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Adopting 2 piggies more fun than 1?

WaxButterfly

Active Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Aug 7, 2011
Messages
24
Okay so I currently have one male Abyssinian guinea pig named Wilson, and he's about 1 year and 5 months now. He's housed in a 2x3 with a 2nd floor C&C, and is an absolute joy but lately I've been thinking about getting him a playmate.
The reason I originally only got one guinea pig in the first place was because I had never owned one before, therefore my mum wanted me only getting one.
I still need to discuss it with her, but if I do get another piggy I will be expanding the cage to 2x4 and possibly adding another 2nd floor to it.

Obviously I'm going to get another male, and the piggy I've had my eye on is located at a shelter.
The shelter says he's about 5 months. Is that an okay age to house with an older pig such as my Wilson who's 1 year and 5 months? I don't want the age to add to a possible scuffle issue.

I believe upon adopting from the shelter I get the (small) cage that the pig is currently housed in, so I will make sure to keep him in there during the quarantine process before making the transition and moving him to the C&C.
About how long must a new pig be quarantined? And how soon should I introduce the two piggies?

I appreciate all the help and advice I can get. I get really worried about this sort of thing. Is caring for 2 piggies any harder than 1?

Thank you in advance!:)
Here's Wilson's cage. Don't mind the grubbyness of it, I have cleaning and touching up to do (specifically with the bridge and 2nd floor)
[GuineaPigCages.com] 2 piggies more fun than 1?
 
If you get a second male, I'd consider expanding to a 2x5 if possible... males tend to need more space than females - the more space they have the less likely they are to fight.

Getting a pig who is younger than the one you have is generally a good idea. I don't have any experience in this but from what I understand, it's easier to pair an older gp with a younger one than two that are the same age.

The recommended time frame for quarantine is 3 weeks if I'm not mistaken. Not only do you need to keep them in separate cages, they need to be in separate rooms - keep that in mind when you're talking to your mom about adopting a new piggy.

I don't think taking care of two guinea pigs is any harder than taking care of just one. You have to feed them twice as much, there's a slightly larger cage to clean, you need at least two of everything (hideys, veggie bowls, pellet bowls, hay source, water bottles) and you should e sure your hideys have multiple exits. Aside from the initial expenses of buying extra bowls and stuff, and the need for a larger vet fund the cost isn't much different.

Are you using newspaper on top of the fleece in your cage? From what I understand newspaper isn't healthy to have in a GP cage, the ink can be toxic if they ingest it and it stays wet when they pee on it, it can also be slippery.... I suggest taking the news paper out and just throw in a small piece of fleece - or you can buy "baby blankets" from your local dollar store.
 
I'm not using newspaper at all. What I think you're mistaking for newspaper is actually a dishtowel. Located in the bottom left hand corner of the cage? Yep, that's a dishtowel.
Underneath the fleece are towels for absorption, and in the litter trays are cardboard shavings. :) I also have a long piece of coroplast under the bridge because Wilson enjoys sitting under it and the coroplast is cooler than the fleece.

Thanks for the feedback!
 
Am I gambling by possibly considering another pig? If the two pigs can't get along together I don't know what I'm going to do. I definitely don't have room to make another c&c cage, and the shelter only gives you 72 hours to decide whether or not you want to keep the animal (or so it was 9 years ago when I adopted my dog from there).
I'm just worried that if Wilson and the new piggy don't get along after waiting through the 3 week quarantine, that I won't be physically able to keep the new pig :(
 
Maybe you could contact your shelter and see if they'll let you do a meet and greet?

BTW: Sorry about the newspaper comment...I'm glad to hear it's a dish towel :)
 
I had two males and just recently added a third, they get on great but I think the size of the cage does matter. Males do not always end up fighting, but in the end it depends on the pigs personality. What is the biggest size cage you could make for them? Bigger is always better. This is my boys cage and they all get along fine. :)
[GuineaPigCages.com] 2 piggies more fun than 1?
Its a 2x4 + 1x1 + 2x3.
I love c&c cages because of how you can make them the shape you want!
 
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Schavarry>>> I think a meet and greet would be a good idea, but wouldn't that defeat the purpose of a 3 week quarantine beforehand?

RodentCuddles>>> Oh wow your cage is massive! Your boys must love it! Unfortunately I can only expand my cage big enough to make it 2x4. Last night I rearranged all the furniture (bed included!) in my room so that I could possibly add on another grid to the cage.
 
Unfortunately I can only expand my cage big enough to make it 2x4. Last night I rearranged all the furniture (bed included!) in my room so that I could possibly add on another grid to the cage.

Okay, you could do a nice second level? I've never done one but maybe you could do a 2x2 up the top? or a 1x3 and 1x2 L shape if you get what I mean? :)
 
Schavarry>>> I think a meet and greet would be a good idea, but wouldn't that defeat the purpose of a 3 week quarantine beforehand?

I'm not exactly sure how a meet and greet would affect the quarantine - if you could skip the quarantine? Someone like @foggycreekcavy might be able to give you a better answer.

In theory the quarantine is to make sure that the new piggy isn't ill and won't get your current piggy sick. If the rescue can verify that the new piggy hasn't been exposed to something then a meet and greet without the quarantine should be fine but this is all assumptions...
 
Yes that's what I was also thinking. On top of the 4th grid space I could make a 2nd floor on the left side like I have on the right side.
To be honest I'm more concerned about the piggies not getting along than I am about lack of space. Not to mention double amount of poop!

That's what I assumed the quarantine was for but I also thought it may just be new piggy procedure. Hmm. Perhaps if the new pig has a clean bill of health I can take him home myself and introduce him to Wilson in my home, on safe neutral ground of course. That way, if they don't get along I can (sadly) return him back to the shelter. I'd rather not have Wilson travel as I only have a small carrier I use for taking him to the vet, and I don't want to stress him out.
 
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Usually if you get your new pig from a reputable rescue, you won't need to quarantine. Most rescues will not adopt out animals unless they've had them for a quarantine period anyway.
 
Yes, if you are able to do a meet & greet, it would defeat the purpose of a quarantine and like froggycreekcavy said, many rescues already do a quarantine.

My suggestion though is to get a more sturdy ramp. That one looks as if it is going to collapse any minute and the fact that it has no sides makes me nervous.

Remember also that upper levels do not count toward square footage. So a 2X3 with a 2X2 upper level is still a 2X3.
 
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