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StarknNemesis
10-24-13, 09:14 pm
Hello all,
my name is Liv. As the title says, I'm a brand New Guinea pig owner! Ive had rats all my life and was able to train the females to give kisses, come when called and use a litter box! I worked at a pet store for 7 years but the knowledge i got from reading the forums here and this site in General is more than i could have ever learned about guineas there.
I may be a new owner but is it just me or are the females more nervous than the males as babies? Every female piglet ive ever held has been very squirmy and insecure as opposed to the males which most of them were relatively calm.

This is being said, i bought a male piglet with crazy hair (is there an actual classification for this other than long haired?) and was wondering if theres anything of dire concern to know about the long hairs health care wise. I will also be adopting a male skinny this weekend and both boys are 8-10 weeks old.

Nemesis, the long hair, is already coming around. I've built them a very large c&c cage (brilliant idea btw!) and hes loving it! He's exploring every tunnel and bed and house ive put in. When i hold him (ive only had him 3 days now) he makes little squeaky noises. Are these happy noises? Or noises to be concerned about (as my last rat made these noises and became very ill and yes i know theyre different species but i like to air on the side of caution).

i currently feed him oxbow young guinea food until they are 6 months of age. Then will switch to adult oxbow. During the day, i cut up a little romaine lettuce, Bok Choy, green pepper, a very small wedge of a tomato every other day, a few small pieces of carrot every other day and gave him 4 small bite size pieces of Apple today as a training treat. What else can i feed them and in what quantities?

Does anyone know the difference between feeding oxbow grass hay vs oxbow Timothy hay vs Timothy hay bought from a horse farm as i have a horse?

my room also stays on the cooler side so ive offered a lot of fleece as bedding and blanked in their houses and i put a heat pad down (12" L x 6" W) under one of the beds that i periodically turn off. Even without the heat pad Nemesis stays relatively warm in his houses. Is this a good idea for the skinny?

sorry about the thousand and one questions but id rather be safe than sorry!!!

5GPsandcounting
10-24-13, 10:22 pm
What a cute cage! [dont have Any answers) I just love the c&c :)

spudsthepiget
10-24-13, 10:37 pm
Hello Liv, and welcome to the forum! Nemesis is adorable! His breed are called Abbysinnian, but usually just abby for short :) The breed itself doesn't require any specialized care, unless the piggy specifically has special needs (like biting, or being blind). The squeaking is normal for pigs and babies are especially vocal. He's probably excited for lap time.

There's a lot of veggies piggies can eat; if you go to the diet nutrition forum here, there's a couple charts that show what to feed and how much to feed, as well as poisonous food and what not to feed. You're doing well with feeding so far :)

Is the heating pad a pet heating pad or one meant for people? Heating pads meant for pets are fine to use, but definetly keep it under the beds or under fleece so it isn't too hot. I don't think heating pads for people are recommended though. I'm not sure about care for a skinny pig, but I'm sure someone will come along and answer that question.

If you have any more questions, feel free to post; we're here to help each other! It's always better to be safe than sorry :)

StarknNemesis
10-24-13, 11:06 pm
Thanks thats pretty helpful so far! I know skinniest have a harder time staying warm due to no fur and theyre skin is much more vulnerable. However im not sure if the bathing and oiling are necessary or just myths! Or is it one of those once in a blue moon things?

Are bird toys safe for guineas to chew on as all the colouring is food colouring non toxic. Birds are especially sensitive and The smell of burning Teflon can kill them... Hence why i figured they'd be safe but does anyone actually know?

What are good obstacle courses you can set up in a cage for mental stimulation? So far nemesis has figured out 2 new cages and 3 new set ups plus 2 new people in the last 3 days! As per a normal baby, hes still skittish for now but figured with training talking mental stimulation and handling hell come right out of it.. However... How do you train a guinea? Tricks or come or where to poop, or how to figure toys out etc?

He likes being talked to and squeaks while i pet him as log gas hes warm. I put a bell by his food dish and ring it every time before i give him his salad and pellets and if i want to give him a bit size piece of Apple...

Just curious as to any training tips, nutrition tips, health care tips, nail cutting tips and cage set up ideas anyone might have!! Really believe these 2 boys can get along if trained from the beginning!!!

CavyMama
10-25-13, 12:58 am
There's really no "training" involved with guinea pigs. I was able to train one of my pigs to do a circle on command but that's about it for any kind of training. They usually pick a corner for their bathroom so no training there. Obstacle courses would be difficult to train them on. They aren't as eager to learn as rats are.

As for bird toys, I would avoid them. In fact, any store bought toys and treats should be avoided. You can find things around the house for them to play with (toilet paper tubes, crumpled paper, fridge pack boxes, paper bags. And treats should be kept to fruits & veggies they don't get on regular basis. The treats they sell in the stores are not healthy for guinea pigs.

As for nutrition - here is a helpful chart to go by for what is okay and what isn't: http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/22156-READ-ME-Cavy-Nutrition-Charts-amp-Poisonous-Plants-List

cheshirekris
10-25-13, 01:04 am
I don't know if anyone said this but for abyssinian they only require a little "special care" that I find helpful. Like all long animals they need to be combed. Also in the summer or when hot I like trim hair a little shorter. Also keep heir around the bum area cut low so it doesn't became knotty or tangled also to keep it clean.

StarknNemesis
10-25-13, 11:15 am
Thank you all for your comments!
They're very helpful! I was just wondering if anyone has had experience with the different types of hay ie: timothy hay, orchard grass hay, meadow hay etc and why you use the hay you use. I've heard timothy hay can be very coarse and can cause injuries to their eyes. I'd really like to know what hay and brand is the best as I don't want to have to worry about either Nemesis (the long hair) or Stark (the skinny) getting injured in any way due to their hay.

How often do their nails need to be trimmed?

agirlwithink
10-25-13, 11:45 am
Hi love! I have four boars, I've used both Timothy and Orchard/Bluegrass. I made the permanent switch to Orchard/Bluegrass because hubbies allergies were giving him hell with the Timothy. Pigs didn't mind the change either!
If you can afford the shipping, KMS Hayloft is by far the best (in my opinion :D)

I trim my boys nails once every two weeks minimum, just to keep them neat :]

CavyMama
10-25-13, 05:06 pm
Thank you all for your comments!
They're very helpful! I was just wondering if anyone has had experience with the different types of hay ie: timothy hay, orchard grass hay, meadow hay etc and why you use the hay you use. I've heard timothy hay can be very coarse and can cause injuries to their eyes. I'd really like to know what hay and brand is the best as I don't want to have to worry about either Nemesis (the long hair) or Stark (the skinny) getting injured in any way due to their hay.

How often do their nails need to be trimmed?

If you buy hay from the store, you might end up getting very dried out hay. Most store bought hay has been sitting on a shelf for a long time and is very dry and hard and sometimes sharp. Kaytee is low quality hay and tends to be very dry.

I would recommend Kleenmama's hay (kmshayloft.com). Alfalfa (under 6 mths) or Timothy (over 6 mths). I really like the 3rd cut but last time I ordered 3rd cut was out of stock. 2nd cut is probably the next best way to go but everyone has their own favorite cut for different reasons.

StarknNemesis
10-25-13, 07:23 pm
If you buy hay from the store, you might end up getting very dried out hay. Most store bought hay has been sitting on a shelf for a long time and is very dry and hard and sometimes sharp. Kaytee is low quality hay and tends to be very dry.

I would recommend Kleenmama's hay (kmshayloft.com). Alfalfa (under 6 mths) or Timothy (over 6 mths). I really like the 3rd cut but last time I ordered 3rd cut was out of stock. 2nd cut is probably the next best way to go but everyone has their own favorite cut for different reasons.

I know about the dryness of the store bought hay. I was told not to feed alfalfa hay since the pellets are alfalfa based. This being said, does anyone know the nutrient breakdown of the different types of hay? Ie why Timothy over alfalfa and orchard grass over meadow hay? Does anyone have experience with buying hay from a horse farm? If so what kind of hay do you get?

CavyMama
10-25-13, 10:38 pm
If the pellets are alfalfa based, then the hay does not need to be. It's a supplement of alfalfa based on age.

Alfalfa contains more calcium which is why it's recommended for babies and nursing sows. Also why it's not recommended for adult pigs as too much calcium can cause stones. It's not a matter of being better or worse than timothy. It's just a matter of what the needs of the pig are.

StarknNemesis
10-27-13, 01:41 pm
Hello all!!
I adopted my skinny pig, Stark today and hes doing really well! Hes happily squeaking away and has found the pellets and hay already. He had a nice big pee and pooped and explored his whole c&c cage! He met his brother, Nemesis and Nemesis tried to jump him a few times. In assuming this is an act of domination?

I flicked him lightly and he stopped. Stark started conversing with him so Nemesis started responding. Theyre even sharing the same hiding spot! Is there anything i could keep an eye out for while theyre getting used to each other? Any issues with introducing baby male piggies that anyone's encountered?

Thanks a bunch!!

CavyMama
10-27-13, 02:18 pm
Please do not flick any of your guinea pigs! It's never okay to punish or get their attention in this way! All this will do is make them fearful of you.

Did you quarantine for 21 days? In a separate room? Before introducing them? Did you introduce in a neutral area that was not someone's cage?

LiLiPiggies08
10-27-13, 02:25 pm
The "jumping" is dominance, and isn't an issue as long as there isn't any biting. Also, if you are interested in skinny pig care, skinnypigs1 on YouTube has lots of good information. Also, you shouldn't flick your pigs! They'll work it out and the rumbling/ mounting is completely normal.

StarknNemesis
10-27-13, 07:59 pm
Please do not flick any of your guinea pigs! It's never okay to punish or get their attention in this way! All this will do is make them fearful of you.

Did you quarantine for 21 days? In a separate room? Before introducing them? Did you introduce in a neutral area that was not someone's cage?

Ok sorry i guess it sounds much worse than that. I didnt flick i just touched him with a finger, it wasn't even a poke to be honest. I introduced them in a separate enclosure yes. I would never do anything to hurt them or make them fearful of me.

Im a dog trainer that specializes in behaviour modification so the last thing i would do is purposely make them afraid of me as it would take a very long time to reverse this. I was just worried because nemesis was pouncing on stark and stark has no fur..but they seem just fine now

StarknNemesis
10-27-13, 08:00 pm
The "jumping" is dominance, and isn't an issue as long as there isn't any biting. Also, if you are interested in skinny pig care, skinnypigs1 on YouTube has lots of good information. Also, you shouldn't flick your pigs! They'll work it out and the rumbling/ mounting is completely normal.

Is it possible they can start to fight later? If so what are signs i need to be on the lookout for?

spudsthepiget
10-27-13, 10:58 pm
If they're both dominant and can't establish a dominant and submissive one, they could fight. If they were about to fight, you would hear lots of teeth chattering and see them going around in circles, biting each other and there would be pain cries. If they do fight, never reach your hand in to separate them; in the midst of a fight, they can't tell which is the offending pig and which is a hand. A dustpan between them will separate them without you getting hurt, too.

Usually though if they've been together for a while without fighting, they're probably in the clear :)

Starthecavy123
10-28-13, 12:19 am
It can be diifficult litter box training guinea pigs, they either get it or they don't. There is a nutrition section that you can consult for how much to feed. My guinea pig likes kale, carrots, oranges, and cucumbers. There are many kind people here who will be happy to answer any questions you may have. The heating pad is a great idea for the winter but as said before make sure its meant for pets. And also make sure to keep it under the fleece and beds. I don't know anything about skinnies so I'm no help there ~ lol. Guinea pigs are prey animals so for a while they can be quite skiddish. Also you have to build trust and that can take time they will come around. With enough handling, taming and talking to they will come around. Getting used to your scent is helpful to. Remember they are in a strange place with new sounds and smells. Training can be a challange some guineas catch on while others may take a little longer to not get it at all. But if you start while they are very young you may have a better chance. And guinea pigs make all sorts of sounds. They squeek when they want attention or even a treat. Welcome to the world of being a piggie slave :). I hope this helps and good luck.

StarknNemesis
10-28-13, 08:19 pm
It can be diifficult litter box training guinea pigs, they either get it or they don't. There is a nutrition section that you can consult for how much to feed. My guinea pig likes kale, carrots, oranges, and cucumbers. There are many kind people here who will be happy to answer any questions you may have. The heating pad is a great idea for the winter but as said before make sure its meant for pets. And also make sure to keep it under the fleece and beds. I don't know anything about skinnies so I'm no help there ~ lol. Guinea pigs are prey animals so for a while they can be quite skiddish. Also you have to build trust and that can take time they will come around. With enough handling, taming and talking to they will come around. Getting used to your scent is helpful to. Remember they are in a strange place with new sounds and smells. Training can be a challange some guineas catch on while others may take a little longer to not get it at all. But if you start while they are very young you may have a better chance. And guinea pigs make all sorts of sounds. They squeek when they want attention or even a treat. Welcome to the world of being a piggie slave :). I hope this helps and good luck.

Thats fantastic!! Yes is very much so helps!! I put down 2 small bowls (if you've ever been to petsmart you may have seen the bowl that looks like a raddish, i have 2 of those) of salad, romaine lettuce, Bok Choy, green peppers and i alternate tomatoes and carrots (very small amounts) every other day. They seem to really like the tomatoes but they finish both bowls by 3pm when i get home from work! Is this normal? Do they need more vegg than that?

Has anyone had luck luck with litter training? The skinny (stark) was on latter soft sorbent bedding before he came to me and nemesis was on carefresh. I figure if i mix the latter sorbent with yesterday's news they may get it due to bedding change but im worried about them trying to eat the yesterday's news pellets as theyre made of paper but i dont want to get the oxbow wheat ones as they may want to eat it more? Suggestions?

I only ask cuz they've chosen a corner to pee in and it would for sure make cleaning easier..

Starthecavy123
10-28-13, 08:48 pm
I put down 2 small bowls (if you've ever been to petsmart you may have seen the bowl that looks like a raddish, i have 2 of those) of salad, romaine lettuce, Bok Choy, green peppers and i alternate tomatoes and carrots (very small amounts) every other day. They seem to really like the tomatoes but they finish both bowls by 3pm when i get home from work! Is this normal? Do they need more vegg than that?

Has anyone had luck luck with litter training?

I only ask cuz they've chosen a corner to pee in and it would for sure make cleaning easier..

No, that's very good you don't want to give them to much fruits and veggies. You don't what to give them to much sugar or vitamine c. They also need a fortified pellet food diet as well.

Yes people have trained gps to use litter boxes. But it can be difficult they either get it or they don't. Training them early in age helps the younger they are the easier they are to train.

You should place the litter box where they are mostly weeing at now. Also when they use it give them a treat, possitive reinforcment helps. But you should only give that spacific treat to them when they use the litter box. This will make the piggies think when I wee there I get this treat.

StarknNemesis
10-30-13, 02:56 pm
No, that's very good you don't want to give them to much fruits and veggies. You don't what to give them to much sugar or vitamine c. They also need a fortified pellet food diet as well.

Yes people have trained gps to use litter boxes. But it can be difficult they either get it or they don't. Training them early in age helps the younger they are the easier they are to train.

You should place the litter box where they are mostly weeing at now. Also when they use it give them a treat, possitive reinforcment helps. But you should only give that spacific treat to them when they use the litter box. This will make the piggies think when I wee there I get this treat.

What if they're trying to eat the litter bedding? I tried litter sorbent bedding and yesterday's news and watched them a few times. They tried to eat both types so i took it out...any suggestions?!

Starthecavy123
10-30-13, 03:11 pm
What if they're trying to eat the litter bedding? I tried litter sorbent bedding and yesterday's news and watched them a few times. They tried to eat both types so i took it out...any suggestions?!

Idk I've never tried litter training my piggie. Guinea pigs do eat there poo but you should not stop them. I know its gross:sly: but there stomachs don't process food like ours does. Sometimes it takes 2 times for them to digest all the nutriants they need (hence the reason they eat their poo). But eating the litter:confused: if its confetti paper it will disolve so it won't hurt them. If its hay then that is okay hay is good for them as you know. If its something else then I don't know like I said I've never litter trained my piggie befor so. Hope this helps. :cool:

LiLiPiggies08
10-30-13, 03:46 pm
Guinea pigs only eat certain types of poop, called caecal pellets, and usually they re-ingest them directly from the anus. They look different too.

StarknNemesis
10-30-13, 08:20 pm
Guinea pigs only eat certain types of poop, called caecal pellets, and usually they re-ingest them directly from the anus. They look different too.

Can you explain different? Just so if my boys do it i dont freak out!

As for the litter, i mixed kaytee soft sorbent with yesterday's news. Im worried about them having issues even if they eat the yesterday's news which is recycled paper.

I do however have them trained and used to a small hand vacuum which i use ever day.

sugarandspice
10-30-13, 08:32 pm
Caecal poops are good for their digestion. They will usually pause, duck their head to the anus area and take it directly out. My pigs usually stumble when they try to grab it. lol

check to see if they are chewing.

sugarandspice
10-30-13, 08:34 pm
Also, if a bedding wasn't safe to be ingested, it wouldn't be safe for guinea pigs. (See corn cob bedding)

Of course, if they are eating huge amounts of its not good, but they usually won't. :) just wanted to clarify.

Starthecavy123
10-30-13, 10:34 pm
Caecal poops are good for their digestion. They will usually pause, duck their head to the anus area and take it directly out. My pigs usually stumble when they try to grab it. lol

check to see if they are chewing.

My piggie usually waits till it drops to eat hers. I've never seen her take a piece directly out though.