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Thread: Hi everyone!

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
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    Hi everyone!

    I am considering getting my first pair of piggies this fall! I am in love with the idea of building my own cage for them and the c&c idea is great. I actually have more than enough appropriate grids for the cage already! A teacher of mine in 9th grade English (many years ago) was throwing them out and I told her I'd take them thinking I could use them to make a parrot cage. I have researched guinea pig care for many years and I have a good handle on their care, diet, and needs. I have spent a lot of time in the last couple years of wanting them observing them at pet stores and even had a few chances to take care of someones pigs. I'm planning on getting two and keeping them in an appropriately sized c&c cage in my bedroom. My bedroom is already ferret-proof because of my ferret that recently passed away from cancer and that was her room. All I would need to do is hang all of my wires up high and it would be a great safe area for two guinea pigs to get plenty of exercise. I also have a large outdoor pen where I can grow safe greens for them to graze on during the warm months. I am very interested in the peruvian guinea pigs but I noticed they are hard to find. I am teaching myself how to groom pets and they would be great considering my interest. But I'm sure when I see the right ones I'll fall in love regardless of the breed. I haven't decided if I want males or females yet. I have put a lot of thought into this and hopefully by the fall or winter I can bring my little piggies home. I haven't really posted here much but I have been reading and learning for a long time. I hope I can be a great member of your community soon!

    So my checklist for things I need include:
    2x4 Base
    Timothy based pellets
    Bale of timothy hay or orchard grass
    Hay feeder
    2 sets of Fleece Bedding
    Fleece cage accessories
    at least 2 Hides
    First week of produce based on nutrition chart

    What I already have:
    A fleece snuggle pouch I made one year for my future piggies
    A medium sided Pigloo
    A ton of storage shelf grids
    Long wire shelves to make a lid for the cage to keep them safe from other pets


    I already have a tortoise that requires a lot of fresh pig-approved vegetables and hays so I am pretty much ready. Having my tortoise helped me overcome my allergy of hay. I've found that it bothers me much less now that I am exposed to it more and taking allergy medication regularly. I'm so glad that's no longer a problem because that was one of the biggest things holding me back from having guinea pigs. I just need to wait to save up a bit more money and a little more time so I can have everything ready and set up for when I bring them home.
    Last edited by Jacob Vadovsky; 08-29-14 at 09:10 pm.

  2. #2
    Cavy Slave MrsGuineaPig's Avatar
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    Re: Hi everyone!

    Hello and welcome to the forum! I am so glad that you researched, and researched for a while, about guinea pig care! You already have the basic checklist planned and have some things with you already. I would like to say that two boys need a 2x5 cage since they are more dominant, but you probably have enough grids to make it bigger if you wanted boys! I can't wait until you get your guinea pigs! Good luck with them in the future! And once you get them, be sure to post many pigtures of them!

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    Cavy Slave Starthecavy123's Avatar
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    Re: Hi everyone!

    Hi and welcome to the forum.

    Please adopt don't shop. I would personally say if these are your first consider females. Males are more work and can smell because they do scent mark. Plus males need anal sac cleanings. For the pellets if the pigs are younger than 6 months you'll want alfalfa instead of Timothy. Growing pigs need extra calcium which alfalfa has. You don't necessarily have to go with fleece some people do prefer regular bedding. It all depends on what is best for you. Here's a link on how to build the c&c if you need it www.guineapigcages.com/howto/. You'll also need food bowls and water bottles. I have two so my boys can't hog one. If you get boys you'll need bigger than a 2x4. Males need more room than females. So if you get boys be prepared to invest in a 2x5 or larger of course bigger is always better. My boys absolutely do not know how to share so I have two of everything. Also a hidey with two exits so no pig can get trapped are better. I'd try and stay away from those plastic igloos unless you can cut a second hole in it. I'm sure other people will have plenty more to add so good luck.

  4. #4
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hi everyone!

    The only shelter I can reach has a few adult males and one female on Petfinder. They don't say if they are friendly and they keep the males in separate cages so they aren't even introduced to each other. I have enough grids for a 2x5 but not enough for a bottom or a lid. I set it up and it looks doable, just needs a base. I lost the connector pieces so it's not supported by anything except zip ties. I also found an ad for 2 male "skinny" pigs that need a home. I did contact the man to see how old they are and if they are friendly. I've never seen a skinny pig before.
    Last edited by Jacob Vadovsky; 08-29-14 at 11:55 pm.

  5. #5
    Cavy Slave pigger123's Avatar
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    Re: Hi everyone!

    The cage doesn't need any grids for the base, are you talking about a stand? Skinny pigs are hairless, they require special care. They need to stay warmer, have more snuggly fleece things, eat more, and keep their skin moisturized.

    Aside from your basic list, you'll need some care and grooming supplies. These include small pet nail clippers, a styptic pencil, and a digital kitchen scale for weighing them weekly. Virgin cold-pressed coconut oil is great to have on hand for boar cleanings, ear cleaning, and moisturizing nails or ears. If you get long-haired pigs you need a brush and scissors for clipping their coat, short-haired pigs just need a brush. Skinny pigs need something to moisturize their skin. You'll also need a heavy ceramic dish for pellets and 2 water bottles, preferably glass. Another thing is a carrier, hard-sides plastic cat carriers are ideal for transporting piggies.

    Please, please, please do not buy your pigs from a pet store! That's supporting terrible breeding practices at pet mills, where sows are kept in awful living spaces and forced to produce litter after litter of babies, just like little machines. Pregnancies are very hard on any sow, and back-to-back pregnancies are extremely hard. Then the babies are sent off to the pet store, where they get treated as if they were products that sit on shelves and can be sold to anyone with the money. If there aren't any available for adoption near you, wait awhile. There are always guinea pigs needing homes.

  6. #6
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hi everyone!

    Wow I guess I'm more prepared then I thought. I have small animal nail clippers, organic virgin coconut oil, quick-stop(styptic), and a digital kitchen scale already because of my parrots. I also have a variety of animal crates because I work for a parrot rescue and I have a hard plastic one that would be perfect. I already have 2 large water bottles and a ceramic cat dish that would be perfect for pellets. I won't buy from a pet store. I am going to continue to check adoption websites and hopefully I can find a young pair.

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    Cavy Slave Kelsie's Avatar
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    Re: Hi everyone!

    Welcome to the forum. It's so nice to see someone who has done so much research before adopting an animal. I'm really sorry that you lost your ferret. They're such funny little critters. Someone once told me that having a ferret is like having a two year child in the house. They get into everything. I'm sure you are going to love having a pair of guinea pigs. You sound like a real animal lover and a very good one at that.

    On another note, I was born and raised in Pennsylvania but I have never heard of your town. May I ask if Throop is in Eastern or Western PA? I'm from Western PA, a small town called Johnstown.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: Hi everyone!

    Welcome! It's awesome that you're doing this much research before getting pigs. Depending on how much you're willing to travel, there's a pretty decent amount of rescues in this general area of the country. I was looking around and found a guinea pig rescue in northern New Jersey, and there's probably others around that are even closer. Check Petfinder in particular. I'm somewhat of a newcomer to Pennsylvania (I'm in Pittsburgh), and I've found that the small animal rescue scene is so much more active up here than it is in Florida, where I lived before.

  9. #9
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hi everyone!

    Thanks guys! Yeah my ferret was great. She was a hyper little girl but she ended up with cancer. It's terrible but is not uncommon in ferrets. I would get another ferret but they are prone to so many health issues that you are almost guaranteed to run into something fatal. One mill breeder monopolizes almost all of the United States ferret breeding due to the difficulty involved when breeding them. So I'm done with ferrets unless I ever move to the UK where the domestic ferret gene pool is much cleaner. They are much bigger over there and live twice as long! Throop is in Lackawanna county and is in Northeastern PA. Ever hear of the show The Office? It is supposed to take place in Scranton, PA, which is the town next to me. I am not able to travel unfortunately. I can't drive on highways due to my anxiety.

  10. #10
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: Hi everyone!

    Some rescues are willing to help with transport, so it's worth asking if you find any somewhat close to you.

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

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hi everyone!

    Welcome! It sure sounds like you are ready! You are doing it the right way...I suddenly found myself with piggies and then did the research. You are being so proactive and sounds like you'll have some very lucky piggies.

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    Cavy Slave maddy harper's Avatar
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    hello there
    I am blind so cant see picks

  14. #14
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hi everyone!

    Well I've got bittersweet news. I was messaged on facebook on Saturday by a girl I went to school with. She wanted to know if I knew, since I had animals, if the humane society would take a rabbit. She bought it for her son but he is allergic to her. I told her I would come take a look and maybe try to find a home for her. But when I got there and seen that they were keeping her in a tiny dog crate in horrible conditions I just took her right out of there. They didn't know anything about the rabbit other than they got it at the Harford fair so it took a bit of research to learn she is a female lop eared rabbit that is still young and growing. She never had hay before and I had to give her a bath to get all of the urine and poop out of her fur. I had my friend that is a vet tech give her a look over and listen to her breathing. She is healthy but needs a lot of TLC to trust people. She weighs about 3 pounds right now. So it looks like I will not be getting guinea pigs but I ended up with a bunny. I'm not sure if this forum has a section for rabbits but I'd love to stay. She is going to need to be spayed so I'm starting to save money for that. I'm currently trying to figure out a nice sized cage for her.

  15. #15
    Cavy Slave Rywen's Avatar
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    Re: Hi everyone!

    Oh wow, it's awesome that you rescued the rabbit! What's her name? There are quite a few people here who know a lot about rabbits (I'm not one of them), hopefully they will have some pointers for you.

  16. #16
    Cavy Slave pigger123's Avatar
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    Re: Hi everyone!

    @Inle_Rabbit is very knowledgeable about rabbits, I believe (hence the name, ). This forum does have quite a few bunny people, and there are plenty of other awesome rabbit forums like BinkyBunny. I'm so glad you were able to rescue the poor girl and give her the life she deserves!

  17. #17
    Cavy Slave blessedmom's Avatar
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    Re: Hi everyone!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Vadovsky View Post
    Well I've got bittersweet news. I was messaged on facebook on Saturday by a girl I went to school with. She wanted to know if I knew, since I had animals, if the humane society would take a rabbit. She bought it for her son but he is allergic to her. I told her I would come take a look and maybe try to find a home for her. But when I got there and seen that they were keeping her in a tiny dog crate in horrible conditions I just took her right out of there. They didn't know anything about the rabbit other than they got it at the Harford fair so it took a bit of research to learn she is a female lop eared rabbit that is still young and growing. She never had hay before and I had to give her a bath to get all of the urine and poop out of her fur. I had my friend that is a vet tech give her a look over and listen to her breathing. She is healthy but needs a lot of TLC to trust people. She weighs about 3 pounds right now. So it looks like I will not be getting guinea pigs but I ended up with a bunny. I'm not sure if this forum has a section for rabbits but I'd love to stay. She is going to need to be spayed so I'm starting to save money for that. I'm currently trying to figure out a nice sized cage for her.
    Good for you to go ahead and take the bunny. God bless!

  18. #18
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hi everyone!

    She didn't have a name when she came to me so we are pondering a good one. Maybe some of you could give me name ideas. She is completely settled in and is a very forgiving little lady. It only took a few hours for her to start to be comfortable. She is so happy to run around my bedroom and explore. I have been researching rabbit body language and behavior. When she wants to be pet she will lay down and stare at me. If I don't get the hint she will come over and give my hand a nudge with her nose to let me know it's cuddling time. I am going to be using a clicker training to teach her a few things. We had our first training session today. First half was teaching her that the click means food is on the way and the second half was introducing targeting. Which basically means touch the stick for a treat. But the catch is she will eventually have to walk a certain distance to to touch it in order to get rewarded. The completed behavior will be useful for luring her in and out of her cage, up a ramp, into a carrier, etc. Clicker training is great for the animal and the person because it makes a bridge between communication and strengthens the bond between the two. I have taught quiet a few animals using clicker training. Mostly parrots but it will work on any animal that meets the requirement, even guinea pigs. All that is required is that you have something they really want and won't get sick of. For most animals it's some kind of food treat. But if that isn't the case some animals will work for attention or being pet.

    I'm very happy I stepped up and saved this little girl because she is so friendly and happy to be treated better. Here is a picture.Click image for larger version. 

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  19. #19
    Cavy Slave Guinealea's Avatar
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    Re: Hi everyone!

    What a cutey! Looks like I got here too late to say hello and welcome, but I hope you stick around. Secretly, I was crossing my fingers for you to end up with the pair of skinnies since I think they're so wonderful but I'm happy for you just the same.

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