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View Full Version : Soon to be Guinea Pig Newbie!



colleen8406
10-30-11, 08:51 am
Hi everyone! My family is preparing to adopt two baby male guinea pigs that were born from my oldest son's science class pets. My kids are 11, 7-1/2 and 6. We have been "babysitting" the class pets on weekends and have absolutely fallen in love with them. They are so sociable and easy to care for!

We bring our pigs home November 17 - my youngest son's birthday! They will primarily be his pets, with lots of help from mom and extra love from his brother and sister.

I am going to buy a pet store cage at first so that I will have a place to put our pigs when cleaning the cage I intend to build - pronto. I'll also have a wire pen for the kitchen for play time. I'd like some tips on socialization of the babies. I"m also really confused as to what type of fleece to put in the cage, ideas for a permanent cotton wick that I can launder once a week and feedback would be greatly appreciated! I have soooo much to learn in the next 2 weeks!!!!

pinky
10-30-11, 09:06 am
Welcome, Colleen! Males will need more space than females so the larger you make the cage, the less often you'll have to clean it. I buy the thickest fleece I can find. The non pill, blizzard fleece seems to last longer than the thinner types. The key is to wash and dry it at least three times with no fabric softener before using it. I think uhaul pads are the most absorbent and lightweight absorbent layer to put under the fleece or inside the fleece pads if you decide to sew them. Either way works great... it's just a matter of preference. You can use towels underneath. They are also very absorbent but a bit heavier than the uhaul padding. I wouldn't sew towels inside fleece pads. I experimented with different fillings and the towels would still be damp after I dried the fleece pads. I took some apart to test them out..... As far as socializing, babies are very wild and squirmy, so they are hard to handle. They use their sharp, hind nails to dig into your hand to try and propel themselves out of your hands. I'd have an adult take them out and put them back into their cage. You can make or buy fleece sleeping bags to put the guinea pigs in when the kids hold them. It makes the guinea pigs feel more secure and easier for the kids to hold. I'd also recommend you keep the cage in an area of the house where there's a lot of activity, rather than in a bedroom. I launder my bedding more often than once a week but I have three guinea pigs: a neutered male and two females, in a 2 x 6. Good luck and post photos, please!

Hhbean
10-30-11, 10:28 am
So happy that your getting the piggies! The only thing I would add to pinkys post is that you should use the smooth fleece not the furry stuff(it doesn't wick as well).

bpatters
10-30-11, 10:46 am
colleen, you don't really have to buy a cage to use when you're cleaning the larger cage. I put my two in one of our downstairs bathrooms while the cage is being cleaned. I just throw an old blanket down, then shake it out when they're done.

An extra cage is useful if you need to travel or for quarantine, though.

colleen8406
10-30-11, 11:49 am
Thanks everyone for your help!!! I was thinking the store bought cage will be useful while I decide how to build and where to put the cage. I have a cat who, at nearly 11, still has some predatory instincts, :sick: as well as 2 large dogs, so I want to have time to test the homemade cage and make adjustments as needed before giving the pigs their permanent home. The store cages I was looking at are sturdy, but I'm going to put some mesh around the wire and some fleece over the top to help them feel safe while everyone gets to know everyone else. I know from having the class pigs on weekends that the dogs get bored pretty quickly, but our cat doesn't. Plus, I want the pigs to be a surprise for my youngest. He is the one who primarily cares for the class pigs when they visit us, and has been asking for his own since the very first visit. I figure they'll only be in the cage a couple of weeks, and I can always use it if we go out of town and have friends babysit for us. I'm just going to make a single story cage for now, and use some coroplast as a divider for the kitchen area. I have 9 squares from a shelving unit I bought that never really worked well, so that's enough for the floor and one piece of the side (or homemade hay holder!) I'm so excited to get them - I wish they were here now!

piggie mummy
10-30-11, 12:08 pm
It wont take long to come around! I'm already looking forward to seeing pics of your new additions :D what a fab surprise for your son. I'm getting mine in 8 weeks from a shelter so I thought that the piggies could be an xmas present for my 10 year old.