Considering 2 guinea pigs...please can you advise on the basics?

(5 Posts)
keeponkeepinon Sat 29-Oct-16 16:00:56

I'm very wary of going ahead without the full picture so please could you advise me of the advantages and disadvantages of having 2 guinea pigs?
Got 3 dc 9 7 and 2 and a little dog.
Have a sheltered spot for a hutch outside or could even go in the playhouse, though it might be a bit dark. And I'd still be concerned about them getting cold in the winter.
How easy or difficult are they to keep? How often should they be cleaned out and what's the easiest possible way to do it? Best type of hutch or cage? Plastic or wood?
Give it to me, good and bad, kids would love it but I am wary of taking on another responsibility and want to be very informed before we take the step!

miserablesod Sat 29-Oct-16 16:13:09

I think its always best to have at least two because they are social animals. We are going for two girls.

Spendymcspendy Sat 29-Oct-16 16:26:14

Guineapigs make lovely pets and are relatively easy to look after smile I would suggest a hutch to keep them in, wood is fine. They would really benefit from having a run so they could get some exercise too. Do you have a garden with grass?

Cleaning out is easy peasy and shouldn't take you too long plus the kids can help! We often used a newspaper base layer, with wood shavings on top and then in the bed area lots of hay. I would clean out the corners where my piggies tended to use as a toilet every day/other day and then do a full clean out once a week, so replace the newspaper, saw dust and hay bedding. You can get hutches that have a pull put floor which makes them even easier to clean! You can also buy piggy friendly disinfectant from petshops when you need to do a deep clean.

As guineapigs are prey animals it is good to give them lots of places to hide, you can buy all sorts of tubes and hides from pet shops to keep them happy- some are made to be gnaw-able so they will likely chew on things you give them!

Food wise I would suggest a guineapig pellet food, it is a complete diet perfect for them. The foods that are made up of lots of different coloured bits are not the best as piggies will pick out the bits they like and leave the rest! hay is also vital for them. You can supplement their diet with fresh fruit and veg (but check online as some can play havoc with their digestion!)

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 31-Oct-16 19:56:56

I kept guineas from when I was 9 till I was 22 (many years ago)
When my own DD was 9yo we got the "I want a pet" line.
So (as a fan of guineas) we got GP1/GP2 a pair of rescue boars (brothers)

Along the way, we've had piggies come and go, and currantly have GP4,GP5 (two sows) their husband GP6 (neutered boar) and GP7,GP8 (two sows).
I had planned to bond them. They have scuppered this by not getting on.

Boars are snuggly great love sponges but need loads of room and no matter how well they get along, you need to offer them space to get out of each others faces if they want.

Sows (IMO) are messier, pee more but smell a bit less (though they don't smell bad, the hay is the main thing)

They need hay (lots) . You can keep them outside or inside (we do both, ours have indoor night cages in winter) and live in a converted wooden Playhouse.

Ours only go out if we let them .Attatched runs sound good but you'd need to keep moving them, they can scalp a patch of lawn grin. They don't cope with damp so unlike rabbits, aren't suited to go out all weathers.

They are also vunerable to foxes,cats,birds of prey so need protected.

Wood is more insulating but plastic is easier to clean.
I have a rabbit hutch and a plastic trunk (the sort for storing cushions) with doors cut so they can get out into their floorspace (mine are in a 3+2 grouping)
Indoors, I have a 4x2 cage (plastic with bars) and some C&C grids (my trio will needs about 5x2 or 5x3) which I'll line with cardboard.
They come in for Guy Fawkes weekend because of the noise then I play it by ear for winter.

Consider what you'll do for holidays - either someone to come in to check,feed, clean or Small Animal Boarding.
And source a Cavy Savvy Vet, you probably won't need one but it's good to know where they are (you might need to travel for a good vet)

If you decide on piggies you'll be rewarded by the chattiest , friendliest, most greedy little rodenty types, ever grin

Rescues are full of piggies looking for new homes, they'll match you up with ones that will suit you and will give you advice and back up.
All ours are Rescues, we love them .

keeponkeepinon Wed 02-Nov-16 18:03:08

Thanks, been thinking very carefully about it and we may go ahead. Seen lots of hutches on ebay, do you think these are OK? There were some stacked with a little ramp, do you think their little legs could get up there? They seem to have pull out trays which might be quite useful for cleaning, especially if you wanted to take it out and really scrub it and let it dry in the sunshine.

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