We have acquired a guinea pig, lots of questions!(14 Posts)
Hello all guinea pig owners. I'm looking for help and advice please.
We have aquired a 3 month old girl guinea pig. She was needing adoption and the DC's fell in love with her so after buying all the essential equipment she came home with us yesterday. We are obviously keen to give her the best life possible so I want to make sure we are doing all we can for her so I have lots of questions!
From reading up they are social and need lots of interaction which we are happy to give but with school and work we are out of the house most days. Should we get a second one? And if so how soon and how to introduce? She has been on her own for at least the last month.
Cages, bedding etc. We have a single level outdoor hutch which we are currently keeping indoors due to weather and not wanting to put her outside on her own. What's best to put in it? How often to clean?
Food - we have pellets and have put in some dandelion leaves and a carrot (which she's eaten) plus lots of hay - what else and how often?
She is understandably a bit skittish, how can I help settle her plus get her used to being picked up, not that we want to annoy her but for example to take her out the hutch and put in her run
Congrats . Definitely get a second one. They may well snap at each other at first and need separate homes for a couple of weeks but in my experience they always settle down.
Just spoke to DH and broached the idea of a second one and he was great about it so will definitely get her a pal. Any tips on age/introducing them? Re a second home, do you mean another full size cage?
Take her to a rescue to choose her own friend. Not all guineas get on with each other. Good rescues offer a bonding service.
You can try her with different veg - mine like celery (esp. the leaves), tomato, cucumber, peppers, lettuce, kale, broccoli, spinach, melon rind, grapes, apple, parsley, basil, lavender etc. Only give small amounts of fruit as it's quite sugary for them. Mine will only get a small piece of my apple. Always provide lots of hay. You can handle as much as you like. Use bribes to get her used to being handled - parsley works well. Old towels are useful as piggies get excited and will wee on you!
Congratulations on your new piggie and Welcome to MN , Tinsel
Yes, Pigs Need Company unless you get a very rare anti social pig)
If you do (and I suggest that you do indeed) get a companion then you do need to introduce them properly and safely .
You might be able to get a neutered boar ( the Rescue some of my pigs go to neuter their single boars now to make rehoming easier. There are far more boar pairs/ singles out there who are up for rehoming possibly because they squabble as teens)
Boars are lovely and snuggly (and they don't smell- our sows pee more than our boar)
He'll be older than your female if he's castrated.
Females - you might get one of a pair where they've been left on their own and they need a new cagemate. A Rescue will pig match on neutral ground (and they'll have vet checked them)
And check your female is definately female - shuld be easy at this age to spot the difference
They are skittery, they'll hide if you look at them wrongly. But food and patience will win them round (and soon you'll have Judgey Piggies like the rest of us)
Catch her in a small cardboard box - let her pootle in, bloock the door with you hand and lift her out , they fall for it every time.
They love routine- we feed at 7pm~ish and 6-30/7am on a weekday (bit later weekends , we need a lie in but cue the Judgey Faces)
Outdoor run for summer (bit of a way off but you can do some searching. Gumtree / eBay bargains)
I usually keep my new pigs seperate from my own ones for a couple of weeks (longer with a boar going sterile, not at all with our tiny piglet bought for GP1. Ongoing with my new ladies who don't like my trio <<sigh>> )
Lots to weigh up.
Give some Rescues a phone and see what they suggest, now Christmas is over they'll be rehoming again (they don't tend to over the Festive period unless you need one for a bereaved pig)
Added bonus is the smug healthy supermarket trolley
Though shopping with my DDad, I was gutted at all the Clearance veg in Tesco that I couldn't buy because my pigs are 100s of miles from me (DD is on Pig Duty)
"Oh look sweetcorn 30p.....oh wait" <<sigh>>
that shouldn't be the Rescue some of my pigs go to should be came from.
I'm not churning out piggies here, our Bert is 100% jaffa , even though our sows are tubby (except GP5 whos not well) he's not to blame
Thank you 70 and everyone else. We are going along to our local rescue centre this afternoon. When you say introduce properly and safely, any tips?
She is still very shy, early days I know, so taking things slowly
I have two girls, have introduced a 'new' one to an established one a number of times. Always try to get a piggie from a rescue as then you can hopefully get one around the same size. Although have introduced youngster/baby successfully.
I always clean the hutch out thoroughly but keep a bit of dry bedding back and rub them both lightly with this and leave it atop new bedding in the house bit ... so they do sort of smell the same.
We tend to stroke and cuddle the existing pig and then the new one a few times again so they both smell the same. Plenty of hay for the new one to hide in and plenty of space for them to keep away from one another.
Also, we never loom over them to pick them up, and try and pick them up from the side if possible. Talk all the while you are with them and they'll get used to you quickly. Use their names, most get to recognise their names, some chose to ignore them😃 yes looking at you Sadie 🐹
As 70 says establish a routine and they'll soon settle.
😁😁 I may adopt Elvis as a nickname. She was already named Tinsel and the DC's wanted to keep it.
Awww! What a beautiful piggy. Good luck with finding her a friend.
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