Help to find guinea pigs

(18 Posts)
Raywardj Thu 22-Sep-16 23:15:59

Hi, I live in west malling, Kent and am looking into guinea pigs as first pets for my two children. I have been advised to be selective over breeder and only choose GP's that are pure-bred rather than inter-bred. I have looked online but can't seem to find any breeders in my area at all. Any advice? Many thanks.

PacificDogwod Thu 22-Sep-16 23:20:11

My piggies came from the local rescue centre - they were brothers taken from an animal hoarder's house. We got them young, their estimated age was 12 weeks.

Consider a rescue - there are surprising numbers of young GPs to be found there.
Sorry, I know nothing about breeds or breeders - our two are both black and white, one smooth, one Rex smile
They do make lovely pets, great personalities.

BestZebbie Thu 22-Sep-16 23:25:42

You need to contact someone at the national cavy club or the British cavy council, who can tell you about breeders in your area. A good place to buy show stick animals is at a cavy show, there should be lists of shows on their websites. Don't search for Guinea pig club instead, as that is about ww2 veterans getting plastic surgery!

BestZebbie Thu 22-Sep-16 23:27:06

*show stock, not stick

Essexgirlupnorth Thu 22-Sep-16 23:29:32

British Cavy club oversees people who breed to show Guinea pigs.
My sister used to buy pet Guinea pigs at shows. Animals that don't quite meet the breed standard are often sold off as pets. Though to be honest ones from rescues make just as good pets.
Avoid long hair ones as they need a lot of grooming.

fortifiedwithtea Fri 23-Sep-16 09:34:42

Our first guinea pigs were a pair of chocolate Dutch. We got them from a breeder in South Woodham Ferrers. That's probably an hours drive for you. They were lovely boys not up to show standard. Smartie had a brown haired foot and a pink patch of skin on one ear. We had to be careful not to let his ear get sunburn and clipping his one set of black claws was always trickier than his white claws. Todd was tiny, and mismarked: only had brown face markings and the rest of him was pure white. Despite his runty appearance he lived to be over 6 years old. Proves you can't go by looks. Smartie was very robust looking but passed at 4 years(8 months after having a cancerous lump removed). He died suddenly while eating his dinner.

My current girls are both over 5. One came from an independent pet shop and the other from a rescue.

I think as long as you avoid Pets At Home, one place is as good as another when it comes to guinea pigs.

Things to consider:
A baby should be at least 8 weeks old and weigh 400g at least.
Avoid pink ears, easily sun burnt
Avoid pink or red eyes, again you'll have to provide protection from sun damage.
White claws are best for first time owners, the quick is easier to see so less likely you will cut too short and make them bleed.
Go for a short coat less grooming needed.

Post pictures please when you have found your pets.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 23-Sep-16 11:10:15

I would also recommend a good standard smooth.
I'm very sad and wary when I read about breeders who mate X with Z and hope to get a Dalmation sow or A with B to get a lemon agouti sow with the intention of keeping the sow to breed.
What about the ones that don't make the 'grade' or are a boar............well read Gumtree and you'll see countless "Baby boar guinea pigs for sale. lots of colours, email for details" and a photo of 8 piglets.

My older sows were ex breeders , unfortunately they were not bred well and their piglets (who I didn't see, they were weaned away when I got them) had abnormalities and some died.

My Himmy has ruby eyes and is very sun sensitive , but as long as she has shade she'll graze when the light is duller.

Long haired are hard work
Abbys have little chisled short noses (very cute but can have eye and nose problems)
Rex and Teddy are huuuge grin and in our house very allergenic to DD.

As long as the parents are old enough to breed , the sow doesn't have too many litters or too old in breeding, they are handled and the boars leave the Mum/Sisters before they are fertile ( can be as early as 4 weeks) then your pigs should be good.

We champion Rescue Piggies , all mine are characters, mad as several boxes of frogs, judgey as only a Rescue can be (our boar is Entitled ) and we love them. grin

EastMidsGPs Fri 23-Sep-16 21:29:10

I echo if you're after pets rather than to show find your local rescue.
All but one if ours (and we needed a companion quickly whilst on holiday) have been rescue piggies.
I've usually gone for elderly lady pigs, but as others have said, you'll find youngsters in rescues and they'll soon get to know you and respond to you.
Happy hunting 🐹🐹🐹

Raywardj Sat 24-Sep-16 07:50:01

Thanks so much all, I went to my local rspca centre yesterday but they don't have any in at the moment. I will be patient!

EastMidsGPs Sat 24-Sep-16 08:18:42

Our local RSPCA mostly doesn't have them, I think they may work with our local rescues to sort of board them out.
Keep looking your piggies are not far away🐹🐹

TinyPawz Sat 24-Sep-16 08:33:37

Just curious, why avoid pets at home?

Greenbigtree Sat 24-Sep-16 08:36:26

We got ours from a specific Guinea pig and bunny rescue centre. The rspca and blue cross didn't have any!

PacificDogwod Sat 24-Sep-16 10:53:35

Tiny, P@H use GP farms and sometimes sell piglet that really are too young.

jwww Sun 25-Sep-16 19:04:33

P@H Guinea pigs come in to them no younger than 3 months and are all healthy checked on arrival and everyday from then on. But if your not comfortable with that then that's your call.
I will say however p@h have a charity called support adoption for pets which has gps that members of the public don't want anymore angry or can't care for. They'll be able to tell you each pigs backstory though.
You could also contact Anim-mates in Kent see if they have any or if they know of anywhere.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 25-Sep-16 22:31:40

jwww I've noticed the P@H piggies are bigger now but in the past I've seen very young piglets (I asked the member of staff how old they were , I guessed about 7-8 weeks going by the size of my Rescue piglet ) he said yes, they were 8 weeks.
One member of staff told me that the piglets were cute but there were even younger, cuter ones in the back, (waiting to be the next wave)

I've seen pigs with their eyes shut ( and was told Oh maybe he's sleepy ) no he's not sleepy his eyes are infected anyone could see they were weepy/gummy
Pig with obvious skin condition on his neck
Pig in a hidey that just lay there while his cagemates literally walked over him
Pig in with the males which had the very telltale shape of a pg female sad and leaving it in with fertile boars if she gives birth overnight, will mate straight away.

There's a Petshop near me which advertises for breeders of small animals.
sad to think that someone with a few guineas will think "Oh that'll make me a few quid and it'll be so nice to breed baby piggies"

My Rescues have a complete ban on breeding as part of their rehome contract.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 25-Sep-16 22:33:05

My Rescues (ie my Rescued piggies, I don't own a Rescue . Just a Herd)

AtSea1979 Sun 25-Sep-16 22:36:53

Phew I thought you'd got some and they had escaped!

Lifebeginsatforty Wed 28-Sep-16 05:48:16

I would definitely second going to a rescue for your guinea pigs. There are so many needing a good home. But if you are looking at pets for your children, please be aware that they are not cuddly and interesting in the way that dogs and cats are. You will need to be prepared for the fact that you are legally responsible for the pets, and that children often do lose interest in them, which means you taking over their care. And a healthy, well-looked after pig will live 6-8 years on average.
Unfortunately rescues are full of animals that the children have lost interest in, and where I live they often have guinea pigs from breeders who want to "downsize", i.e. the animals that weren't good enough to show, which is why personally, I would never buy from a breeder.
This forum www.theguineapigforum.co.uk has answers to all the questions you could possibly ask about owning guinea pigs. It's a pro-rescue forum, but they will help, and answer questions regardless of where your guinea pigs come from. It also has a list of really good rescues in the UK, which will help and good you to choosing the right guinea pigs for your family.
They have grouped together all the stuff they get asked most frequently.
www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/starter-kit-of-information-threads-for-new-owners.129375/

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