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Thread: Help - new owners

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    Cavy Slave
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    Help - new owners

    Hello. I picked up a Guinea pig last night from a woman who was moving and couldn't take it. It was her daughters piggy. Daughter was probably about 10.

    I was horrified by the condition of the cage. Looked like it had not been cleaned in a while. Piggy (Butterball is her name) was very skittish, needed a brush and a nail clip but otherwise seemed ok.

    I scrubbed the cage as clean as I could and ordered a new habitat today. Should arrive Friday.

    I have never had a piggy and want to make sure I don't traumatize her. I know she should have a buddy, but she was solo at the previous owner and I don't want to stress her more.

    I'm looking for some pointers.

    I read the do and the don't posts.

    Things that would help is what is the best kind of bedding for the piggy? Wood shavings, paper shavings, blankets?

    Handling in the first few days? What should I do/not do?

    Thanks again. I will post some pics as I get them.
    Last edited by jpc763; 05-03-17 at 03:29 pm. Reason: add more

  2. "Thank you, jpc763, for this useful post," says:


  3. #2
    Cavy Slave BeckieL's Avatar
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    Re: Help - new owners

    welcome, congrats, and thanks for giving that sweet piggy a better home! Best thing I can suggest is read, read, read. Good thing is you got her immediate situation cleared up, so take a few days and figure out your next course of action. If you're going to add a second piggy, which is usually a great idea and necessary to keep them happy, you will probably need a bigger cage than the one you just ordered.

    I would recommend going with paper bedding for starters, getting into pellets and fleece right away may not be best until you know your final cage size (pending a buddy). Make sure you have timothy hay or orchard grass available at all times, this is their main source of food. I use and love the Fresh Pet Select that I bought on Amazon. You should also provide a good quality food pellet like the ones by Oxbow. And lastly, GPs need vitamin C through their diet or they could develop scurvy. Red bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C. If she won't eat it as a full-sized veggie (she might not if she's never been given veggies before), mince some up very finely and mix it in with her pellets.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Help - new owners

    Quote Originally Posted by BeckieL View Post
    welcome, congrats, and thanks for giving that sweet piggy a better home! Best thing I can suggest is read, read, read. Good thing is you got her immediate situation cleared up, so take a few days and figure out your next course of action. If you're going to add a second piggy, which is usually a great idea and necessary to keep them happy, you will probably need a bigger cage than the one you just ordered.
    Excellent. Thank you. The cage I ordered is the Midwest Guinea Habitat from Amazon. It is 2' x 4' which is larger than her current cage. It can also be added onto so how much more would a 2nd piggy require?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeckieL View Post
    I would recommend going with paper bedding for starters, getting into pellets and fleece right away may not be best until you know your final cage size (pending a buddy). Make sure you have timothy hay or orchard grass available at all times, this is their main source of food. I use and love the Fresh Pet Select that I bought on Amazon. You should also provide a good quality food pellet like the ones by Oxbow. And lastly, GPs need vitamin C through their diet or they could develop scurvy. Red bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C. If she won't eat it as a full-sized veggie (she might not if she's never been given veggies before), mince some up very finely and mix it in with her pellets.
    We bought Oxbow pellets and a large bag of timothy hay last night so I have that covered. We have given her baby carrots and celery so far. Previous owner said she loves carrots. Headed to the grocery store tonight to get other veggies.

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    Cavy Slave onefutui2e's Avatar
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    Re: Help - new owners

    Green bell peppers are probably better for her since it has lower sugar content. But either is good. There are a lot of good resources out there about taking care of guinea pigs. I'd take your time to read everything and make sure you do it right the first time so you don't have to repeat it.

    1. For hay, I would say get anything except for KayTee. Your pig(s) will love you for it. I like Small Pet Select and KMS. Oxbow is also not bad since Amazon will deliver it Prime shipping.
    2. For bedding, I'd start off with paper. There are advantages to all types, but paper is probably the most straight-forward way to go about it while you settle in with your pig(s).
    3. You need to make sure you have a big enough cage if you adopt another pig for her. My two boars didn't get along because theirs was too small.
    4. For veggies, I would say a staple of Romaine lettuce and green bell pepper will do no wrong as I believe both can be fed daily in moderation. Of course, add additional things as occasional treats. If you Google "can guinea pigs eat ____" you'll find resources (including one site that does a nutritional breakdown that I can't recall).
    5. I find my pigs to be more receptive if I remove their pigloos first, then extend my hand to them and gently pet/stroke them a bit before picking them up. I know they have ticklish spots and they hate being touched near their butts (they'll jump and run away). So it's a matter of figuring out what sets her off.

    Good luck!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Help - new owners

    Quote Originally Posted by onefutui2e View Post
    5. I find my pigs to be more receptive if I remove their pigloos first, then extend my hand to them and gently pet/stroke them a bit before picking them up. I know they have ticklish spots and they hate being touched near their butts (they'll jump and run away). So it's a matter of figuring out what sets her off.

    Good luck!
    I bought a green bell pepper, carrots and romaine lettuce to go along with the celery I already have.

    Is it ok to remove her igloo to pet her these first few days?

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    Cavy Slave onefutui2e's Avatar
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    Re: Help - new owners

    When I'm home, I usually remove their pigloos.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Help - new owners

    Quote Originally Posted by jpc763 View Post
    Excellent. Thank you. The cage I ordered is the Midwest Guinea Habitat from Amazon. It is 2' x 4' which is larger than her current cage. It can also be added onto so how much more would a 2nd piggy require?
    Congratulations! Piggies are a load of fun. Try not to handle her very much for the first week and a half/two weeks, give her some time to adjust. Then you can start petting her, feeding her from your hand and so on until you work up to holding her. Two guinea pigs need at least 10.5 square feet, not sure how that translates with midwest cages but as long as the final cage is 10.5 square feet, it will work.

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    Cavy Slave Happy Cavy's Avatar
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    Re: Help - new owners

    Congratulations and welcome to the forum!

    Here are videos I found helpful before joining the forum. You should see a few of her videos their great!



    Last edited by Happy Cavy; 05-03-17 at 07:21 pm.

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