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Thread: How to hand rear a pup

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    Cavy Slave
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    How to hand rear a pup

    I need to hand rear 2 pups and I have NO clue how! This pregnancy was an accident and now I need to raise the two pups. How do I do this? What do I feed them and how do I do so?!? I've read so many different things on many different websites, I'm unsure which are the best. Should I just call the animal hospital and ask what to feed them?

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    Cavy Slave mommmyof2's Avatar
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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    I've been told that you can feed them pellets and alfalfa hay up until they are 6 months old and make you also have a water bottle. Hay should be unlimited and they should have it available 24/7. Also if one is male, make sure you separate him and the female at 3 weeks of age or they will have babies

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ellisa's Avatar
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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    Here's a link about hand feeding pups:
    http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html#pups

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    Cavy Slave xXMaggieXx's Avatar
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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    Is the mom still there to nurse them? If so leave them with her and also add the following: They need alfafa hay and pellets till 6 months old. make sure you have some timothy available too. Then the babies will need to be switched to only timothy hay and timothy pellets. They need water and hay available 24/7. Sex them at 2 weeks old found here:Sexing Guinea Pigs: How to Sex a Guinea Pig Seperate the males at 3 weeks or 21 days so the mom doesnt get pregnant again. You also need to baby proof the cage heres some info on a thread here: http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/...-c-c-cage.html

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    Cavy Slave jacqueline's Avatar
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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    sorry, i don't really understand what you meant when you said you had to hand rear the pups. if their mother is still alive and there, there's very little you have to do. she's the mom, and she'll take care of her pups. check out all the info you can about taking proper care of babies - cage proofing etc, but really - raising those pups is their mom's job, right?! unless i missed some piece of this story

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    Cavy Slave xXMaggieXx's Avatar
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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    Quote Originally Posted by jacqueline View Post
    sorry, i don't really understand what you meant when you said you had to hand rear the pups. if their mother is still alive and there, there's very little you have to do. she's the mom, and she'll take care of her pups. check out all the info you can about taking proper care of babies - cage proofing etc, but really - raising those pups is their mom's job, right?! unless i missed some piece of this story
    yes your correct. he really only needs to provide food for momma and the babies when they start eating solid food along with nursing. We adopted a pregnant piggy her pups started to attempt to eat pellets at 3 days

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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    I'm sorry, I forgot to mention why I have to hand rear them. The mother (Mildred) didn't birth very well. She's very lethargic and just lays there. She isn't letting the babies nurse from her. I'm hoping she'll start to feel better and not get worse. I haven't taken her out or anything, I just notice the babies are always bugging her so they can nurse and she won't let them. I guess I'm doing everything right though!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    Sounds like the mom needs a vet, quickly. There may be another pup in there, and if so, she'll die without medical care if she can't deliver it.

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    Cavy Slave nibbler100's Avatar
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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    babys can eat pellets, veggies, hay, and drink water from day one but they need mammas milk to help there immun systems. There just like minni little piggies that need milk too. i dont know what kinda milk you give them but id give it the same way you give it to a baby kitten.

    take the mom to the vet right know.. she could be dieing

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    Cavy Slave schavarry's Avatar
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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    Quote Originally Posted by nibbler100 View Post
    babys can eat pellets, veggies, hay, and drink water from day one but they need mammas milk to help there immun systems. There just like minni little piggies that need milk too. i dont know what kinda milk you give them but id give it the same way you give it to a baby kitten.

    take the mom to the vet right know.. she could be dieing
    Please don't give the babies normal milk!! Yes, the mother's milk helps their immune system but giving them some other type of milk won't have the same effect!! Guinea pigs are VEGAN so anything other than hay, pellets, veggies, and water is not ok! Feed them the same stuff you'd feed the mother, especially unlimited alfalfa and timothy hay/pellets.

    Please take the momma pig to the vet NOW!!! Even if you have to rush her to an emergency vet who isn't Cavy Savy - she might not make it through the night if you wait

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    Cavy Slave nibbler100's Avatar
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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    Quote Originally Posted by schavarry View Post
    Please don't give the babies normal milk!! Yes, the mother's milk helps their immune system but giving them some other type of milk won't have the same effect!! Guinea pigs are VEGAN so anything other than hay, pellets, veggies, and water is not ok! Feed them the same stuff you'd feed the mother, especially unlimited alfalfa and timothy hay/pellets.

    Please take the momma pig to the vet NOW!!! Even if you have to rush her to an emergency vet who isn't Cavy Savy - she might not make it through the night if you wait
    i wasnt saying give it normal mile, you dont give kittens normal milk eather. you give them gaots milk. i was saying give it to them the same way youd give it to the kitten.

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    Cavy Slave BlueButterfly's Avatar
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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    Goat's milk is still milk, with the same properties as cows milk. Guinea pigs are lactose intolerant, and any milk could mess up their stomach. I read that Oxbow critical care is good for baby piggies, or is it only for sick piggies?

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ellisa's Avatar
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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    Pups don't need milk. If you looked at the GL link I provided already, it states that mother's milk is beneficial but not required because guinea pig pups are already quite developed when they are born.

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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    they do need milk, it helps there a immune systems. YES, if you dont want to give it to them that's find but theirs a higher risk of the pig contracting a diesies and dieing.

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    Moderator / Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Inle_Rabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nibbler100 View Post
    they do need milk, it helps there a immune systems. YES, if you dont want to give it to them that's find but theirs a higher risk of the pig contracting a diesies and dieing.
    Baby guinea pigs need guinea pig milk to boast thier immune system NOT cow, kitten, goat, human, etc. what is in the milk that helps the babies immune system is call colostrum. It is a thick, generally clear or yellow colored substance and it is specialized to the species. IE cow colostrum/milk will not help boast the immune system of any other animal except a baby cow.

    Animals like puppies, kittens, and people get a replacement formula when mom can't feed them because their bodies simply are not developed enough to eat regular food. Baby GPs however are developed enough to eat regular food and thrive.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ellisa's Avatar
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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    Quote Originally Posted by nibbler100 View Post
    they do need milk, it helps there a immune systems. YES, if you dont want to give it to them that's find but theirs a higher risk of the pig contracting a diesies and dieing.
    Yes, that goes with any mammal. That's why I said it is beneficial for them to have milk, but they won't die without it. Any sort of milk other than the milk from a cavy sow is not good for the pups, though. Many orphaned pups can live long healthy lives without getting any of their mother's milk.

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    Cavy Slave schavarry's Avatar
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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    @PiggieLoverxo - have you taken the mom to the vet?? I was hoping to see an update on how she was doing today... I pray she's alright!

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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    Guinea pigs are much easier to hand raise than most rodents or other mammals. They are basically ready to run with the herd as soon as they're cleaned up after birth. Cavy milk is only a supplement, not their main food. Because of this, orphaned pups are relatively easy to raise and much more likely to get a good outcome than with many other rodent species.

    I am assuming that either the mother has died or is too weak from recovering from surgery or infection to nurse the pups, and that you have no other lactating sows.

    The best help you can get raising pigs is an adult pig of either gender, preferably the same as the babies. A nanny boar or sow can do everything but feed the babies: he will lick their butts to make them poop, he'll snuggle them to keep them warm, he'll show them what's good to eat (hay is yummy but zucchini is icky), he'll teach them how to stop being stupid little punks and have some manners, and he will definitely teach them that daddy does not make their dinner. If you don't have a nanny, you will have to do a lot more snuggling, butt wiping, and pretending to eat things.

    To hand feed a pup, you need to start with pellet mash or critical care on a spoon. Soften some ordinary alfalfa pellets (like Oxbow) in warm water or nuke them in the microwave for 10-20 seconds. Add a little bit of baby food fruit or vegetable (peaches and mangoes were Einstein's favorite) and stir until you have a mashed potato texture. Then offer a little mound on the spoon. The fruit/vegetable smell should entice them to start nibbling, but you can pretend to eat it if you need to.

    The problem with syringe feeding is that it can lead to food aspiration, which is something you don't want. In pigs who are both hungry and able to eat, offering mash on a spoon is usually enough to coax them to eat.
    Last edited by salana; 06-21-12 at 11:49 pm.

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    Re: How to hand rear a pup

    Healthy guinea pigs with no tooth or other problems should start nibbling hay within a week of birth. You may have to pretend to eat it.

    I only ever hand raised a pig with tooth problems, so I can't tell you how long certain stages last in normal pigs. You will need to weigh your pigs before each feeding for a while. Their weight should go up, never down, and rarely stay the same. They may need to be fed as often as a human baby, every 2-3 hours. They will happily scream at you to wake you up for midnight feedings.

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