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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 Thu 01-May-14 19:14:40

The hay house- yes it's fine (and typical) that they eat it- we had one of those card tunnels (actually we had 3 of them on special offer) GP2 used to pick the hay bits off then eat the card. Just look at it as a way of keeping their teeth trimmed.

Carrot leaves seem to go down better here than carrots grin

The late GP2 only purred or made nomnom noises
GP1 does an unholy shriek in protest at being lifted up , but it's a token protest, he loves a cuddle grin
GP3 - I'm sure he chats in his sleep hmm

I have noticed GP1s ears getting hairier in the last nine months , possibly to filter out the constant prattling grin

FernieB Thu 01-May-14 12:52:55

They do like to be involved in family life and would love a good view of the fridge (magical veg dispensing device). They can be a bit smelly so if you can cope with that - they'd love the kitchen.

Mine have moved around. Originally they were in the kitchen which they loved but were quite noisy. Then they lived in the dining room with Current Bun for a while and are now in the utility room which is a lot quieter but I do leave the door open a lot so they can still hear the fridge door opening.

PacificDogwood Thu 01-May-14 10:45:23

Thanks for that, Fernie, it's lovely to hear that they have wee personalities smile.

They are currently in a room referred to as 'playroom' but which has not been used as a playroom for a long time and has very little footfall/traffic, so it is fairly quiet and anybody entering the room as them scampering for shelter.
I am wondering whether to move them in to our kitchen/dining room where we spend 80% of our time so they get more used to us?
They are now 4-5 months old and have been with us for just over 5 weeks. Any thoughts?

FernieB Thu 01-May-14 10:41:33

They all seem to like carrot greens more than carrot. They will chew at anything cardboard or hay based and it's fine.

We have 2 boys - one of whom is largely silent unless he's really cross when we get a squeal or really happy when he purrs. Scruffypig chatters constantly with a series of wheeks etc all the time - it is lovely but not when you're trying to watch TV whilst you cuddle them. You may have got yourself a couple of chatterers.

PacificDogwood Thu 01-May-14 10:35:58

Oh, and here's another thing: I've just cleaned their cage again and they have eaten a whole chunk of their house made made of ?hay/grass/whatever. I presume that's ok??
They seem to like the carrot greens more than the actual carrot grin

PacificDogwood Thu 01-May-14 09:43:47

Thanks, guineapiglet - I had come across your post about your DS and GP and tetras somewhere else and have been considering all that.

We keep the GP on fleece cage liners, so hay dust is at a minimum. I do all the feeding and cleaning and most of the handling (they are still v shy and don't like to be caught, but settle nicely on my lap). They are also moulting like crazy - there must be the equivalent of one GP in hair alone every day hmm.

I have a couple of trial sizes of shampoo coming grin and we shall see.

Btw, when they have settled on my lap, initial panic quelled by parsley grin, they then start 'chatting': high pitched squeaks that they both do at the same time for a long period of time. It's not wheeling and not rumbling/purring and I have not really found it on GP noise sites. I am hoping it's happy chatter and not 'Omg, get me out of here, the scrary giant's got us again' confused. Any ideas?

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

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

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>

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


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

"Just for Boars"


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)

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.

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>

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

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.

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]

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

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 )

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

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

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...

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 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.

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>

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 17:40:00

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

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