Firstly a big thankyou for all the helpful stuff posted here for newbie GP owners. DD is getting two 9 week old piggies for her birthday next week. I don't know which of us is more excited! They will live in a big outdoor hutch which we can put into the garage in the winter but my question is.... ...should they go straight into their new permanent home or would they be better off indoors until a certain age, if that is what they have been used to? And wouldn't being indoors initially help them to get more used to DD? Or do you think it would be less stressful and confusing for them to put them in their 'forever home' straightaway..and if so, how do we go about handling them if they are scary shy for the first while?
Where are you getting them from? You can ask them where the pigs have been living (Outdoor/Indoor/Big Shed/ With or without other GPS. They'd be much snugglier in a group because they huddle up). 9 weeks is a nice age because they are a bit more mature. I've seen some leave home at 4 weeks which is early. (They can seperate from mum at 3-4 weeks if they are boars. Before they start looking at their mum/sisters in a shifty Oedipus fashion)
TBH I don't think you will want to leave your new furbabies out at night when you first get them, you'll all want to look at them and cuddle them
Check what the temperature is overnight too in your part of the country. I've got lardy full grown boars in a playhouse (aka the Pighouse) so they are enclosed. At the moment the night temp is maybe 10c but they have deep litter hay in their haybox. I know it's cold when they cuddle up.
Once you've had them a few days you could put them out in the daytime to get used to their new home (now that the day temperatures are nice) and bring them in at evening for a cuddle. Have you got an indoor cage too? You'll most probably need one for winter anyway. I bring the boys in for winter nights, they have a heater outside for daytime, but it got so cold last winter I wanted them inside to sleep.
They'll take a while to settle whatever you do, but they are naturally nosey animals so they'll explore.
Any changes to pellets, food, time you feed them needs to be gradual. They'll give you some food at changeover. You might continue with that or you can mix in some of yours to change it.
You can spend some guinea-cuddling time going through all the GP threads on here. I think it'll be time to start a Keep GPs cool Summer Thread soon.
Oh babies, how exciting. Hearing about gp babies makes me furbaby broody unlike real human babies <shudders remembers nappies> .
When we had boars, they were 9 weeks old too and it was February when they arrived. They came from a breeder who had all his hutches in a massive shed. We put our boys' hutch in a wooden Wendy house. But in summer the Wendy house got too hot and we had to keep the door open during the day when they weren't in the run.
The following Winter we moved the hutch to the garage. This was ok to do because we never use the garage for the car. Exhaust fumes kill guinea pigs.
Our sows were aprox 3/4 months when we got them in August 2 years ago. They went straight into their huge outdoor hutch outside the kitchen. But I hated them being outside and finding slugs in with them <yuk> and the thought of them being cold in the garage in winter. They now live in the living room and spread hay all over the house. On the plus side they are so much more confident with us demand food all the time and we have got to know their personalities
70boars start looking at mum/sisters in a shifty Oedipus fashion surely your best one yet.
Ooooh! They are so sweet. Took DD to see them on Monday.
One Rex and one with the double crown type hair, both girls. Not siblings but have been looked after since they were born.
They were together in an outside hutch and looked well cared for and clean. The owner has 5-6 other GPs and breeds them sometimes (as opposed to a breeder with a shedful!). They are lovely to handle (I was afraid they would be a bit skittish) and squeaking along to DD's petting them. The owner said they would be fine together in this weather in an outside hutch with lots of hay, and I think we will bring it into the conservatory in the winter.
What's the best swadusty type absorbent stuff to put in as well as the hay? I know sawdust can irritate their noses..or shall I use it as they seem happy with it at the owner's house?
Just bought a hutch. I fear I am in danger of falling in love...
They sound lovely and as if they have been well cared for and handled - would love to see some pics at some stage! They should be OK outside but it is pretty windy, rainy and COLD at the moment so they will need a waterproof cover over them and to be in a sheltered position away from draughts - they really dont do damp at all.
Others will be able to advise about what to put in hutch, I only ever used newspaper and layers of hay, <very old fashioned>!! - you need to start reading broadsheets if you dont already, Sunday papers are verrrrrrrrrrrry useful for cleaning out.
I use newspaper and hay as well. My mum and her neighbours donate their papers as we don't always get one. Smoothpig enjoys the Financial Times but Scruffy only reads features
I change the hay/paper every day or two depending on how messy they've been. This time of year (not today though) they're usually out in their run so the cage stays quite clean. Everything gets a thorough steaming or hosing weekly.