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barbaramudge
11-24-13, 02:44 pm
Hello everyone! I've been reading the forum since it's what google always gives me in my guinea pig searches. I just finally got around to signing in. You are all wonderful and I've learned so much! Enough to see how badly I've screwed up my guinea pig ownership. I thought I knew what I was doing because I'd known many people with guinea pigs but alas, they kept them in too small cages and didn't take proper care. I began my searches because I like to do the best I can and was looking for cool things for them to do. That's when I discovered all that I was doing wrong :( Now I'm on a quest to fix as many of my mistakes as I can because I really do adore them! I have space challenges, money challenges, and time challenges to overcome but I know you guys will be super helpful! I'm very happy to be here!
Barbara
Mother to 3 kids, 3 pigs an 1 dog :)

Schweitz
11-24-13, 03:48 pm
Welcome! :D

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 04:13 pm
Thank you!

TiaColleen
11-24-13, 04:20 pm
Welcome! This is a good place to learn information. I have only been here since last December and I have learned so much. My pigs get more spoiled as each day passes! Guinea Pig slavery.

GuineaPigster
11-24-13, 04:29 pm
Welcome!!! What are your babies' names?

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 04:58 pm
I have 2 girls, Rhina and Fudgie, and a boy, Colonel Mustard (aka The Colonel). The girls are sisters and technically belong to my daughters. They don't get along well though (neither do the daughters...lol) so they are in separate cages. The Colonel of course has his own cage too. The girls are in two different bedrooms and Colonel is in the Livingroom I have to admit that I never liked guinea pigs till we got the girls. I adopted Colonel cause he was so cute and looked so sad. I'm kinda guinea pig obsessed now and making my husband crazy :)

I'm hoping next year to build them new cages and move them all into the same room and I'd like to get Colonel a friend. I wish I had done more research before I got them. I didn't realize that all the guinea pig owners I knew were so uninformed! They are in store bought cages right now but I do have a 2x4 grid playpen that they get time in daily and big grazing pens outside that they got to play in in the summer when the weather was nice. Like I said, I hope to build them proper cages after the first of the year.

I really want the best for them so feel free to offer advice and ideas any time!

piggi_zone
11-24-13, 05:05 pm
Why don't you tell us what youre doing right now to help you better? Be careful about outdoor grazing.lol:)

Princess_Piggie
11-24-13, 05:07 pm
Hey!
First off, store bought cages aren't as bad as a lot of people make them out to be. My two girls are in a store bought cage that's 10 square foot, and the minimum space for two guinea pigs is 8 square foot. It's all about size, not the place you got the cage! Don't beat yourself up, after all, technically we're all relying on each other for advice here, just like you have with your friends.

How long do you let them out for free play time a day? If they're in small cages at the minute, you should try and give them at least 30 minutes. Mine get 60 minutes a day, but that's not required. 20 minutes would do them just fine as they have a large cage.

Is your boar neutered? If so he could live with one of your sows to keep one of them company. If not, kudos on keeping them seperate! Why is it that your sows don't get on? Where they a bonded pair from the same litter when you got them, or did you get them separately? To encourage your girls to get along you could try the 'neutral' meet up (on a towel on your couch, one person holding one girl, one holding another), because girls pine for a cage mate more than the boys do.

If there's anything else you'd like to know feel free to ask :)

piggi_zone
11-24-13, 05:11 pm
welcome to the forum and put up pigtures please!

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 05:23 pm
Well, Colonel's cage is tall so I added a grid inside so that the bottom of his cage doesn't have anything but toys so he has more room to play. There's a plastic shelf that his food is on and I made the top grid all cozy for sleeping.

I'm not sure that the girls cages could do that because theirs aren't as tall. I might try it just to see.

Like I said, I have a big playpen that set up in the Livingroom during the day and I rotate them throughout the day so they each get at least an hour to play, usually more. I don't work so I can watch them in it most of the day. It has big tubs, balls and fleece in it. Their cages have fleece too.

Um, they have of course fresh hay all the time, their pellets and they get veggies morning and evening (veggies with able Vit c). Fresh water of course. We spot clean cages almost every day and do full cleanings weekly.

As far as their outdoor grazing pens go, I think I've covered all the bases but I'll tell you what I've got just in case. They are handmade, wood (untreated) and screening. They have covers that lock. They are on grass that hadn't been treated with anything. They have hutches on the ends for shade and I usually place them in a 1/2 shaded part of the yard. They have good and water while they are in them and I'm out there with them because I'm usually gardening. Am I missing something? Of course it's way to cold in MI now for them to be out but if I need to make changes I can.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me!

sugarandspice
11-24-13, 05:28 pm
Hey!
First off, store bought cages aren't as bad as a lot of people make them out to be. My two girls are in a store bought cage that's 10 square foot, and the minimum space for two guinea pigs is 8 square foot. It's all about size, not the place you got the cage! Don't beat yourself up, after all, technically we're all relying on each other for advice here, just like you have with your friends.

How long do you let them out for free play time a day? If they're in small cages at the minute, you should try and give them at least 30 minutes. Mine get 60 minutes a day, but that's not required. 20 minutes would do them just fine as they have a large cage.

Is your boar neutered? If so he could live with one of your sows to keep one of them company. If not, kudos on keeping them seperate! Why is it that your sows don't get on? Where they a bonded pair from the same litter when you got them, or did you get them separately? To encourage your girls to get along you could try the 'neutral' meet up (on a towel on your couch, one person holding one girl, one holding another), because girls pine for a cage mate more than the boys do.

If there's anything else you'd like to know feel free to ask :)

Can you tell me the brand name of the cage you bought? Just curious. Thanks :)

And welcome to to the forum, barbaramudge :D

GuineaPigster
11-24-13, 05:29 pm
Happy to help. :)
Do you have the links to the current cages?

CavyMama
11-24-13, 05:44 pm
Hey!
First off, store bought cages aren't as bad as a lot of people make them out to be. My two girls are in a store bought cage that's 10 square foot, and the minimum space for two guinea pigs is 8 square foot.

Princess_Piggie - let's make sure we are giving accurate information. Store bought cages ARE as bad as they are made out to be. We have the updated size standards for a reason. 7.5 sq feet is minimum for ONE guinea pig, not two. It's 1.5 additional sq ft for each additional pig.


It's all about size, not the place you got the cage!

The place you get the cage matters because most stores do not sell the proper sized cage.


because girls pine for a cage mate more than the boys do.

Not true. Guinea pigs in general (regardless of gender) are social critters and appreciate a buddy to pal around with.

Princess_Piggie
11-24-13, 05:46 pm
Can you tell me the brand name of the cage you bought? Just curious. Thanks :)

And welcome to to the forum, @barbaramudge (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/member.php?u=30035) :D

Sure! It's called the Rabbit 140 by Ferplast. 10.6 square foot according to my conversion calculator! 1.4 meters in length and 0.71 in width. I'm assuming large cages is a rare thing in the US, I'm in the UK :p

Princess_Piggie
11-24-13, 05:49 pm
@Princess_Piggie (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/member.php?u=29900) - let's make sure we are giving accurate information. Store bought cages ARE as bad as they are made out to be. We have the updated size standards for a reason. 7.5 sq feet is minimum for ONE guinea pig, not two. It's 1.5 additional sq ft for each additional pig.



The place you get the cage matters because most stores do not sell the proper sized cage.



Not true. Guinea pigs in general (regardless of gender) are social critters and appreciate a buddy to pal around with.

Again, assuming the standards of pet stores in the US are worse than here in the UK. Mine would only sell me my girls if I bought the 10 sq foot cage at LEAST.

Edit: I don't think it matters where you get the cage if it's the proper size really does it? Mine's store bought and it's above the minimum size so unless store bought is unsuitable for some other reason....

Missypigmama
11-24-13, 05:59 pm
Welcome to the forum.. I'm fairly new also.. You'll find alot, and I mean ALOT of help here.. By the way, I'm from MI also :-)

madrae
11-24-13, 06:03 pm
Hi Barbaramudge! Welcome!

I can appreciate what you wrote about learning so much and realizing you messed up! Kind of like raising kids! Well onward and forward we go!

If it were me, I think my priority would be to get the girls together. I suspect they would get on fine if they lived in a nice big C&C cage. (I have seen this happen with my friend's pigs. They fought something terrible, but when she upgraded, she said it was like magic - everybody calm and relaxed now!).

Right now, your girls live separate but are in playpen together? Sounds like each new day they are trying to establish who is boss. Then they go home to separate cage. Then next time they have to start again. If they were together, once and for all, with space to move around and get away from each other when they choose, I bet they would get along fine.

Making your own cage is not too difficult. They are very simple to put together and there are some pretty neat thrifty ideas all over the forum to keep the cost down.

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 06:06 pm
57890 This is The Colonel. It's the best pic I can do right now. For some reason I can't put photos from my phone so I'll add some tomorrow from the laptop.

My cages are exactly what you picture here in the US when I say pet store. 14x25".

We got the girls together from a friends animal farm. That sounds weird but they run a private farm that they teach school groups about animals. They had their yearly party and my girls wanted guinea pigs. They had lots of them so home they came! They were litter mates but the bigger of the two is very much a bully. They do get time to play together in the playpen until Rhina gets bitey. I'd love to cage them together but I'm afraid too. When I build the new cage it will be 2x8 and I'll dived it in the middle. So 2x4 each. I thought I could take the divider down for an or so each day for supervise play time. If love if they could learn to get along and share the whole cage! What do you think of that plan?

sugarandspice
11-24-13, 06:07 pm
Edit: I don't think it matters where you get the cage if it's the proper size really does it? Mine's store bought and it's above the minimum size so unless store bought is unsuitable for some other reason....

Its also a matter of who you are supporting by buying a cage. Your supporting a business, a mega-corporation. That gives money to a pet store, which we know why those are unacceptable.

As you can see, c&c cages are not available at any pet store, and you must go to a home improvement store or to guineapigcagesstore.com or another cage outlet.

Although, I do understand c&c cage supplies can be pretty hard to come by out of the u.s.a., there is still other alternatives that differ from a pet store.

I do like how your pet store made you buy a big cage. That was pretty cool.

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 06:11 pm
Welcome to the forum.. I'm fairly new also.. You'll find alot, and I mean ALOT of help here.. By the way, I'm from MI also :-)

Woohoo MI!

sugarandspice
11-24-13, 06:15 pm
57890 This is The Colonel. It's the best pic I can do right now. For some reason I can't put photos from my phone so I'll add some tomorrow from the laptop.

My cages are exactly what you picture here in the US when I say pet store. 14x25".

We got the girls together from a friends animal farm. That sounds weird but they run a private farm that they teach school groups about animals. They had their yearly party and my girls wanted guinea pigs. They had lots of them so home they came! They were litter mates but the bigger of the two is very much a bully. They do get time to play together in the playpen until Rhina gets bitey. I'd love to cage them together but I'm afraid too. When I build the new cage it will be 2x8 and I'll dived it in the middle. So 2x4 each. I thought I could take the divider down for an or so each day for supervise play time. If love if they could learn to get along and share the whole cage! What do you think of that plan?

At the moment, your cage is too small to let them live together, so you did accordingly. Honestly, the problem that your pigs don't get along is the fact they don't have enough space to thrive at the moment. With your new upcoming cage, I bet the girls would love to live together. Maybe you'll only need a2x4 c&c cage for your girls. Your plan sounds greats, yet until then I think it would be best to not keep introducing and separating. When it actually comes time to actually introduce them, this makes it harder for them to get along.

Also, nipping is pretty normal unless it involves any bloodshed. It's a form of discipline, or showing who's boss which you know they will have to do to form a hierarchy.

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 06:16 pm
57891

This is Rhina. She was Rhino till we found out she was a girl :) Sorry about the Red Eye.

Princess_Piggie
11-24-13, 06:20 pm
Its also a matter of who you are supporting by buying a cage. Your supporting a business, a mega-corporation. That gives money to a pet store, which we know why those are unacceptable.

As you can see, c&c cages are not available at any pet store, and you must go to a home improvement store or to guineapigcagesstore.com or another cage outlet.

Although, I do understand c&c cage supplies can be pretty hard to come by out of the u.s.a., there is still other alternatives that differ from a pet store.

I do like how your pet store made you buy a big cage. That was pretty cool.

I'd love to have a big c&c for my girls, I think on top of all the other benefits they're just more aesthetically pleasing ha! Nah as a general rule I believe 'adopt don't shop' when it comes to the animals, but as long as whatever your local store is is 'pro pet' and not 'pro pocket' (what commission they get for selling the new brand of miniscule pet prison etc), I personally see no harm in buying products from stores. I guess over here the pet shops are just more pro pet!

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 06:20 pm
<~face palm.

That makes perfect sense, I can't believe I didn't think of that. I just felt so bad about them not getting to live together. :(

CavyMama
11-24-13, 06:21 pm
barbaramudge - Worry not. We have all made wrong turns as we learned about guinea pig care. I made about every mistake in the book before coming here and learning from my mistakes. It's great that you are open to learning new things and making the best possible life for your pigs.

2X4 for each pig sounds great. You might want to re-think the sometimes playtime. As madrae said, repeatedly putting the pigs together for playtime then separating is very stressful for them because each time they come together they have to establish dominance. If they are separated them put back together they have to start over. It's best to do a one time introduction on neutral ground and if that goes well, house them in a completely clean cage free of any odor from either pig.

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 06:26 pm
So...
When I build the giant 2x8 I should start out without the dividing grids and see how they do and only divide it into 2x4 sections if it proves needed correct?

Also, I have had Colonel in the big pen, divided by grids, when one of the girls was in but, to be honest, all that seem to do was make him crazy of course. I just wanted him to be able to be safely social and I'd seen lots of people online with cages divided this way for their boys and girls. When I do the new cages I should have his butted up to theirs right? Cause it will just drive him nuts?

sugarandspice
11-24-13, 06:42 pm
So...
When I build the giant 2x8 I should start out without the dividing grids and see how they do and only divide it into 2x4 sections if it proves needed correct?

Also, I have had Colonel in the big pen, divided by grids, when one of the girls was in but, to be honest, all that seem to do was make him crazy of course. I just wanted him to be able to be safely social and I'd seen lots of people online with cages divided this way for their boys and girls. When I do the new cages I should have his butted up to theirs right? Cause it will just drive him nuts?

Are you planning on making 2x8 for the girls just in case? IMHO, I don't think that will be needed. I am almost positive that won't be needed. But hey, a 2x8 for two girls would be awesome, yet I don't think you will need to take any extra precaution.


If you do end up making a 2x8, can you divide the cage in half, put a lid in one side, and put Colonel on the other side? I think that would be important for the social aspect of his life! (You need a lid because males will be very desperate to get to the females.

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 06:47 pm
Here's the deal. I have this giant built in dresser in my upstairs foyer (foyer makes it sound much fancier than it is) and I thought it would be perfect for a 2x8.
57894
Pardon the mess.
Then I have this space:57895
Where I thought I'd put a 2 tiered 1(or 2) x 3 cage for Colonel.

If the girls DO get along, would it be better to give them a 2x4 half and him a 2x4 half? Or is that just gonna drive him crazy?

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 06:49 pm
And I just read about boar cleanings, which I knew nothing about, so add that to the list of screw ups :(

madrae
11-24-13, 06:55 pm
When you have time, read some of the threads about introductions and dominance. They are very helpful.

To put the girls together, it's not really a "grow together" kind of thing, it's more like a one shot deal. Remember, every time they are put together, the "who's boss" will start from square one. When you have a big cage ready, you introduce them once on neutral territory (your playpen, and it sounds like that will go okay since you have never mentioned any actual attacks or bloodshed), then put them in the fresh big cage. When I say fresh big cage, I mean bedding is clean and hideys and toys are washed. If you have that divider and just lift it, each girl will go to the other side and be like "This mine!"

I realize this is just a quick description. Once you read some of the introduction threads, it's easier to understand.

sugarandspice
11-24-13, 06:56 pm
Here's the deal. I have this giant built in dresser in my upstairs foyer (foyer makes it sound much fancier than it is) and I thought it would be perfect for a 2x8.
57894
Pardon the mess.
Then I have this space:57895
Where I thought I'd put a 2 tiered 1(or 2) x 3 cage for Colonel.

If the girls DO get along, would it be better to give them a 2x4 half and him a 2x4 half? Or is that just gonna drive him crazy?

A 1x3 would be much too small for a boar. And the fact he doesn't have a cage mate makes me think it would be better to give them both a half so he can at least have some social interactions with his peers. If you do this, then you will need a lid on his half. (like I said above)

Also, a bigger cage, a happier life. I think he would prefer a 2x4 over a 2x3 and a 1x3 ;)


And I just read about boar cleanings, which I knew nothing about, so add that to the list of screw ups :(

Trust me, a lot of people haven't even heard of boar cleaning, so don't fret. Just a small little mistake of a beginner owner. The fact you came to this site for advice is definitely not a screw up. :D

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 06:59 pm
Would a 2x4 still be big enough for him if I got him a friend later?

sugarandspice
11-24-13, 07:03 pm
Would a 2x4 still be big enough for him if I got him a friend later?

Now that I think about, no, it technically wouldn't. You should try for at least a 2x5 when the time comes.

If you do decide to get him a friend, then both of them shouldn't be in contact with the females at all. This would cause fighting over the girls.

is there any remote possibility you can neuter Colonel, and they could live as a big happy herd? (Sorry if you clarified above)
Here is a link: http://www.cavyspirit.com/neutering.htm

Edit: If so, then maybe you can make at least a good 2x5 now just for the girls, and then leave Colonel in his pen until the time comes to introduce them all together.

GuineaPigster
11-24-13, 07:03 pm
Would a 2x4 still be big enough for him if I got him a friend later?
A 2x4 would be fine for just him.
However, since you'd be introducing them, I'd want a 3x3 minimum. :)
The boar cleanings I recently found out about, so don't worry!

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 07:08 pm
I'd love to get him neutered but I'm having trouble finding a vet around here that will do it. I found one but they said, "Gosh, we haven't done that in years but we'd be willing to give it a whirl.", which didn't exactly leave me feeling secure about it. It's expensive too, which I can save up for but it would be awhile.

If I do two 2x4's I can get those done much sooner.

sugarandspice
11-24-13, 07:12 pm
Have you checked this page out? http://www.guinealynx.info/cabinet/index.php/Veterinarians_Michigan

So are you planning on making a 2x8 and splitting it in half?

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 07:18 pm
I had just called my vet and gotten a list from them. I will check out your link. Thanks!

Yes, I was going to do a split 2x8 for the girls and a separate cage with 3 levels of 1x3 sections for The Colonel. But if the girls can get along together in 1/2 I could put Colonel in the other half and not have to build the separate cage for him. I have enough grids for that already so I could build that with in a couple weeks. I was just worried it would make Colonel crazy and I thought I would need to keep the girls separate cause they seem to not like each other. If the girls get along once I put them together and keep them together, then either Colonel could have the other half or they would have one massive cage to share!

sugarandspice
11-24-13, 07:27 pm
I had just called my vet and gotten a list from them. I will check out your link. Thanks!

Yes, I was going to do a split 2x8 for the girls and a separate cage with 3 levels of 1x3 sections for The Colonel. But if the girls can get along together in 1/2 I could put Colonel in the other half and not have to build the separate cage for him. I have enough grids for that already so I could build that with in a couple weeks. I was just worried it would make Colonel crazy and I thought I would need to keep the girls separate cause they seem to not like each other. If the girls get along once I put them together and keep them together, then either Colonel could have the other half or they would have one massive cage to share!

I like the plan, but if the girls do need the whole 2x8 to split, I would recommend to not go high but to go out with Colonel's cage. Pigs need the space to spread out and run laps around the cage. Upper levels do not count as square feet because some pigs won't like heights along with fact they'll will inevitably use one level more than the others.

Maybe at least just another separate 2x4 for colonel (it's only fair right?) if the split 2x4 doesn't work out for him. :)

Good luck! :)

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 07:30 pm
I re-measured the side space again and I could easily give him a 2x3 lower level if the girls don't get along and he needs his own. I'd still want to give him a second story though because he loves his new loft now for sleeping on. :)

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 07:32 pm
To do a 2x4 in that spot I'd be blocking the door to my attic. I wouldn't mind because I could slide the cage over the handful of times I go in the attic, but that end of the cage would probably catch hot and cold drafts.

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 07:42 pm
My grids are actually 14" squares not 12". So I could overlap and make a 2foot by 4foot cage. Just not a 2 grid by 4 grid cage. Did I explain that right?

sugarandspice
11-24-13, 07:44 pm
To do a 2x4 in that spot I'd be blocking the door to my attic. I wouldn't mind because I could slide the cage over the handful of times I go in the attic, but that end of the cage would probably catch hot and cold drafts.

What about a 2x3 on top of a 2x3? That would be cool! :)


You use tie-wraps to make doors that flip up to get him on the first level.


Something like this. http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-3-Level-2X3-Guinea-Pig-LARGE-Enclosed-Pet-CAGE-/221321276381?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3387c6abdd (without the extra grids and the wheels lol)

CavyMama
11-24-13, 07:48 pm
My grids are actually 14" squares not 12".

Yes grids generally are 14", not 12", that's why we usually just say 2X4 to mean a 2 grid by 4 grids cage. We don't mean 2 ft by 4 ft.

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 07:57 pm
Yes but square footage wise it makes a difference. 8 sq feet would be ok wouldn't it? If I overlapped the grids to make it actually 2feet by 4 feet it would fit the space as where 2 grids by 4 grids would not.

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 07:59 pm
What about a 2x3 on top of a 2x3? That would be cool! :)


You use tie-wraps to make doors that flip up to get him on the first level.


Something like this. http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-3-Level-2X3-Guinea-Pig-LARGE-Enclosed-Pet-CAGE-/221321276381?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3387c6abdd (without the extra grids and the wheels lol)

I love these cages! I have pics of many of their designs saved so I have ideas to copy!

Starthecavy123
11-24-13, 09:23 pm
Hi I know I'm late but anyway welcome to the forum

barbaramudge
11-24-13, 09:31 pm
You're not late! Thank you!