I've just taken on a new piggie that was abandoned at my workplace, and it's very thin - I've weighed it and my two other guineas for comparison and my 1y/o sow weighs about 950g, my 1y4m castrated boar weighs 1.3kg, and the newbie (which is bigger length-wise than my sow) only weighs 700g. I can feel every bump in its spine, all its ribs etc, and it's hard to see quite how emaciated it is because it's a very tufty Abyssinian so the fur makes it look bigger than it is. I'm calling it "it" because we couldn't tell what sex it is - it hasn't got balls, so we thought it was female, but when I introduced it to my two it fought with my boar and tried to hump him, so now I don't know if maybe it is a castrated boar (it pretty much ignored the sow though). It's still in a seperate cage because the three of them wouldn't settle when I put them all in together - after they'd finished strutting around, chasing each other and squabbling, they stayed as far away from each other as possible and kept chattering their teeth until I removed the new one.
So, three questions for experienced pig-keepers:
- Is there anything you can recommend to help put weight on a malnourished guinea pig (I've checked its teeth and they are fine)?
- Is there a surefire way to tell if it's a castrated boar or a sow?
- Should I persevere with introducing it to my existing two, or just keep it in the seperate cage (which is next to theirs, they could chat through the bars if they wanted) to save causing them all stress?
I'll be able to find most of this stuff out from my boss on Monday anyway, but I'm impatient and want to get all the information I can right now.
OK. For now, until you know for definate, keep New Guinea Pig seperate, You don't know if NGP has got mite/lice/ringworm/worms/any respiratory type infection. He sounds a bit neglected and run down from what you describe.
If it is a boar, your boy will still think like a boar (2 boars with a sow will lead to in-boar fighting) You could keep them seperate so they can hear each other as your boy now knows NGP is there. But see if it stresses him out too much.
If your NGP is a boar, you'll tell by pressing gently just above the genitals. The pressure will extend his willy. (My boars are non neutered.GP1 has the end of his willy prominent. GP2 is well tucked away)
Food wise- my GP2 is slight compared to his brother but gets soft droppings (not the normal soft eating pooh, but really soft) if he has too much veg. Unlimited hay -maybe the herbage ones to eat+ his bedding hay.(Some people give Alfafa but it's quite high calcium level so not too much).
All veg but not too much salad/green (might give him the runs). Sweetcorn (on the cob) fresh beetroot (not leaves) carrot,parsnips. Pellets, water.
My little guinea has put on some winter fat with this
How much does your boss know about the NGP? Does he know who owned it before it was dumped?
I think in your situation I'd give the pig settling in time. Then a Gorgeous Guinea Shampoo bath to make him smell nice (especially if you use the same as you do on your own hogs to give them a familiar smell) And maybe a parasite treatment (I use Xeno 450 on my hogs but be careful what shampoo you use.You have to give it time to absorb. I'd wash first, make sure he's really dry, but don't use a medicated shampoo in case it overloads his system,.Then use the Xeno 450 a couple of days later)
Then you can decide what's the next step.(You might find your currant hogs won't accept the new hog if it's a boar, Would you neuter him and get a girlfriend?)
Readigrass (dried green grass.I got a huge bag and mine are still chomping through it) And at this time of year- if you can get some cut grass from the lawn.Mine hoover it up. (But GP2 has to limit his grass intake, Not a problem with his brother in the trough though)
Hi 70 I used an ivermectin spot-on on all the pigs yesterday (mine were due anyway) before introducing them, and I'm planning to give newbie a bath soon when s/he's settled in a bit more. We tried the gentle pressing to check the sex when it was brought in, couldn't see a willy so thought it was a girl but now its behaviour is making me wonder if we missed something! We have no idea about its background - someone brought it in saying it had been dumped, cage and all, in his garden. The cage had a bowl of water and some newspaper but no proper bedding, food or hay. It seems quite healthy apart from being thin - its teeth are fine, there's no sneezing/wheezing etc, and it's very friendly. I'm giving it unlimited hay and pellets (Supreme Science Selective, which is what mine are on) and so far have tried little bits of romaine lettuce, cucumber, carrot and bell pepper, all of which it has LOVED, bless it.
I'd love to know its story - it seems so neglected, but at the same time it is very tame and happy to be handled, its nails aren't overgrown, and if it's a boar someone has gone to the trouble of getting it castrated. I'll go and have a poke around now, using my two for comparison, and see if I can work out if it's a he or a she!
He might still be a teenager and his 'nads might not be so obvious (if he is a boar)
You've got a boar and sow , so you've got a comparison on hand , hopefully make things easier. . Your hogs will all have the face though.
I know there's a few threads a while back about lumps on a GP, it was IIRC a young teen boar that suddenly got puberty. If your NGP is young that might be the case.Also might explain why he's so light.He might've had a growth spurt but not had the bodyweight to catch up with growth.
(My DDs boars were a year old when we got them, so fully grown)
SoUNDS LIKE YOUR NEWBIE NEEDS SOME tlc AND A GOOD DINNER. wILL YOU BE ABLE TO KEEP THE HOG?
Haha you're right, they were very about having their bits poked at! I'm pretty sure newbie is a boy - will keep him well away from my sow until I know for definite whether he's castrated or not, I don't want babies!
I was going to leave him a bit longer to settle in before bathing him, but I had him out for a cuddle today and he was so greasy and smelly (I guess from not having proper bedding/not being cleaned out) that I decided to give him a wash. He was most offended at being dunked in the kitchen sink, he made a break for it and scuttled off across the worktop leaving everything soaking! But now he's all clean and fluffy and has been swaddled in a towel and placated with veggies.
I'm definitely going to keep him for now at least. He can stay in his own cage next to my other two while I fatten him up and wait to see if he's going to get balls. Ideally I'd like to be able to keep him with my others eventually - I've only got one outdoor run for summer, and I don't really have space for four pigs if I had to get him a friend too - so if he really can't get along with my two, I might have to see if someone else can take him on. We shall see... for now, I'll just keep feeding him and giving him the life of luxury that all piggies deserve.
Oh hi Pimp - lovely to hear that you have rescued this little guinea, hope you manage to determine whether it is a he or she! I have had several rescues over the years, and everything 70 has said is great advice - sounds like you know alot about looking after them anyway, so just wanted to wish you good luck. With new guineas, it is best to take as much time as possible to integrate them and get them used to each other, your routine and your voice. You could try freecycle or the hated gumtree for cheaper runs and indoor cages, there is usually someone trying to get rid of guinea/rabbit equipment. It sounds like he needs fattening up, but try not to overload with different types of food at once, alot will depend on what guinea has been used to eating! Everything is new, and it takes the guinea a while to get used to routine and settling in. I agree with 70, lots of hay and 'bland' veg to start with, maybe a few bits of apple etc, and of course some handfuls of grass if you can get some - but dried food usually the best for their tummies to start with.
Do hope your new boy settles in well, let him have lots of space to relax and get used to you - its great that he likes being handled, and hopefully will come out of his shell over the next few days and get used to your two as well. Do hope all goes well, let us know how it all goes X
Sorry to hijack but just a question about sexing a piggie, I've got 2 girls (my first pigs so new to them) and on their tums they both have what I assumed were nipples? 2 each, 1 on each side of the tum. Do boys have these as well?