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Thread: Got 2 guinea pigs yesterday! Having trouble cleaning their cage though...

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    Got 2 guinea pigs yesterday! Having trouble cleaning their cage though...

    Hello people! I'm new to this thing so I apologize if I did something wrong haha. I got 2 female cavies yesterday from Craigslist and bought the cage they were living in, as well as all the accessories in it. The thing is the cage is very small (2x2) and I'm guessing the previous owners didn't really clean the cage often. We've had the pigs for less than 48 hours and the room already smells like hay and poop! I've noticed that there are tons of dried up old poop under the hay and bedding, so I'm guessing theres quite a pile up of poop and pee in the small cage. The problem is that instead I just got the pigs, they're still really scared of me and I can't pick them up and transfer them to a play pen while I clean their cage. I'm also planning on changing the bedding from wood chips to fleece because I have no idea what kind of wood chips are in there. I also tried taking a shovel and scooping up the poop, but theres just way too much.

    Anyone have any tips or suggestions? I was planning on waiting until the coming weekend to attempt to tame the cavies and transfer the pigs to a playpen while I clean, but the smell is getting really strong and increasingly poo-smelling. Also, I'm quite sure that that amount of waste in such a small space can't benefit the pigs either.

    Also does anyone has anything to say as to what I should expect behaviour wise in the coming first few weeks? One of my pigs, Juniper, is very outgoing, and adventurous. The other, Peri, is very timid and calm. What should I expect when it comes to dominance and territory and things like that. They were raised together, along with one more female. My mom said she heard them making noises that she thinks is rumbling (lower than a purr sound), but we haven't seen what they're doing while making the noise. They usually argue (make whining noises) when one goes into the hidey house while the other is already in there, but they eventually calm down and both stay inside.

    We're in the process of getting them a bigger cage, but we can't get a C&C because we don't have enough room. We might get a 4x2 cage or something, but not for awhile, as we don't wanna constantly change their surroundings.

    Wow thats a lot of rambling. Hope y'all don't mind hehe. I'm open to any advice whatsoever, I just want my cavies to be happy and healthy

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    Cavy Slave amandaisamoose's Avatar
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    Re: Got 2 guinea pigs yesterday! Having trouble cleaning their cage though...

    fleece will probably not work in a cage that small. fleece is way better in a cage much much bigger. in a small cage it will smell very quickly, I don't know why this happens since I don't have much experience with fleece.

    But if the cage is that bad it is best to get it clean even if they dont want you to pick them up. badly spoiled cages will hurt there feet and can cause respiratory problems. They will be much happier if you get them out of that, even if they hate you for picking them up. you can try and pick them up with a towel over them. in a small cage it shouldn't be to to difficult to trap them.

    did they come with more shaving? and if so does the package say anything? anything has to be better then badly spoiled shaving.

    since they didn't change the cage often i doubt they gave much attention to the piggys. I would be sure to check the nails and feet.
    and if they are long haired then they may need to be groomed and washed from any pee and poo stains on them. well even short haired may have ucky stains.

    are you giving unlimited hay?
    they will need a cup of veggies each daily. there is a list on here of what is safe for them and how much/often in the diet and nutrition thread. I believe it is pinned to the top.
    and pellets need to be timothy based if over 6 months old. and they should be getting 1/8 of a cup daily each
    under 6 months should have alfalfa based and can have unlimited amount.

    When they get in a bigger cage they should be much more happy with each other and should be much less rumbling since they can move away from each other. happy pigs is a happy pig mommie!.

    I'm sorry this is all over the place and I hope I helped some. and im sure someone will be along to fill in where I wasn't able to help.
    also you should post pigtures! and good luck and you'll learn so much here!. This is an amazing site.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Got 2 guinea pigs yesterday! Having trouble cleaning their cage though...

    Welcome! Your cage is way too small so it's going to smell quickly no matter what you do. Fleece won't work in a cage that size. Guinea pigs need adequate space to be able to run. Lack of space will lead to health issues, odor and possibly fighting since they don't have enough space to get away from each other. I have a small home and keep my 25x70" stacked cages in my dining room. You'll find the room somewhere if you're creative. The photo section has a lot of cages that you can look at to get ideas. Good luck.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Got 2 guinea pigs yesterday! Having trouble cleaning their cage though...

    "Tame the cavies" isn't like taming other animals. They're prey to almost everything in the world, and often remain skittish and hard to catch. You can pick them up -- cut a hole in the side of a box and shoo them in there, then lift.

    A 4x2 is barely large enough for one pig, much less two. Take a look at the photo galleries -- there are lots of creative ways to put cages in small places. A smaller cage is much harder to keep clean, smells much more, and is likely to contribute to pig squabbling and aggression.

    If the hidey only has one door, either cut another one or take it out and replace it with something that has both an entrance and an exit. Having something in the cage that allows one pig to be trapped by another increases the chances of biting and fighting.

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    Cavy Slave Starthecavy123's Avatar
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    Re: Got 2 guinea pigs yesterday! Having trouble cleaning their cage though...

    They really do need a bigger cage. My c&c cage is in my dinning room. The gallery has some good ideas on placing cages in small areas. If you really want them to be happy its what you must do. Im sure if you move some furniture around you can make room for at least a 2x4 grid cage. Females dont need as much room as males. Guinea pigs need to be able to exercise. A store bought size cage will not provide that. And like other's have said fleece will be really hard to maintain in a small cage.

    Also make sure they have unlimited hay. Make sure your feeding them plain pellet food. Stay away from food that has orange pieces or nuts and seeds. Look for the food chart on here for veggies and fruits they can have. Since you have two maybe get two water bottles so in case one is occupied they dont have to wait. Since you have a small cage look for aspen shavings or kiln dried pine shavings. Stay away from cedar bedding.

    Guinea pigs are prey animals to like bpatters said pretty much everything. They are naturally skiddish animals. Plus they have very poor eyesight so they rely mostly on smells and sounds. You have to get them out of that cage to clean it. They may not like it but that's life. You may have to corner them but if that's what you have to do so be it. You can also try capturing them with a box. Get a tall enough box cut a small hole but leave a flap so you can close it. Then just corral or shoo them in. You can also entice them by placing food inside. Or cilantro I swear cilantro is like catnip for guinea pigs.

    After you get them out and you have cleaned the cage put them back. Then 2 days later take them out again and just hold them. Hand feed them lettuce or something while your holding them. That's how I've tamed all my piggies. Also wile in their cage try talking or singing to them. So they get used to your voice.

    Although my new piggies are a bit difficult as they have had a rough life. Mine dont have much faith in us humans. They had been surrendered twice in their short life. Their last owner's only had them 8 months. But I'm not gonna bore you with the details. I hope you can post pictures of them. Sorry sometimes I ramble to. Anyway I hope this helps you.

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    Re: Got 2 guinea pigs yesterday! Having trouble cleaning their cage though...

    Oh I forgot welcome to the forum

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    Re: Got 2 guinea pigs yesterday! Having trouble cleaning their cage though...

    Thank you everyone for the very helpful advice! I really appreciate it! I've decided to make a C&C cage, but the most I can do is 2x3, but I might be able to add another level on part of it, although I don't know much about creating ramps. The only thing is that my dad isn't too keen on rearranging furniture, but I'll stop at nothing to get them more space! We do have juuuust enough space for a 2x3 in our kitchen, and it should be done by this weekend. Is 2x3 big enough to use fleece?

    Also I've been starting to hand feed my pigs, and they usually do the usual "takes from hand and runs off" type thing, which I heard is normal in the beginning. But my Juniper sometimes bites me, not hard enough to leave a mark, but its more than a nibble. I read that this is normal too, as they don't realize that human fingers aren't food, but is this true? And what should I do to prevent this from being a habbit?

    I'm also just building them a playpen as we speak (not literally, I'm taking a short break haha), and I will attempt to transfer them to the pen so I can clean the cage as best as I can. I don't have extra wood chip bedding, so I won't remove all the bedding unfortunately. I might also just add a bunch of hay instead I dont have bedding.

    Lastly, yes I have been feeding them tons of hay, always refilling the stalk. I got timothy based pellets, Hartz Small Animal Diet for Guinea Pigs, with complete and balanced nutrition. Some of the nutrition includes Vitamins A, C, D, E and Omega-6 fatty acids. These were the only ones available in Walmart. Do you think these are good enough? Also I've been feeding them a mix between carrots, romaine and green lettuce, zucchini (they don't like them as much though) and my mom is going to buy green and yellow bell peppers and cilantro. I feed both of my pigs 2 cups, split into 4 servings, one at around 7am before I leave for school, one at around 10am when my father finishes breakfast, one afterschool, around 3:30pm and one around dinner time, 7:30pm.

    Sorry, I keep rambling, I just don't want to do anything wrong! I also just replied to the entire thread as a whole, as most people talked about similar things. Please tell me if I should reply in a different way. Thanks again everyone!!

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    Cavy Slave Starthecavy123's Avatar
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    Re: Got 2 guinea pigs yesterday! Having trouble cleaning their cage though...

    When she bites even if it doesn't hurt make a loud high pitched ouch. That way she learns it hurts and not to do it.

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    Re: Got 2 guinea pigs yesterday! Having trouble cleaning their cage though...

    Also for two pigs you should really think about a 2x4. Especially if you see they aren't getting along in the 2x3. And plus second levels shouldn't be counted towards floor space. But that doesn't mean you can't still make one.

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    Re: Got 2 guinea pigs yesterday! Having trouble cleaning their cage though...

    okay! I'll try to remember that next time

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    Re: Got 2 guinea pigs yesterday! Having trouble cleaning their cage though...

    As of now I don't think we have enough room, but I'll keep that in mind and see what I can do!

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    Cavy Slave Starthecavy123's Avatar
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    Re: Got 2 guinea pigs yesterday! Having trouble cleaning their cage though...

    Trust me I know about space issues I live in a small apartment.

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    Re: Got 2 guinea pigs yesterday! Having trouble cleaning their cage though...

    I would not feed that food, it's Alfalfa based and out of the top 6 ingredients 3 are derived from soybean. Which means that Soy is the top ingredient.

    I'd switch to Oxbow or KM's. KM's is generally regarded as the best but is only available online.

    A 2x3 is minimum for two girls, it's a bit squishy but it should work. Upper levels do not count towards floor space as the ramp actually takes spaces away from the lower level.

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    Re: Got 2 guinea pigs yesterday! Having trouble cleaning their cage though...

    Oh dear! Do you think I can just finish the bag up? There's still alot of pellets left. And I don't really mind if its alfalfa based, at least for now. My pigs are 5 months and I only feed them timothy hay (no alfalfa mixed in). I'll probably order Oxbow online once my the pellets I have are finished. And yeah I probably won't add another level.

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