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View Full Version : Newbie here, getting my piggies in just a few days time!



BrokenCody
03-20-14, 11:29 pm
Howdy, y'all! I'm Cody, new here, and new to cavy-care. I'll be getting my guinea pigs in 3 days, I want terribly to make sure I have everything perfect for them. I'm getting 3 males, babies, and I'm so very excited! I built they enclosure homemade, and it's just a temporary housing situation for them. (I used piggy safe apply-tree wood.) I'm planning on upgrading to a C&C cage soon, I just can't seem to find any of the cubes at any of my local big box stores! I had a few questions, and such, but mainly I just wanted to introduce myself, and talk to some people who might be as excited as I am! Lol. I've wanted guinea pigs for years, but have never lived anywhere where I felt I could take care of them well until now.

Questions for y'all include,

I have large amounts of sassafras wood (It grows HUGE here, we have a floor made entirely out of sassafras boards, in fact.), I was wondering if blocks made of sassafras was safe for them? I've Googled my fingers raw, but can't find any info about it. I know it's a more aromatic wood, so I'm very hesitant about using it, but I have literally several tons of the stuff at my disposal, so if it is safe, it's all hold's barred in this joint! Lol.

Where in heavens name do y'all find the C&C supplies? I live in the boonies, about 30 minutes from a small town, so my options are somewhat limited on stores, but... I can't find any of the cubes at all! The corroplast I got.

Apart frpm that... I'm Cody, I'm 23, and I'm glad to be here!

PiggieWigglies
03-20-14, 11:43 pm
Hi and welcome! Id pass on the sassafrass wood. I dont think it would be too safe.
I got my grids from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Make sure when you buy them that the grids have 9 holes across, down and up. Anything bigger, pigs could get their heads stuck in.

Here are some tips that helped me, thanks to this forum!


Pellets: A good brand of pellets to get is Oxbow Cavy Cuisine for pigs 6 months and up, Oxbow Cavy Preformance for newborns to 6 months old (it has extra calcium for them to grow) and KMS Hayloft. You will need PLAIN Timothy pellets, no nuts, seeds, or colores bits. The amount of pellets to give your pig is 1/8 of a cup per pig, per day. Pigs under 6 months can have unlimited pellets.


Hay: Guinea pigs need a long grass hay to keep their teeth worn down and their gut moving. Good hay to give them is either Timothy or Orchard. There are more substitutes but I cant think of the other substitutes. Baby guinea pigs need Timothy hay, along with either parsley or alfalfa hay WITH their Timothy for extra calcium to grow. Alfalfa is not a long grass hay to be feeding your pig. Its a legume like a pea, and does not keep their teeth worn down.


Water: People say water bottles are the best choice, because water dishes get too dirty and can flip over. If you are worried about extra minerals in the water and you have a Brita Filter you can use that (I use it)


Cage: A C&C cage is the best type of cage for a pig. If you look around you can see where to get DIY tips and items on how to build one. The minium space for two pigs is 2x4 grids. If you can fit it, 2x5 is preferred. Warning: if you get grids, make sure the squares are 9x9 in the grid. They changed some of them to 8x8 and peoples guinea pigs were getting heads stuck in the bars.


Bedding: Nice beddings to use are either fleece, or kiln dried pine shavings/aspen shavings. Never use Cedar because the oils in it cause respitory and foot problems.


Hide Houses: Every guinea pig needs a hidey house. Dont get the medium size pigloo, those cause lack air circulation and who wants their pig sitting in a stink hut. Each hide house you get will need to have 1 entrance and 1 exit. Some people including me use RubberMaid stools for hidey houses. There are other house options besides stools dont worry.


Veggies: Good veggies to give your pig are: Green/red leaf lettuce, cherry tomato, carrots every once in awhile, and green bell peppers. Green bell peppers are a good source of vitamin c for a pig. Piggies cant make their own vitamin c, so giving them 1/8 of a green pepper a day will help them. To add about the carrots; guinea pigs cant process sugar that well, so keeping the amounts of fruit and carrots small and spread apart is best. There are other veggies you can give your pig and how often to, and what veggies are not good to give: http://www.guineapigcages.com/food/V...uit-Charts.pdf


Care and cleaning of your pig: Guinea pigs rarely need baths, unless they are super smelly or dirty. A good shampoo to use for your pig is either Gorgeous Guineas, or Squeaky Clean for small animals from a petstore. Also, their nails do grow and there are tutorials on how to clip them or have a vet clip them for you. If you ever need a vet, make sure they are an exotic pet vet and are cavy savy.


Getting a buddy and how to introduce: Guinea pigs are happier with a buddy. If you are looking to get a buddy, please check recues, craigslist, or petfinder. Do not go to a petstore or a breeder. This forum is anti-breeding/petstore and pro-adoption. Breeding guinea pigs is hard on the mother and babies. There are enough pigs without homes in the world, breeding makes it worse. Breeding also means a 20% chance the mom might die. Anyway back to buddies and introductions. You will need a same sex pig friend for your own pig, or if your pig is a girl you could also find a neutered boy. After you found your desired pig, there is a 21 day quarentine to make sure your new pig isnt sick. Quarentine needs to be in a different cage, in a different room. After quarentine is over, find a large open space for your pigs to meet. It needs to be on neutral ground where neither pig has been before. Do not just plop your guinea pigs in a cage, this needs to be done on neutral ground. Put a pile of some veggies in the area and a pile of hay, and put the pigs in the area. See this for more details: http://www.cavyspirit.com/sociallife.htm

BrokenCody
03-21-14, 12:23 am
Thanks so much for the reply! Unfortunately, there isn't a BB&B in my area, so I'm thinking Amazon and Ebay are my best bets for cage material. I actually have a TON of space for the babies, so I'm planning on making them a very large enclosure. Which I am totally stocked about!

I searched and searched for a rescue in my area and couldn't find one, eventually I scowered Craigslist, and started talking to a lady who's piggie had just had pups (apparently this was a floor time accident, and the male has since been neutered. I searched on CL for about 6 months before choosing someone, to make sure I didn't see the same person posting lots of ads, and to lower the chances of contributing to a "mill". I'm very anti-breeder, myself. My mom was an animal groomer for 30* years before carpel tunnel forced her out of the profession, so we're all very aware of how blatantly evil some breeders are, not to mention the outright neglect of the big box pet stores, and some of the smaller ones. Although, I have to admit, I feel SO bad not being able to give a home to all those poor unfortunate animal bred there. *sad*

Anyway! Again, thank you so much for the replies and advice!

*30, not 3. Lol.

amandaisamoose
03-21-14, 02:19 am
I've seen grids very cheap on eBay! It's shipping that gets you. I ordered my cage off eBay. It was the cheapest I found one.
Also post a Craigslist ad in the wanted part for grids. I post a picture of the shelves since people have so Many different names for them.
Oh and zip ties are the best. For helping the connection and making it more sturdy.

BrokenCody
03-21-14, 04:26 pm
Yeah, I've been showering ebay for some good deals. Btw, had a question, I have dogs and cats, and I'm always leary about getting used items for my pets, because of things like parvo and feline lukemia, et cetera... is there anything like that I need to be concerned with in the piggies?

Starthecavy123
03-21-14, 05:04 pm
Yeah, I've been showering ebay for some good deals. Btw, had a question, I have dogs and cats, and I'm always leary about getting used items for my pets, because of things like parvo and feline lukemia, et cetera... is there anything like that I need to be concerned with in the piggies?

I'm not sure about any illnesses being passed to the piggies. Since you have dog/cats you should put a lid on the cage especially to keep the cats out.

Starthecavy123
03-21-14, 05:07 pm
Yes I would try getting thee grids off of amazon or ebay even craiglist. Since you will be getting males make sure the cage is at least a 2x5 then when they get older you may want to upgrade to something bigger. Also when you go to pick up the piggies double,triple, even quadruple check the sexes. You can't be to sure better be safe than sorry. I would also stay away from sassafras wood.

Good luck with the piggies.

Pipandpoppy
03-22-14, 09:55 am
Yeah, I've been showering ebay for some good deals. Btw, had a question, I have dogs and cats, and I'm always leary about getting used items for my pets, because of things like parvo and feline lukemia, et cetera... is there anything like that I need to be concerned with in the piggies?
If you type in storage cubes you should find new stuff.

Pipandpoppy
03-22-14, 09:57 am
And you should disinfect and clean the stuff anyways.
Same way when you buy a new house you clean it.

BrokenCody
03-22-14, 09:59 am
Haha. I'm a firm believer I. Disenfecting! I go through more vinegar than anyone I know! But my mom is allergic to bleach, my brother is allergic to amonia, so I figured out vinegar works for just about everything!

bpatters
03-22-14, 10:06 am
GPs can't get feline leukemia, but they can get bordatella from dogs, so make sure yours are vaccinated. There are different kinds of parvo, but I don't think they can be transmitted from one species to another.

You can order the grids from Walmart and have them delivered to your local store for pick-up. No shipping charges involved that way. Just be sure they're the kind with nine holes across, not five.

I'd be leery of the sassafras as well. I don't know of anyone who's ever used it, so don't know if it's safe or not.

Good luck with your piggies! We'll need pictures when you get them.

BrokenCody
03-24-14, 09:44 am
Thanks for all the advice, yall! I got my piggies yesterday, brought them home and put them in their enclosure, and realized it's still too small. M building them a bigger one on payday. I honestly thought this one would be big enough, but when I saw them in it, I feel like they need more room. Today, I'm gonna build them a run for outside.

Fyi, about the cat, and open to cage: our living arrangement is odd, technically, the cat lives in a different house. We do the "tiny house" thing, and the cat lives in my parents place. Multiple tiny buildings, we just use the outside world as our living room. Lol.
But, I did introduce the piggies to my kitty, he seemed sorely disinterested at first, then he came over and attempted to sleep next to it, and groom it. He's not the best Mouser out there. Lol.

BrokenCody
03-24-14, 07:25 pm
Sorry for the double post, but I had a (possible, probably not) brilliant idea and I wanted to get y'all opinion about it. Okay, so, since I was planning on making a new cage anyway, I was thinking of going a little... Extravagant...

Okay, so, 6X6 box, 4 feet tall. Bottom of it made out of plexi-glass with some some holes drilled in it, a layer of gravel on bottom, fill box to about 1 1/2 feet below the top with dirt, lay down sod grass, and make a guinea pig grazing box! Now I wasn't planning on making this for playtime or anything, but for an everyday cage. I even had some 1 inch pipe, if I cut it in half long ways, make it 6 feet long, I can even make them a small "river" using the pump off of one of those decorative water fountains (I'm quite good with wiring/electric, and I've used pumps a good bit so I KNOW I could do this part). I'd put a "drip tray" beneath it to catch any water that seeps through, hence the need for the gravel and the holes in the plexi.

Y'all think it would work? Should I post this elsewhere?

I know the logistics are sound in my mind, and I've actually made several similar things before, living on a in the woods you find yourself playing with dirt more often than you did as a kid... Lol. I'm just not sure as to if they'd be happy living in it or not. Another reason I'd like to make it AT LEAST 6X6. Another thing, the GP poops, at first I thought "Fertilizer!" then I realized what a yard looks like after a dogs been in it... Lol. Not a pleasant image for the little guys, so I'd have to "rake the yard" daily, so to speak. And I even have a tiny little rake to do it with!! :D

PiggieWigglies
03-24-14, 07:45 pm
Hmm. Im not an expert in that, and not sure how safe or how well dirt would do as flooring for them. Off subject, cute pigs! One thing that I would take out of their cage is that red log. They're called snack-shacks and are very unhealthy. I looked at the ingredients and it contains woodshavings and other unhealthy things.

BrokenCody
03-24-14, 09:04 pm
Oh noes! That stinks, it's their favorite feature, but I haven teen them chew it yet... either way, I'll replace with something safer! :)

And it wouldn't be dirt, per se, so much as "ground" considering lush bountiful grass, or at least that's what I have invisioned, anyway! Lol.

I made them an outdoor run today, 6x6x2, they LOVED it. My brother sat in it with them. We like to make videos, like... constantly, and we filmed one then it was cute. But one of the piggles (haven't named them yet) that was in his lap, crawled up into his jacket and took root in his sleeve! Took him several minutes to get the critter out -- completely adorable! They even popcorn es a bit. I'm very happy with them!!!

PiggieWigglies
03-24-14, 09:57 pm
Awww! Are they male or females?

BrokenCody
03-25-14, 02:06 am
They're male. All 3 litter mates, but I swear they look like 3 different breeds. Lol.

BrokenCody
03-26-14, 09:58 am
Since I got the piggies, my morning ritual has been: wake up, give veggies, replace water, go down for breakfast, come back, clean cage, then take them out for some floor time, y'know?Well, this morning, I came back from breakfast, and found where a snake had gotten into their cage... There was chicken wire on top of the cage, but the snake was small enough to get it. It was a copper head, and the babies are dead. I'm... I don't know. I really liked the little guys. I haven't buried them yet, I'm about to do that now. I don't think I'll be getting any more for quite a while, if I ever do. So... I guess there's no need for account here. I'd like to thank everybody for how informative you've been, and how welcome you made me feel here.


Bye.

agirlwithink
03-26-14, 10:06 am
Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry for your loss :[

Starthecavy123
03-26-14, 10:17 am
Aww I'm so sorry.

AmberCalzone
03-26-14, 10:19 am
I'm so, so sorry!:(

BrokenCody
03-26-14, 10:58 am
It's okay. I'm just... I only had them a week, so I didn't have a chance to get incredibly close with them, but I had gotten very attached.

GuineaPigParty
03-26-14, 11:54 am
I am so sorry for your loss.

:sad:

GuineaPigParty
03-26-14, 12:09 pm
Try using pet safe snake repellent.

If decide to get guinea pigs again you can always go to a guinea pig rescue or a animal shelter.

Get well soon.

PiggieWigglies
03-26-14, 12:24 pm
Oh no! Im so sorry. :( You were a great piggy parent.

BrokenCody
03-26-14, 12:31 pm
I wanted to be. :(

My mom and I talked it over, and she really liked them, too. She was actually against getting them in the first place, but she says she'd like us to get some more piggies, I'm not sure if I will or not, I was really very shaken up this morning. :( If I do get more, I'm considering females this time. Unfortunately, there is no shelter within several hours of where I will, I've looked-- HARD. Not that I had any sort of problems with the males, but I'd like to get females next time, to avoid any possible problems in the future.

If I do get more piggies, I'll let y'all know.

Thanks.

RandomCavy
03-26-14, 01:20 pm
guineapigzone.com/guinea-pigs shows guinea pig rescues and individual pigs being given away. I am very sorry for your loss
:(

agirlwithink
03-26-14, 01:22 pm
http://www.petfinder.com/pet-search?location=37901&animal=&primary_breed=Guinea+Pig&distance=&pet_name=

There is the Knoxville Guinea Pig Rescue!

BrokenCody
03-26-14, 01:32 pm
I'm actually a ways from knoxville, but I'll look into them!

pinky
03-26-14, 01:46 pm
Very sad...... I'm sorry for your loss... I just read the update that you might get more. I hope you do and it works out for you. How will you protect the others from snakes?

BrokenCody
03-26-14, 02:52 pm
I'm going to cover the top with wire mesh this time, instead of chicken wire, if I do get mkre. I'm still not sure. I know it seems unreasonable to be as upset as I was today, considering if only had them a week. But.... I spent months trying to find the right one, learning what I could, and preparing. They had just started warming up to me, and would squad when I walked in the room, and would lock my fingers in the mornings. :'(

PiggieWigglies
03-26-14, 02:59 pm
Im so sorry. Maybe you could snake proof with very tiny holed mesh wire all over the cage? Or use pig safe snake repellent like someone suggested. It mush be scary having snakes and stuff come into your house.

Starthecavy123
03-26-14, 03:22 pm
Thats great, take your time they'll still be plenty out there.

Craigslist is also an option just watch out for breeders. If you have a humane society sometimes you can find guinea pig there. Thats where I got my last 2. You can also give them your number. And tell them if they could call you if/when they get some.

Like others suggested petfinder is also a good place. Also guinea pig zone.

BrokenCody
03-26-14, 03:36 pm
I'm going to cover the top with wire mesh this time, instead of chicken wire, if I do get mkre. I'm still not sure. I know it seems unreasonable to be as upset as I was today, considering if only had them a week. But.... I spent months trying to find the right one, learning what I could, and preparing. They had just started warming up to me, and would squad when I walked in the room, and would lock my fingers in the mornings. :'(

pinky
03-26-14, 04:16 pm
I'm going to cover the top with wire mesh this time, instead of chicken wire, if I do get mkre. I'm still not sure. I know it seems unreasonable to be as upset as I was today, considering if only had them a week. But.... I spent months trying to find the right one, learning what I could, and preparing. They had just started warming up to me, and would squad when I walked in the room, and would lock my fingers in the mornings. :'(

Have you figured out how the snake got in your house? Aren't you and your other pets also at risk from copperheads?

BrokenCody
03-26-14, 07:48 pm
Copperhead are a part of life here -- shot around 80 last summer. But normally they are aren't about for another month or 2. It's really very unusual for this to happen when it did, it was in the 40s Today.

We take precautions in the summer months, cotton balls everywhere around the houses, ceder chips around the areas we walk, and we all carry a gun with us if we're not in the from area that's well populated -- other than that, there's not much we can do. You're not technically allowed to kill them here, but there's literally so many you can't help it, but it means we can't call in exterminators or anything. The creek around 4 miles from us is called "copperhead creek" with good reason. In the summer months, you can go to it and see literally hundreds of snakes all balling with eachother. It's sort of awful. Lol.

Rywen
03-26-14, 09:08 pm
I'm really sorry for your loss, that is very sad.

pinky
03-27-14, 08:52 am
Copperhead are a part of life here -- shot around 80 last summer. But normally they are aren't about for another month or 2. It's really very unusual for this to happen when it did, it was in the 40s Today.

We take precautions in the summer months, cotton balls everywhere around the houses, ceder chips around the areas we walk, and we all carry a gun with us if we're not in the from area that's well populated -- other than that, there's not much we can do. You're not technically allowed to kill them here, but there's literally so many you can't help it, but it means we can't call in exterminators or anything. The creek around 4 miles from us is called "copperhead creek" with good reason. In the summer months, you can go to it and see literally hundreds of snakes all balling with eachother. It's sort of awful. Lol.

We're unincorporated and used to have ditches on our properties until they connected us to a city sewer. There are a couple of large ponds near us so we always had a lot of snakes and frogs by us. My husband constantly ran over the snakes with his lawn mower because they'd be hiding in the grass and he wouldn't see them. We'd often have a mound of them sunning themselves on our concrete front porch that faces south and gets really hot in the afternoon. They'd also curl up in the shrubs in front of the house and would peek out their heads when we'd walk by. They were common garter snakes so they weren't harmful but they would make me jump when I didn't expect them. For someone reason, we stopped seeing them a couple of years ago. They built more stores about a half mile east of us and I wondered if that might have been their main habitat and they died out. I kind of miss them. We also had huge monk parrot nests in the electrical lines. They were these big bright green birds that were really loud. I loved seeing them. COMED came out and took down all the nests and we never saw them again.

KatherinesPigs
03-27-14, 11:02 am
That's really awful.

BrokenCody
03-30-14, 02:20 am
The birds sound delightful, the snakes not so much. I absolutely despise snakes.

Okay, so, me and my mom talked it over, and we will be trying again, this time with wire mesh instead of chicken wire, though. The main deciding factor, was that a friend of hers recently had a litter (petsmart, pregnant when she got the female, poor thing), and the babies are about 9 weeks now. I'll be picking them up next sunday. Not sure what genders, or how many yet.

kanojochan
03-30-14, 02:13 pm
I'm SO sorry for your loss. It doesn't matter that you've only had them for a week, you bonded with them, and having that bond broken hurts no matter how long (or short) it's been. I'm glad you're bouncing back. Good luck with your next piggies :)

AmberCalzone
03-30-14, 02:25 pm
I'm glad to hear that you're staying in the piggy community <3

If they're nine weeks old make sure that your friend separated the girls from the boys when they were three weeks old. If not, she may have more pregnant piggies on her hands!

Starthecavy123
03-30-14, 02:31 pm
Aww I'm so happy for you. And you get to stay here.

BrokenCody
03-31-14, 11:12 am
Thanks, yall! Looking forward to the little uns, and yeah, she said they were separated. :) if I did get males and females, obviously, they wouldn't be sharing a living spacee, but, would it be okay for their cages to be next to one another, or would the ladies turn the gentlemen into wolves? Lol.

Starthecavy123
03-31-14, 11:21 am
No you can put the cages close just make sure the males can't get out. Males can get pretty creative if they want to get to females. Maybe build a lid on the males cage. Better be safe than sorry.

Leanne 71
03-31-14, 11:31 am
Wow been following your story and look forward to hearing about the little ones. I'm so sorry about the boys. Glad you're still hear.

BrokenCody
03-31-14, 05:05 pm
Thanks Leanne! I'm really very excited about the new ones. As I'm going to have help taking care of these (the last ones, it was made clear I would have no help, but my mom fell in love with them, so she says she wants to help with these), I'll be getting 2 boys and 4 girls. That's the while litter, and we agreed it'd be nice to keep them together.

PiggieWigglies
03-31-14, 05:13 pm
You would need to keep the boys seperated, but you couldnt neuter them because 2+ males will fight over a small amount of females.

Amalee
03-31-14, 05:56 pm
Not that I had any sort of problems with the males, but I'd like to get females next time, to avoid any possible problems in the future.
Females actually have more problems, as you should most definitely get them all spayed & yes ovarian cysts can be dangerous & yes they are very common.
http://www.guinealynx.info/ovarian_cysts.html

BrokenCody
03-31-14, 08:53 pm
Thanks Leanne! I'm really very excited about the new ones. As I'm going to have help taking care of these (the last ones, it was made clear I would have no help, but my mom fell in love with them, so she says she wants to help with these), I'll be getting 2 boys and 4 girls. That's the while litter, and we agreed it'd be nice to keep them together.

Rabbit_Lover
03-31-14, 09:20 pm
Wow, your story is so sad. Make sure your cage is large enough, it's best to make the largest cage possible instead of having to keep going bigger, so make sure you check out the front page. (remember males need 1/2-1 full grid larger than the preferred size)