee at Petco, it comes in lil layers like a bale, my boys loved it most. (still not to sure what's the difference between Kaytee Timothy & Kaytee Western Timothy except that the Western smells and looks nicer)

**KMshayloft (Kleenmama's) WOW!! Now I know what my boys have been doing without! I have the 3rd & 2nd cut from her. I could sit by my container and take in the smell all day.:D The 3rd cut is very soft & the 2nd cut is similar to the Kaytee, but a big difference in quality from other hays. The shipping cost more than the hay for me, but it all still came out cheaper than buying Kaytee from Petco/Target. AND I'm no longer unwillingly supporting "pet stores".

Diet: Cam767 gave good advice about checking out the nutrition charts. I give my boys green lettuce & green bellpepper at least once a day, then mix in kale & cucumber sometimes. Snacks: my boys love baby carrots, banana & parsley (one of these is given in small amounts each day, especially the banana because of the sugar levels) I have to tell you that one of my boys goes crazy when I hand feed him his carrot while dipping it in mashed up banana.lol

Lastly, don't spend lots of money on store bought toys. Most will probably agree that anything hand made from fleece seem to be a favorite. And look at the Dollar Tree type stores for containers to use for pigloos (mini crates, sides cut and sanded are awesome). Great toy to simply make and no sewing required is to put in socks the little cat bell balls or the "star bursts" crunchy toys. My boys love to toss these in the air and drag them around.

Make sure he has a nice piece of wood to chew on for his teeth.

Well, I also apologize for the very long post. You are going to be an awesome piggie mom.:cheerful:

11-25-10, 01:04 am
Looks like I'm going to be getting bigger hideys now. =] Chub's brother, Jace, is coming to live with him so that he has a buddy. He's been really lethargic living along so my friend is bringing his brother down next weekend.

I'm thinking about expanding my cage and adding a kitchen area and a second litterbox once I get the second pig. I want them to have more room to play together without all their hay getting in the way. This will free up some more space for home made toys. =] I think I'm gonna break my no soda streak and buy some diet coke to use the box as a tunnel that goes from the play area to the kitchen.

I'll start looking around at the hay since I'll probably be going through more of it with a second piggy. Thanks for all the advice! I feel like a better pig owner because of this forum already!

11-25-10, 01:40 pm
Yes, please try out Kleenmama's (http://www.kmshayloft.com)if you can. It is the absolute best hay for guinea pigs. I order her 3rd cut Timothy which is the softest and is all blade (the soft part). It is unbelievable. She's actually having a bad year for hay this year, though, so yo could try her Bluegrass too. Avoid Kaytee crap (hay, "treats", pellets) at all costs as it is really bad.

Before you just put the pigs together (which you should never do), please read THIS (http://www.cavyspirit.com/sociallife.htm) page on introductions. You should never just throw two pigs into the same cage. Bonding is a delicate business, so take it slow.

Have you been feeding veggies other than celery leaves and carrots? Carrots should only be fed every three-four days as a treat because of the high sugar content and very starchy composition. Check out the veggie charts (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/diet-nutrition/22156-read-me-guinea-pig-nutrition-charts-poisonous-plants-list.html)for help with frequency and veggie menus (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/diet-nutrition/24770-sample-veggie-menus.html)for some ideas on salads.

Have you been feeding pellets? Kleenmama's also sells pellets (Timothy choice) which are fantastic as well. About a 1/8 cup each day is a good amount.

If you're going to be getting new cage accessories, check out Jens Custom Crafts (http://www.jenscustomcrafts.com/)for great fabric beds. She has a lot of cool stuff, and my pigs love her Huts (http://www.jenscustomcrafts.com/ourshop/prod_887547-Regular-Hut.html)and Corridors (http://www.jenscustomcrafts.com/ourshop/prod_887618-Regular-Corridor.html). You can buy really great Cuddle Cups (http://www.cozycavy.com/2.html)from The Cozy Cavy (http://www.cozycavy.com/), too. Her Cozy Caves (http://www.cozycavy.com/13.html)look neat as well but I haven't tried them yet.

Good luck!

11-25-10, 03:17 pm
Yeah, I'm feeding pellets too. I bought a bag at Tractor Supply that he really likes. I read somewhere that he should get unlimited pellets until he's six months old. Is that correct?

I'll look into that hay. Buying it in small increments is ridiculous. I've noticed that he prefers the soft grassy pieces over the stemmy ones.

I'll probably try to make some cage accessories for him. =] I'm excited about his brother coming next weekend. I'll check out the page on intros. Thanks!

11-25-10, 08:03 pm
I know what you mean about your piggie liking certain pieces of the hay over other ones. I seem to throw out about 1/3 of what I put in the cages because they just wait for me to put more in to pick out what they want...they're spoiled!

11-25-10, 09:15 pm
I love the pic of him in the Cheerio box! It's too cute!! lol

11-25-10, 10:49 pm
Yeah, hanging out in the cereal box was great fun in his opinion, but it couldn't last because he started peeing in his hay. :/ I made him a new one with a smaller hole. It keeps him from getting in it.

11-26-10, 04:22 pm
Yeah, mine don't really care for the bermuda I got last time.