2 Brand new Guinea Pigs, help please?

(15 Posts)
nickdrakeslovechild Sat 20-Feb-16 17:27:37

Finally got my OH to agree to a pair of gorgeous male Piggies, they are coming to live with us in a couple of weeks. I was ideally looking at an outdoor cage on our deck by the back door with a large run on our lawn. I would love an indoor cage so they are close by for lots of cuddles, but the petshop said they would need one 100cm wide.

I have just had one delivered and its bloody huge, there is no way on earth my OH will be ok with it. The only place it could fit is at the otherside of the woodburner alcove which is really warm, any ideas please?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 20-Feb-16 18:57:33

Okay saddle up there nickdrake and prepare for the ride. Congratulations on your new piggies .

Cracks knuckles:

100cm is 3'3" is not big enough for two boars. I don't believe anything Petshops tell me about cages.
The reason most boars end up out on their ears at 6 months is they squabble and the main reason they squabble is lack of space.
Look online, they all recommend 4'x2' as a minimum for 2 hogs (as babies you can get away with less but do you really want to spend out further ££ on a grown up cage? )

C&C might be a better option, grids that you can assemble to make a cage the size you want according to sace and you can be inventive with the shape. ( Look on C&C cages)

They don't cope with extremes of heat or cold (and certainly not going from one to the other) damp and draughts.

They are messy (the hay gets everywhere) noisy chatty little things. Boars I think are cuddlier than sows I have (ex breeding Rescues)

If you want them outside in the garden there are loads of hutches, again biggest is best. I prefer one level but my pigs are lardy adults. You can get waterproof thermal covers.
Maybe have an indoor foldable run to come in and play.

We use a rabbit run from Bunny Business, pegged into the grass. It's high enough to give them all round protection and they don't dig , but obviously they need protected from foxes, cats , magpies (oh yes)

My three sleep inside in winter, we have an old 4x2 cage that I bought for our original boars, we kept it in the dining room but it was a pain, kept tripping over it.
So they had a series of C&C runs but we've gone back to the 4x2 at night. It's literally for sleeping in. (I have two sows and a neutered boar now)

FTR- your DH will be judgey about the hogs. Mine tuts over the hay, the fridge being full of veg, the amount of litter waste they produce (and I'm sure he's envy at the attention they get grin ) But he's good at texting me "Do the pigs need any veg, I'm in asda"

You need to have someone on board to care for them if you're ill (OH) or away on holiday

My pigs won't be going out full time till Easter but they have a Pighouse (glorified wooden playhouse) . Could you get a shed / do you have a shed? You can adapt them for piggies.
It's too early IMO for them to be out full time especially piglets, so, yes they'd need to be inside for now.

You've got some time to peruse before your babies arrive.Lots of threads on here. grin.

nickdrakeslovechild Sat 20-Feb-16 19:53:50

Thanks 70 that's really helpful (and a wave from the Christmas thread!) . Ok so we have lots of room on the deck outside so maybe I need a big hutch out there with a separate run on the lawn and a small "bedrooom" in the house? How small could I go then it if was only for sleeping? or do I just get the run that I can bring indoors when we want family time and get one of the waterproof thermal covers and they will sleep outside?

InternationalHouseofToast Sat 20-Feb-16 20:27:13

Nick, the cage inside will still need to be big enough for some exercise - they only sleep for short 10 - 15 minute spells so are up and about in the dark, they don't go to bed at night like a dog would.

They'll also need at least 2 sleeping spaces in the indoor cage so they can get away from each other and these ideally should have 2 entrances each (or a door and a window) so if the dominant one tries to block the other GP into the house, they can get out of the door / window to get to food. Give them a couple of food bowls as well for this reason.

If you're moving them between inside and outside you have to be careful about their body temperature - you can't have them in a heated house for 10 hours and then just plonk them outside in the front - not saying you would but online forums warn about people bringing guins home from a heated pet shop and putting them straight out in the cold. Get as big an indoor cage as you can - maybe think of it as summer and winter housing, rather than day and night.

nickdrakeslovechild Sat 20-Feb-16 20:41:26

Thanks ,so an outdoor one It is then, I have seen a great outdoor hutch with a thermal cover, its a 5 ft double decker one. Some people say that double ones aren't great for piggies as they wont go up and down the ramp??

InternationalHouseofToast Sat 20-Feb-16 20:55:27

I've heard they will get used to ramps in the end, but they take longer to get used to them than rabbits do.

janethegirl2 Sat 20-Feb-16 21:04:35

We had a large hutch ( indoors) for 2 pigs which was used for them at night and an indoor run which was around 3ft by 4 ft. This was perfectly adequate and we had no fights with the Pigs.
The only issue was that we'd to be around to move them in the morning and evening although if we were away, a neighbour would leave them in the run all the time but there would be an extra box in the run for them to feel secure at night.

fivefootsix Sat 20-Feb-16 21:08:01

We have two boars (brothers) in an indoor cage. Hidey hole each for sleeping, platforms and tubes for interest. They are lovely together.

Cuddled twice a day, on the lawn for most of the say spring-early autumn and totter around the lounge most days in winter.

Easy!

FernieB Sat 20-Feb-16 21:22:43

Ignore your OH - he's wrongwink. My DH was not happy at the idea of any pet but I've noticed that he always goes to say 'goodbye' to them when he leaves for work. Ours are permanently indoor boys in a large cage in the utility. Run round the kitchen in winter and mow the lawn in summer

nickdrakeslovechild Sat 20-Feb-16 21:30:20

They are going to get so many cuddles, the one today fell asleep on me! I am totally in love.
We also have a dog so having free run in the house isn't an option (saying that my dog is scared of cats and his own shadow!) he is a sweetie but I know that they cant be out together. The outdoor run I've seen is a huge hexigan one with a sun/wind cover so I know that will be good when we are outside. We do spend a lot of time outside, a dog, preschooler and high maintenance garden demand it! in fact I must be mad to get more pets

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 20-Feb-16 22:46:19

Start collecting your newspapers and ask your NDNs to save theirs. (I aquire some from supermarkets and if I go on the tube I hoover them up at the end of the day . I go up Larndan once a month late night , and fill a bag. Cue hmm looks but meh they get thrown away at the end)

There are lots of Pig Food threads and Don't Feed This threads.

Guinea pigs can get tubby . Actually I've seen very few thin guineas, I'm sure they exsist but I've only ever had one slim piggie who was a 'Surprise' when we got a pg sow. She was tiny.

They do need excercise and will popcorn and run if it suits them. Most of their excercise involves rootling around for food and eating hay. They can get porky eating veg grin

Boars especially can get a bit saggy when they get older. We had one that had a sort of impaction , he could pooh but sometimes his droppings were huge ( size of a Fererro Rocher) he could pooh them out but there was something odd going on. He did normal ones too.

Find the name of a vet who has an interest in guineas, they are "Exotic" wink

Make sure your pigs can't trap each other. One will be Alpha, you don't want to run the risk of the other one being bullied. Our boars rarely slept in the same sleeping area. They shared a haybox but different corners.
Our haybox has two doors and there's enough space in each door for two pigs to pass each other by.

They love food grin understatement.
They are prey animals and never lose this. Even though we've had the sows for a year and a half , the boar ten months, they always scarper when we lift their hidey boxes. In a way it's a game to them. We catch them , cuddle them, feed them. But it never changes.
In fact the first 'sign' that one of my pigs is ill is if they're just 'sitting' there, gently rocking.

FernieB Sat 20-Feb-16 23:54:50

Echo everything 70 has said. You will need a lot of newspaper - broadsheet is best as it spreads out further and makes it easier to roll up and throw away. They love nothing more than to pee all over a freshly cleaned out cage. They need almost daily cleaning outshock. On the plus side they will 'help' with your garden by mowing lawns and enthusiastically pruning any plants within reach of their run (my lavender had no flowers last year after I inadvertently put their run too close to it).

If you check your vets website, it usually says what specialities and pets each vet has - usually a good indication of how 'exotic' savvy they are. Not all vets are great with small pets. I've been very lucky with mine.

They will need the option of separate hidey holes. Also if it's two youngish males you're getting, you may have to watch them go through the terrible teens when they can bicker a lot to establish dominance. It can be worrying to watch but they usually work through it okay. Boars may always bicker a bit and a bit of posturing is normal. That's really why they need the space to stay away from each other if they want. My first boar pair would rarely even look at other unless one of them was removed for cuddles and then the other would go madly looking for him. My current pair (one of the originals and a younger one) are much closer and will eat out of the same bowl and sleep in the same box.

Finally, when they arrive it is absolutely compulsory to post 'pigtures' on here as we all need to see them. Then of course, they'll need their MN names!

nickdrakeslovechild Sun 21-Feb-16 09:05:42

I didnt sleep last night I was so excited and running through the cage/ hutch options!

The 2 I am looking at are this single one or this double one with this run

Sorry I know I am asking a lot of questions, but I really do appreciate your opinions.

nickdrakeslovechild Sun 21-Feb-16 09:06:50

The run will be additional, for which ever hutch I get.

FernieB Sun 21-Feb-16 12:44:39

I've had one of those runs in the past and it lasted a while but the wires that you stick into the ground did become very bent. I also would only use it if I was out in the garden as well as the cover is flimsy and would collapse if something jumped on it (I lived in an area with a few cats and also Eagles!). About 4 years ago I got a folding one from P@H and it's been brilliant. Really solid and has lasted well, despite being chewed by naughty piggies. http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/small-pet/rabbit-hutches-and-runs/outdoor-rabbit/rabbit-folding-run

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