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Thread: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

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    Cavy Slave
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    Yes Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    Hi Everyone!

    I just found this place and I'm quite happy and excited that I did.. I do apologize if this is rather long, but I'm new to forums and Guinea Pigs! so please bare with me

    My Oldest daughter will be 7 years old in about 2 weeks and for months she's been asking for a Guinea Pig.. Well I told her I wanted to do more research before we purchased one.

    Of course, while I was at school (I'm an LVN, going back to school for my RN, BSN - if you're all wondering).. She asked her Grandmother (My Mother-in-Law) and of course, without asking me, purchased one from PetCo.

    So We brought home one boy named Ozzie, who is a short haired Guinea pig. She purchased him and the cage/kit the employee recommended. Of course when I got home, I had to put the cage together... So I want this to be the best experience for myself and my children.. I did read they were better in pairs, so please don't kill me (I see a lot of new people (or in my case uneducated) get bashed for getting theirs at pet stores, so apologizing in advanced).. But I got Ozzie a Brother (which we are still debating on names , he is also a short haired Guinea Pig).. My Children and I know this will be a great responsibility, but we are looking forward to having them in our family for the long run! (I do not believe in disposable pets!!)

    I have been lurking this forum all day, but I really wanted to learn more to better provide for our new family members.

    So the cage/kit we have for them is is pretty big, it came with the bottle dispenser for water, food bowl, bag of bedding and bag of food (kaytee I believe is the brand).. I'll have to get the exact measurements to see if it is truly appropriate for them both, but it looks spacious enough and they seem to enjoy roaming around in it (while we've been secretly observing them )

    Since they are brand new to our Homes (2nd day) we are still giving them their space to get familiar with our house/sounds/etc.. And we will slowly introduce ourselves like we watched on YouTube as well as read here on the boards.

    I'm just overwhelmed with how much information there is on Guinea Pigs.. so if any of you seasoned guinea pig owners have some advice.. or anything you'd like to recommend I'd love to hear it!

    we are changing their bedding every 2-4 days, just so that everything is fresh and clean (it's really hot where I live, so I don't want smell to be an issue).. but I've noticed that bedding can be extremely expensive. Is there an alternative to bedding? (the PetCo employee did mention, their store brand is basically crumpled up newspaper sooo, I didn't know what to say there.

    My Daughters and I are extremely happy to have them in our home (as I've always wanted a guinea pig when I was a little girl, but my parents never let me have one.. not even a hamster!)

    And I'm looking forward to meeting all of you!

    p.s. thanks to this website and youtube.. (and because i'm sure you're someone might mention it).. I did make sure they are both boys because they came from a petstore!! I do not want any babies! have enough babies here :P

    Khristine

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    Cavy Slave EmPiggieFan's Avatar
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    Welcome to the world of guinea pig slavery. You will be amazed at how quickly you become attached to them and their animated characters. I use fleece and towels for my indoor cage and I am finding it so much easier than wood shavings, although I do still use wood shavings in their outdoor hutch for when they are having garden time. I would love to see some pigtures and let us know what you decide to name your other piggie.

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  4. #3
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    Welcome! I will start off with if the cage is a pet store cage it may not be big enough unless its a Midwest guinea pig cage or something of that size the minimum size for 2 pigs is 7.5 square feet! Kaytee I find is not a brand people here like or suggest The best choices are Oxbow or KMS! Also I saw you didnt put hay do you have hay? And I agree with Empiggiefan fleece and towels its easy and cheap! We'd love to see pigtures!

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner MochaAndMoo's Avatar
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    Welcome to the forum!

    It won't be long before those pigs have you wrapped right around their paws, then you will understand exactly what the term "Cavy Slave" means

    I have yet to see a pet store cage large enough for 2 pigs. For 2 males, their cage should at least be 30"x50" (Preferred: 30"x62").

    Also, there is an unspoken rule that all new members must post pigtures!

    we are changing their bedding every 2-4 days, just so that everything is fresh and clean (it's really hot where I live, so I don't want smell to be an issue).. but I've noticed that bedding can be extremely expensive. Is there an alternative to bedding? (the PetCo employee did mention, their store brand is basically crumpled up newspaper sooo, I didn't know what to say there.
    One word: fleece. It's cheap, re-usable and looks great!
    Fleece in action:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    We have a fleece section, so if you want to learn more, I suggest heading over and reading around: http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/...y.php?6-Fleece
    Please feel free to ask us any questions, we don't bite!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pawesomepet View Post
    Welcome! I will start off with if the cage is a pet store cage it may not be big enough unless its a Midwest guinea pig cage or something of that size the minimum size for 2 pigs is 7.5 square feet! Kaytee I find is not a brand people here like or suggest The best choices are Oxbow or KMS! Also I saw you didnt put hay do you have hay? And I agree with Empiggiefan fleece and towels its easy and cheap! We'd love to see pigtures!

    Oh, yes I forgot to mention, I read that Timothy Hay was good, so I gave them a huge unlimited supply on a rack as well as in the corner for them to enjoy. I knew not to get alfalfa hay, so Hopefully brand is okay (not sure off the top of my head, but I do know for sure it is Timothy Hay)

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    Quote Originally Posted by MochaAndMoo View Post
    Welcome to the forum!

    It won't be long before those pigs have you wrapped right around their paws, then you will understand exactly what the term "Cavy Slave" means

    I have yet to see a pet store cage large enough for 2 pigs. For 2 males, their cage should at least be 30"x50" (Preferred: 30"x62").

    Also, there is an unspoken rule that all new members must post pigtures!


    One word: fleece. It's cheap, re-usable and looks great!
    Fleece in action:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    We have a fleece section, so if you want to learn more, I suggest heading over and reading around: http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/...y.php?6-Fleece
    Please feel free to ask us any questions, we don't bite!

    I Will definitely be checking that out!!

    I think the cage I do have is only of "preferred size".. so definitely will look into bigger housing for them. I'm just not sure where to put them (the area I have them is perfect.. it's downstairs, nice and cool, upstairs in my house gets rather hot and because it's summer I don't want them by a window, only because the sun shines too bright and gets super hot!)..

    Where did you get the white cage around the fleece? (I don't even know what to call it?)

    I still don't know what to name our other piggie.. I'll definitely snap some photos for you all to see in the morning! (it's 1:00AM here, and i've got to be up in 4 hours , but this place is too addicting!)
    Last edited by Khrisxtine; 06-27-13 at 02:17 am.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    Since I'm using bedding... (I will definitely look into fleece though!!)..

    I did purchase absorbable liners (I put that on the bottom), the section that I got it at was just for guinea pigs, and then I placed the bedding on top of it.. my question is.. when they poo, do you just pick up the little pebbles by hand? (I take latex gloves I purchased from target ) and pick it up that way.. and do that to any parts that were wet from urine.. and then I change the whole thing every 2-4 days.. is that overkill? or is that what i'm supposed to do?

    I saw other threads on here, that people use a scooper to pick up the feces? should I invest in one of those - or just get to looking into fleece asap?!

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner MochaAndMoo's Avatar
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Khrisxtine View Post
    I Will definitely be checking that out!!

    I think the cage I do have is only of "preferred size".. so definitely will look into bigger housing for them. I'm just not sure where to put them (the area I have them is perfect.. it's downstairs, nice and cool, upstairs in my house gets rather hot and because it's summer I don't want them by a window)..

    Where did you get the white cage around the fleece? (I don't even know what to call it?)

    I still don't know what to name our other piggie.. I'll definitely snap some photos for you all to see in the morning! (it's 1:00AM here, and i've got to be up in 4 hours , but this place is too addicting!)
    That white stuff is corrugated plastic (Also known as Coroplast or Coroflute), you can get it from hardware stores or sign shops. Goodnight.

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  13. #9
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    That's great as long as they have hay! I only wanted to ask that because many people just don't know that they should always have hay available! I've got 11 piggies and they are so much fun! Don't know if you read that they can't be in exercise balls either but they can be very dangerous and far too often people use them not knowing they are dangerous! Hope you'll put up some pigtures of your beautiful piggies (: and many people here are very nice so don't let any bad post ruin your experience here! (:

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    Her cage is called a C&C cage which is what the majority of us here have and what is suggested they are awesome cheap cages and can cost as little as 30$-40$ to make depending on the prices where you live!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pawesomepet View Post
    That's great as long as they have hay! I only wanted to ask that because many people just don't know that they should always have hay available! I've got 11 piggies and they are so much fun! Don't know if you read that they can't be in exercise balls either but they can be very dangerous and far too often people use them not knowing they are dangerous! Hope you'll put up some pigtures of your beautiful piggies (: and many people here are very nice so don't let any bad post ruin your experience here! (:
    Thank you so much! Yes that was one of the first few things I read (or saw a video on youtube, can't remember) about things you need/don't need for a guinea pig. Definitely not getting them an exercise ball, I think floor time is perfect exercise enough

    I think i've seen those C&C cages (well something very similar) at target? (i think I remember having some when I was in highschool to put in my locker, if i'm correct).. will definitely be going around town tomorrow to look for these..

    The fleece thread, has no pictures, is there another thread that is readily available? if not, no biggie.. can just look at google.. (i'm just too excited )

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    @Khrisxtine
    The cage is made of cubes and coroplast, you can buy these materials online or buy a cage from http://www.guineapigcagesstore.com/ .
    Feel free to ask any questions?

    If you have trouble with buying the C&C or finding material; you can buy this billy bookcase from ikea:
    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/83688210/
    The billy bookcase's dimensions:
    Width: 31 1/2" (80cm)
    Depth: 11" (28cm)
    Height: 79 1/2" (202cm)

    The bookcase was recommend to me by:
    @HannibalLecter

    a picture of a bookcase cage:
    http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=4vqyvk&s=6

    (Photo is not mine)

    I also agree, very addicting!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    @Khrisxtine yes they are at target but careful getting them from target they must be the 9 square across there's also some that are 8 and 4 squares across (does that even make sense!? ) these are dangerous as the guinea pig can get his head stuck in between the bars! The grids are also at Kmart, Walmart, and Bed bath and beyond! Coroplast can be found at Home Depot but the workers may have no idea what you're talking about (this is what happened to me) so you may have to search without help! If you'd like to spend a little extra you can order from this site where it's already made for you! Also if you can't find Coroplast at the moment a shower curtain works fine under towels and fleece! Cleaning out the water bottle every one to two days is important also since guinea pigs do backwash and their water can get quite nasty!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    As some other people have mentioned, a C&C cage is an inexpensive option that will give your boys enough space! Also, you can do fleece in one long strip with an absorbent layer underneath (uhaul pads work great) or you can purchase fleece flippers at http://www.guineapigmarket.com. With the fleece all you have to do is sweep/vacuum up the poos then throw everything in the washing machine once a week! If you use fleece, I recommend getting/making a litter box. Just put some type of bedding in the box, like the kind you purchased at PetCo and place some poos in there. Your pigs should catch on and start going to the bathroom more in the box rather than all over. Also, Oxbow is a great brand of food/hay. I don't think PetCo has it, but PetSmart probably does. This is what my vet recommends.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    If you make a c&c cage make a huge kitchen and hay rack with an extra grid, they will spend a ton of time in there and that will be a big litter box. Buying hay by the bag in a pet store costs up to 5.00 a lb if you buy bulk from smallpetselect you can get 60lbs for 80.00 with free shipping, comes to 1.33 a lb. Bulk pellets are cheaper too even with shipping by the time you break the price down per lb. KMS is a good one, my piggies love it. You should go to the photo section and look at the various cages, I have redone my cage a ton and will start again tomorrow. Since you are the main care giver, a base is awesome compared to being on the floor, I have a double base to save my back, I love it. Here's a great food chart on what and how much to feed them.

    http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/showthread.php?22156-READ-ME-Cavy-Nutrition-Charts-amp-Poisonous-Plants-List#post254730

    http://www.guineapigcages.com/photos/

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    Oooh sounds like you are completely dedicated to your guinea-pig masters already! Sounds also like you'll get alot of joy out of creating their home and generally being with them.
    The slippery slope of guinea pig addiction has begun.....
    Welcome to the forum, the advice here has never let me down. Lots of friendly people. Hope you enjoy!

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    Cavy Slave GeekPrincess's Avatar
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    I used bedding for a month, realized that it was sucking away my coffee budget keeping my little guys cage clean (seriously, a bag of Carefresh that lasted me 8 changes with my hamster made it 2 changes with Carlton, and his cage is on the small side of acceptable, which I am working on) and switched to fleece. Watch JoAnns, they tend to have awesome sales. I got enough fleece for 4 liners for $20 and they are easy to make.
    This: Click image for larger version. 

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    only took me about an hour start to finish and that's with cutting, measuring, pinning and sewing but I do sew a lot.

    My best advice with fleece is VACUUM them before putting them thru the washer. We don't have a washer in our apartment so I used my mom's and she nearly killed me over the amount of fur it left behind. Now, I vacuum and pre-wash (toss it in the tub with a bit of hot water and Borax) before washing. They come much cleaner.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    Thank you all so much for the warm welcome and suggestions!

    Because in another thread someone posted that pet stores are known for selling the wrong sex.. even though I checked.. I'm still worried () so I tried my best to take a picture myself of our 2nd Guinea Piggie (not sure what to name him just yet).. But for sure our first Guinea pig (named Ozzie, like from the Wizard of Oz.. ) .. I can for sure tell..

    Can anyone let me know if you can tell from these pictures? It was so difficult for me to take a picture even with my front facing camera while trying to make sure I had a good grip on him. Don't worry, I didn't have him up in the air, there was my bed right under him)... And I know we're not allowed to put them on there backs, so that wasn't an option. If the pictures are not good, can someone give me a good idea as the best way to hold him and have my daughter snap a picture LOL.. Click image for larger version. 

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    And this is Ozzie

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And we are unsure of his name, but My other Daughter wants to name him Harry Potter, Harry for short.. or Gus-Gus (from Cinderella) or Thor.. .. we can't decide! someone help!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Hello New here and brand new Guinea Pig owner :)

    @Khrisxtine what a cute piggie! Also I pulled out one of my younger males to see if I could compare I have to say it looks like a male but you can never be too sure so what you'll need to do, as nasty as it sounds is pull the skin of what should be the penis (if its a male obviously) and if anything pops out then you know you've got yourself a male! Also if you haven't heard of the males grease glands and cleaning them then its best to do a little researching up on that as well (:

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