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Guinea pigs, what do you know?

(4 Posts)
sugarplumfairy28 Fri 06-Jan-17 17:37:03

I had Guinea pigs a very long time ago, but have to admit I may have done things wrong, so I'm not relying on any of that at all.

DD will be 6 in April. She is very into animals, as am I. We have 2 dogs, 9 cats and a bearded dragon, recently I lost my big boy cat who would have been the only concern with regardless to smaller pets.

I'm not too keen on rabbits so am looking at Guinea pigs, maybe 2? We have a large garden, lots of grass for in the summer.

Give me the low down, what are your do's and don'ts, must haves, not to bother with and pearls of wisdom.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 06-Jan-17 18:03:30

I Love my piggies, I've kept piggies for years, since I was 9yo till 22ish then my DD got us on the Piggy Wagon again when she was 9yo , we have GP4,GP6,GP7,GP8 (GP5 went To The Bridge yesterday, Bless her) That's a downside, they leave a huge hole in your heart when they go .

Mmmm dogs, cats and piggies? They are prey animals so they might be ok, but deep down they'll always feel like they're Lunch which is a shame because once they get brave and tame they're fantastic little rodents.
Cats are natural predators (my DBro cat visits but we keep the pigs in their shed, not fair on either to put them in a risky situation)

They are messy- the hay they cast about without a second thought (my DD was looking after ours last week, she's now 14.6yo and she did an excellant job , but the hay is EVERYWHERE grin )

Lots of DC are allergic (DD is allergic to Rex and Teddy fur, our GP3 was Rex, GP6 is Teddy)
And the hay - hugely allergenic.

They need protected from cold,damp,draughts,heat,predators. So unlike rabbits, its hard (but not impossible) to keep them outdoors all year.

Rabbits aren't considered by many to be a good childs pet (I've never kept rabbits) but piggies are a considerable amount of work too.
You'll be doing 90% no matter what your DC tells you.

You'll need to store hay , (shed or garage?) plan where they'll live, an outdoor run+safe shelter, safe hutch or cage.

You'll end up in an onward spiral when one goes, you get another and on and on.
They don't always get on. My new girls don't like my original ones.
My boar was in Rescue and had to split from his brother (fighting) so he was neutered to rehome.

Has your DD expressed an interest in piggies or would she rather have rabbits?
The things I love about guineas is they stay on the ground, don't run(much) climb, kick (except GP3) , bite (except GP5) but they are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. Some people find them boring shock

I quite like the idea of free ranging rabbits in the garden at dusk on a summers evening.....................(not enough to make me get some)

Most guineas end up in Rescue or Gumtree because of Kids Lost Interest/ Kids Got Allergies or " Not getting on with other animals/dog won't leave them alone"

sugarplumfairy28 Fri 06-Jan-17 19:59:37

Most of my cats are incredibly placid lazy so and so's. My big boy was the only reason I have never entertained the idea of anything smaller than him. (He died unexpectedly last year) He had previously brought me back a wild hare, a squirrel and a kestrel among other things.

We have a separate garden for the dogs, and they are not allowed in certain parts of the house.

Now you say it allergies isn't something I had considered. My DS is quite sensitive to pretty much anything, but not animals to date. I'm now wondering if there is a way I can put this to the test before committing to anything.

DD loves any animal, she just wants a pet of her 'own'. I appreciate what kids are like, so the question has more been am I prepared to do the 'boring' stuff.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 06-Jan-17 23:17:54

You could contact a local Rescue and ask to bring your DD to handle some piggies when they're quiet (and they can give you some ideas about the size of hutch you'll need and where's best to site them)

When we got GP1/GP2 my DH was surpised how big they were (don't know what he thought I'd be bringing home?)
We've had Smooth/Abby/Rex/Smooth/Smooth/Teddy/Long Silkie Fur/Smooth. She was allergic to GP3 (rex) but ok with a Teddy boar that her friend had ...............but very allergic to the Teddy boar we got (GP6).
She gets a rash on her face and if his fur gets in her eyes, they go red.
I've offered to take him if it gets worse, she's refused.

So best bet is to look for a good solid lardy smooth, I (personally) think they 'lose' something when they get too Fancy.
Those very long coated Texcels and Peruvians are hard work and what kind of life do they enjpy?
I bought a Peruvian (by accident) years ago, she needed daily combing, regular washing and only had her fur at ankle length, not all rolled up like some have <shudder>

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