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Adding new guinea pigs to a bonded pair

MommyAnn

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Two of my daughters have a bonded pair of two-year-old guinea pig females. We are designing a C & C cage for them as well as planning to add two more guinea pig young females (hopefully we can rescue a pair)-- one for their next younger sister (I have five girls:heart: ), who has reached the proper age, and another one for my 7-year-old who adores guinea pigs.

Can we put all four together in a 4 cavy-size C&C cage, or do we need to keep the two pairs separate in their own two-cavy size C & C cage?

Any info. would be very helpful!
 

envisionary333

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Sure, you can have all four together since they are females. Just make sure to do a proper introduction on neutral territory. Here's a great link for some tips: http://www.cavyspirit.com/sociallife.htm. How big is your C & C cage?
 

MommyAnn

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We haven't built our C&C cage yet as we need to know if we can build one cage for all four, or two cages for each pair. Thanks so much for the link!
 

envisionary333

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OK, then I would definitely go for a 2 x 5 cage at least. Girls usually get along pretty well, so size is not as critical as it is for boys. Bigger is still better, though! I think your two current girls will love the company. I have ten girls!!! Even though several of them are quite dominant, with proper introductions and patience they all get along wonderfully now. I also have one very lucky neutered boy. :)
 

MommyAnn

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Ten girls! In one cage? My girls are agog...I can hear their minds whirling. Oops....and I thought four might be our limit :). How large is your cage?

Would you suggest two levels for our four girls, once they are properly introduced?
 

envisionary333

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LOL, well, my cage is quite large. It's about 55 square feet, equivalent to a 2 x 27 in grids! lol Here's a picture: https://www.guineapigcages.com/photos/showphoto.php/photo/8083/cat/500/ppuser/6864.
So all my piggies have a lot of space, and that helps them get along. They are pretty spoiled!

You can add more levels to the cage if you want, so long as the bottom floor provides enough room for them to run and play! Upper levels are nice because you can keep the hay/food area separate, and it also encourages your piggies to exercise more by going up and down the stairs. It's really up to you. Building the cage is a lot of fun, so once you get started, you'll probably be tempted to add more to it. I know I did!
 

Jenni_Feathers

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I would reccomend also adding a loft too so that if a pig wants some alone time they can go up in the loft but remember that only the main floor counts as square footage.
 

MommyAnn

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We've been looking over your pictures, and noticed the colorful flooring in many cage sections, as well as your comments about fleece. What exactly are you using for bedding, and how is it cleaned. It looks so pretty!
 

MommyAnn

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I didn't know that only the floor counted for footage. Thanks! What's the best way to create a wall along the ledge, except the ramp, so that the guinea pigs don't fall off?
 

envisionary333

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Thanks for the compliment! I switched to fleece because it was costing me a fortune filling that whole cage with Carefresh! I still use bedding in the "kitchen" area since that's were the hay is, but for the rest of the cage I have mattress pads and fleece. I use bricks to hold down the fleece so I can vacuum it every day with a small shop vac that I keep under the cage. Every week or two I take out all the bedding and wash it. Lately I've been going two weeks since I now use four layers of mattress pads under the fleece, so it is very absorbent and fluffy. Have a look through the "Bedding" forum and you will find a lot more info about fleece. I'm a huge fan of it!

As for creating a wall along the upper level, there are lots of different ways to do that. Some people just use grids to block it off since that's fairly simple to do. In my cage the upper level has grids as walls, and the entrance is through a hole I cut in the grids with wire cutters, then sanded down so there are no sharp edges. You can also make a wall with coroplast as well. Look through the photo galleries to get more ideas, you can really be as creative as you want with it!
 

MommyAnn

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Thanks, Envisionary333,
I finally got a moment (5 little human punkins keep me hopping!:) ) to look through the bedding forum. I'm hooked on the fleece and cotton bed pads idea. What a savings and decorating idea!
Can you encourage the buinea pigs to urinate in one place...say in a care fresh spot or carefresh and hay bin corner?
My 18-month-old just outgrew the need for crib bumpers, so we have several. Has anyone had problems with the piggies eating the bumpers or ties? The bumper pad picture looks so cute!
Your advice has been invaluable. I'm so-o-o jazzed about designing our new C & C cage for our current two sows and new ones to come.
 

envisionary333

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Can you encourage the buinea pigs to urinate in one place...say in a care fresh spot or carefresh and hay bin corner?

Most guinea pigs can't really be litter-trained. The best thing to do is figure out where your guinea pigs like to go to the bathroom the most, then put a litter tray there. My piggies go under the hay racks more than anywhere else, and most piggies will go where the food is, where they sleep, and in the cage corners most frequently. They won't go in a litter box exclusively, but if you are lucky they will go there most of the time!
 

MommyAnn

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No wonder my seven-year-old has to keep changing her pants! She's always feeding her guinea pig in her lap!:crazy: Too funny!
Actually, I think it's just that she gives her too-o-o-o much lap time, sometimes.
Thanks again for your expertise! We will build our cage and watch where the piggies prefer to poop so that we can, hopefully, make that a litter area.
I am amazed that they like to poop where they sleep! I thought most animals liked to keep their sleeping area clean! I would say something about acting like pigs, but...well....
Thank goodness they are endlessly cute!
 

envisionary333

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Most guinea pigs prefer not to pee on your lap, but they have to go about every ten to fifteen minutes so it's hard to avoid. Some piggies will start to fidget when they have to go, and you can just put them back in the cage for a moment then pick them back up when they are done. I always keep a towel by the cage and put it on my lap for lap time.

Yeah, piggies are really not the cleanest animals around. It's kind of ironic because people usually call rats dirty, but my two rats are way cleaner than my guinea pigs! They bath themselves all the time and don't like to go to the bathroom where they sleep. They can also be litter trained.
 

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