newly adopted Piggies

(63 Posts)
pinkoneblueone Sun 29-Mar-15 18:52:58

Please can you give me some advice on guinea pigs as we have just adopted 3 male (brothers) today and i've never had any before. They are 6 months old. I will have to get them neutered asap as they squabble and one has now gone blind in one eye due to this. They share a Hutch in the garden and have a blanket and plastic sheet that goes over the hutch to keep them warm and dry. They were bathed and had their nails clipped before the previous owner has brought them to us. She has brought them a few hrs ago we have handled them and made sure they are happy and well in the hutch and are letting them settle in. So i'm looking for advice on care for them as a book will only tell me so much, please help!?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 29-Mar-15 20:08:39

Oh Jings pink
where did you get them (I'm guessing a private seller rather than a Rescue or a Petshop (given their age- Petshops usually turn them out younger)

Who told you to get them neutered, the owner?

And why were they selling/re-homing?

You've got them now, so buckle yourself in wink

First off - boars are lovely (my DD wanted boars, we had a few years with boars now we have sows. The sows are gorgeous but boars have character like no other)

They also go through The Terrible Teens (aka The Kevin Years) at about 4-6 months which may well explain the reason why they were rehomed.

And trios of boars are hard work. A duo will live nicely with enough space and distractions. Trios of boys can be done but it's harder.

Don't neuter them unless you want to pair them with females. It doesn't change the fighting tendancies.

The one with the damaged eye? How long ago was this? Has he been looked at by a vet? Treated?

If they keep fighting you will need to re-assess the trio which may well mean taking out the one who is being picked on for his own safety.
Usually with a boar pair there's a dominant boy and a quieter one. If they maintain their Status Quo (not the Pop Group) they will jog along happily. One protects, the other is the protected. There might be the odd fracas (mine certainly did) but it's resolvable in most cases.

You can't put a boar pair in range of a sow but you could have a boar+boar and a neutered boar+sow if they are kept well apart.

A hutch for three guineas would need to be at least 5'x2' but for boars increase that - as much space as you can.
Your hutch has upper/lower levels . You'll find they'll spend most of the time in the sleeping bit for now, the grass might be too damp at the moment.

If you can, get a big rabbit run that folds up for storage. Peg it down with tent pegs to protect them. Lots of tunnels and boxes.

You've jumped in the deep end there pink but we're here to answer all your queries wink

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 29-Mar-15 20:12:31

Oh, and WRT the eyes.
Other things can cause eye trouble.
Trauma (scratch) is the obvious one (my neutered boar was scratched by one of the sows on a Friday. He saw the vet the next day, it had healed itself)
Other things (less likely because your pigs are little)

Teeth problems
Cataract (especially in Abbys - rossetted coats)
Diabetes

sanfairyanne Sun 29-Mar-15 20:28:23

everything 70 says really

are you sure they are a bonded trio/brothers? how are they getting on now?

3 boys is hard. i had a trio for ages and they were fab but they need space space space space space

ideally different sleeping areas or tunnels as they might only want to snuggle if very cold. 2 water bottles. 2 hay racks. 2 bowls of nuggets. that way they cant guard and stop one from accessing food/water

getting them neutered wont make any difference to aggression

Bonkey Sun 29-Mar-15 20:36:40

Don't have anything else to add but good luck wink .

From the owner of two boars who whilst loveable are a pain in my backside and must live in separate residences hmm

pinkoneblueone Sun 29-Mar-15 22:19:35

Hi, thank you for your responses, They are 6 months old bores and the lady who has given them to me has a new job doing 12 hr shifts and didn't have the time to care for them. She suggested the neutering as she said it would make them happier, she assured me that they are brothers though one has been picked on and is the one with the sore eye, she said she only noticed it today as she was bathing him before she brought them to me.

there is water and food on both levels for them to assure that T isn't kept from his food and water, i did worry 3 would be to many what would be the best solution if they continue to fight as i don't want a single and lonely piggy.

sanfairyanne Sun 29-Mar-15 22:51:19

the eye thing sounds v dodgy. how can she only have noticed today? is he actually blind?? that sounds an unlikely injury from a fight, could be straw or an infection.
all g pigs squabble and peck. when there is a good hierarchy it wont turn ugly
if they really fight it will show as cuts and bites - this can get very nasty. otoh, bites that dont draw blood are a normal gpig 'putting them in their place' action.
hopefully it is just squabbly boys and having lots of hidey holes and space will help

pinkoneblueone Sun 29-Mar-15 22:57:01

the eye has a white dot in the middle i'll get him to the vet tomorrow, she has been working 12 hr shifts since she started her new job and has not been home an awful lot lately. she has said that they were biting one another too maybe i should take them all to the vet tomorrow for a once over by the sounds of things, they have a little house but she has asked that i don't put it back in until they have been neutered as they were squabbling over it the hutch looks quite big but i've only had them a few hours so haven't had much chance to monitor the situation fully

sanfairyanne Sun 29-Mar-15 23:21:34

no harm in a vet check. do you have any nearby that know anything about gpigs? most are clueless ime. any serious bites will be obvious if you look through their fur - they draw blood and leave 2 teeth marks or worse. no marks means they were just normal nipping each other.
i like furry tunnels for hidey holes - warm but easy to get out of in a hurry so less fighting plus they like tunnels anyway
eye could be a cataract?

millimat Mon 30-Mar-15 09:51:58

Our vets do a guinea pig health check for free so I'd def take all of them along. Is be putting the house in, plus another thing so there's the distinct hidey places of they want them.

pinkoneblueone Mon 30-Mar-15 10:07:26

i am taking T and the others to the vets today, though its only T that will be seen i want to ensure that he's not picked on any more for smelling different. Its the eye doctor that he'll be seeing so will cost me £33.00 but will be worth it to know that he's ok, its gonna cost £180 for them all to be neutered at once so will need to hold off a little on that as we've just bought a new car and have extra childcare costs this month due to the easter hols. so lots of extra costs this month i will talk to the vet an rejig my finances this month to try and fit it in.

what is the name of the vet that offers this service please?

sanfairyanne Mon 30-Mar-15 10:38:18

honestly, why bother neutering them?especially if money is tight. its not going to affect aggression. neutering is useful if you want to put one in with a girl instead though

sanfairyanne Mon 30-Mar-15 10:42:20

i just googled 'guinea pig neuter aggression' to double check and its just page after page saying that, unlike other animals, it doesnt make gpigs less aggressive

just dont want to see you waste your money if it is tight. it can help reduce impaction in elderly gpigs i think and is great for allowing you to have a mixed herd

hope eye is ok

Bonkey Mon 30-Mar-15 12:20:08

Don't waste your money on snipping them - it will do nothing for their behaviour , only do it if you wnt a female in with one.

Its a big op for a little critter!

pinkoneblueone Mon 30-Mar-15 15:06:04

i wasn't going to snip T just the other boys if the continue to act up, i am looking for a new hutch for T he is in the carry case until i can get him a nice one. they are too old to add a new piggy so there is no need to pair them off the eye will cost £16.00 per week for the pain relief and if i have it removed it'll be about £300 if he was to be neutered at the same time she did not give me the cost for the eye op but that was just for T.

sanfairyanne Mon 30-Mar-15 15:39:04

what did the vet say was wrong with his eye, poor thing sad

pinkoneblueone Mon 30-Mar-15 15:57:41

His eye is cataracts, it may have been brought on by a bite to the eye, i have to give him daily pain relief and keep him separate from the others. I may have to have his eye removed which will be around £300.

mariamin Mon 30-Mar-15 16:05:04

Neutering is not usually recommended because of the risks. It sounds like the eye would be caused by something else
You know with food they should mainly eat good quality hay. Small amount of pellets every day, and fresh vegetables. Don't give them eyeballs with seeds as they can choke on the seeds. And get pellets rather than muesli mixes. The latter have a lot of rubbish in them.

mariamin Mon 30-Mar-15 16:05:37

What bedding are you using?

pinkoneblueone Mon 30-Mar-15 16:19:02

i am just using good quality hay as i was told by the previous owner to use that as bedding and food. they have musli she gave me a huge bag so i will use that up 1st and then switch to pellets as i was going to give them pellets myself anyway as i'd read that they won't get all the nutrients otherwise. The vet seemed all for neutering but after visiting them had decided not to neuter them. As separating seemed to be a better option. so i've taken T out of the equation. I'm just looking for a good hutch for him atm

sanfairyanne Mon 30-Mar-15 16:32:25

you seem to have taken on a lot sad well done tho for doing all this!

i would not rush to separate them if there has been no blood drawn. the eye injury is either hereditary if cataract or more likely from a piece of hay. i cant imagine how a bite to the eye would happen or that they would only damage the eye. do you have antibiotics as well btw?

millimat Mon 30-Mar-15 16:42:03

If you put them all together and watch them, does he seem to get picked on?

millimat Mon 30-Mar-15 16:43:32

Our vet is just a local one. We've been tonight for a general health check and nail clipping service- it's too traumatic for me to do them as gp3 is far too wriggly! All for free wink

mariamin Mon 30-Mar-15 16:43:58

They need fresh veggies every day as well for the vitamins.

pinkoneblueone Mon 30-Mar-15 16:44:41

he has bite marks and scabs so i was advised by the vet to keep them separate. the previous owner did say he was picked on by the other two. the previous owner felt he'd been bitten and that had caused the injury

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