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GP Questions

(7 Posts)
Missedcall974 Sat 01-Nov-14 20:21:48

Hi, I am looking at GP(s) for DD. Can anyone answer some questions.

1. One or two
2. Male or Female
3. Would indoor in a bedroom be ok with lots of time out of cage. This is for the winter. Will have hutch and run in Summer
4. Are they ok with cats? Dog can be kept away from them

TIA

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 01-Nov-14 20:56:10

Hi Missedcall

Firstly - how old is your DD?
And are you 100% sure she's not allergic to hay (they must have) or fur ( my DD is allergic to one of ours)

Are you prepared that you will be doing alot of the work? Even if your DD is on board which I don;t doubt, it's too much for a child. And legally, if your DC are under 16, they are yours .

Bedroom - no.
Many Rescues (I don;t know where you plan to get yours from) won't allow pigs in a childs bedroom. Too warm. Usually not enough space.
They can be quite noisy (not in a nocturnal way but just day-to-day)
And their hay smells. I put ours in the small bedroom at 5pm and already the hay is making itself known.

Think about what size of accomodation, and ask yourself honestly if you have the space indoors. They are happier in a family room really.

(There's a website on C&C cage that gives sizes, but bigger is better)

Storage of hay, bedding, newspapers, their dirty bedding till your bins get emptied.

Outside they need a safe , protected hutch . Protect against weather, foxes, cats, heat, draughts and damp.
Safe run that you can move about.

Boars or sows?
Sows are easier TBH but they can be grumpy and territorial - not all guineas will get along, like people. (Our 2 sows aren't related but get on well.)
Boars are lovely but need space and will go through a 'Terrible Teens' at 3-6 months. Don't trust people who say they need to live alone ( they don't) or they need neutered (they don't, unless you want boar/sow)

Always a pair or more.

2 or more sows
2 boars (fine if there are no sows)
A neutered boar with as many sows as you like but only one boar in a group.

Where are you planning to get them and what age are you looking for?
If you want boars, go for the biggest accomodation you can.
You need to make sure you get them properly sexed.
And hope that if you get sows they haven't already got pg (I bought a pg sow years ago) and I despair when I see adverts (Gumtree grrr ) "I have 8 guineas, boys and girls, all 8 weeks," all together, they could already be pg.

DD wanted a guinea boar, we got 2 rescue 1 year old brothers. Total love sponges, loved people. They had a scrappy period the first winter but it was sorted.
When one died, we got a tiny male piglet (Rescue) so my DD got her baby guinea.
When the older one died, we got the 2 sows (Rescue) and kept the boar apart from them while he was neutered and went sterile then they were introduced.
They are lovely. I love the sows though the boar has a real big bolshy Boris Johnson air to him.
He's also the one that DD is allergic to.

Smooth coats IMO (others might not agree) have fewer health problems.
One of our boys was an Abby (rosettes) they have shorter noses and can get cataracts.
Our currant boar is Rex (short wiry coat) they are big (he's 3lb) big feet, and the fur that brings DD out in a rash.
Girls are smooth.

Any questions, feel free. Lots of guinea - slaves here grin
Not trying to put you off, but it's as well to know the ins and outs beforehand.

dietcokeandwine Sun 02-Nov-14 20:41:59

Excellent advice from 70 as always-just to add to it re your question about dogs and cats. There will be lots of households I am sure who have dogs, cats and guineas and manage the dynamics and safety aspects just fine BUT please remember that guineas are prey animals, easily stressed (stress can kill them sad) and the presence of a cat could cause them a huge amount of stress. Cats may not have the strength and wiliness of foxes but a determined cat could kill a guinea if they wanted to-you'd need to make sure the hutches were really secure indoors as well as out.

Similar scenario with dog really-I had a Labrador and guinea pigs as a teenager, and it worked fine (guineas were well protected, and when out in their run tbh they had dog firmly under control grin). But. I do wonder whether it worked well because the lab came to the household as a puppy, and the guineas were already there. He'd never known the house without them, iyswim. Not sure how it would have been had the household been his territory when the pigs were introduced.

sanfairyanne Sun 02-Nov-14 21:23:20

we keep ours in bedrooms in winter and they are ok but they are a bit noisy/smelly and the cage takes up a huge amount of space.
cats will try to poke claws thro cage and indoor cages have wider bars so that could be a problem. none of ours are bothered by cats though - stupid piggies! they are terrified of dogs when they get near.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 02-Nov-14 21:49:00

Our 3 pigs are on Night 2 indoors (while the fireworks are rife then we'll see by the night temperatures)
Their hay is already making it's way round the hall and stairs so I've been cruel and given them Hay Cookies instead.( Solid discs of hay that they can chew at but it isn't bedding hay. Less messy though)

They have fleeces "We don't like them" they rage "so un-natural " but they'll lower themselves to cuddle up in them (they are lovely and soft, they have two double bed sized fleeces)

I will have to change the newspaper daily, they seem to be messier at night and the amount of waste 3 adult guineas produce never ceases to amaze me.

By day they go in the Pighouse, we cleaned the Pighouse yesterday so they had a whole floor of fresh bedding to rummage about in and dispel the judginess.

millimat Fri 07-Nov-14 21:48:19

Tell me again about fleeces for bedding please! Hay is driving me mad!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 08-Nov-14 14:40:09

Hay and fleece together is a nightmare.
Mine have a folded up fleece in the indoor cage (I did try a fleece across the floor and hay in a seperate section) but they managed to pee at the edge of the fleece (completely defeating the purpose of it wicking hmm )

I've given them a plain box, two boxes of hay (basically I've given in to them grin They want hay , they sleep in the hay, doesn't matter what I want ),and a folded fleece (nice a thick) on newspaper.

They spend their time running round and in/out all the boxes.

If you do use fleece the Buddy Brush from Lakeland is good (rubber) or one of those sticky rollers. Wash them in a pillowcase.
Don't try to hoover them, it doesn't work blush grin

They need hay, no escape there. But to make it less messy , maybe:
A rack
Hay cookies
Hay stuffed into toilet roll tubes
One of those hay 'cages'

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