There are lots of new piggies on Small Pets- Welcome :)

(94 Posts)
70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 07-May-16 18:45:51

Of course we need/want to see Pigtures of the new arrivals ('tis The Law) wink

And feel free to ask any questions and somewhere amongst the collective powers of Small Pets/ Super Furry Animals, there will be answers.

There are loads of food threads. What they can/cannot eat. How often.
Bedding- what's good/what isn't.

How to cut their pesky claws
How to bath them and tell the tale

Weird things about sows . They go into season. They can pee out the back grin at a 90 degree angle. They can get various cysts and mammary ,ovarian or uterine growths.

Weird things about boars. They are space greedy. They can get impaction. They will dominance mount a male cagemate. Grease glands. Boar Glue.

Take time to get to know them.
Their noises. What do they mean?
What are they like when they're well, you'll pick up quicker when they're ill. They can do the Well-To-Dead very quickly sad

What do they need in Winter? In Summer?

Do you know the nearest Guinea-Savvy vet? You hopefully will never need one, but in case you do.

Weigh them. Keep a note. Every week if you can. Often weight loss is one of the first signs of illness.

Feel their coars and bodies. My girl has a lump under her armpit, hasn't changed , we monitor it.

Love them. They are shy. They are prey.
They will pee you, but 99% of the time they'll let you know, you have to read the signs. Ours 'dance' backwards , that's our cue.

They are the most vunerable, easy going, good tempered animals. Even my piggie who is feisty (mine are all Rescues) isn't mean but she's like a spring.

They thrive on routine. If breakfast is 8am, it's 8am. They will happily wheek if the fridge door opens or you have a bag of crisps.

They are lucky to be with you. There are 10000s in Rescue but also 10000s on gumtree who are waiting to be "got rid of" because The Kids Lost Interest/I Want a Puppy/ I Haven't Got Time.
You though, are lucky to have the unending love of these little animals who WILL take over your life.
For the next few years , if you are lucky, 8-9 years.

froubylou Sat 07-May-16 18:50:58

Thank you for this thread! Am a new owner and haven't had piggies since I was a kid.

Following for tips.

My 2 are called Rubble and Trevor. Trevor is tiny (not much bigger than a small hamster laSt week) and was rescued by my nephew from an auction. Now I have him.

Rubble is 8 weeks old on Monday and bought from a farm who breeds them as a sideline. He was twice Trevors size at the start of the week but tiny trev is catching him up!

I can't upload photos for some reason. Just sticks on the whirrey thing and never seems to go through.

EastMidsGPs Sat 07-May-16 20:28:34

Great to hear of lots of lovely new pigs settling into new homes and training new human slaves smile
Today Mollie and Sadie have had a wonderful time out mowing and eating fresh dandelions .. They're tired now and sleepy. Look so sweet cuddled up together. But then looks deceive wink

Sleepingbunnies Sat 07-May-16 20:32:48

Any excuse to show pigtures! smile

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 07-May-16 20:58:04

Lovely photo of the piggies grazing sleeping .

Ours have been out in the run the past few days, the boar has been rumbly , we reckon the ladies were in season last week.
The sows both has grubby bums so had a quick bum dip and shampoo to freshen them up (combo of pee and Bert we reckon envy <-- vom), then a quick Xeno 450 for them all (as they were already in a bad mood, so nothing to lose we thought)

We're having problems with Resident Mr Foxie visiting, last week it was sitting there by the run, bold as fecking brass angry
I yelled like a fishwife at it , GP6 (our boar) just sat there in the run, in the corner, staring back at it.
I usually arm myself with fallen pears and got to be a pretty good aim to disperse them. (I'm not a Wildlife Harmer BTW, I aim to hit something near them not the fox itself).

froubylou Sat 07-May-16 21:13:24

Can I ask a question? How, why and when do you bath them? Lady we got Rubble from said he had been bathed and flea treated. Little Trevor probably hasn't. I had a quick run through his coat and couldn't see anything.

Do you need special gp shampoo?

Also while I am here I have seen threads mention vitamin c supplements? What do I buy and what is the best way to administer it?

And is there any fruit/veg/salad that is off limits?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 07-May-16 21:38:33

Gorgeous Guineas website is excellent for shampoos and creams. They also have a photo section of skin problems.

I used Cedar and Lemongrass (it was our 'bonding' shampoo when our piggies got married, our sows were bonded with our GP3 (boar) then when he died, we got GP6 a few months later)

Sometimes when boars get the hump, a bath can bond them, they get angry with you instead of each other grin
Trevor is too young to wash unless you use a MiniPig (under 12 weeks) shampoo. When we got GP3 (Rescue piglet) he'd been washed and vet checked.

I only washed the ladies because I don't want flies taking an interest in their grubby bums. The boar was fine.

I don't give VitC as a supplement because mine don't drink water (even though it's on offer, daily) . It can alter the taste,so they might refuse it, Vit C degenerates very quickly. The pellets have Vit C and their veg is VitC rich.
If I have an unwell pig, I dissolve Vit C tablets and syringe feed.
(I need to do anothe GP first aid kit thread I reckon)

Foods to avoid-

in the garden:buttercups,daisy,bulbs,ivy,foxgloves,yew

in fresh food- any meat/fish/dairy/eggs/nuts/seeds(choking risk)

potato+peel, onion, avocado, iceberg, spring onions,mushrooms

go easy on dark green veg, fruit (needs to be cutted up grin) celery needs cut so it's not stringey.

I give mine (I have three adult lardy hogs) shallow metal dog bowls.

Pellets at night (I use Excell), load of hay (I clean every night)
4-5 veg .
Something like a sweetcorn cobbette ( half a cob) , parsley,mint, carrot, some leaf- romaine,spinach,red topped cos lettuce.

If DD has watermelon she leaves the rind.
In summer they like cucumber.
Peppers (but they don't like green)

I love Waitrose ,if I'm near one. They do the best reduced veg section. grin I buy exotic veg (for my Exotic Guineas) . If they don't like it, I haven't lost much.

I can't think of much mine don't eat TBH. They don't like parsnip or carrot peel. Lambs lettuce.
Kale gets eaten if there's nothing else and they're in serious danger of wasting away. (As IF )

froubylou Sat 07-May-16 22:04:17

Thanks for that. I will wait until Trevor is older before I bath them then.

They love peppers I have noticed. And cucumber too. I have been topping their food bowl up (gp muesli) every night but they have half a bowl left each day. Should they alway have access to food? Have been doing that plus a bit of carrot, apple, cucumber, or celery each day. We had a lettuce today so I gave them the bottom bit but it definitely wasn't iceberg. Kos maybe?

Is there any reason other than stopping them fighting to cut up fruit?

Sorry for all the questions. I like to do things right and our animals are pretty important to us. Have had horses for 30 years so know my stuff with them and am confident with the dog but small animals are new to me as an adult.

Had a menagerie growing up but it's different when you are the responsible adult!

MsMermaid Sat 07-May-16 22:30:54

Here are my little piggies, Ginger and Ninja. They are sisters, 7weeks old, from a farm park we visit regularly. We know the farm well and know they have been really well treated (not quite as spoilt as they will be here).

They are very nervous, but are getting more used to us being around. They will now accept being handfed, and dh managed to pick them up without too much angry squeaking today.

They love carrot, cabbage, grass and dandelion leaves (from next door's garden because we don't have a lawn, yet), but don't like red pepper, cucumber or tomatoes.

Ours love burrowing under the fleece blanket and spend most of the time hidden under there.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 07-May-16 22:31:40

Fruit like apples is quite acidic and can make their mouths sore so if you give them a small bit, they don't irritate their lip.
And most boars like to grab their food and scoot off with it. I only give one grape or 2-3 blueberries, so if the bolshy one runs off with it, the other one does without.
Fruit is high in sugar, so it's a treat,
Mine like banana too.

I always think of my pigs as being like mini horses, they need to eat fairly constantly (though horses don't eat their pooh grin ) , unlimited hay .
Careful with grass to begin with (little fat ponies get laminitus from rich grass. Piggies can get bloat and loose bowels)
Piggies like horses can't vomit.
They get up to no good if they have no food, one of the biggest problems with boars if is they don't have enough space , or their bowls are too close.
It's always best to have a bit of leftover food (dry) than have them fighting.

Eating wears their teeth down evenly, especially hay
And if they go without food for even as shrt a time as 7-8 hours, they can get gut stasis and organ failure.

My piggies are still sleeping in hay but when it gets warmer, I'll swap the hay for card shreddings, and put their hay in a rack to pull at, and loo roll tubes to pull out . Otherwise they overheat.

My DD wanted a pet when she was 9 (she's 14 soon) , I had piggies from 9-22.
She wanted a boar, so we got brothers GP1 and GP2.
We've have GP3 (boar) GP4 and GP5 (ex breeding sows) and now GP6 (boar) who replaced GP3.

Boars are luffley and snuggly. Our GP1/GP2 weren't neutered, but GP3 and GP6 lived with the sows so they were.
I eyeball the piggies on Gumtree and think you could live in my Pighouse but we have a nice boar/sow/sow set up so I don't want to upset this.
And DH would go ballistic!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 07-May-16 22:41:00

MsMermaid they are amazing colours , and it doesn't take long for their individual personalities to show through.
They will be nervous to begin with, and even now our lazy hogs don't take kindly to being caught.
They like to hide somewhere, being out in the open isn't a comfortable option for them (but they don't hold with digging like rabbits do, not with their delicate little paws)
Appeal to their bellies, that wins them round.
You can grow herbs in pots, or buy growing herbs or living salads.
Our GP6 (boar) does that funny 'planking' thing that stroppy toddlers do. When he's picked up, inside of curling slightly, he pokes his nose out and makes his back straight while he sticks his legs out like he's diving grin

froubylou Sun 08-May-16 06:31:24

Thanks very much 70 is a limit, all that information is really useful. I will treat them like a little pony feed wise. I have herbs in tubs so they can have those as well as fruit as a treat and veg/salad as a hard feed.

EastMidsGPs Sun 08-May-16 07:24:43

Oh the chance to speak at length about piggies!
Only ever had mainly rescued sows. Had them since 1999 when getting over 2 years of serious illness and friend suggested guinea pigs. Have never had them before but quickly hooked.
Current pair would kill for parsley, cucumber and celery. They love cabbage, green grapes - never red, lettuce, kale, and melon. Carrots are on the list BUT must be from the farm shop and notba supermarket.
Nuggets have to be the ones with mint tonaid digestion - oddly they won't eat mint hmm - and not the other nuggets.

EastMidsGPs Sun 08-May-16 07:27:14

Sadie the 1 year old on the left. Mollie 4 and a quarter on the right. Or fat and fatter.
Taken yesterday.

froubylou Sun 08-May-16 08:00:50

This is Trevor.

froubylou Sun 08-May-16 08:03:01

Yay it worked! This is Rubble.

EastMidsGPs Sun 08-May-16 08:33:30

Lovely piggies and the cuteist little boy smile
Your piggies will get to know their names and generally respond to them. Although (glares at S) Sadie chooses not to ...we like to think that as we had to find her in a hurry, when on holiday last year, she has a Norfolk accent and doesn't speak East Midlands .. Although it is more likely she just doesn't like her name hmm

Fatrascals Sun 08-May-16 09:16:52

Yay- is thread might be just what I need.
We are about to get our first pair of pigs and I'm very excited but also need as much info as possible!

SisterViktorine Sun 08-May-16 13:15:49

Pickle and Peanut checking in!

Been with us about a month.

SisterViktorine Sun 08-May-16 13:29:30

Oh... I LOVE em!!

EastMidsGPs Sun 08-May-16 18:29:25

Don't you just luvvvvvvve their twitchy little noses smile
M & S have just been put to bed after a day out on grass ... DH put the sunshade up over them .. Didn't ask if I needed any shade hmm and cool towels over their run .. Spoilt to death they are!!
I've just had a look at them and they're stretched out snoozing. Not a bad life eh smilesmile

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 08-May-16 18:43:50

I love guinea-pigs mouths when they look up at you, their mouth slightly open in a " O " shape , like they've just had the drinking straw pulled out grin

My DH has been busy today East , we bought a rabbit hutch from Gumtree (for the piggies to have in their outdoor run) , he's been all round it, tightening up the screws, measuring to see how much height adjustment to fit in the run.
DD has cleaned and used the VirkonS . Then she's going to paint it.

The rodenty ones are lardying in the run today, how much pooh these animals produce in their tunnel [sigh]

Trevor'n'Rubble and Peanut'n'Pickle are gorgeous - welcome New Piggies.

Sadie'n'Mollie are beautifully shaped , pigs are meant to be smoothly rounded (so I'm told by the piggies). It's a worry when they lose weight in older age (our GP1 went a bit scrawny and rat like in his latter weeks but ate right up to the last minute) smile

glenthebattleostrich Sun 08-May-16 18:56:04

Oh hello. Fred and George have been with us since mothers day. They are gorgeous fur balls!

They hate being caught and tell me off. If George isn't in the mood I get nibbled but mostly he loves snuggling under chin while Fred likes to sit on my shoulder and snuggle into hair.

They are very funny and have a bit of a foot fetish and like to sneak up and lick feet!

They adore kale and would sell their cage mate for an extra bit.

We tried them outside this week but they were not impressed, they are definitely indoor boys. They wouldn't entertain eating food that hasn't been cut and washed.

SisterViktorine Sun 08-May-16 19:15:47

They wouldn't entertain eating food that hasn't been cut and washed.

I have discovered this. The rabbits liked their food straight out of the field. Pigs seem to prefer cutted up and laid out like on Masterchef. grin

FernieB Sun 08-May-16 20:15:02

Loving all the pigturesgrin. Some very cute new additions to the SFA herd. My boys don't require their food to be Masterchef arranged but do have certain expectations - kale must be sprinkled on top as a garnish and tomatoes must be left whole for a quick game of football before eating (Gingerpig only as Scruffypig only eats green food).

Mine have had a lovely day outside in their run. They have an old towel down in a small corner of it with their igloos on top so that Scruffy (who's feeling his age) has a cosy place to curl up. Gingerpig likes to mow under the towel and trapped himself in an igloo still under the towel. Couldn't reverse, couldn't turn round and no way of going forward confused.

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