Help me convince DH we need some piggies

(63 Posts)
glenthebattleostrich Sat 05-Mar-16 18:27:14

We have kept rodents for the last few years. I'd love a dog or cat but work and allergies make these impossible.

Sadly we lost our last remaining gerbil today. Silver was an antisocial, grumpy sod from the off, he disliked other gerbils, people and was happiest climbing up and biting my ear and hair. He outlived all his little mates by 1 year, which was the happiest year of his life (Silver didn't do sharing!)

Now, we love having pets. They add so much to our family.

For the last couple of years I've been quite taken with having guinea pigs. DH isn't convinced. He thinks they will take to much care and suggested a house bunny (yeah, that'd be easier!)

Everything I've read about piggies makes them sound ideal. We love sociable pets and piggies are meant to be very sociable. We eat loads of fruit and veg so always have these in, live very close to a good pet shop so would be able to supply plenty of hay and piggy food and toys. There is also a really good vets in our village too.

Please help me sell getting a couple to DH, I'm hoping with your help that this time tomorrow we will have a couple of new additions to the family!

velourvoyageur Sat 05-Mar-16 20:21:34

The feeling when they do their croissant on you with a little pink leg stretched out, it's just lovely....makes you go fuzzy and warm smile or when they feel they're being neglected, because you stop fussing them for a second, and they start paying you lots of attention, being all snuffly and licking and indignantly expectant of hurried readministering of strokes and ear scratchings

They are excellent lawnmowers. And they eat veg scraps.

Every book I've read with a guin on my lap has teeth marks on the bottom corners though. Ok so not such a positive perhaps. But they have Presence.

They tell you when they're going to pee, they're very good about that, either stampy dance or tugging at your sleeve (best to have a sleeve available).

My mum's current pig (I sadly haven't got one, bloody halls!) is a cheeky little chap and is starting to explore further and further into the house grin he was caught in the living room last time I heard, which is quite a trek for little legs. He's only supposed to explore the kitchen. My mum's trying ever so hard to train him and my dad's just undermining her & encouraging him all the way grin

I hope you get them! photos please wink

velourvoyageur Sat 05-Mar-16 20:26:04

oh and I'm sorry about Silver, hope you're all ok!

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Sat 05-Mar-16 20:29:16

I have a house bunny. She's no trouble. What's putting you off?

RandomMess Sat 05-Mar-16 20:31:46

Oh you need a little troop of pigggies, they are just so sociable and love snuggles!

megletthesecond Sat 05-Mar-16 20:32:12

They're the best little lawn mowers.

If you can keep them in the house they become quite social and will start wheeking when they hear the rustle of a salad packet.

Easy to bathe. Mine used to stand at the other end of the bath while I showered and I'd give them a quick lather and rinse.

Piggy pee and poo is inoffensive. (I love dogs but no way would I ever get one because of the dog mess!).

Don't get a rabbit, they're much harder work.

glenthebattleostrich Sat 05-Mar-16 21:10:26

Ooh thanks for the replies.

Velour those piggies sound like mini versions of my old Germany shepherd so I'm definitely sold. And I love the idea of little piggies in the shower.

They would definitely be house pets, to many foxes and birds of prey nearby.

DH is pulling faces as I tell him all the cute things but he's agree to go to the pet shop and talk to the lady there. Is it wrong to prime the 5 year old to cry so I get my own way??

megletthesecond Sat 05-Mar-16 21:21:54

Is he a bit of a handyman at all? If he is you could tempt him with the clever piggy homes on pinterest.

EmbroideryQueen Sat 05-Mar-16 21:28:15

They are not really beginners pets (not to say you're a 'beginner', but you get my point). They are Exotics with somewhat complex needs and they tend to get ill more than some other small animals such as rabbits. Also, finding a good exotics vet is difficult and expensive.... For 2 piggies you'd be talking in the range of £1-2k a year in vets bills if you are seeing someone good and get them treated promptly. Also, they are not suited to being kept outdoors in the UK climate for more than about 4 months of the year (much as Pets At Home might like you to believe they can be!) Lovely as they are, I'd say a couple of rabbits would make a better kids pet!

EastMidsGPs Sat 05-Mar-16 21:58:49

Get a couple if piggies 😊 they are rather dim but in an endearing way . Its such fun to watch their different personalities develop and the more time you spend with them and socialise with them the more fun they are. They will rule the roost and you'll become a willing slave to them but the rewards are 10 fold.
I've never spent lots if money at the vets and i usually get rescue piggies often with u known back stories. They most i've spent for one illness was £300 but i wouldn't do that now as the outlook was never going to be good. You have to be realistic like i am sure you were with the gerbils.
I'd never had pets before my first piggies, i was very ill for 2 years and my life was on hold with little to interest me. OH suggested piggies and their uncomplicated view of life ... 'give me food, cuddles and things to stop me getting bored' and their absolute joy at when running around gave me back my zest.
Read the various thread on here see how bonkers both piggies and piggy owners are and you will be hooked 😊🐹🐹🐾🐾

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 06-Mar-16 01:00:37

see how bonkers both piggies and piggy owners are

grin very true, (I can't even claim to be offended)

You should be aware if there are allergies abound, it's one of the main causes of piggies needing rehomed (allergies and loss of childrens' interest)

My DD is fine with our smooths and Abbys but allergic to Rex (rough coated) and even more allergic to Teddy fur.

At the moment we have GP4/GP5/GP6 (a smooth, a crested smooth and a Teddy) . Cuddling the Teddy brings her out in a rash within a minute.

They are quite hard work I'd say. They are more vunerable than bigger animals like rabbits and being floor dwellers they are literally sitting in their own muck. I read about piggies cages being cleaned weekly, ours will saturate their bedding in a day.I have never met animals that pooh/pee so much for their bodyweight.

So we clean daily (at the moment indoor night/ Pighouse day)
That means hay/newspaper/ something absorbant like Megazorb, paper shreddings, wood litter.

They have their dietry needs. But I get admiring glances at my supermarket trolley and asked "How do you cook this"? when I bought Cavelo nero. I don't, I said, my guineas eat it raw. 'Oh'
I should've said ' Oh, smoothie. Yum'

Keeping them healthy and happy helps keep them away from the vet though .
Tonight DD and I cuddled the piggies while Ant & Dec were on.
Happiness is a piggie cuddled up in your cardi grin

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 06-Mar-16 01:04:38

It's good to have DH 100% on board. My DH isn't as mad about the guineas as DD and I , but he'll hold a piggie, phone me up from the supermarket to ask if they need anything. And if I'm away with the DC, he will take on the Pig Husbandry.

If I'm ill, DD will do more (we share the pigs) but DH will help her.

FernieB Sun 06-Mar-16 06:30:59

Piggies are much easier than rabbits (I have both). I've had pigs nearly five years now and I have a very good exotics vet. On average the pigs cost no more than £60 per year in vets bills and that's including the year of the X-rays under anaesthetic and the neutering last year. Mine are indoor pigs and have a very large cage in the utility room. They are rarely sick, but if they are can go downhill fast. In winter they get a daily run on an old blanket in the kitchen. In summer they're outside mowing the lawn in their run. The main expense is hay and veg. They're great for kids as they'll sit beautifully on laps and chatter away happily.

The house bunny is also rarely ill, but he does need annual vaccinations. Rabbits are also exotics so a good vet is essential. They also need neutering for health reasons and it also improves behaviour. The house also has to be rabbit proof - no cables lying about, no carpets that you don't mind being 'dug up' or skirting boards/furniture/doors you don't mind being chewed. Most can be litter trained but this can be hard work so initially you could have poop and brown wee stains everywhere. They generally don't like being held but are content for you to sit near them and stroke them. No rabbit should be confined to a cage or hutch all the time. They need a huge amount of space. The cages sold in most pet shops are not big enough. Like piggies, you'd need to get two as they need company of their own kind. Then there's the moulting. With a house bunny, the fluff can get everywhere.

Bear in mind that rabbits and piggies live up to 6 years so it's a longer term investment and think about what you'd do with them if you go away.

EastMidsGPs Sun 06-Mar-16 08:45:05

Nothing brightens your day like a piggie wheek wheek wheeking when they hear you approach .. smilesmile and they are sitting waiting for you!

glenthebattleostrich Sun 06-Mar-16 10:07:17

We are off to the pet shop today.

DH is happily suggesting names.

The lady who runs our local pet shop is very experienced with exotic animals. She refuses to sell animals to inexperienced owners. We know her quite well as all our gerbil stuff came from there. I'll get her vets details, though a friend says our vet in the village has a partner who's good with small animals. The petshop also does boarding for holidays.

The piggies will live in the kitchen. They can play in the garden in summer but will be indoor pets.

We have a pretty good supermarket close to the pet shop so can get veggies, and we always have loads of carrots and apples in an emergency! And we will add more to the order for tomorrow smile

So my list is:

Good cage / house
Hay
Bedding
Wood litter
Food
Veggies (with list of vitamin c)
Toys

What else do I need? Is it best getting 2 boys? Obviously not a mixed pair!

Very excited now smile

RandomMess Sun 06-Mar-16 11:08:12

My childhood g-pigs rarely ever went to the vets despite spending more time living outside than was appropriate (ignorance I'm afraid).

I would also get a very good outside run with weather proof super snug hutch/shelter so they can go outside during the day for a few hours - when you around if foxes are an issue. I think daily exercises even in the cooler months outside probably is good for them - no point when it's raining!!!

We used old towels folded up for them to sit on when they were on our laps or I've had friends more recently use a small pet bed. Helps catch the poops and is more secure for young children handling them.

I'm now very allergic to the hay so cuddling a g-pig will trigger my allergies but it's the hay sad

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 06-Mar-16 11:38:47

You will need a big enough cage (and that means minimum 2'x4' for 2 piggies, if you are getting boars, bigger is better . There are 2'x5' cages or if you want bigger, C&C cages are good.

There are loads of GP Food Threads on here, there are some foods they cannot have. Some that you need to limit (I'll bump them for you)

Make sure you get a same sex pair (I've had the 'mistakes' in the past , resulting in piglets)

If you choose a pair today, maybe get the owner to seperate them from the group and let them have some quiet time together just the two of them (a cage in the back of the shop) while you get everything ready for them.

Cage
Outdoor run (for warmer weather)
Bowl
The same food as they are eating to continue (though you might want to change this . They need pellets not the muesli type)
Tons of newspaper
Hay to eat and bedding
Water bottle
Hidey space/igloo/box (cut 2 doors, no staples or tape)

I don't use sawdust or shavings. Indoors mine have a thick layer of wood pellets (rodent safe cat litter) , newspaper, a fleece or shredded loo roll tubes/card.

They don't smell, if they are kept clean. The hay does.
They are very shy to begin with then take their Brave Pills and go into full on chatter mode.

I had Mothers Day breakfast with 3 piggies today grin

RandomMess Sun 06-Mar-16 12:06:07

Piglets are adorable though, my mummy pig was happy to let me handle her babies from being a few hours old grin I spent hours every day with my piggies!

EastMidsGPs Sun 06-Mar-16 12:34:10

Oh dear how thick am i ??? Until i read 70s mention of allergies i had not linked my being itchy when Mollie tries to snuggle into my neck with her thick fur shock no such problem with Sadie's soft fur - she just sheds white hairs everywhere smile

glenthebattleostrich Sun 06-Mar-16 13:39:11

My boys are home.

They are 5 months old and had been returned because of allergies. They looked very sad. The lady said that they'd not been handled much but they are happily exploring their new cage.

Han is big and grey and chewie is happily munching a carrot.

megletthesecond Sun 06-Mar-16 14:13:42

random over 30 years all my piggies had some outdoor time, they'd even have 15 mins outside on snow days. The run had a snuggly raised hutch with a bedroom I used to stuff with hay. They'd even have a quick nibble if I'd brushed snow away to clear a patch of grass.

RandomMess Sun 06-Mar-16 14:17:25

Mine lived outside all year around blush they had a home built custom built hutch tbf - draught free wind and weather proof they only came in overnight in the harsh bits of winter. Had free access to their run at all times - when it was wet they would pull their tummies up out of dampness way to shuttle over the grass to where they wanted to graze!

Lived to ripe ages all things considered!

glenthebattleostrich Sun 06-Mar-16 15:26:38

My baby boys live inside. They will be allowed into the garden to play though.

DH refused to let me get harnesses to take them for little walks. He refuses to be married to crazy pig lady.

I'm already besotted. DD decided we can't call them after star wars characters so they are now Fred and George. Fred likes carrots and cuddles. He sat chirping until he was picked up then snuggled in. George is a little more stand offish at the minute. I did try to leave them to settle but Fred was having none of it.

I have a little brush and some shampoo as they have quite long hair which needs a little brush, it doesn't look like it's been done for a bit. Not matted but not great.

We are also planning a trip to the vet to give them a once over this week, just to be on the safe side.

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Sun 06-Mar-16 15:53:27

...

EastMidsGPs Sun 06-Mar-16 16:33:48

Oh my Glen ... i am in love💖💖

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