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Thread: Hello and Help! from Virginia

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
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    Hello and Help! from Virginia

    Hello, We recently purchased 2 baby boy guinea pigs from what I am now discovering are called "craigs list breeders". They were well cared for and healthy, but one died a few days after we got him. We immediately replaced him by going and adopting another boy from the shelter. Soon enough, guinea pig #1 (Pikachu) got very obese. We soon realized she was pregnant. Now, we have 3 baby girl (we think) guinea pigs. We want to keep all of them, or at least our originals, but I have been calling around and the cost of fixing Big Neighbor was quoted as being $150. So I guess my first question is - what would be best? We wanted to keep the male, (Big Neighbor) but that leaves 4 girls to be rid of, and we definitely want more than 1 guinea pig. What is the ideal number of pigs? It is fun having more around, especially the babies. How much maintenance would it be to keep all 5 if we got the male fixed? How much space does it require, what are the benefits to keeping more?
    Finally, how long do the babies need to stay with their mom- we are thinking of selling some of them and have read various reports on this subject.

    Thanks!

    Anna

  2. #2
    Cavy Slave arionat799's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help! from Virginia

    Hi, welcome to the forum! You have come to the right place, we have lots of guinea pig experts here who are glad to help you (I'm not exactly an expert, but I know my stuff )

    First of all: KEEP THE GIRLS!! And second: it shouldn't cost so much to get him neutered. Have you tried other places?

    P.S. Congrats on the pups! We'd love to see pigtures. Especially of the babies!!

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    Cavy Newbie Wildcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help! from Virginia

    $150 is about right, and actually it can be more in the northern VA / DC metro area, especially if you get an exotic animal / cavy-wise vet. We had that quoted for our boar last October.

    @coelbren, are you in northern, central, or southern VA? There's an outstanding rescue in the DC metro area, and Maryland can be cheaper for snipping.

  4. #4
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello and Help! from Virginia

    Yup, I'm here in NOVA. I'm sure it's more expensive here, I hadn't thought about investigating farther-away VA or MD, but that does make sense. I could drive farther out, Manassas or such, if it were cheaper, for sure.

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    Cavy Slave Catahoula's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help! from Virginia

    IF all three babies are girls and you want to keep your boar, then as you already know, you would need to neuter him.

    With any luck you’ll have at least one boy pup and then you could just have a cage for the boys and a cage for the girls. Making sure to secure at least one of them tightly with a lid to ensure they can’t get to each other.

    Pups can be separated at 3 weeks old, and IF you have any boys, they have to be separated from mom at this age or you risk them getting mommy pregnant again.

    More then one boar in a cage of females is usually a bad idea, so IF all your pups really are girls and you decide to keep them all then they could live together in a 2x7 equivalent cage (after daddy is neutered).

    Check out the home screen for cage size recommendations.

    Guinea Pig Cages, Your Cavy At Home

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    Cavy Newbie Wildcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help! from Virginia

    @coelbren if you want to PM me we can exchange notes on area vets, rescues, etc.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help! from Virginia

    Welcome to the forum! Sorry about your unexpected pregnancy -- that often happens with Craigslist and pet shops.

    The babies need to stay with their moms three weeks. The males pups have to be separated at that point, or they can impregnate their mom/sisters.

    Look at the main page of this forum for recommended cage sizes. The minimum cage size for one or two pigs is 7.5 square feet, and that's small for two pigs. For every pig thereafter, it's an additional 2.5 square feet. But more is always better, when you're talking about large groups of guinea pigs.

    You can probably manage ok with one boar and a bunch of sows. It gets much more tricky and difficult if you're trying to put multiple boars in a herd, although a few people have made it work.

    For sexing help, see Sexing Guinea Pigs: How to Sex a Guinea Pig. It can be hard to tell the difference when they're very young, but by 10-14 days, you should be pretty sure. If not, post pictures then and someone will try to help you out. The definitive test for a male is whether or not you can feel the ridge of the penis just above the genitalia, and can extrude the penis by pushing down with your thumb at that point.

    As far as the ideal number of pigs, it's totally your preference. On the pros and cons of having a bunch, the main thing to think about is whether or not you can afford vet care. Some things are very contagious, and can go through a herd like wildfire, burning the money in your pocket as they go.

    Other than those things, there is just more poop to scoop, more bedding and veggies to buy, more nail clipping and grooming, etc.

    Another thing to consider is that if you have a young male and young mom, and three pups, they're all roughly the same age. If they live normal lifetimes, there'll come a time when you're losing pigs at a pretty rapid rate. Some people deliberately choose pigs that are spaced out in age, like two years apart, so they're not so likely to have a bunch of senior pigs at the same time. Other people think that's not so important.

    If you decide to get rid of them, please don't "sell" the pigs. It's ok to ask a reasonable rehoming fee to keep them from being snake food. But advertising them for sale gives some people the idea that breeding them is a good thing to do, and it never is. You were lucky with your sow, and that none of the pups were lethals. They weren't, were they?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello and Help! from Virginia

    They our story seems to be a norm, atleast since I've joined. Ive read about two males, where ones suddenly having a baby. Hopefully this breeder didn't sell you this pregnant pig because he didn't want to deal with the pups! Either way, congrats! As others have said, one male to a group Of females is the best, or house males and females seperatly. If you end up with three males and just mom and Your older male you could neuter him and have the young males in their own cage.

    Be sure to not house your older male with the mom right now. Guinea pigs can get pregnant right after birth, and it's stressful and can kill the mother doing back to back births.

    Cage sizes are listed on this websites homepage, Guinea Pig Cages, Your Cavy At Home . Do atleast the minimum sizes, but bigger is always better. I noticed a huge change in my first pig when I moved him out of his petstore cage into the C&C cage I built. It's a lot of fun planning and building cages too. I've done 3 remodels, and got another pig along the way.

    Good luck to you, and I hope you figure everything out!!

  9. #9
    Section Moderator CanadianComforts's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help! from Virginia

    Welcome.
    Here in Canada we don't get a lot of hits on craigslist but kijiji is just as bad. ITs to the point where you never look for younger ones because you might be supporting a breeder.

    I can't wait to see photos and you've got some great advice here so I have nothing to add to that.

  10. #10
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello and Help! from Virginia

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    Thanks for the advice! Yes, everyone is healthy- the pigs and the babies.

  11. "Thank you, coelbren, for this useful post," says:


  12. #11
    Cavy Slave Hhbean's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help! from Virginia

    Hi and welcome! Thank you for the pigtures of your adorable babies!

  13. #12
    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator suzilovespiggie's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and Help! from Virginia

    Welcome to the forum! The babies and your little girl are adorable!

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