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So. We may have just met our future guinea pigs!!

(56 Posts)
PacificDogwood Sat 22-Mar-14 15:29:53

Squeeee!! grin

2 young brothers currently in the local animal rescue.

Wish me luck that they will approve us...

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 28-Mar-14 23:22:20

Cardboard boxes to play in are great. Make sure there's no tape or staples.
Cut two doors to allow an escape route.
Give them a Guinea Village.
Then when they get peed and poohed, they can be thrown out.

I played some early Kate Bush music to GP3. He purred like a good'un.
Obviously good taste guinea.

PacificDogwood Sat 29-Mar-14 18:04:58

Cardboard shoebox with 2 door cut out has been a success today.
Also an offering of parsley was graciously accepted grin.
I've built the Eglu run we've had lying around for ages (those plastic clips are biatches angry[sore hands]) but in the end have not put the piggies out in the garden today as it was quite cold and rather windy (we are in Scotland).

They make quite a lot of noise <aww>, sometimes I am not sure whether it's purring or rumbling confused. I may have to try some Kate Bush grin to calm them. The wee one is most certainly the boss - he's shorthaired mainly white with some black, and the other one a rex, also black and white. Unless he's a teddy… confused.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 29-Mar-14 21:29:04

I can help you there Pacific

my little boy was from a Rescue ( they got him from a breeder) we were told he was a Swiss.
But as he grew (and grew grin ) DD and I did some online guinea gazing.

Rex have coarse , short fur, little broad faces, low set ears, huge feet with big claws, curly belly fur and curly whiskers.

Teddy have a softer coat, straight belly hair and straight whiskers.

(USA guinea-pig sites can sometimes class Rex/Teddy as the same just to confuse )

Swiss have a 'halo' of soft fluffy fur, longer guard hairs and straight whiskers (and are higher maintenance so DD and I were relieved when GP3 showed his true Rex colours though we love him no matter what and we were prepared for him)

Purring can be a brisk brrrr in response to noise or when you stroke them.
Rumblestrutting is the whole body language thing- walking round with a stiff body, almost snakelike, doing a longer brrrrrrrrrr sound.

Popcorning is cute, they leap about, buck like a horse, leap, wheek. GP3 can do a funny little movement where he swings his bottom round turning 180 degress or leaps like a little frog grin

Ours were in the run today then in their nice clean Pighouse with lots of fresh hay. Clean for oooh ten minutes <<sigh>>

PacificDogwood Sat 29-Mar-14 21:35:03

I may need to let them grow up a bit to be sure what the longer haired one is exactly. I have been staring at 'guinea pig breeds' on various sites and on images for far to long today.

I think we've had a little pop corning today, they now eat even in our presence and I have not been bitten today. I am hoping the brrrrr noise is purring and not rumbling - they are certainly not strutting.

Would it be wrong to sit here with them on my lap?? I am terrified they might escape - I'd never find them again I fear…

The pooing…. OMG, the pooing! They are really not as tidy as my childhood rabbits were - poo pellets everywhere! And they do look for to similar to their food pellets for comfort grin

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 29-Mar-14 21:53:30

grin they poo non-stop don't they. And little guinea-pigs like to sit in their food bowls too......

If you wrap them in a towel for their early cuddles you can keep a good grip on them.
When we got GP3 he was a teeny 6 weeks old, very fast and skittery. DD was used to her lardy boar so she wrapped GP3 in a small hand towel to begin with. Makes them feel secure too.
They tend to dive into sleeves and down the front of blouses too smile

It takes a while to show their true breed.
If I'd have paid for a Swiss from a breeder, I'd probably be a bit miffed to get a Rex . But we just wanted a little boar that our chap would bond with, so the fur was secondary, though personally I find the 'fancier' they are the more fragile they are.

If ours go on the floor, they just sit there. They don't like the laminate .The only thing I worried about was if GP3 would jump. (He still sits on my lap and glares at the floor, no idea why, he doesn't want to be on it)

PacificDogwood Sun 30-Mar-14 17:39:29

Can I give the GPs some stale bread? I bake my own, current brickhard end of loaf is rye and spelt, minimal salt, some yeast. It's good stuff, I'd eat it myself if I could (don't have rodent's teeth wink), not mouldy or anything.

Tell me to get lost when you are fed up with my questions btw - seriously.

I did a bid cage clean today and they sure do love a clean habitat grin. Why on earth to they pee/poo all over the place then?!
They must pass half their body weight in poo and consume it again in veggies and dry food confused

PacificDogwood Sun 30-Mar-14 17:40:00

Oh, and they really like cucumber grin.
Carrot makes them go hmm <-judgey face

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 30-Mar-14 18:48:26

WRT bread - maybe an odd crust but not a regular thing, it hasn't got enough nutrients in it,

They aren't meant to have seeds,nuts,egg,honey
Yeast can upset their gut flora.
(Ours eat a crust of toast if they join us for breakfast but it's only now and then)

They pooh allover their cages, I've only ever had one guinea that poohed in one corner (and it isn;t either of these boys grin )

Ask as many questions as you like, there are loads of us here and lots of advice.

I've put urgent Heellllllppp threads up and it's so reassuring that there are other guinea mums out there (especially when RL people say "it's only a guinea-pig" - obviously none of my family would dare to say that) wink

PacificDogwood Sun 30-Mar-14 19:32:26

I just went and hand-collected 87 new poo pellets blush - about 3 hours after the Big Cage Clean. How sad am I?
They've got a new fleece in it (yellow) and it shows them up terribly. I can't leave them in there for a whole 24 hrs amongst all their painfully obvious poo! And I am the least house proud person you'd ever meet (my house is clean enough, I do clean; it's just not a source of pride or distress for me), but the state of the piggies' cage unsettles me…

I am finding all sorts of interesting GP stuff on t'interweb: all these breeds and how competitive breeding can be and how dangerous delivery can be for the sows and all that jazz shockgrin.
I suppose it's easy to obsess about almost anything, even small rodents.

Thanks about the bread advice - I usually cut leftover bread up and feed it to the birds, but this is SO hard, I physically cannot. It does have some sunflower and pumpkin seeds in it, so I maybe leave it then.

Our Big Boy is a rex - he has very curly whiskers; I got a good look at them today. The Small But Dominant One is smooth and short-haired and has a more 'ratty' face (pointy nose). Both v sweet, of course <proud of my boys>

And who says 'they are only GP?", who?? <puts knuckle dusters on>

PacificDogwood Mon 07-Apr-14 19:44:47

Hi, all, I am reviving this thread as I have some more questions:

1. Our piggies don't seem to drink confused. They pee plenty, but the water in the drinking bottle is untouched and in an open bowel is just pooed in, dirty beggars! Is that ok? Do they get all their fluid from veggies?? If so, fine; I just don't want to be giving them renal failure or summat.
2. They are still really shy. Terrified of any sudden movements or noise. They will however now eat in front of us. I take them out every day, but cannot pretend that they particularly like that. Please tell me they will settle - I now it's only been a couple of weeks…
3. They don't seem to like each other that much. They have carved out their own 'territories' in the cage (Jeffery downstairs in a fleecy pocket and Seargant Tibbles in a tunnel upstairs - you should see the speed he goes up and down that ramp! shock). Lots of rumbling when they are together but no raised-head body language and no actual attacks. They are now coming up for 4 months old. They are brothers but I don't suppose that means that they will get on, is it?

I weighed them a few days ago and they are gaining weight compared to their 'adoption weight' grin.

Seargeat Tibbles is a Rex - curly whiskers an'all. Jeffrey is smooth haired, both black and white.
They do certainly love a clean cage - lots of pop corning and wheeking and running around like made exploring.
I am off to do some poop scooping. And I have coriander. Not just any coriander, but Marks and Spencer's coriander grin.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 07-Apr-14 20:40:23

Glad to hear Sgt Tibbles and Jeffrey grin are settling down.
Weight gain is good (if your Rex follows the same path as my little boy he'll get bigger and bigger . I must weigh my pigs this week)

Water- always offer fresh but mine don't drink it. The only time I've ever seen one near a water bottle was when GP1 was in alone and he wanted to create noise hmm )

The getting on....keep an eye on them, they're approaching the Terrible Teens but hopefully they'll have lots of outdoor playtime which gives them space. GP1/GP2 GP1/GP3 - they don't sit together and hug up. They have their 'own' space. Plenty of "Shift your lardy arse" type rumbling, the odd prance from foot-to-foot and brrrrrrrrrrrr purring.

Guinea-pigs are shy. It's what stops them becoming somethings lunch. They never lose that.
Some pigs are more laid back. Our GP2 used to sleep in the run, curled up. (Very relaxed piggie) GP1 stood watch - ahhh

Marks and Spencers Coriander yeahhh (I bought M&S parsley on Mothers Day . They were very impressed )

PacificDogwood Mon 07-Apr-14 20:44:18

Thanks, again, 70, for your reassurance.
I swear, I am like a new mum blush.

The outdoor run is set up, but has not been used - it's decking freezing here; 12 degrees tops. I suppose if they survive the Andes they could have a wee run tomorrow afternoon? I'll see...

PacificDogwood Mon 07-Apr-14 20:44:52

Ha! Autocorrect won't let me say a gentile 'fecking' grin

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 07-Apr-14 20:58:32

If it's too cold don't risk it outside.

The guineas in the Andes bear no resemblance to the spoiled lardy creatures that share our loving guinea pig homes.

Mine are adults, if it is nice and calm (and dry ) I put them out with boxes to sit in and a windcover.
But yours are still babies so leave it a while.
And build up their grass time. Maybe an hour or so to begin. Gorging on fresh green grass can lead to bloat ( swelling of gas build up in the gut. Can be fatal )

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 07-Apr-14 21:01:17

And the "New Mum" thing.
I wake up and think "Are my pigs ok" especially if it's a sudden cold snap.

They have tons of hay.
The Pighouse
And they aren't even mine (they are DDs)
Doesn't stop the worry grin

dietcokeandwine Tue 08-Apr-14 21:41:13

Agree completely with the New Mum thing 70 and Pacific.

I am off to my parents with the DC tomorrow, DH is in charge of the pigs. Only for two nights, mind you, but I've never left my new little girl pigs overnight before, and haven't left our boars since Christmas (when they went into the expert and loving care of our local GP boarding place....DH is not quite so, um, dedicated)...I am fretting...planning on leaving detailed notes, along with example bowls of fresh food in the fridge so he can see exactly what amount and variety of food needs to be offered...

This is a man who I trust implicitly, will and regularly do leave in charge of our three children (including a baby) without batting an eyelid...but these are my guineas



I am sure he will be fine [crosses fingers]

FernieB Tue 08-Apr-14 21:56:06

Dietcoke I sympathisewink. I once left my DH in charge of our home and rabbit for 10 days. I left him 3 lines of instructions for the house (bin day etc) and 5 pages of detailed instructions for rabbit care shock. I haven't left him with the GPs yet.

PacificDogwood Thu 10-Apr-14 09:50:50

My GPs (not the DCs, noon, mine) are going to their holiday lodgings on Saturday morning - to our former childminder grin. She runs a small furries kennelling business since she no longer child minds and I figured as I trusted her enough to look after my human babies, she'll be alright for looking after my furry ones for a week.

DH would be ok looking after them, I think, but I am in no hurry to find out…

I just ordered another set of bedding, in Black Retro design - stylish guineas. Although all the effort that goes in to the interior design of their cage is somewhat marred by the poo everywhere hmm.

They are still shy and don't like being picked up, but once on my lap are quite happy to nosey about and be hand-fed some M+S coriander grin.

They don't seem to be eating much hay at all, but go through there veggies and pellets alright. Should I offer less vegetables confused? I usually give them something in the morning and again at night (carrot, curly kale, red pepper, occasional cucumber, baby sweetcorn etc).

Off to clean their cage…. grin

PacificDogwood Tue 29-Apr-14 23:16:20

So, a quick update: my boars are now 4-5 months old and seem to have hit puberty grin. Lots of showing off and attempts to mount and some arguing over the favoured GP house and food. No real fighting but I heard teeth chattering for the first time today.
I have also finally actually seen them eat hay <relief>
They are growing and gaining weight - the Rexy one is a chubby wee guy.

So, all good - except: DS2(10) is allergic to them. This is the boy who was desperate for a cuddly pet; it's so unfair.
He developed weals where wee claws had scratched him, was wheezy and itchy after handling them. It all settled with Ventolin and an antihistamine and he is ok with them in the house. I will have another go at giving him only smooth-haired Jeffrey to handle after he had an antihistamine and see how that goes.

Does anybody have any experience of over-coming a reaction to their GP?? I know that known allergens should normally be avoided, but equally that some allergic dog owners will improve with a lot of time.
<unreasonably hopeful>

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 30-Apr-14 18:06:15

My DD is sensitive to our Rex boy but I'd really hate to have to make the difficult decision to rehome her wink

Mind you, it would release me from trudging round Lakeside weighed down with Primark clothes and Superdry bags ( in an annoyingly teeny size 6 envy )

grin love ya DD - honest.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 30-Apr-14 18:08:35

Serious note Pacific when cat owners have allergies it's sometimes recommended to wash the cat (it's the spitty dander that causes the prooblem)

We will get round to bathing the pigs (must get some more Gorgeous Guineas shampoo) I'll report back if it helps.
(Not looking forward to bathing GP3)

PacificDogwood Wed 30-Apr-14 19:47:50


The GorgeousGuineas website has me in its thrall shockblush
Who knew?!

"Just for Boars"


PacificDogwood Wed 30-Apr-14 19:50:20

Sorry, got distracted there…

Yes, I know about animal dander etc - I am going to set up a highly scientific experiment and dose DS2 with an antihistamine before letting him handle only smooth-haired Jeffrey and see what happens.
After Jeffrey has had a bath in… pooh, let me think? "Just for Boars" or "EasiRinse" or "Lavender" shampoo??
Options, options….

<flexes credit cards>

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 30-Apr-14 22:00:46

I bought some sample bottles of shampoo (Lice'n'Easy , Manuka, and the Just for Boars ) JforB is lovely, sandlewoody. It helps them if they get narky. They smell the same and they'll have a mutual hatred of the bather.

They are quite concentrated- we dissolved some in a small jug of water to pour over the wet fur then lather- more even than a blob of the shampoo (guineas either love the fuss of a bath or they'll be bally awkward and cover everything in water)

(Ours are of the second type) GP2 used to leap out of the bath if we didn't keep a hand on him. GP1 just wanders about (we put a towel on the base so they don't slip) enhancing the water with guinea additives.

Then you have to dry them........grin

guineapiglet Thu 01-May-14 08:58:11

hi all

Just a quickie about guineas and allergies...pacific I do empathise as our son was hugely allergic to our guineas..the whole package of fur and hay combination...nothing really helped as even with minimum contact he would react and we hated giving him inhalers - it's just not fair when something supposed to be a pleasure becomes a health risk. Guineas were relocated into big insulated shed and he was fine with contact outdoors in the garden... but could not go in shed or where hay was as it would set him off. We got him a bio orb and gorgeous red finned tetras so he could have his own cuddly things!!! Guineas are sadly very allergenic and it is especially sad when they produce such adverse reactions in children who want to love and care for them. Hopefully one of 70s divine shampoos may help with dander dampening! try contact outdoors in fresh air and not in a confined space? good luck smile

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