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Thread: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

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    Cavy Slave
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    Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    My daughter is getting a piggy as soon as we can figure out cage ligistics and such. We have decided to go the C & C cage route and pretty must understand the basics. My quesiton is, if we cannot find the coroplast, then can we use a thin plywood on the bottom and sides? The next question is if we can use the plywood, should we cover it in tiles - vinyl or carpet?

    We are prefering to get a baby (what's the best age to bring home?) and where would be the best place to locate one? She is looking for an Americana and I am wanting to get a skinny pig. We would prefer female for both as we don't want any accidents. If we were to only get one now, would there be issues in getting the other at a later time? We are wanting to stay away from the stores - but rarely do our spca's have babies or young ones.

    Essentially we are trying to get the cage all built, the fleece, food, hay, etc that we would need before we ever start looking for the right ones.

    Sorry for all the questions but who else to go to but those that know best. Any help is GREATLY appreciated. Looking forward to learning from those who have gone before.

    Thank you.

    Janadean

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    Hey!

    I can't answer most of your questions, but hopefully I can help out a little bit anyways.

    For the coroplast, it shouldn't be difficult to find. Do you have a Home Depot near you? I'm pretty sure every Home Depot sells it. Mine was at the very back of the store, just ask for "corrugated plastic". Probably more likely to find it that way than to ask for coroplast.

    As for the age of the guinea pig, to be honest, an older guinea pig (1-2 year old) is absolutely fine! Don't worry too much about the age of the guinea pig, there's really no huge difference. I got a 1 year old guinea pig and then a 3 month old, and although both are very cute, the older guinea pig is much more accustomed to people.

    Sorry that I can't help you out too much >_< Good luck! I think it's great that you're making lots of preparations before getting a guinea pig though !

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    Cavy Slave maddy harper's Avatar
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    hi and welcome
    I am blind so cant see picks

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Princess_Piggie's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    Hi there!

    First of all, while coroplast should be easy enough for you to find, lots of people do use other materials, such as thin plywood wrapped in a shower curtain (remember, the base needs to be waterproof, and just wood would absorb instead).

    Secondly, the american guinea pig is a common breed and you shouldn't have trouble finding it. Skinny pigs are rarer, but not impossible to locate. A guinea pig can be brought home at any age (though preferably older than 5 weeks, when they're done nursing. 3 weeks for boys though.) as they're born with teeth, full sight and hearing etc. I'd advise you not to become too stuck on certain breeds, and be open to just finding the right personality pigs for you - breed isn't related to how they'll bond with you, and each pig has a different personality. You also don't need to get stuck on the SPCA, you can use petfinder.com, the guinea pig zone, our classifieds area, and also craigslist (but be careful of breeders!) Breeders will use terms like "new stock" "high quality" etc. If you're unsure about a listing, just post a link on here and we can help you figure it out.

    I'd also advise you not to get too stuck on wanting babies - older pigs make great pets too, and are often less skittish and easier to hold and pet etc. They can live very long lives (8 years sometimes), so you don't need a young one to have lots of time with them. If you are determined to have young ones, you can always call rescues and ask if they have any unlisted females that are on "pregnancy watch", and ask that if they have babies could two females be held for you.

    There shouldn't be any issues introducing two females as long as you do it properly (you can't just put them in a cage together), but as new owners you may prefer to wait and find a bonded pair in a rescue.

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    Cavy Slave GuineaPigMania2's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    Hello and welcome to the forum!

    I may not be able to help loads as I'm in England, but hopefully I should give you a little advice

    With the coroplast, the best place to look may be the internet, as you can then custom it to your needs and have a wider array of colours. It may be cheaper as well. Thats where I got mine from. I heard Home Deport, Walmart etc, sell them where you are. If you are looking for cubes, again, you may find them cheaper on the web, but Bed, bath and beyond sell them (I heard)

    Breeds don't really matter. It is true that certain breeds will require more care in things like grooming. The skinny pig will need extra care during colder months, and long hairs need a lot of care spent on grooming. Breed however does not change the personality of the pig, or the way they bond with you or other pigs. Like @Princess_Piggie said, skinny's may be harder to find than the American type.

    If a guinea pig is independent (doesn't need it's mother anymore) then it does not matter about the age. I love pups, they are adorable and I can understand you wanting to get one, but they will be more skittish and VERY fragile so they need firm, gentle handling. It may be true that from an young age they will be much more bonded to you in a few years time, however, don't rule out older piggies. They are just as lovable and may be more bonded right away, depending on past experiences. With the right care, even an older piggy can live for a few good years!

    Rescues may not have as many cavies than they do dogs, but it is worth checking them out. Rescues may be more skittish and nervous as they may have been mistreated before they arrived at the center. My male can be hard to handle at times as he didn't have a nice life before us. They need very gentle care, how old is your daughter? Please keep staying away from stores! I can't really help you out a lot in this department as I haven't been on Craigslist or GuineaPigZone as it is America but GuineaPigZone is made by the creators of this site so that would be a good place to look.

    Buying two females that are already bonded means you do not have to go through the introduction process and all the worry about them hating each other Why do you want to only get one at the moment? It would help to settle them in their new home when in a pair, but of course, I don't know your currant situation If you only get one at the moment, remember to CAREFULLY read it through before letting them see each other. I made a mistake when introducing mine, and even though it went fine, others aren't so lucky.

    Hope I helped! It can be exciting getting a new pet, and guinea pigs are brilliant!

    - GPM2
    A home without Cavies, is no home at all!

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    Cavy Slave pigger123's Avatar
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    Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    Try a sign store for the coroplast. They usually have huge sheets for about $20-$30 and they may even give you a discount if you tell them it's for a guinea pig cage. Just google "sign stores Portsmouth, Virginia"

    Adults are fantastic pets too, but if you are set on a baby I can only tell you to adopt, don't shop! Often, people get a pig from a pet store and it's pregnant, and they need to find new homes for the babies. I actually adopted a pregnant pig from the SPCA and now I have 4 babies! I would let you adopt one of them, but we're about 4 hours away from each other. Check guineapigzone.com, petfinder.com, craigslist, or the SPCA may have babies in the future. There are always adorable piggies needing home!

    Americans are quite common and it shouldn't be hard to find even a baby American. Skinny pigs are more rare, and you would probably be more likely to find an adult if you find one at all. You should focus more on the personality of the pig than the breed.

    Two male guinea pigs can get along great together, so don't be stuck on females. Both sexes make great pets.

    If you only get one pig, you can adopt another later and introduce them. Just keep in mind that they may not get along (although this isn't very common) and you might have to keep them separate. You would have to introduce them in a neutral location and clean their cage thoroughly before putting them together. It would probably be better to adopt an already bonded pair of females or males so you don't have to go through that.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    Don't get a baby. They're squirmy and aren't easy to handle, even for an adult. A wild pup can even squeeze out of the hands of an experienced guinea pig owner, leading to an accident/ You can't tell what the personality is of a pup and you could end up with a skittish guinea pig that never comes around. I agree that an adult is a much better choice. You'll be able to see it'spersonality already and can find one that will be easy to handle and friendly.

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    Cavy Slave pigger123's Avatar
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    Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    My four piglets (almost 2 weeks old) are all very easy to handle. They don't exactly enjoy being held, and they do squirm some, but they let me pick them up and don't try to squeeze out of my hands. Maybe it's because I have been handling them since they day they were born, but I expect them to be quite cuddly once they grow up and settle down.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    Thank you everyone for the replies. We aren't entirely stuck on getting pups but do want something young enough that will form a bond - I would love to rescue a younger pair of females. My daughter is 13 and this is her first pet (one is hers, the other is mine). She has previously cared for our birds and our dogs but they aren't "hers" as she likes to say. We do homeschool so we are home all day long

    Being that this is her first, I am hesitant at getting her an older piggie because I don't want their to be "issues" with her bonding or being able to be held. We are not stuck entirely on female but again, hesitant on getting male as I don't want to explain to the younger kids at this point what is sticking out of their bodies. Does that happen like mice, hamsters, rats???
    @pigger123 I wish we were closer as I would rather get a baby from someone who knows what they are doing. Maybe we could figure something out.

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    Cavy Slave HugglesBubble's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    For the younger kids, we used to call them fountains.. Lol. welcome to the forum! I'm so happy to hear you're checking here first , getting more experience before owning. I own six boys and two girls. Let us know if you have other questions!

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    Cavy Slave pigger123's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    Guinea pigs will usually form a bond with you in time, no matter how old they are. You just have to be patient with getting some of them used to being held, but many older pigs are already very friendly and snuggable. If you go to a shelter or rescue, you can hold the piggies and see if they are socialized enough to be enjoyable pets for you and your daughter. Many rescues use foster homes, so the foster family could tell you more about the personality of the individual pig.

    We could do a meet-me-halfway thing where we each drive about 2 hours, but even that's a bit far. Plus, the baby I'm rehoming is a male. I'm sure you'll find the perfect pigs for you eventually!

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    Cavy Star ginipigsinspace's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    Quote Originally Posted by adeanie View Post
    Being that this is her first, I am hesitant at getting her an older piggie because I don't want their to be "issues" with her bonding or being able to be held.
    I adopted by boys about 3.5 months ago at ages 9mo and 18mo, and they are pretty bonded with me and my husband:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    They were a little wary when we got them, but daily lap time, frequent floor time, and hand feelings has had great results. However, I think part of that success came from working with a rescue. They were already a bonded pair so with the exception of some hormone-fueled bickering, we knew they would get along. In addition, the rescue staff took the time to learn about us and our lifestyle so they could recommend pigs that would fit in our life and our experience level. Also, since they had been fostered, they were already socialized and their foster mom knew them and their personalities very well. Lastly, we knew they were healthy, properly sexed, and had been fed a proper diet. I know there aren't rescues everywhere, but I highly recommend working with one if at all possible.
    Last edited by ginipigsinspace; 06-29-14 at 12:54 pm. Reason: Get rid of extra image and to clarify.

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    Cavy Slave Icarus_Hermes's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    For chloroplast, I second Home Depot if you don’t have a sign shop nearby. I cheated and ordered mine in advance and used their “pick up at store” option. They called me within an hour to tell me it was ready and brought it to the front of the store when I arrived so I didn’t have to hunt it down in the aisles. I actually had a harder time finding a store with grids in stock than finding the chloroplast.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Icarus_Hermes View Post
    For chloroplast, I second Home Depot if you don’t have a sign shop nearby. I cheated and ordered mine in advance and used their “pick up at store” option. They called me within an hour to tell me it was ready and brought it to the front of the store when I arrived so I didn’t have to hunt it down in the aisles. I actually had a harder time finding a store with grids in stock than finding the chloroplast.
    @Icarus_Hermes how long ago did you purchase? I have serached the home depot website and cannot seem to locate it. Do you remember the sheet size or perhaps have the link of what you ordered? I know lowes had some smaller sheets that I would have to tape together to make it work on the bottom and I really do not want to have to do that. Calling a few sign places in the morning to see what I can get. I got all of the grids and connectors for free so I am super stoked about that. That just brought down the expense drastically. So it on to finding the coroplast for cheap or possibly using a 1/4" sheet of plywood - just worried the plywood would make it too heavy.

    Thanks for the help.

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    Administrator lissie's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    How big are you planning to make the cage? This coroplast from Home Depot will make a 2x4.5 grid cage (without taping the sheets together) if you make the walls 4.5" high instead of the regular 6" high.

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/202771364?catalogId=10053

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    Cavy Slave Icarus_Hermes's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    Quote Originally Posted by lissie View Post
    How big are you planning to make the cage? This coroplast from Home Depot will make a 2x4.5 grid cage (without taping the sheets together) if you make the walls 4.5" high instead of the regular 6" high.

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/202771364?catalogId=10053

    This was the one I got. Although my cage is 2X5, so I have two separate pieces for the bottom that overlap in the middle by a few inches and held together with binder clips. I used the leftover coroplast to make the two lofts in my cage.

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    Cavy Slave pigger123's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    I was making a 2x6, so I had to either get a 4'x8' sheet from a sign store or buy two sheets from Home Depot. It ended up being cheaper to buy from the sign store, and I didn't want to have to use 2 pieces. I did a search for sign shops in your area, and it looked like there were a few.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    I am making a 2x3 or 2x4 (trying to see how many pieces I can get my hands on first) with a loft. @lissie thank you thank you thank you for the link as I could not find that to save my life. Super excited.
    @pigger123, I have a list of sign shops to call this morning for pricing. I know it will be cheaper to get a 4x8 sheet but I also have to think logistics for my car.

    I am super glad that I found this site and all of you. Look forward to getting to you know all.

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    Cavy Slave pigger123's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    Coroplast can be rolled so it can fit in your car, I think there's instructions on here somewhere.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Artista's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies looking for LOTS of advice

    I scanned the above posts so this might have already been mentioned, but with males you'll need to clean the anal sac. When I got my pig I had no clue about the care, much less the difference. I wound up with a female and while I'm not saying don't get a male as they deserve good homes too, for me personally, that would be a bit much and with possible boar glue.

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