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MJTEACH
12-13-13, 09:57 pm
Hello all! I am new to the world of Cavi's so I thought I would share how I got here.

I am a preschool teacher (the kids in my class range from age three to five). At the start of the year we had a hermit crab as our class pet and about mid october he died. So since then my preschoolers and I have been investigating other options for class pets. We finally decided that a guinea pig would be our best option and I have been doing a lot of preparation work to know exactly what to expect with a little Cavi. OH BOY I had no idea what I was getting myself into!

After thinking about the logistics I realized that it will be a lot more difficult than I anticipated.

I am building two C&C cages (one for my home and one for the classroom). The Cavi's will travel with me to and from school each day (because during the nights the air temperature in the classroom is not controlled so I'm worried they might get too cold or too warm).

I think I want to start out with just one Cavi to adjust the children to having a small animal in the classroom and then get another one after they have gotten used to caring for the first one.

I have come to realization that I am ultimately going to be the caretaker of these piggies, rather than the children in my class but they will be actively involved in caring for them as well by helping out with feeding times, making sure there is plenty of hay and water, and giving them a lot of love and attention.

Do you all have any tips for me as a new Cavi owner? I've already learned so much by just reading on the web about whats best for these little guys but I still feel a little anxious like I don't quite have the hang of it yet.

Inle_Rabbit
12-13-13, 10:26 pm
I would get two at the same time. Guinea pigs thrive on companionship of their own kind so this would be best for the pigs to help them adjust to their new lives.

PiggieWigglies
12-14-13, 02:40 am
Make sure the piggies eat their veggies with vitamin c, sometimes certain pigs need about 2 days to get used to their new surroundings so dont necessarily ignore them, but give them some space for about 2 days. Other than that, you sound very educated and Im sure your class will love the piggies.

MJTEACH
12-14-13, 10:13 am
Thanks guys. I forgot to mention that i plan on gettingthem during the holiday break so that they have time to adjust. I also found out that there is a piggie rescue near me so instead of getting some from the store i plan on rescuing instead.

Inle_Rabbit
12-14-13, 11:06 am
That's awesome! Seems like you're on the right track!

Princess_Piggie
12-14-13, 11:14 am
The transport between school and your home on a daily basis may be a little stressful for them, have you considered requesting that the school do temperature control over night so as they can remain there?

While I'm entirely against school pets, if you're gonna do it, do it right, right? So, make sure you have two, because the piggie will get very lonely if he/she lives alone. I think doing a kid friendly, piggie tutorial for your class would be a good idea to make sure the animals are handled correctly, and not getting fed anything that could make them sick.

1 cup of piggie safe vegetables per pig per day, http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/22156-READ-ME-Cavy-Nutrition-Charts-amp-Poisonous-Plants-List, this has every possible veggie you could wanna feed on it, and how often :)

Possibly consider getting females, as boars require anal sac cleaning, which you may not have time for if they're school pets.

Starthecavy123
12-14-13, 11:36 am
I'm glad you've decided to get some little piggies.

Your best bet would be to as someone has suggested get 2 at the same time. Guinea pigs thrive on companianship so deffinetly start out with 2. Just make sure not to go to a pet store. You don't want to end up with a male and a female. And guinea pigs can be hard to introduce to one another. It would be easier to start out with 2.

Because if you would get a male, males are harder to match because they are much more territorial than females. Definetly get females as males may require more upkeep and because they will be a class pet. Males also need more space then a female as some may fight. Also males have a grease gland that needs washing and extra care. They will also require more baths then females.

Also be careful with transporting them everyday because transporting them from place to place can be very stressful on them. You want to minimize the stress on guinea pigs as much as possible. Stress is very hard on a guinea pig. If you do have to transport them give them plenty of fruits, veggies and toys during the trip. Just make sure they are extremely confortable. Like my guinea pig hates riding in the car even to go to the vet. Mine will start chewing on the carrier, if I have a towel in with her she'll chew on it. And she'll get really fidgety so I have to litteraly pet her and talk to her to calm her down while in her carrier.

I would do what one other person suggested maybe talk to the school and explane the situation. And maybe ask them if they can control the temp in your room at night. Maybe ask them if they regulate the temps just to be sure. You can also suggest a constant temp for your room so nothing happens to them.

Befor getting them do all your research and talk with the principle. You want to make sure they will be okay. I'm sure if the school knows you have piggies they will gladly regulate the temp in your room. If you have any trouble you can also give them some fact sheets or something. Just so they know more about guinea pigs because some people may just not know. So if they know more about them that may help.

Over break I would look into some guinea pig rescues near you. Also try humane societies sometimes they will have piggies. Rescues that deal with just guinea pigs are your best places. You can also try petfinder.com. You can also try going to a library for books on them, the internet is also helpful. But I found that this forum is the best place for small pet information. I hope this helps.

MJTEACH
12-14-13, 05:28 pm
Wow that's great info! I did look into a guinea pig rescue that's close by and I think I might go there. I also checked out the humane society but they didn't have any piggies as of right now.

I'm glad you mentioned about the boars needing extra attention and cleaning. That would be quite a bit more to do, so I will lean towards getting girls. I agree that I should get two to start with. At the rescue I'm looking to get the piggies at it's actually a bit cheaper to rescue two at the same time than one and then get another one later.

I did see the list of the veggies and fruits that are good for the piggies and I have it bookmarked. I think I might print it out and keep a copy of it posted above the cage so that anyone else can see what they are allowed to eat.

I will look into seeing about getting the temperatures regulated overnight, and I will just bring them home for weekend vacations.

As of right now I am planning on using disposable bedding but I'm hoping to go to a fabric store and get fleece and the other materials needed to do fleece bedding as it will be much more cost efficient since they will be going back and forth between two cages. Do you have any suggestions on what works best for the absorbent piece underneath? I have read that mattress covers work pretty well but I was just wondering what else might work.

LuvCavysLuvCats
12-14-13, 05:36 pm
Welcome! And I recommend u-haul furniture pads for the absorbant layer. They're HUGE and only 7.65$ each. I got two because I wanted to make a ton of pee pads to change daily and a few lap pads. :) Quick tip! You probably already know you need to wick the fleece you get by washing it three times with vinegar but you also need to do that with the uhaul pads! Also there is a 'right' side and a 'wrong' side to the fleece AND the uhaul pads. Make sure the more absorbant side is facing up.

MJTEACH
12-14-13, 06:00 pm
Awesome! Thanks for the info! I'm beginning to love the support on this forum! You guys are AWESOME! :)