where did you buy/get your guinea pigs from

(61 Posts)
andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 02:00:13

Hi we are looking at getting two little piggies and just wanted to know where people got them from and would you say boys or girls thanks

BonkeyMollocks Sun 20-Jan-13 02:15:16

BigPig came from a shop.
Little a few weeks later came.from a breeder.

I will never buy front shop again! Advice was crap . Breeder? I could.not shut her up! grin

However - i would go to a rescue next time without a doubt!

Boys v Girls?

I have two boys and tbh I wish i had got girls because i think they must be eaiser.
I have had trouble with fighting with my two and they.now live separately side by side.
They have been.more stress than i bargained for .... however they are the most loving , full if character, funniest animals and u would.nite ever be without them now!
BigPig is my chunky 'i won't let you stroke.me.until im sat on your neck' boy, who hates to be picked up, loves Emmerdale, likes to pee down my top, and likes to sleep!

LittlePig ...well LittlePig just has a screw loose somewhere. grin . He sings, escapes, has to be rescued from behind washing machines, chews everything,digs at water and then flops down on my lap for a snooze --but only after he has licked.my hand clean just in case of remaining parsley juice.

I think they are happy and i am pleased that i can give them a good home when they may not have had such a good outcome (especially BigPig who was sold to.me.alone under advice if shop ) . I fear my chunk would have ended uo at the bottom if a garden on his tod sad

I loves my boys grin

Shesparkles Sun 20-Jan-13 02:18:44

We had 2 girls, twice, from a breeder. She gave us loads of advice and her whole huge garden was turned over to piggies-she bred some but kept loads. She used to board our girls when we went on holiday!
I'd definitely recommend a breeder over a shop, at least they stand some chance of having had some human contact and interaction

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 02:32:01

Thank you will look for a breeder nearer the time or a rescue we went to pets at home today and I nearly cried at all the poor little animals in the adoption center I wanted to home them all lots of piggies and bunnys.

I'd say it depends as well on what age you are after too.
When I got my first era of GPs (when I was 9yo I got my pig up till I was 22 yo) Ours were Petshop (there were no rescues really) some were home grown efforts because our 2 sows ,erm, weren't.
One was already pg when I bought her.

My DD , just over a year ago, decided she wanted "a pet". She was thinking of hamsters (but I persuaded her to Guinea-Pigdom).
She wanted a boar.

I looked on some local rescue websites and found a local one (it was actually Rabbits but I thought they are bound to have guinea-pigs sent there too).
We reserved two one year olds. Got the accomodation finalised . And here they are.

So if you want adults- go rescue. They might have some young or babies if they've been given a pg sow. But there might be a waiting list if people want a tiny boar to match up.

If you want baby pigs, try a breeder. You'll see the parent hogs. You can get loads of advice.
Just be doubly doubly sure that they sex them correctly (not always 100% though).

Don't go to Pets @ Home- I want the Adoption boars too blush "Oh you could live in my Pighouse couldn't you" But my boars wouldn't take kindly.

And Gumtree/Pre-Loved "I want a good loving home for my family guinea. Much loved pet" (I only want £80 for him and his tiny cage). So it's the money, not the home really.

Boars or sows?
My DDs boar is a great big bolshy hunk of love. GP2 is quieter and cuddly.
But they need more space and a bit more understanding when they hit the teens (about 6 months). Mine had to seperate last winter (inside at night) fine in their Pighouse by day.
This year, we put them together but in a quiet room to sleep. And so far, so good.
And dare I say it. They're a bit whiffier. You need to clean them daily very often grin

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 12:21:09

Thanks for all your advice we have already bought them a very large double Hutch and a big c and c cage so I guess I will see which little pigs pick us nearer the time looking in April for my daughters birthday, we already have a bunny and hamster fish and dog so animals are not new to us just guineas we haven't had before smile

It's January, you've bought the hutch and are doing the research. A fiver says you'll have guinea pigs before April grin. This could almost be my story.

It was February. I had bought the book on how to look after guineas and asked at most local pet shop for names of good breeders. The intension was to just look at babies that would be ready for their forever home at Easter. But Old Boy nosey from the start had his face up the front of his hutch very curious to see what was going on. DD1 spotted him and that it, he had to come home he was 9 weeks old. We picked another of his litter brothers and collected them the next day after hastily buying a hutch.

The breeder did give us loads of advice. Boars do have big personalities but that does mean they can have big bust ups too.

When we lost OB's brother, we got 2 sows from a pet shop. They are not related, and roughly 4 months when we got them. They had been kept in a large pen and were used to each other. We got them because OB was getting depressed without his brother. Pairing up a lone boar can be done but not always successful or easy.

Guinea pigs are lovely rewarding pets. Let us know when you've found your piggies smile.

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 13:22:10

Ha ha I know yes but the Hutch was half price in the sale and the c and c cage was a ebay bargain.I would get them now but we are away twice in march so don't really want to leave them with people when they are so new to us so I will try to hang on smile

guineapiglet Sun 20-Jan-13 15:12:34

How exciting! And good for you for planning ahead and getting them well equipped, I am sure they will find you! Don't know where you are, but do try the local guinea rescues if you can, or animal sanctuaries, breeders can often be unscruplous and exploit the poor hardworking sows into constant breeding. You could also put the word out to your local vets, who will be in the know about pregnant sows possibly, so you can get them direct. There is a wonderful guinea rescue near us and the owners are very knowledgeable...
Looking forward to hearing about them when you get them, and keep your eye on these threads as there is always brilliant advice and help, guinea owners are a nice type of people!!!!!smile

guineapiglet Sun 20-Jan-13 15:14:00

PS read * fortified*s comment above, told you the guineas choose us and not the other way around!

BonkeyMollocks Sun 20-Jan-13 15:29:41

I chose Bigpig because if his color blush it was it of him and a brown huge thing.
Assistant.gore them both out. BigPig just gave me a look and then a nibble and that what it.

LittlePig was chosen by BigPig. I had nowt to do with it!
There was at least 10 babies in that pen and two older ones. BigPig chose the nutter . hmm
Or maybe i got conned shock . Maybe the breeder just knew that get was goingvto be a fluffy devil and wanted rid....wink

BonkeyMollocks Sun 20-Jan-13 15:30:42

Blame the phone for the fact that's un readable.

fridayfreedom Sun 20-Jan-13 15:40:23

We got ours from the local rescue. Just went to look...hmmmm.
DD wanted a ginger one so we ended up with big pig, a huge lardy boy with attitude and his sidekick Gary, who is more nervy and sits on your shoulder.
Have had girls before but the boys have more character despite their smelly bits!!!

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 15:46:49

We are in the stockport area and will take our time to find the right pigs we looked at loads of dogs before we picked ours (he picked us ) loads of hamsters and he is adorable as for the bunny she is lovely but my what a grump but that's just her smile
Will be back for advice when we get them !

coldinthesun Sun 20-Jan-13 15:49:16

Quick tip about choosing a piggie.

Where ever you decide to get them, I would tend to look for ones which show interest in humans if possible. Pigs that aren't cowering in a corner and look up at you a good bet. They will still be scared, but the ones that are least scared from the word go tend to be easier to win the trust of. And IME they've also tended to be the ones with the biggest personalities.

I much prefer boys. They are sadly demanded a lot less, but have bolder and bigger personalities. I've also found that the boys were've had have been considerably more tidy than girls. They had a poo pile and stick to it. Loads easier to clean. Whereas the girls just go anywhere. I have no clue why.

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 15:49:57

Friday do you just have one? I always hear that boys fight so isn't one boy a good idea seeing as a lot have to be split up ? Prob will get two girls but thought I would ask.

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 15:51:16

Sorry just re read you have two !

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 16:02:06

ColdintheSun ,bonkey and Friday have your boys always got on ? My dog and hamster are boys so I prob would have gone for boys but don't fancy the fighting.

coldinthesun Sun 20-Jan-13 16:04:48

You CAN get two boys living together.

They do not ALWAYS fight, and this myth is why they are less wanted by owners.

We've had some live together and be brilliant. Others haven't got on and we've had to separate - which hasn't been too much of an issue with using a C&C set up. They still can see each other and have interaction. Thus they don't get lonely nor do they try and kill each other.

They really need to be young when they are placed together; the problems come when they hit maturity as they fight for dominance after that. If dominance is established before that point, they don't have the same problems. If you are going to get some at a rescue, they may already paired as they are older and this may be less of a risk than getting younger ones who are still to go through that stage.

The biggest thing with successfully paired boys is to make sure they have space. Lots of it. It means you are less likely to have problems in the future (that and not having girls within smelling distance).

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 16:08:16

Well our Hutch can be split into two different separate levels and the c and c can be split in half so i guess we will just pick the piggys that pick us.

coldinthesun Sun 20-Jan-13 16:08:32

I think my hit ratio on boys getting on has been about 50 - 50.

I'd say, that in each case its worked there has been a very boisterous one and a very placid, laid back one. The difference is quite marked. Where its been two boisterous personalities has been where it hasn't worked.

coldinthesun Sun 20-Jan-13 16:16:39

In that case, if you have a plan that you can put in, should thing not work out between boys thats great. Its worth the risk if you ask me, simply as they are a lot less timid and I've never had a girl be as affectionate. I may be biased.

BTW girls can also have problems with bullying other pigs and fight. We've had girls that had to be separated because they fought and drew blood. Its a lot less common but it does happen as the scar on DH's fight will testify to.

BonkeyMollocks Sun 20-Jan-13 16:19:21

Mine aren't brothers. I tried to match - it failed. But they did have a few happy weeks before LittlePig hit the arsey stage and decided that he wanted to challenge BigPig for the boss role. He failed - miserably - twice hmm . The last fight was really bad and I just can't bring myself to try again!

When we got LittlePig he was 5 weeks and BigPig was about 16weeks I think. When LittlePig hit 12 weeks, the problems started!

It is possible to have two boys happily living together. Try and get brothers that have been together from birth. watch them like hawks if anything changes - living arrangments etc because thats when they will need to re-establish roles. Normally a quick hump and its done.
Boys need lots of space to be happy and have the space to get away from each other if they need to!

I have them side by side which is a complete pita for space but thats the way it has to be for now!

Our boys were one year old must-go-as-a-pair rescues.
TBH I wouldn't have picked 2 boars but my DD wanted a boy and neutered boys aren't that common.

Our boars found us grin because they were there and we wanted them and they needed us (they just didn't realise it)

Ours have had scraps but it's been mainly space issues (they need lots of space because they don't really cuddle together) and a coriander binge (banned substance now in our house)

At the moment they have gone back to the cage after a cuddle and a play. They've got 2 boxes of hay but have crammed their lardy arses into a small box together confused

(Mine are brothers but they are so different physically. One is smooth and the other is a fluffy not quite Abbysynian about 60% his size.

But it was the little git GP2 who started the fight, so don't be fooled wink

coldinthesun Sun 20-Jan-13 16:37:46

Yeah, all the pairings we've had which have all been brothers have had one very large pig and one thats a lot smaller.

The strangest set we had was three brothers who got on until they were about 18months. Then one fell out. Of the two brothers that stayed together the smaller one was boss. But he was Smart Pig and worked out he could assert dominance by standing on a box and so he could then sticking his nose higher than his brother!

The third brother went to live by a Rescue gp we had who was very unsociable when we got him and nipped everyone and anything that went near him (he'd been put in the rescue after being attacked by the family cat and has a torn ear as a result). The difference it made to both was brilliant. They both calmed down and were much happier. When the 3rd brother died, Rescue Pig was distraught (He's a new neighbour now). He's lovely now though and follows us round if we get him out. He's over 7 years old, so not doing too badly for Cat Victim.

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 16:40:21

70isa are they still together ?

BonkeyMollocks Sun 20-Jan-13 16:44:15

LittlePig, who at the time of picking the fights with BigPig, was half his size!

Although now he is probably the same size but BigPig has a fair bit of beef in him.

Do you think Pigs get the 'little person - big attitude' thing? grin

Yes, they were a bit nightmarey last winter.
We have a 4'x2' indoor cage that they were in from Guy Fawkes till Easter at night-time. During the day they went out to their Pighouse with various heatpads /heater/tons of hay.
We had to put a grid to seperate them last year (only at night).

This year, they were in for Guy Fawkes in my DD room (no grid) and were little horrors. But TBH it was partly because DD kept getting up to chat to them hmm

So now they're in the small bedroom. Away from the radiator, with a duvet over at night.
And (cross fingers) they've been fine.
I usually put them out in their shed with their heater but today they've stayed in (and Fri, heavy snow and all the chaos of school closure).

They tend to have their own corner of the haybox,(outside) and their own cardboard box inside.

Incidentally, I went through 1001 trials of bedding for boars. I've settled on wooden cat litter (fur baby friendly) newspaper and shedloads of hay.

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 16:55:01

Do any of you use fleece as flooring indoors?

BonkeyMollocks Sun 20-Jan-13 16:59:26

I tried fleece and gave up!

My two love burrowing through hay too much and hay is a flipping nightmare to get off fleece!

i have a deep layer of woodshavings, then a thick layer of newspaper then a mahoosive pile of hay which they shove around the cage until they are happy.

LittlePig also has a pyrimiddy cat bed type thing to sleep in and BigPig has a cuddle cup!
The cat bed is kind of suedy (sp?) and its really easy to shake the hay off for a wash.

FrameyMcFrame Sun 20-Jan-13 17:02:43

Garden Centre and we have 2 girls.
We LOVE them and I was anti the idea to start with. We have them in the living room now, they're so sociable and cute, almost like kittens smile

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 17:06:46

What do you all use as indoor flooring for them ? Framey what do you use ? I have seen lots of c and c cages with fleece in them what else can be used apart from woodshavings indoors?

BonkeyMollocks Sun 20-Jan-13 17:09:44

Mine are currently larking around in the kitchen on newspaper. they spend about a hour a day in there when ds is off school and longer when I am home.

have you got the correx for the C&C?

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 17:17:08

Not yet but I will get some that's the plan smile

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 17:18:04

Where do you keep your pigs what do they live in ?

BonkeyMollocks Sun 20-Jan-13 17:19:41

Make sure you by 4mm thick at least!

I got the 2mm and I had to double it up because it was too flimsy!

i think bedding is trial and error to find out what works for you.
I have tried most but this works well for me because I just roll up the newspaper everyday, clear any wet patches and replace. Nice quick and easy.

FrameyMcFrame Sun 20-Jan-13 17:22:11

We have a layer of cardboard and then newspaper with loads of meadow hay on top which they like burrowing inside. We have ended up changing them every few days because they're in the living room so not nice if they get smelly. I've found they poo and wee in one corner mainly.
We're planning to get an outdoor run for them when the weather improves. We usually get them out on to some towels for a run around in the evenings.
Luigi pig does this amazing jumping, almost like spring lambs jumping and frolicking in the fields!! She is the dominant one. Sometimes she chases Ginger pig around but not fighting as such. smile

BonkeyMollocks Sun 20-Jan-13 17:22:39

One is in a c&c and the other is in a shop bought.

If they ever get back together then they go in one big c&c on the floor.

Both have taken up any spare space we had in the living room grin .

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 17:50:26

Next question is do you get your hay and shavings from pet shops or buy in bulk ?

I'll put fleece in the 'houses' where they don't have hay.
Lakeland Limited BuddyBrush has rubber bristles so good for brushing fleece.

They have a little fleecey petbed (sort of doughnut shaped with a cushion that lifts out) They can both fit in (but that would mean sharing nicely wouldn't it boys)
Wash them in a pillowcase to stop any stray bits getting in your filter.And make sure they are rinsed really well (I use that Ecover wash for the boys' fleeces. Buy it when it's on special offer)

I get hay from The Range (I can park right outside) usually 4kg bags (about £3.99). Or Jolleys if I CBA trying to park in the town centre.
I buy 3 hay and a barley straw at a time. Mine are stored in the garage.
I use the straw (it's lovely and soft) to keep the bed springey - just at the back and sides. Then fill the haybox right up with hay.

Alot of people buy equine hay -ok if you've got storage.
Hay is really coarse this year. I've found twigs, thistles. I got some in my finger and it was flipping painful <wimp>

BonkeyMollocks Sun 20-Jan-13 18:04:10

I don't have the room to buy in bulk so I buy a bag of hay a week . I have recently discovered hay sold buy the bag that has been pulled off a big bale rather than the stuff that vacum packed. stuff.
Its lovely and its cheaper. That lasts me a week easily and my boys have one third of each cage filled as high as I can!

You could try this website.

derekthehamster Sun 20-Jan-13 18:06:16

Our females came from the rspca. There might be a rehoming centre near you.

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 18:41:35

Fab thank you all and that site is great our hunting is underway smile

coldinthesun Sun 20-Jan-13 18:57:13

We do it in bulk. In part because its much cheaper and in part because we were overrun with gps and just got used to doing it that way. (Sadly most have died in the last 12 months from old age).

Horse hay and sawdust from Decathlon. WAYYYYYY cheaper than petshops and easy to get hold of. We've had a few that don't get on with sawdust so use shredded paper instead. And that all goes on newspaper. We use old cardboard boxes for flooring with the C&C cages.

We buy food in bulk from www.vetuk.co.uk - £15kg bags of Wagg Guinea Pig Crunch at £14.48 each plus £1.99 carriage. Orders over £28 are delivered free. (The fools do not charge postage by weight! They are bloody brilliant). Our lot are fussy about which brands they like. groans They like this blackcurrant and oregano feed as a treat too.

We've used vetbed before. But they peed on it all the time and it got disgusting. We also tried cat cushions. Which they also LOVED and sat on like Kings and Queens. Some of them were good with those and didn't poo or wee on them. But not all of them. We gave up in the end with all but one piggy, as he was just a spoilt brat who had us wrapped around his claw.

I use shredded paper in summer (my GPs have their own shredder hmm ). Any guinea-safe paper goes in the confetti cut shredder. Everything else in the long strip shredder.
They can indulge their need to scuttle about digging with the paper and enough hay for that day, Then it all gets dumped.
I do daily change in summer outside (when they are out 24/7)
Daily change indoors in winter.
Outdoor in winter has a deep bed which will last 3 days (if I pick out the unsavoury bits)

Coldin being "overrun with guinea-pigs" could be Heaven or Hell. I'm convincing myself it was Heavenly grin

FrameyMcFrame Sun 20-Jan-13 19:12:24

Can I ask, what is a C&C cage?
New to this Guinea pig lark!

BonkeyMollocks Sun 20-Jan-13 19:18:31


Have a look round, loads you can do with them!

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 19:35:45

What is safe to shred?

Mine don't eat paper (but my GP2 does like to shred cardboard boxes).
No staples or sellotape /plastic on the cardboard
WRT paper- nothing shiney or too much print.
I give mine old envelopes (with the window bit cut out)
brown paper
letters (printer ink I know, but mine don't eat it)

Some people shred cheap kitchen towels.
Or newspaper- but some guineas will eat newspaper.
I only use the shreddies in summer (keep a nice sealed bag in the garage)
And it's messy grin

I've been looking at guinea rescue websites today (and Gumtree) - not that I'm looking you understand.

Some of the Gumtree ones are sad some make me angry

One where the child had lost interest and the guineas needed rehomed (fair enough) But they looked a bit unkempt TBH. And the seller wanted money (included a cage)

If they are selling then sell.
But to give a sob story about "a loving home" "can't look after them- new baby/dog doesn't like them/new job, no time" - you'd pay someone to take them. Or at least give them away.
Maybe they think if money is handed over they won't end up as snake food?

One wanted £35 for a GP (can't remember why or how old) but I could get 2 new ones for that shock. No cage either.

<<Steps off soapbox. Need to chop up veg for the chaps>>

BonkeyMollocks Sun 20-Jan-13 20:23:02

I daren't look on gumtree.

I had a hard enough time in P@H , so close I was to bringing that boy home! I have enough grids and correx for another cage just no where to put the bloody thing actually I could find somewhere easy enough because dh would leave me! . shock

I'm not sure I have the willpower for sad photos and a fake sob story!

I would be happy to give a small amount if it was a genuine 'need to find a loving home quick' type thing but only a few £s ,but £35?!?!? Never!
I'd just have to go and pignap it!

coldinthesun Sun 20-Jan-13 20:30:14

We'e used this rescue before:

Some of these are listed on the site that breatheslowly linked to.

The piggies there are very well looked after, and the lady is exceptional with them all. All the pigs we saw (and she showed us about 50!) were extremely friendly.

Its in Winsford, so not a million miles from you if you are in Stockport.

coldinthesun Sun 20-Jan-13 20:33:36

Oh, and I find my piggies like to shit on shredded old bank statements and credit card bills.

BonkeyMollocks Sun 20-Jan-13 20:38:18

Oh crap! Gumtree drawed me in.


Actually they were all alone hmm .

andrea315 Sun 20-Jan-13 20:39:44

Ha ha I have plenty of them they can have !!

BonkeyMollocks Sun 20-Jan-13 20:40:59

Oh my fucking god, one has taken a pic with the pig sat on top of a barred cage. A BARRED CAGE ! angry

<feels another ranty thread coming on>

Anyone near here Portadown/craigavon/lurgan hes free! sad

that website for "CavyHaven" (why did I click on)

Kept in a 4' cage with another GP and 2 rabbits
Found in a cardboard box with other GPs
Mum and Dad kept in a shed with ferrets

It would make a saint spit. Poor guineas. sad

guineapiglet Mon 21-Jan-13 09:59:37

Bonkey and 70 - I was very upset reading your posts, although I used gumtree alot, I won't be any more - I had no idea they sold pets like this, and in my opinion it should be against the law.... all unwanted pets should have to go through the RSPCA and there should be funding for this, not randomly selling them on a website, without any checks etc. It does raise the question of animal welfare in general, if even the high street petshops ( we all know the one) cannot be relied upon for the highest standards of animal care. I think all legitimate rescues should be inspected and properly funded - look at all the horse/dog rescues and all the wonderful work they do on a shoestring budget.

As I get (sadly) older and wiser, I realise there are really 3 types of people : - those that really get and understand animals,( treat them equally and fairly, but also get in their heads to see what their needs are) those that really dont 'get' animals but do their best ( though sometimes their treatment of animals is often neglectful but not deliberately so if you see what I mean) , and those who just want to exploit, make money out of them and dont care how they are treated.

I loathe animal cruelty, ever since I was little I have been writing letters, campaigning, joining animal welfare groups and supporting them whenever and whenever I can, - we all have our passions and this is mine!!! Dont even start me on farm animals, ( lifelong veggie and lifetime supporter of CIWF).

<Rant over, gets off soapbox, goes to feed birds> smile

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