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New here, and new to guinea pigs


Active Member
Cavy Slave
Feb 3, 2012
hi everyone! my name is ann. i'm new to guinea pigs, and have come to learn more about them.

i'm not one who generally doesn't add a new 4 legged member to our family without knowing just what i'm getting into. well, the other day...i did just that. the other day, our last remaining hamster had passed. my son, who's battling terminal cancer, was really upset. so i asked him if he wanted another hamster. he said no. ok. so i called the local petsmart, and asked if they had any mice. they said yes. so we drive the 1 hour to go get a mouse. we go and we're circling the critter display...and every time we go past the guinea pigs, my son laughs. then the next time around, i looked. one guinea pig was following us through the glass. pretty cool.

still not finding the mice, i asked a sales person. turns out what they call mice are actually baby rats. my son said no way...let's go check out the guinea pigs. so we did. that little guinea pig who kept following us...he came back to the glass and stood up on it. my son said he wanted that guinea pig. so after a serious debate, and a few basic questions...what do they need, how much to get started, etc, we decided to go a head and get this crazy haired little guy. then i looked up and saw this face looking at me...and was completely smitten. so i got him and named him Darwin...it just seemed to fit :)

on the way back home, i stopped at a little "mom and pop" pet store that makes these homemade dog cookies, and my son saw a guinea pig that he thought my daughter would love. a cute little "calico". i asked the guy there if it was a male, explaining that i just got 2 males, and i'm brand new at this. there was no way that i wanted any babies. he said yes, it was a male, so i bought him and some cookies for the dogs.

got home, and got everyone into their shared cage, already planned on having the hubby build something bigger...hopefully this weekend. my daughter met her new friend, and named him Jazz. we sat and watched them for a while, when we noticed TnT started to chase Jazz around.

i managed to catch Jazz, and handed him to my daughter, while i got TnT. we compared the "bottom half"...and Jazz was now Jasmine. oh boy! i put her in an old, but cleaned up, rabbit cage that we had...thankfully i hadn't gotten rid of it, and went to a closer, but only good for supplies, pet store, and bought another set up. there, i met a guy who was trying to find a home for 2 rescued piggies. we exchanged info. i don't know a thing about guinea pigs, but i know how to rehab other animals...and have a great vet. figured i'd think on it. long story short, we picked up the rescues yesterday. i took them to the vet, today, and am relieved to know that, all things considered, they're healthy. they're both the size of a teddy bear hamster, the larger one is as big as our hamster that just passed away. the other is about 1/3 smaller, give or take. both are albino, with chewed ears. the smaller one has thinned out patches of hair...i worried about mites or ringworm, but vet said their all good. but what shocked me...they're both skin and bone. thankfully, they both are eating very well!
i tried to add pictures, but they didn't go through. trying again.

first picture is of the 2 unnamed rescues. still working on that. they need special names. the larger one protects the littler one.

second picture is my son's "crazy haired" TnT.

third picture is my daughter's Jazz who turned into Jasmine. i feel bad for her living alone, and i'm debating on the best way to fix this.

the last picture is of my Darwin.


rescued pigs.jpg TnT.jpg Jazz.jpg Darwin.jpg
Welcome to the forum! I'm very sorry to hear that your son is ill, but glad that he's gotten pets that entertain him so much.

Good for you for checking the gender. I'm continually amazed by how many mis-sexed guinea pigs there are in the world. Hope you got a friend for Jasmine in all that pig-accumulating!
Best of luck with your son, so sorry for the hard times you're having.

LOL- gues you're a piggie fanatic now! This forum is great! I've only been here a short while, and I love it. DON'T bother buying any guinea pig books. All mine were worthless. GuineaLynx is a fabulous resource, and has everything on there you could possibly need to know. I hope you check it out. Good luck, and enjoy all of your new piggies!
Wow so cute!! Hopefully in a couple of weeks you will be able to see if one of the babies is a female, so Jasmine has a buddy.
Sorry about your sond health. Wow from 0 to 5 in one day talk about jumpimg in with both feet. lol They are adorable I also have five 4 sows and 1 boar who was also suppose to be a sow. I waant to get him a friend but I had a bad experince with 2 boars in the past. So i just have his cage next to the girls and he seems quite happy.Best of luck to you and your family
thanks guys:) my son is pretty amazing...and knowing that things could change at any given time, i have a horrible habit of giving into his interest in animals...which isn't the greatest thing...but in this case, i'm glad that i did. our little piggies are really great to watch. i've been handling the bigger 3, and only handle the rescues when i apply their triple antibiotic cream to their ears. right now, i don't want to cause them any further stress or discomfort. poor babies. i have learned that the piggies like to crawl into my bathrobe pocket, so i ended up getting them an old fleece baby blanket for them...which was a huge hit!

i saw somewhere that males can be fixed. i think if the little ones aren't female, i'll just get all the boys fixed and have them all together...and not add any more. i'm planning on making a larger area up in the office. after reading the space requirements, i was thinking that we could fill the empty space with a 4 x 6 (wire cube things) with a 2 x 6 loft area, with a ramp on each side, for the boys. because of it being so big, i'm not exactly sure how to build the bottom. maybe a tarp with a thick layer of newspaper and i'll have to research a bit more, from there. my husband is much more creative. when he returns, i'll tell him what i'm thinking, and he's really good about helping me to "perfect" what i'm thinking. and i figured i'll let my hubby plan jasmine's area, with the help of our daughter.

the sexing them part...i don't know if i would have thought of it, if we hadn't had hamsters. we learned the hard way with them. i wanted 2 females or 2 males, and the sales person said they were both female...and i believed them until i fed one morning and found 10 surprises next to the food bowl, and the other hamster shredded. poor thing. thankfully, the school took most of the babies...we kept 2 other females to keep turtle company. but again, we learned another hard lesson. turtle (the mom) killed her babies off, too. she lived alone for 3 years, but enjoyed coming out, beating the cats up and playing in her ball.

i'm looking forward to what the future brings for our little piggies. my kids have decided that we will figure out the piggies favorite food is, and use that to start clicker training them. not sure what we can train a piggie to do...but i think this will be great fun for all of us.
Don't quote me on this but I don't think you can put neutered boars in with a sow. I think that they will still fight over the sow despite the fact that they've been fixed.

Like I said don't quote me on this. It's probably best to ask a more experienced member :)
oh...welllll....there's still hope that one of the rescues will be a sow :) if not, then i guess i'll be hunting for another sow. i hate the thought of jasmine being lonely.
Sarah is right... in general, multiple boars will fight in the presence of sows. I definitely wouldn't get them all neutered in hopes that they will all live with one sow peacfully.

Another option would be to neuter just one of the boars and pair him with the sow.
We seem to be doing general rules today. And this one is, you can't put multiple boars in with sows even if the boars are neutered. Except, some people manage to do it. Not many, to be sure, but some. You could try, but I sure wouldn't count on it working.

I just read back through your thread and noticed that you're putting antibiotic cream on their ears. Please be sure to use just a tiny bit and rub it in very well -- you don't want them to ingest it when they're grooming themselves. Antibiotics can really do a number on GPs, and even when they're absolutely necessary for infections, it sometimes takes a lot of effort and vet care to keep the pig going.
Thanks!! I think I'm developing a plan for safe, happy and non-breeding piggies. Really really appreciate all of your help!!

The antibiotic cream...vet told me to put a drop on a qtip then be sure to rub it in really well with a clean qtip or my finger. Last thing I want/need to do is cause more harm than do good. I love my vet :) she gave me her home # in case I have any issues.
Sounds like a good vet!
i honestly can not say enough about my vet!! she and her husband (who is my horse vet) are a wonderful team!! they know that i'm a "bleeding heart" (i rehome many many rescues...but they're usually cats and dogs), and they do their very best to help me help which ever "critter" who i try to help. but knowing that i've entered into uncharted territory, they are even more supportive.

but i don't want "take advantage", either...that's why i'm searching for info in other places, too :)
Aww! I love them all!! The 2 babies and TnT are Abyssinians, like my Marble, and Darwin and Jasmine are Americans, like my Twix, in case you were wondering! :D I love the wild, punky hair on Aby pigs. Welcome to the forum! I wish I could have 5 piggies, but I only have 2. Agreeing with bpatters, yes, your vet sounds great! :)
haha...thanks! one thing i hadn't thought to look up, yet, are breeds. i've just been focused on getting their care and homes right.

here's a wacky question...

my son is eating some honey dew mellon slices, and watching the piggies. he has jasmine and tnt sticking their little noses out, and they are talking to him, rather excited sounding. would it be safe to give them a tiny chunk? i can't find anything about melons on the lists of safe foods, so probably not...but figured i'd ask anyway. never hurts to ask.
we have names for the 2 rescues...the big one is now yoda (thanks to my son) and the little one is bishop (thanks to my daughter). that feels better, everyone has their own name :)
Oh, cute! :D I love the name Yoda.
A bit of melon is ok. They seem to like the rind as well as the melon, and it has a little less sugar, so that's what I usually give mine. They think a slice of watermelon rind is the greatest thing in the world.

Edited to add: Not the outside rind of the melon, but the thick white part before you get to the colored juicy insides.
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lol...aj wanted to call the little one jedi...but lane (my daughter) quickly vetoed that. got to love kids :) my hubby will be bummed that he didn't name the little one. he's away, and has been getting text pics, and really fell in love with the little one. but he should be good with bishop for a name.

we gave a tiny bit of the white part of the melon to everyone. HUGE hit! i think this may be what we'll use for the clicker training that the kids want to try. thank you!!!!!!
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