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kangy
08-10-13, 08:53 am
Our daughter is turning 4 this month and our son is 18 months old. We recently moved cross country and have been "pet less" :sad:. Prior to the move we had a beautiful red nosed pitbull named Angel who we lost due to cancer. She was our daughters best friend and she took it really hard. We also had three fish tanks (2 freshwater planted, and one full saltwater reef) none of which we could bring with us. Our new temporary rental does not allow dogs and I don't want to setup another fish tank(s) since they are a pain to move. Our daughter has been feverishly asking for a new pet and spends her free time searching for her 'pets' (frogs and caterpillars in the backyard lol)

A couple of weeks ago we stopped into the petstore to look around, did not have intentions on buying anything. Well my daughter fell in love with Darla the guinea pig and we left with the "whole caboodle" starter cage, food, hay, and Darla. We got home setup the cage and I hopped online to do some research. Now before I get flamed for not researching first let me finish the story. After a few days I felt bad for Darla and found that the horrible petstore cage was not big enough for her. With that and from reading guinea pigs are social animals we decided to make things right. I researched C&C cages but decided for budget reasons to go with the Midwestern cage on amazon (couldn't beat $50 with free 2 day shipping). We got the cage and low and behold the bottom was too soft and would not sit on the dresser where we wanted it. Off I went to Home Depot to fabricate a base for it. a 4'x2' plywood and some construction brackets later we had a full functioning new habitat.

Off we went to find Darla a new companion. My wife fell in love with AlphAlpha (yes, both are female, but my daughter is fixated on the little rascals and wants to believe that the new one is a boy...)

As soon as we got Darla into her new cage she was popcorning and running around everywhere, so excited to also see a new friend. I'm so glad that she only had to survive in that small petstore 'cage' for a week.

Now two weeks later both Darla and AlphAlpha are happy as can be, getting tons of exercise and attention. Unlimited hay and pellets with twice daily fresh veggies and a few times a week a nice yummy apple slice. We can't walk by the cage without getting squealed at for some attention. They are warming up and will take food from our daughter. They are still a bit skittish about being handled so I am slowly acclimating them to being held.

I know that some may say 4 years old is too young to properly care for Guinea pigs but she is always closely monitored whenever she is engaging with them whether it be feeding or restocking hay. We have her involved during every feeding and cleaning. She used to help clean my fish tanks weekly and picked up the dog 'mess' on her own. We are a family of animal LOVERS, they always have been and always will be a foundation of our household.

I have made what I think is a really neat hay trough for less than $3 and will be posting pictures of the cage and trough as time allows (will try to get them up today). Here are a couple pictures of Darla and AlphAlpha that our daughter took. Sorry they quality stinks but many many more will be taken I'm sure.

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Lasinalia
08-10-13, 09:11 am
Awesome! And maturity depends on maturity. Not age :) Good for you and good for your daughter!

spudsthepiget
08-10-13, 09:13 am
Congrats on the new additions to the family! They are lovely girls! :) I'm glad guinea pigs have worked out so well for your family!It made me smile that your little girl helps with the pigs and loves them so much :)

kangy
08-10-13, 09:55 am
Thanks! She is completely in love with them and sings them a goodnight song before bed. They do tend to want to have a romping session just after lights out though and you can hear our daughter say sweetly "Darla and AlphAlpha, it's bed time, you can play tomorrow ok, I'll give you an apple when I wake up, I love you" :love:

Lasinalia
08-10-13, 11:37 am
Aww so sweet!!!

Kelsie
08-10-13, 01:26 pm
kangy, you have a very sweet and caring little daughter. It's wonderful that she will grow up with Darla and AlphAlpha. She will have so many nice memories of her first piggies.

I hope you enjoy this forum as much as I do. Welcome aboard.

PiggyLove1
08-10-13, 01:39 pm
They're so cute! I'm sure your daughter loves them, and your son will too! How big is the cage? Petstore sized cages are actually more like glorified litter boxes, so please make sure it's enough room for 2 guinea pigs. The reccomended size for 2 is about 10.5 square feet.

Lasinalia
08-10-13, 02:00 pm
PiggyLove1 she has pictures of two Midwest cages put together. Is that big enough?

piggys_mumzy
08-10-13, 05:55 pm
Great story, and I love those cute pigs! Welcome to the forums.

PiggyLove1
08-11-13, 07:44 am
@Lasinalia (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/member.php?u=28626) I didn't see any pictures and by the way it was worded it sounded as if they bought a petstore-sized cage. The first picture of the cage was not there yesterday.

kangy
08-11-13, 08:16 am
We started with a pet store sized cage but that only lasted a week. We have the Midwest Guinea Habitat (http://www.amazon.com/Midwest-Interactive-Guinea-Habitat-Plus/dp/B001NJ0DQ8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376230375&sr=8-2&keywords=midwest+guinea+pig+habitat) , it is bout 9 sqft. We are planning on moving in a year when wife is done with school and at our final residence I'm setting up a new reef tank as well as planning on making a huge Guinea Pig area. We will be dedicated one room entirely to my fish tanks and now we are going to make room for a large guinea area :-) They seem very happy in the 9 sqft for now.

Are the pictures not showing up in the first post? I will try to upload them somewhere else, we got a few more last night as well as a video of them wheeking and popcorning like crazy during fresh veggie dinner :-)

natsmom26
08-11-13, 08:56 am
Adorable piggies! They are great pets for little kids, with a lot of supervision. They are great for teaching responsibility, patience, and empathy. I find with my young daughter that carrying them without dropping
is the difficult part. We found some plastic baskets at Dollar Tree that are very helpful. You may want to look into that, if they are too much of an armful for your daughter.