View Full Version : New and preparing for future piggies!

01-01-14, 04:07 am
Hello! :) I was planning on getting a pet guinea pig a few months ago, but I ended up getting a hamster (and seven others unexpectedly) instead. Little piggies are still in my mind, though! I know that they take quite a bit of care, though, so I wanted to be set up with all sorts of good information so I can be 100% ready for a new guinea pig sometime in late 2014.

So, I want to learn EVERYTHING, from the best cages, food, toys, genders, and just how to make a guinea pig his or her happiest and healthiest.

01-01-14, 08:45 am
Well, I often say for a first time owner you may want sows, as personally, I think they're a better 'starter pig'. Boys require anal sac cleaning which can be a bit of a handful if you've never handled a guinea pig before, and they also tend to squabble more, and require more space. Sows can live in slightly smaller cages because they don't need as much 'separate time', where as boys do.

Cage wise, C&C cages are always recommended, I personally have a commercial cage that exceeds the size requirements, but a C&C would be cheaper, and is often more flexible when it comes to building it around your existing room set-up. For two boys, you'd need a 2x4 (minimum) and for two girls, a 2x3 (minimum). Always buy pigs in pairs as they're her animals that require the company.

Food wise, they need constant, 24/7, unlimited access to a grass hay, Timothy hay is the most commonly used one. If you prefer, you can also feed orchard grass, or bluegrass. If you get pigs that are under 6months, they will require a supplement of alfalfa hay, or parsley. They obviously need access to fresh, clean water constantly, and require 1cup of vegetables per pig, per day. http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/22156-READ-ME-Cavy-Nutrition-Charts-amp-Poisonous-Plants-List you can read what vegetables are safe, and how often to feed them, here. Only feed fruit once a week at most because of it's high sugar content. They also need a good quality pellet to provide extra vitamins and minerals, many people are partial to Oxbow while some prefer KMS. In general Kaytee (I think that's what it's called) isn't recommended. You'd want to give each pig 1/4 cup of pellets a day.

This forum is pro-rescue, meaning we don't advocate buying from pet shops, and even worse, buying from a breeder. We don't recommend pet shop pigs, or breeder pigs, as they tend to come pregnant, or miss-sexed, or ill. If you get your pigs from a rescue, you'll also probably end up with a bonded pair.

01-01-14, 09:27 am
There isn't much of a difference between boars and sows. Boars require a bit more maintenance (Like grease gland and anal sac cleanings). Boars tend to be a bit more territorial, though, I can tell you females can be far more aggressive than a boar when on heat. Bonded or not, males will require a bit more space. Each gender can carry health implications, as males get older they can develop anal impactions and older females are prone to developing ovarian cysts.

As for food, guinea pigs need a high fiber, low oxalate and calcium diet with minimal sugar. Pellets need to be hay based, fortified in vitamin C and be free from seeds, nuts, oils, beet pulp and corn products. Some popular brands include KMS, Oxbow and Kleenmama's. I only recommend feeding 1/6 of a cup per pig daily.
Hay needs to be available at all times for your pets digestive and dental well-being, the hay needs to be long-stranded, not a legume. Alfalfa should only be supplemented to young pigs or pregnant/nursing sows. Some suitable hays include: Bluegrass, Timothy, Oaten, Meadow, Orchardgrss and Brome.
Each pig should be fed a cup of vegetables a day. Guinea pigs are very susceptible to bladder stones and bladder sludge, you should avoid high oxalate/calcium foods as they can bind together and crystallize in the bladder. As guinea pigs can't manufacture their own vitamin C, it should be supplemented through their diet (Green bell pepper is a good choice). They need around 15-30 mg/kg daily. The link @Princess_Piggie (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/member.php?u=29900) linked above is a must to take with you veggie shopping. And of course, they should always have clean, fresh water available in their cage (Preferably through a bottle). Do not add vitamin C drops or tang into your pets bottle as this can be potentially detrimental to their health and alter the waters taste.

This site promotes C&C (Cubes and Coroplast) cages. They are large, cheap, easy to clean/maintain, customizable and easily available in most countries. Most commercial cages do not fit guidelines and are overpriced, (You can find the guidelines here (http://www.guineapigcages.com/)).

To achieve the happiest, healthiest pet possible, we suggest you adopt your guinea pigs. This site in it's entirety is against all breeding of guinea pigs. Also remember that before you adopt your guinea pigs, you need to have a stable vet fund and exotic vet ready in case of an emergency. Guinea pigs can be expensive, I've had vet bills clock in at over a thousand dollars. Good luck! :)