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Help a potential new piggy owner!

(33 Posts)
laurenamium Mon 29-Oct-12 17:39:42

Hi everyone! I was wondering if you could help, I'm very interested in getting 2 piggies. I have done a little bit of research and know that pigs need lots of room and should be inside in winter etc and half a list of foods they shouldn't eat. Is there anything I should know before I get some? I have owned rabbits in the past if this makes any difference?

laurenamium Mon 29-Oct-12 17:40:05

Have** not half blush

HeinousHecate Mon 29-Oct-12 17:48:52

They really need a lot of love and attention. It's also really better to have them indoors all year round. They really love and need to be part of the family.

They need time out of their cage to run and jump around.

Thorough and regular cleaning of the cage, checking they're healthy.

be very careful with the bedding. things like sawdust can cause respiratory problems.

Choose a good food. They need a source of Vit C, like we do. Fresh food is best.

Look after their teeth and nails.

Check for mites.

And just lots of cuddles and attention. GPs are the second best pet ever (first place going to the wonderful ratty!)

wheeeeeeeeeeeek! grin

laurenamium Mon 29-Oct-12 17:54:37

grin I can do indoors all year round, in fact it will save me buying an outdoor hutch! Would I just put them in a run with a hiding space in the warm weather on the grass? I'm a childminder and spend a lot of time in the garden in the summer!

Are they best kept in a quiet room, or the sometimes noisy living room where we are most of the time? Are they ok with things like hoovers etc?

laurenamium Mon 29-Oct-12 17:55:17

What is a good type of bedding if not sawdust?

Meglet Mon 29-Oct-12 18:03:23

I used hay for bedding (the grassy stuff they can eat) insead of golden straw that they never ate.

They should love celery, watermelon is good in hot weather.

Mine had a run with cosy hutch attached so they could be out all day and keep out of the sun and rain (there might be a pic on my profile actually, I can't check as I'm on my phone). They were inside at night and in cold weather though. And if you move it about enough you won't need to mow the lawn so often grin.

Pellet food is best, we used supa guinea. It keeps their teeth ground down and they don't waste it.

laurenamium Mon 29-Oct-12 18:11:33

Thank you grin thank you hecate too I think I forgot that in last post blush it is definitely a lot to think about!

FernieB Mon 29-Oct-12 19:48:20

Our 2 boys are indoor pigs. They have a cage in what was the dining room and is now called the 'pig room' by the family. They stay in the cage mainly, but are allowed a run in the conservatory every day for at least an hour. After an hour, they are usually so whacked they flop out anyway and sleep for the rest of the day. I give them boxes to chew and play with as well. In the summer they spend a lot of time in their run on the lawn because I'm too lazy to mow it.

Mine are on woodchips on top of newspaper (it's absorbent) and have plenty of hay as well. Cleaning out is done at least every 3 days - more often if they've not been out as much. They have pellets and lots of fresh veg - parsley, curly kale, cucumber, broccoli, cauli leaves, carrots, tomatoes, peppers etc - basically, whatever we've got.

They are quite easy pets and very funny to watch. I also have a rabbit and have always had rabbits previously and although I wouldn't be without my bun, the pigs are definitely less work. As you're a childminder, pigs are probably better as they are easier to handle for kids and much more entertaining to watch and listen to (they make loads of noises).

HeinousHecate Mon 29-Oct-12 20:01:39

Mine never liked to be in a quiet room. They wanted to be where the action was and heaven help you if they weren't! Nobody can give you a gobful like an angry little piggie grin

Mind you, mine were barely ever in their cages. We had cats, rabbits, mice, rats, hamsters - the lot.

laurenamium Mon 29-Oct-12 21:51:25

Ah excellent! Well I think ill be seeking out some little piggies to come and join our family grin thank you everyone!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 29-Oct-12 22:29:27

Hi laurenamium they are fabulous critters (I've never had rabbits/rats or hamsters, but I've had mice and these two GPs we have now are number 13 &14 for me)

Ours live out in their Pighouse + they have a rabbit run.They will come in for Guy Fawkes weekend then we'll play it by ear.
I use rubber mats + cardboard + wooden cat litter (rodent safe) + newspaper and golden barley straw that is lovely and soft then hay- which at the moment isn't.

I do a change of newspaper + hay/straw every day but when they are in at night I can get away with 3 days if I poo pick and take out the pee bits.

Mine have a cuddle every day, a good morning chat and a goodnight chap.

We change water and pellets every night. Pellets lose VitC and water goes stagnant. Veg morning and night unless GP2 has stuffed himself and is a bit 'loose droppingey'.

There's alot of waste in my GP household but I say to DH "A half bag of hay costs less than a guinea-vet visit and a guinea with a cold".

Mine live in the dining room in winter. I'd rather put them in my DS room but it's too warm.(And I'd never find them again grin )
They like to be where the food is where the company is.
And if I eat some late night crisps I have to lob parsley at them first or they wake the house.

And my non-squeaky GP2 rattles the bars and throws his empty plate about if I'm late feeding them !

HeinousHecate Tue 30-Oct-12 07:26:16

Oh yes, they've got a "high food drive", as the vet put it grin

A couple of mine - Pepper and Freya - would leap onto my plate and have a good sniff around. Didn't matter if it wasn't something they could/would eat, they still had to inspect it!

It was food, it was theirs grin

And one day, Pepper did an earsplitting wheeeeek and never wheeeeked again sad silent from that day on. Perfectly happy, still chuntery and chattery, but no more wheeks. I never found out why.

laurenamium Tue 30-Oct-12 08:11:29

Awww you are making me want them NOW! grin they sound like lovely pets to have!

HeinousHecate Tue 30-Oct-12 08:35:36

Oh they are. Really cheeky, loving and friendly.

You get out of them what you put in. If you barely have contact with them except to change their food and bedding, you'll have frightened piggies who don't want you to pick them up.

If you interact with them for a couple of hours at least every single day, spend lots of time with them and make them part of your family, you'll have cheeky little buggers who love a cuddle and wheek for a pick up! grin

guineapiglet Tue 30-Oct-12 13:40:30

Very jealous of you getting new guineas, we had 12 girls over the past 6 years or so, I miss them terribly. They are indeed wonderful pets as everyone on the guinea threads will agree, very sociable and interested in what is going on - they need company, lots of interation, and are very good dustbins for any left overs ( apple cores, banana skins, tomatoes, etc and now, it seems pumpkin!) - as long as they are warm and insulated in the winter, not out in the damp, and have somewhere to roam and interact with you , you will have lots of fun. I trained our girls to use indoor poo houses ( shoe boxes stuffed with hay and newspaper with little doors cut out) - most of the girls got used to this and there were few accidents. The poo is wonderful compost! Put it on the lawn and you will notice how green it will become. They will get you trained up to their ways and demands, although you will think it is you doing the opposite, try rescue centres first as they will all need a good loving home, and freecyle for hutches, runs etc, usually a very good source. Have fun!

laurenamium Tue 30-Oct-12 14:08:21

Oh thank you for the free cycle tip! I'm going to see some pigs at the weekend, is there anything I should look out for? It was this ladies advertisement that made me consider them grin

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 30-Oct-12 15:22:42

Find out why she's re-homing them. (Is it a private rehomer or a rescue?)

If it's a private rehomer -it might be that she's moving, hasn't got space, kids got bored/allergic.

One advert that made me boil my piss angry was a breeder who was basically getting rid of her 3-4 year old breeding stock but cleverly worded it that this little sow needed a lovely retirement home (yes after she's worked her paws off breeding and now is too old). But instead of keeping her in her dotage ,she was getting rid.

Personally, if I was taking on a Gumtree/Freecycle pig, I wouldn't pay them. I'd be giving their pig a good home, they could take it or leave it.

When I got my boys from rescue I paid a donation of £30, which is what I'd have paid for 2 babies.(Mine were adult boars so not as easy to home as babies with their cute little ways) grin

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See them handles. Find out if they've had mites.Have they been treated? Wormed if they go out on grass.
Are they indoor/outdoor/both.
Anything they can't eat (mine fight with coriander)
What food?
And are they definately definately the sex they say. (I've been there: 2 girls who were boy/girl = piglets)

guineapiglet Tue 30-Oct-12 16:36:37

Yes, definitely find out the reason for the rehoming, or what age they are, if they are in an established pig relationship, sisters or whatever, so they are content in each others company - see if they can be handled, everything 70 has said. Some breeders treat their animals despicably, so try and find out everything about them. I have given quite a lot of guinea stuff/equipment via freecyle to animal charities/local rescues, so it might be they come with some of the stuff they need. Get some igloos, as if they are new to you they will be very scared initially. Have fun and let us know how you get on.

laurenamium Thu 01-Nov-12 14:48:19

Thanks everyone! It's a lady who's pig had some babies- not sure whether it was planned or not, ill ask. And now she's selling the babies...ill let you know how I get on on Saturday! grin

guineapiglet Thu 01-Nov-12 16:14:20

Oh good luck on Saturday, would love to hear all about them. Make sure the babies will be 7-8 weeks old, the older the better really, as P@H sell them far too young and they are too stressed to be taken away from their Mum any younger than that. Also, don't pay too much for them, I wonder how much she is asking for each of them. IF you are doing her a favour by buying them, she will prob want to cover costs for food etc, but if she is a breeder, they will probably be much more expensive. They are really worth every penny!!!

laurenamium Thu 01-Nov-12 16:16:23

She's asking for £5 per pig and is only selling them in pairs, which are good signs? Ill let you know how we get on grin

guineapiglet Thu 01-Nov-12 17:07:28

That sounds like a good price, and if she is only selling them in pairs it suggests she knows her guineas well - sounds like a good deal all round - I am quite tempted myself! Good luck, hope you find some lovely guineas which you can fall in love with - we have only have girls, and they are so sweet - we had a boy when I was little, he was spoiled to death, and very tame and friendly, bless him. They are great pets, I am sure you are all going to have lots of fun - they will be very unsettled if they are little and new to begin with, so lots of calm tlc - they may be a bit reluctant to start with, so just persevere with them lots of contact and cuddles. Enjoy!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 01-Nov-12 18:45:42

£5 sounds like she wants a 'commitment' (like if you pay then it's not an impulse buy IYSWIM) but not 'making' money on them.

You'll have to let her know if you want boys or girls and get them double-double checked.

I've had both- I'd say if you haven't had guineas before then girls might be easier. They don't need as much room, and you don't get so much of the arsey teenage nonsense that you get with 2 boars when they grow up.
(That's not to say two sows won't have the odd spat though grin )

They are lovely babies, very active, bit skitty, nails like razors blades and they run down your sleeve !
It's nice to see their personalities develop. There will be one who is a bit braver, bossier, more forward. But I have never met a nasty guinea (though one of mine when I was a teen was very independant and non cuddly. But she would follow us round like a little dog).
You'll find out what they like to eat (they are very bribeable) and there are lods of threads on 'SuperFurryAnimals' about what is safe/unsafe.What bedding to avoid.
The noises they make is one of the nicest things about them (they are like squeaky Tribbles )
And they don't smell if you keep them clean, unless you get one like my little black Abbysynian boy who has horrible wind. (he's one of a kind though) grin

My resident hogs (well, they belong to my DC. My DD is surgically attatched to her boar. My DS is a bit meh so the smaller guinea is mine really) are 2 brothers.
They are lovely, friendly, messy , little critters. Some people say boars are friendlier than sows. No idea, depends on the pigs really.

laurenamium Sun 04-Nov-12 13:49:33

Hi all! Just to update that I have two tiny baby piggys grin they have been quite quiet but I can hear them chattering so that's a good sign and they are eating and drinking too! They have been named Charlie and Lola, and are driving my springer spaniel WILD! He's desperate to meet them hmm I'm hoping he settles down, he was fine with the rabbit they used to play together!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 04-Nov-12 14:28:09

Awwww, lovely and not in the least bit jealous

They will take a while to settle to their new home, sounds,smells, mad dogs and assorted people.
Remember the only thing that is familiar to them at the moment is each other.So they might leg it when you pick them up.

Best to have a towel to wrap them in for cuddles -for their security, they are easier to keep and hold of ,and they leak grin

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