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cavy in a classroom?

kelly*cavies
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holli'smommy

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My children attend a daycare/preschool that is run out of a home, the provider has, among other things, 2 very sweet piggies. They are kept away from the kids for the most part and they have "visiting time" where she takes a few at a time to see them, the piggies pop around at the sight of the kids. She, the provider/owner, is doing a great job teaching the children about empathy for animals, something that unfortunatly today is not always taught very well. She got the piggies when a student's mom became allergic to them and she dropped them there one day! But she's takes excellent care of them and I have refered her to several of the websites you all here mention and share knowledge with her.
 

WendyK

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Holli's Mom:
Your post is particularly encouraging to me. I have a strong passion about educating kids about handling and caring about animals correctly so I feel pretty commited to trying to do this RIGHT - I have the luxury of a big classroom and a low number of kids, so I would really like to try this and see if I can make it a beneficial situation for the cavy as well as the kids - I also have a plan in place if the classroom thing does not seem beneficial for the cavy. I'm still at the thinking about it stage and will keep you all posted. All the fweedback has been very helpful. WendyK
 

crittermom

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Just found the thread. I have many years experience with all types of classroom pets, and it is definitely possible, though not usual, to have healthy, properly cared-for classroom guinea pigs.

Here's a link to another discussion on the topic:http://wheekers.proboards32.com/index.cgi?board=care&num=1108246603&action=display&start=0 I go more in-depth with my experiences and observations in that thread (see both pages).

It's a significant, ongoing amount of time and expense to do it properly. I arrive before my colleagues and leave later to tend to my boys. I go through a ton of ziploc bags to pack their veggies daily, not to mention bringing hay and carefresh in all the time. The car heater must be warmed up before making trips from school/home, and I also wrap the carrier in a towel for additional protection on cold days, pulling up to the front door and leaving my car parked while I get the boys settled inside......then returning to move my car to its proper parking slot farther away. A lot of extra work for a teacher, and most are understandably unwilling - which contributes to the problem.

I wouldn't recommend C&C cages for classrooms, as the children can poke their fingers through the grates, and I don't feel they are structurally sturdy enough should they be leaned on. I've had best success with a large standing hutch (smooth-floored, of course) with sides made of 1/4 inch mesh wire. Since my current boys are enjoying a huge 3x6 C&C on weekends, holidays, and vacations, I've become a believer in their need for adequate space, and will be "retiring" them from the classroom at the end of May to continue living at home with me. Cavies make the best classroom pets from a teacher's and child's perspective, but even when all other care and health factors have been properly addressed, it's all but impossible to provide them with the space they need.
 

mncavylover

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Here are some links on the subject that I trust:

http://members.aol.com/homeforgps/advice/classroom.htm

Just cam eacross this link: please go to the home page and send the creator an email, like I did:

Hello, I am referring to http://www.iit.edu/~smile/bi9205.html.

I am appalled by the way you refer to cavies as animals that can be tested on. They are natural vegans, and so should not be fed meat, dairy, etc. Other foods like salt and pepper aren't healthful. Neither are bread, corn (no nutritional value), fruits are high in sugar and should be fed sparingly, carrots should not be fed too often as they are high in calcium, which can cause bladder stones, etc. Nowhere do I see mention of hay, which is essential for proper digestion and to wear down the teeth. Nowhere do I see mention of houses in which to hide. Newspaper is not the best bedding, as it isn't very absorbent. A wood bedding (not cedar or pine; they have harmful phenols that can cause URIs) would be more appropriate.

Great links for information on the proper care of cavies are as follows:
www.guinealynx.com
www.guineapigcages.com
www.cavyspirit.com

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your reply to me at [email protected].

Sincerely,
A concerned cavy lover
 

crittermom

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If it's any consolation, the .edu link sounds like a curriculum class assignment for a teacher in training; he probably hasn't actually done it. But still, your email was informative, accurate, and professional, so hopefully it will give him cause to reconsider his thoughts on the subject. Good job, mn.
 

mncavylover

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Ok, thank you crittersmom! I couldn't help but send off a quick email. I do hope I got it all right, I was typing quickly...
 

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