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I have started shopping for our hopefully new Guinea Pigs

(33 Posts)
FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 08-Sep-09 17:22:26

Tell me what you have bought in case I have missed anything please?

Anything you do and don't recommend will be good too.


123andaway Tue 08-Sep-09 18:07:14

Are they living indoors or out?

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 08-Sep-09 18:45:10

Out doors.

We have the hutch and a run and I have also bought a feeding bowl, water bottle, chew sticks, hay, a play tube and a snuggley bed.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 08-Sep-09 19:03:26


The lady has just rung and she is coming tomorrow to see if we are fit to have guinea pigs. gringrin

123andaway Wed 09-Sep-09 10:56:56

Good luck [fingers crossed]

Sounds like you're pretty organised!!! You'll need some sawdust for the floor of the hutch. I line ours with news paper first, makes clean outs easier. We have 2 feeding bowls, one for dry food and one for fruit/veg. They'll eat you out of house and home in veg!!!! Mine are also VERY partial to dandilion leaves.

Is the snuggly bed a fabric type one? If so you may find you need a second one as you will have to wash it fairly often, as they do tend to poop all over the place! Mine have a wood house which I fill with hay as bedding (which they have usually eaten by morning!).

Mine live indoors, so Im not to sure, but you will probably find you will need some sort of fleece cover or insulation for the hutch as the weather gets colder, unless you have a garage or shed to put them in.

Let us know how you get on today!

123andaway Wed 09-Sep-09 10:59:08

Should have said the food bowls need to be a heavy ceramic type, or they will tip them over.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 09-Sep-09 12:10:20

Thank you.

I have just the one bed but will get another and the snuggly cover is on my list for next month.

Is it hay for where they sleep and sawdust in the main bit of the hutch?

I bought some food today and also some cleaner stuff.

Will get another feeding bowl. Would you suggest 2 of the same?

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 09-Sep-09 12:10:44

I also bought them some treat choc drops. grin

ilovesprouts Wed 09-Sep-09 12:15:26

i got my gps tons of stuff ,corn on the cob mineral licks cardbored tubes i clean the poo bit out every day and one a week i give the cage a good clean out ,i also have rabbits too and there cage is full of toys and nibbles

ZZZenAgain Wed 09-Sep-09 12:18:58

I don't think you'd need two ceramic food bowls for 2 guinea pigs. Sounds like you have everything you'd need. I hope it goes well. You might later on need some nail clippers but I wouldn't worry about it yet.

I second the dandelion leaves, they devour them. They also love tunnels of any type, you'll see they enjoy running in and out of those and maybe you can vary their play area a bit with things like a plant pot lying on it's side or cardboard tunnels (those crips containers washed out are about the right size for little gps, or just fold some cardboard. Ours always get excited about a little variety.

themildmanneredjanitor Wed 09-Sep-09 12:21:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 09-Sep-09 12:23:39

5 foot for 2 and 6 foot for 3, I was told.

ZZZenAgain Wed 09-Sep-09 12:30:50

They aren't keen on the cold but if they are kept outdoors in winter, I expect they become more hardy. If it is really freezing cold, I would bring them in.

themildmanneredjanitor Wed 09-Sep-09 12:32:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ZZZenAgain Wed 09-Sep-09 12:35:29

If you keep them indoors, they like to have the run of a room (or a corridor perhaps) for some time during the day. They would like a couple of shoeboxes with holes in and out so they can have a mad run-around and some popcorning time. If you construct their hutch so they have a bit of a running circuit in there, they should be ok (i.e. leave space between houses and walls so they can run around, leap up and down from house roofs etc.

They are quite clean so if they can get back to the hutch in an emergency, they will do so or if you allow them to move around several rooms quite freely (I wouldn't because we have cables everywhere they could nibble on) , have a little tray with sawdust for them in a corner, they will go there. They do leave their little poo pellets around though, especially when they are quite small. These are hard though and don't stink. However you need to keep that in mind, especially if you have crawling toddlers.

Pyrocanthus Wed 09-Sep-09 12:37:19

Mine have paper on the floor, a layer of sawdust, some hay to sleep on (you big softy with a snuggly bed grin) and more to eat. Check with your inspector that they approve of sawdust though - some gp people think it causes respiratory problems and prefer shredded paper or some horribly expensive special bedding. I suspect that's something that a pig is either prone to or not.

Ours are incredibly dense about recognizing chew sticks and treats as a food or entertainment commodity, but like to gnaw on lumps of tree, if you have such a thing available (there are loads of lists of safe woods and foodstuffs on the internet). Cardboard is popular (not coloured), and if you slit open a kitchen roll tube and fill it with hay, you have a combination hay rack/toy. Any sort of tube or box to play/sit in is irresistible.

Favourite foodstuffs here: parsley, spinach, carrot, cucumber, melon, dandelion (supposed to eat this in moderation though, also lettuce), groundsel, sow thistle, chicory, grass, grass and grass. Not lawn mowings though, as they heat up quickly and can kill them. Red peppers are supposed to be a spectacular source of vitamin C, but ours won't touch them.

It would be OTT to suggest an allotment as a gp accessory, but it's great for growing treats and for recycling the bedding...

ZZZenAgain Wed 09-Sep-09 12:41:33

that's true, we were at a farm weekend before last and an old granny took us round showing us all sorts of grasses and wild plants that gps can eat. She has one herself. I wouldn't have known tbh what half that stuff was but the gps loved it all, especially wild herbs and some long blades of pampas grass type stuff which grew along the banks of a stream.

Some plants can be poisonous to them though, they do like a branch off a tree too. Ours have some twigs off an apple tree in their hutch.

sandcastles Wed 09-Sep-09 12:42:25

Please don't use sawdust! It iss too fine..they do forage & tend to tip their food over & sawdust particles can be inhaled.

It con also get stuck in the pads on the paws. You are better off with straw.

We have 3 pigs in a cage smaller than 5ft. They are all happy snuggled together at night for warmth but still seem to have plenty of room to be apart & we expercise the regularly.

ZZZenAgain Wed 09-Sep-09 12:45:20

I line with newspaper too and straw on top but have extra newspaper and on top some sawdust in the corners where they tend to urinate. Just makes cleaning out quicker and easier.

Pyrocanthus Wed 09-Sep-09 12:46:36

ZZen: 'leap up and down from house roofs etc.' - have yours been watching too much G Force???

ZZZenAgain Wed 09-Sep-09 12:49:52

they watch a fair bit of Hercule Poirot tbh . I bring them in for a cuddle in the evenings -entirely for their own benefit of course

You know I mean those little wooden houses you can put in hutches. The idea of them swarming up walls and parachuting down is kind of appealing to me though

ZZZenAgain Wed 09-Sep-09 12:56:09

unsure now what size an indoor hutch would be MMJ. There are some gp sites set up by gp lovers online with photos and that should give you an idea, however they will need some time outside their hutch in order to get enough exercise. Those little critters run very fast, given half the chance.

Pyrocanthus Wed 09-Sep-09 12:57:04

We had a very timid little pig who was brought in regularly for extra cuddles in front of the telly in the evenings to make her feel better about being handled. My husband was happy to have her perched on a towel on his lap during the football (in an 'I'm not watching football I'm assisting with pet care' sort of way) and she became very well versed in the Champions' League.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 09-Sep-09 13:15:01

So far I have bought Meadow hay bedding. Is that what I use in the whole hutch?

MrsMagnolia Wed 09-Sep-09 13:40:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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