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Joshua3122
02-16-13, 12:49 am
Hi, I'm a bit overwhelmed! Decided last week to get a guinea pig for our daughters birthday next month as sadly her wee hamster died in December & she misses him so much. We didn't want another as they only live 2-3 years and we felt ready for another pet requiring more care. Our ideal pet is a dog but I work 5 hours a day Mon to Thurs so not fair. Some friends have piggies & we were sold!

Visited two petshops yesterday and somehow came out with two guniea pigs.....Rose & Willow.

Although we got advice & read up we are not sure where to start. They hid in their bed for 2 hours without a noise. Then one came out a few times & then the other but the first one Rose appeared to be having a go at Willow and chasing her back to bed. Then Willow would not allow Rose back in! I'm assuming this is just settling in? Its now 6.40am and I can hear noises but neither are up yet.

I'm so used to having had hamsters over the years this is a whole new experience & I want to get it right!!

CavyMama
02-16-13, 12:55 am
Well, you came to the right place for good information about guinea pigs.

First, I would make 100% sure that your pigs are both female. Petstores are notorious for missexing their pigs. I would also be on the look out to make sure they didn't sell you a pregnant pig. They are known to do that as well - knowingly or unknowingly, they don't seem to care either way.

Second, I would take a look at the information about building a C&C cage. It's much more space for pigs to get exercise on their own time rather than relying on people to have free time to give them exercise room. It makes for a cleaner and more odor free cage and having enough room to move around can prevent bickering among the pigs.

The C&C cages are way less expensive and offer more room than any petstore cages do.

MochaAndMoo
02-16-13, 12:59 am
Hello,
Piggies need a lot of attention, I spend about 4 hours a day cleaning the cage, taking them out for lap time, grooming them and taking them for floor time.
You know your daughter, make sure she isn't one of those kids that get bored of pets easily (She doesn't sound like one of those kids from what I have read).
Please adopt next time, we are a pro-adoption forum and we are all against breeding here. Guinea pigs are prey animals, it can take a few months for them to get comfortable coming out around people.
It might be a good idea to have a read around at some of the threads and learn about piggy care and how the forum works.
I would love to see a picture of your girls.
All the best of luck with you and your pigs, also if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Joshua3122
02-16-13, 01:12 am
Hello, we already bought the cage instore, had never heard of those cages as we in UK. My hubby building an outside run too. I'm pretty confident with the store they came from, strict buying guidelines & you register your pet so any problems you can go back (ie incorrect sex/pregnancy!).

My hamster must have been the most socialised hamster lol so Ive no doubt my daughter will look after them . Along with the rest of us :)

We would love a photo too if only they would both come out together!

Is it normal for one to show dominant behaviour? It looks like Willow is now trying to push Rose out the bedding area!

I hadn't thought about adoption I'm afraid sorry :( All new to me!

MochaAndMoo
02-16-13, 01:55 am
I have never seen a pet store cage that has been big enough for two pigs. Two girls need at very least 7.5 square foot of space (Someone correct me if I am wrong).

This is my two girls cage, (This is an example of a C&C cage).
42450

There are alot of members from the UK who have C&C cages, they might be able to help you out.
And make sure the run is 100% predator safe and that you never leave them in it un-attended.
And yes, that is probably them establishing dominance between them.
Feel free to ask any questions about pigs (:

Joshua3122
02-16-13, 02:05 am
Our cage is slightly smaller but not much, they said that it was fine tor now but once our addition is built we will look into your kind of cage (think would need a lid though!). No would never leave them alone outside....hubby is a carpenter so run will be fab!

SqueakyPig
02-16-13, 02:05 am
Hi, I'm from the UK and have a c & c cage! :) About your piggies, it's most likely dominance (showing who's boss) but it would help if you got a bigger cage. I got my grids online, here is a link:
Safco Wire Storage Cubes (http://www.librex.co.uk/safco-wire-cubes-5279bl.html)
I don't know about in Scotland, but I got my Correx (coroplast, it has tons of names!) from a local Homebase, but you could source some from a local sign shop. If you need any help, just ask! :)

Joshua3122
02-16-13, 02:10 am
Thanks! As I just spent 55 on this cage on the advice of the woman in the shop I cant afford another right noe! But I will look into those for their next one. I think perhaps as its less than 24 hours too its not necessarily the size of cage but settling in.

Joshua3122
02-16-13, 02:12 am
Ps what's the fleece lining? Does it not get covered in pee & poo?

MochaAndMoo
02-16-13, 02:13 am
Just wondering, how many inches is the cage? It's just strange that a pet store would have the right sized cage.

When the piggy pees on the fleece, it goes through the fleece and onto a towel below keeping it nice and dry. And I just sweep away the poos everyday so it stays nice and clean.

CavyMama
02-16-13, 02:28 am
Thanks! As I just spent 55 on this cage on the advice of the woman in the shop I cant afford another right noe! But I will look into those for their next one. I think perhaps as its less than 24 hours too its not necessarily the size of cage but settling in.

Yup, petstore cages tend to be way overpriced. The grids that make up the walls of the cage are sold at many stores that have departments that sell items for organization. Amazon also sells them. Interlocking 8 Cube Storage Organiser: Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Interlocking-8-Cube-Storage-Organiser/dp/B006YG6YZE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361003235&sr=8-1)

Joshua3122
02-16-13, 02:33 am
Not sure why its strange a "pet" store would sell incorrectly sized cages?!! This store has been established for years!

RodentCuddles
02-16-13, 02:38 am
@Joshua3122 (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/member.php?u=26832) I've only ever seen one pet shop cage that is big enough for one guinea pig; it's not strange at all. They want to make money, they don't really care about the pets health or happiness as they'd much rather you buy a tiny wee expensive one from them and they get paid then for you to go out and make a good sized cage that is better for the pigs overall happiness and health when they get no money.

Pet shops also got puppies from mills, just because they have the word pet doesn't mean they want whats best for animals.

SqueakyPig
02-16-13, 02:40 am
Pet shops overprice their cages, and pets! Anyways, how are Rose and Willow doing? :)

Joshua3122
02-16-13, 02:42 am
Feels like I'm being more judged than helped! Thanks anyway.

SqueakyPig
02-16-13, 02:45 am
Sorry, I didn't mean to jump straight on. If you need any help, I'll be happy to answer any questions :)

CavyMama
02-16-13, 02:47 am
Joshua3122, what people mean is that petstores adhere to outdated ideas about what appropriately sized guinea pig cages are. They care more about making a quick buck than about what is best for the pigs.

Take a look at appropriate cage sizes per number of pigs on the main page here on the site: Guinea Pig Cages, Your Cavy At Home (http://www.guineapigcages.com/)

C&C cages are much better for the pigs - for all the reasons I mentioned above.

SqueakyPig
02-16-13, 02:50 am
Joshua3122 The run sounds like a great idea! Would it be inside or outside?

Joshua3122
02-16-13, 02:50 am
I never asked about cages though.......but I'm being bombarded over it & judged for buying in the wrong place. Off to find a nicer group who will actually welcome & help me. Not impressed.

SqueakyPig
02-16-13, 02:53 am
Sorry, this thread did get a little off topic. I could still help with the dominance issue if Rose and Willow are still bickering. Maybe a buddy bath would help?

CavyMama
02-16-13, 02:55 am
Hi, I'm a bit overwhelmed!

Although we got advice & read up we are not sure where to start. I'm so used to having had hamsters over the years this is a whole new experience & I want to get it right!!

Joshua3122 - you didn't specifically ask about cages but saying, "Not sure where to start" and "want to get it right" says you are looking for some guidance. Once of the places to start is making sure you have the appropriate sized cage. This site is about guinea pig care which includes proper cages. That's what people are trying to help you with. You didn't ask any specific questions so people aren't sure exactly what kind of information you are looking for.

MochaAndMoo
02-16-13, 02:57 am
I never asked about cages though.......but I'm being bombarded over it & judged for buying in the wrong place. Off to find a nicer group who will actually welcome & help me. Not impressed.

We aren't trying to judge you, sorry if it came across that way.
We are just a bunch of crazy guinea pig people, so it may come across as mean when we ask.

Joshua3122
02-16-13, 03:02 am
You guys have got me in tears! I'm happy with my cage, its def big enough for two but will be buying another when we have extended.

I'm more worried re dominance & willow now wont come out. What's the bath?

Ps had 4 hamsters & numerous cages from same store & all lived to Max age. We are very responsible owners & they will be loved to bits.....although maybe not quite as crazy as you guys!!!!

SqueakyPig
02-16-13, 03:03 am
I've just found a link on introduction issues, this could help with Rose and Willow :) It has other great info too.
Guinea Pigs Social Life (http://www.cavyspirit.com/sociallife.htm)

Joshua3122
02-16-13, 03:04 am
Run will be outside (supervised) any tips?

SqueakyPig
02-16-13, 03:05 am
The buddy bath is when you give your two piggies a bath, so they don't have any smells or marked the territory. You then clean the cage, so again, its no piggies territory. This way they can establish dominance. I've tried it and it helps alot :)

ETA: The run sounds great, it would be good to have a lid on it so piggies can't escape and to protect them from any danger.

CavyMama
02-16-13, 03:09 am
You guys have got me in tears!

Hopefully happy tears? LOL


I'm happy with my cage, its def big enough for two but will be buying another when we have extended.
Ya know what's funny? I used to feel the same way. "My pig seems content. He seems happy. No need for a bigger cage. It's plenty big" that is, until I came across C&C cages. There is ZERO downside to them. They are much less expensive than any storebought cage and they offer much more room. More room for less money. Sounds like a deal to me! :-)


I'm more worried re dominance & willow now wont come out. What's the bath?
I would just give them a little time. Guinea pigs are prey animals and their instinct is to hide. If you're used to hamsters, this isn't something you will be used to. As they learn that they are safe, they will start to come out and explore. At first it will be at night when the lights are out. It just takes time. It might take a week or two before they start to come out with the lights on and maybe a month before they are comfortable being out with people around. That also depends on the piggies themselves. Some are more confident than others and will come out sooner.


Ps had 4 hamsters & numerous cages from same store & all lived to Max age. We are very responsible owners & they will be loved to bits.....although maybe not quite as crazy as you guys!!!!
Hamsters don't need nearly as much space as guinea pigs. They use a wheel within their cage to get the exercise they need. Guinea pigs don't use a wheel so they need the extra space to get their exercise.

Joshua3122
02-16-13, 03:26 am
No upset tears ....... I guess its just all new, probably jumped in very quick although only with good intentions! Sounds like they acting normally for new pets. Willow still hiding but Rose been out and taken a couple of nibbles of carrot from us. Both now in bed area all quiet - no fighting! Yes run def have lid, don't want them escaping!

SqueakyPig
02-16-13, 03:30 am
That sounds great, I would give them lots of lap time and hugs so they can get used to you. :) Here's a fun game- hide veggies all around their cage, they'll have tons of fun trying to find them. I once put some lettuce on top of a pigloo and my Bubble tipped it over!

CavyMama
02-16-13, 03:31 am
Oohhh sounds like Rose is the adventurous one! Awesome that she has taken food from your hands already! Willow will come around.

It can definitely be overwhelming. There's a lot of information to take in but you are definitely in the right place! Ask questions when you have them. Read through the forums to gather information.

We are here to help!

Joshua3122
02-16-13, 03:38 am
Ive read so much I'm cross eyed lol! I'm just going to bombard you all.

Don't think they ready to be handled yet but will continue talking to them & offering nibbles and try to pat for next few days.

Willow has just evicted Rose again!

MochaAndMoo
02-16-13, 03:41 am
Trust me, in a few days those piggies will have you wrapped around there little paws :D You will become there slave! (That's why we use the term "Cavy Slave" on this forum.)

HannibalLecter
02-16-13, 03:48 am
Welcome! http://www.ceruleanbutterfly.com/forum/images/smilies/grouphug.gif
Yes it can definitely be overwhelming at first as guinea pigs require very specific care and housing, but you've found the right place for learning.
They are the most time consuming & complicated pets I've ever owned, but they are absolutely worth it.
With a correct environment and care you'll soon see how entertaining & rewarding it is. And we love pigtures!

As you are new to the wonderful world of piggy ownership, guinealynx is the best place for medical advice & care. Do read through it when you've got time.
http://www.guinealynx.info/

CavyMama
02-16-13, 11:46 am
Ive read so much I'm cross eyed lol! I'm just going to bombard you all.
Go for it! :-)


Don't think they ready to be handled yet but will continue talking to them & offering nibbles and try to pat for next few days.
Good idea. One great way for you to gain their trust is for them to associate you with positive things like food.


Willow has just evicted Rose again!
Do you have one hidey for each pig?

porkchophamster
02-16-13, 11:59 am
Hi, I'm a bit overwhelmed! Decided last week to get a guinea pig for our daughters birthday next month as sadly her wee hamster died in December & she misses him so much. We didn't want another as they only live 2-3 years and we felt ready for another pet requiring more care. Our ideal pet is a dog but I work 5 hours a day Mon to Thurs so not fair. Some friends have piggies & we were sold!

Visited two petshops yesterday and somehow came out with two guniea pigs.....Rose & Willow.

Although we got advice & read up we are not sure where to start. They hid in their bed for 2 hours without a noise. Then one came out a few times & then the other but the first one Rose appeared to be having a go at Willow and chasing her back to bed. Then Willow would not allow Rose back in! I'm assuming this is just settling in? Its now 6.40am and I can hear noises but neither are up yet.

I'm so used to having had hamsters over the years this is a whole new experience & I want to get it right!!

I just wanted to comment on your reason for not getting a dog, because you were 5 hours a day from Mon-Thurs. That's really not a lot of hours and still leaves plenty of attention for a dog if you really wanted one. A lot of people work 9-5 jobs 5 days a week and have dogs who get plenty of love and attention. I work 3 days a week, for 8 hours at a time and go to school 3 days a week but my animals still get lots of love and attention between me and my fiance. :)
A puppy would be another story though. Potty training would be extremely difficult.
Just my opinion on that though. I'm not sure of what your life is like so it is obviously your decision. :)

RubyRain
02-16-13, 12:04 pm
Do you ave 2 hidey houses? You should have 2 of everything for 2 piggies.
When introducing pigs it's good to have hideys with 2 exits like a just a cardboard box with holes cut from both ends or a small tunnel of some type. That way they cant trap the other one and intimidate them.
You don't have to go buy another house, just use a box or make a "teepee" out of something you can bend in half.

I also wanted to point out that the UK DOES have larger pet store cages than the US. Don't jump to conclusions about the size of cage the same as you would for US cages. CAges can meet the minimums there easily with a 48x24 pet store cage. Not perfect by "our standards" but still acceptable.

Gforcepiggies
02-16-13, 01:36 pm
I think that you should watch them for a dew days. The only thing they are doing is taking dominance over each other. Maybe, if they bicker too much, you could give them a bath together, and that would help them bond! You are not alone with buying pigs, I bought mine, too. But now I know that I should look at my local shelters and rescues before even thinking about buying. I won't do it again, but I'm a little happy I did, because my pigs are such sweeties! Congrats on Rose and Willow and I'd love to see some Pigtures of the darlings!

madelineelaine
02-16-13, 01:51 pm
Welcome to the forum! Sorry to have overwhelmed you, people just care lots about there pigs.

It sounds like they're acting like normal pigs, and I hope you stick around and continue researching. Cavies are a lot of work, I would almost equate it to a dog, although I've never had a dog so I can't say for sure. They're a lot more work then hamsters and they have much different needs.

cassielfsw
02-16-13, 02:33 pm
I have two piggies and one of them "evicts" the other one from sleeping places too. Not as much as she used to now that they're settled in. Make sure there are at least 2 hideys in the cage so the evicted pig can just go use the other one. My piggies, even as much as they like each other, do not like sharing a hidey and I know others here have had the same experience with their pigs.

Re: the piling on about the size of the cage: I'm sorry that you felt jumped on. Just understand that everyone here is devoted to proper guinea pig care and... well... look at the name of the website.

If you give them room to run around, their personalities will really come out and their antics will entertain you. :)

Party Guineas
02-16-13, 02:45 pm
Ive read so much I'm cross eyed lol! I'm just going to bombard you all.

Don't think they ready to be handled yet but will continue talking to them & offering nibbles and try to pat for next few days.

Willow has just evicted Rose again!

Welcome to the forum! It's really great to hear that you're going to give them a lot of love and care. Good on you!

As a lot of people have said, they're just sorting out some dominance issues - I'm guessing they were with others before, so they'll be getting used to being just the two of them now. The Cavy Spirit link is great for what to look out for in terms of dominance and bonding. If they're young girls, they might still have a few spats as they're growing older. I know that site was helpful with my original two girls as they had their growing pains! Really normal stuff, just keep an eye out for any super aggressive behaviour and drawing of blood (other "bad" signs on the link).

As for the cage, it's obviously your call. I went through about five or six cage designs before settling on the one I have now! I don't know where you got your cage from, but I originally had mine in a Pets at Home Rabbit 100, then decided it was too small, went with the 120 or 140 (I forget which!), then re-thought and made a C&C which has changed design about three times! They let me return the previous two cages with receipt, so that might be a potential for you, if you decide to change. Not implying that you have to!

For the question of the run - it sounds like it will be great for them! I'd just beware of any interested neighbourhood cats or foxes. Also, if you let them out in the summer, it can get too hot here in the UK for them, so frozen water bottles or the special pet ice packs are a good idea for then. (And shade, of course!)

I'm in the UK, too, so hopefully I can help where you need! Don't worry about having loads of questions! :)

Joshua3122
02-17-13, 05:43 am
Wow, thanks for all the help. I'm going to stick with this cage for now, back at pet shop yesterday so had a chat & bought additional hidey hole & toys for them. Rose is spending time in it but they both sleeping together in house area happily :) They not fighting so much but just the odd pushing with noses. We can now talk through bars to them & this morning fed them some veggies by hand and pet them. They then kept coming back to edge of cage looking for more! So we getting there :)

Thanks for tips re run cheers.

Got photos now but need to figure how to upload!

Re dog our problem is my daughter allergic to all but hypoallergenic like bichonfrise or cockapoo so as those font really come up as rescue or adoption dogs we would have to get a puppy and as I'm out 4 days we don't think it would be fair as it couldn't last all day & no-one to walk it'

Cheers guys xx

MochaAndMoo
02-17-13, 06:02 am
It's great that Rose and Willow are getting comfortable in their new home. I can't wait to see pigtures!

And I am so addicted to buying my pigs toys! I end up spending hundreds of dollars on toys for them >.<! Spoiled piggies !

asnnbrg
02-17-13, 07:33 am
If you don't already have two hidey houses/spots, that's my first recommendation. They love having their own place to snuggle up for a nap, so that could be all that's going on at your house.

Joshua3122
02-17-13, 08:20 am
Yep we now 2 spots! Think that's made the difference. Funny wee things, they going to be fun!

Joshua3122
02-17-13, 09:31 am
Rose...........anyone know what kind she is?

Joshua3122
02-17-13, 09:39 am
Willow.....

Cavy Treenie
02-17-13, 10:19 am
They look like typical american shorthairs. They are cute though!

Razzle
02-17-13, 10:21 am
Welcome. Beautiful guinea pigs. Love their names. Sounds like "normal" piggee behavior.

Joshua3122
02-17-13, 12:46 pm
How long on average does it take to be able to pick them up? Just to give my daughter some kind of idea. She is 9!

Carissa6729
02-17-13, 01:06 pm
Generally, most pigs never like being picked up and you will have to gently corner them or pick them up in something they feel comfortable in like a box or cuddle cup. Since they are prey animals, they usually assume you are there to eat them. After awhile (think weeks/months), they will start getting used to you more and may hold still longer so you can pick them up or catch them a bit easier.

With your daughter, I would recommend always having a parent pick up the pigs, since they can be squirmy and placing it on her lap while sitting down until they get more used to being held and picked up in general. Remember to always pick them up and hold them close quickly to give them comfort and to avoid any unfortunate accidents or falls.

scruffytufty
02-18-13, 09:43 am
hii your pigs are gorgeous!!!! we bought the largest cage available at pets at home it was okay for two pigs but i often found them getting under eachothers feet so i upgraded to fleece and then upgraded to C+C- its also fun to put together, at first we bought the cubes and added a play pen onto the pet shop cage with a cheap shower curtain from Asda at the bottom,that worked and it could be taken down at end of each day...your pigs look like they will be forever loved! i also have some relatives in scottland :D

Wildcavy
02-18-13, 09:56 am
Just wanted to add my "welcome" and say that both of your piggies are beautiful. I especially love Rose's coloration and her eyes are gorgeous. We have five piggies, and only one of them doesn't mind being picked up. But some of them like lap time -- it's the actual act of being picked up that seems to be the problem for them, rather than being cuddled.

Joshua3122
02-25-13, 03:03 pm
Just wanted to update, Rose & Willow getting on so well, lap time once a day, coming out to us for veggie time, no fighting except little spats & they are so entertaining, we love them to bits already!!!! From being a scaredy new owner feeling pretty confident! Thank you all!

Rhinos_mom
02-25-13, 03:31 pm
Glad that this site has helped you! It's helped me out a bunch too! and welcome!

mama_
02-25-13, 03:34 pm
To address your main questions (and not go off on tangents about petstores or cages or anything like that)...my boys acted the same as your girls did when I brought them home. They were previously "bonded" meaning they grew up together. Jordan spent the first 2 WEEKS in his igloo and never ever came out when I was around. He was extremely skittish and fearful and would run off whenever someone came in the room. They also never made ANY noise. After the first 2 weeks, Jordan became more vocal (wheeking loudly when veggies were brought) and ventured out of the igloo more frequently. Now, 4 months later, the boys are very well adjusted. They are no longer shy or fearful. They fought over the igloos less often (by the way...I've read somewhere that you should have 1 more hidey than u do piggies so 2 piggies = 3 hideys)....it worked well for my boys.

UNFORTUNATELY...my boys are going through puberty and fighting a ton so I've had to separate them for now. But I'm sure your girls will become more comfortable to their surroundings, with each other, and with your family. Give it time, give lots of attention, and be patient because some piggies are just extra shy!

mama_
02-25-13, 03:37 pm
Also, after reading another question you posted....my son is 5 and our boys are extremely hard to pick up. Last week I bought a little tiny carrier (like a dog carrier but smaller). It has an opening that zips shut on either end and a mesh opening that zips shut on the side. It was like $15. I put a carrot at one end and let the piggie crawl in, I zip it up, carry it to the couch, and set it on my sons lap. I then unzip it and let the piggie come out when he's comfortable (which is usually when he has run out of carrots).

Kelsie
02-25-13, 04:13 pm
Welcome Rose and Willow! You are such beautiful girls.