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Our guinea pigs have arrived!

(34 Posts)
Dancergirl Fri 08-Jun-18 09:52:02

We have just rehomed a pair of GPs from a local rescue centre. They arrived yesterday much to the excitement of dd smile

We have a large indoor cage where they will live and will assemble a run for the garden for them this weekend.

As new GP owners, any tips would be gratefully received!

In terms of food - hay twice a day, GP nuggets once a day and fresh veggies once a day, is that right?

Cage cleaned out once a week. How do you get rid of the poo in between? They've already pooed a lot!

AllIHaveToDo Fri 08-Jun-18 10:06:48

Hi,

I recently acquired some guinea pigs from someone who was getting rid of them.

I have an outdoor hutch with an upstairs sleeping/eating room and then downstairs has a run. I generally take hen out and let them run free on my lawn.

They poo loads!!! So expect nuggets of poo in large quantities in both the cage and the run.

May I ask what you will use as a liner in the cage? At present I use a few sheets of newspaper to line the top of the hutch then I put a good layer of dust free sawdust on top of that. They have loads of hay.

I must admit I clean the hutch out every couple of days shock they poo and pee loads, the newspaper ends up soaked within a couple of days so I change everything. When cleaning the hutch, I got a water spray bottle (the kind you use for plants) and I made equal parts of water and white vinegar in it. I give the hutch a good spray with that as I believe it acts as a natural disinfectant. You can get anti bacterial sprays at pet shops but I never bothered.

I imagine with the indoor cage and cleaning it out you may need to vacuum clean up a lot. When the colder months set in I too intend for mine to come indoors, so I'll need a cage that's big enough.

As for food and water, I change the water twice a day (they have drank loads due to the warm weather) and I top up their food bowl twice a day as one of the Guineas eats loads. I give them gp nuggets as well veg combinations like broccoli, Savoy cabbage, curly kale, carrot, cucumber etc. I read somewhere not to give them lettuce as it can give them diarrhoea so I've avoided that.

Make sure you have good nail scissors for them. The nails get super long. You need to trim them back probably every week. And by trim I mean you really need to take minimal amounts off each time. If you try to take the whole nail off they bleed sad they have a vein which runs through the nail so you need to be careful and not take too much nail off at once.

Have fun with your new pets, they make a great addition to any family. My young sons absolutely adore them smile

AllIHaveToDo Fri 08-Jun-18 10:09:44

Also you can spot clean the cage for a couple of days, whereby you remove the poo by hand and top up the sawdust and hay. But truthfully I don't bother doing this as I do a full clean every couple of days. As long as they've plenty of fresh hay they'll be fine.

Dancergirl Fri 08-Jun-18 10:19:58

That's brilliant thank you.

I've lined the bottom with newspaper then a good layer of bedding then lots of hay.

Any advice about handling? Rescue centre lady said not to handle them for 24 to allow them to settle in.

AllIHaveToDo Fri 08-Jun-18 10:27:21

Mine were handled from the start by my ex whilst I was at work so I don't think there was any real advice to him about this (he got them from a friend). But i would definitely follow the rescue centres advice.

When I pick mine up I tend to let them sniff my hand first. Mine are quite shy. Then I use both hands and put one under the tummy and the other on their back and I lift them into/out of the hutch.

Other than that I don't really handle them i.e I don't sit with them on me, I just let them run free but I always stroke them and talk to them. I think when I decide to bring them in I will probably cuddle them more if they let me.

Another thing I read is that they don't bite. I don't know how true this is, but so far mine have never bitten when held.

FernieB Fri 08-Jun-18 11:38:26

I clean out daily - takes 5 minutes! I use newspaper to line the indoor cage and then put hay in a rack and in the igloos. All I do is roll up the old newspaper and discard, replace with fresh paper and refill igloos. I don't put bedding on top of the paper. I found it's an unnecessary expense. I've had pigs for 7 years now and just newspaper has worked well.

As for feeding, fresh hay at clean out time. I do fresh nuggets and water then too. Some cucumber or similar for breakfast and then a large supper of various veg. I do give bits of veg during the day if I'm cooking.

Weekly I wash food bowl and water bottle and do a deep clean of cage - also use vinegar.

I'd let them settle for a day or so and then handle. I use old towels just in case of overexcited pigs weeing!

Enjoy your new piggies.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 08-Jun-18 14:32:25

Congratulations on your new arrivals grin.
There's loads of food/bedding/hot weather/cold weather threads.

We do daily bedding cleans at this time of year too, they are messy animals and the risk of flies around ( google 'flystroke' but its envy <vom)

Our boar does a little poohnest , he's much tidier than the sows.

At the moment , they're all out in their runs , the boar (Bert) has layers of paper in his wooden housie ( I grabbed some of the packing paper from a parcel and folded it up) , he's currently larding inside the layers hmm wrapped up like a little bag of chips.

Good job he's neutered !

Guinea-pigs are lovely but vunerable little creatures. You need to protect them from everything - heat, cold, damp, draughts, cats,foxes.
Certain things they cannot eat
They are safer on ground level
They are very very gentle (I've had one biter but even that wasn't a proper bite) .
They love routine

And of course, we need Pigtures grin

EastMidsGPs Sat 09-Jun-18 05:56:11

Talk to them whenever you are near - my DH reads the newspaper and discusses cricket with them hmm
It won't be long before they sit waiting for you or wheek for your attention smile

Dancergirl Sat 09-Jun-18 10:08:52

Thank you all, they are sooooo sweet, I love watching them eat.

Will post some pictures later.

They are still not keen to be picked up, dd would love a cuddle with them! Shall I keep trying or leave it for a bit?

Dancergirl Mon 11-Jun-18 11:49:23

They poo so much! I can’t keep up with cleaning it out.

FernieB Mon 11-Jun-18 13:18:07

They have to keep pooping to make room to shovel more in the other end!

Hopefully you've managed a cuddle now. I've only had one pig who was happy to be picked up but all (except one wriggler) loved to sit on laps and be cuddled. So if they're reluctant to be picked up it doesn't mean they won't enjoy a cuddle. As they're prey animals they're programmed not to like be grabbed from above.

RaininSummer Mon 11-Jun-18 13:22:06

They love dandelion leaves - I grow them specially for my daughter's piggies.

MrsEricBana Mon 11-Jun-18 13:24:01

Ah yes, extreme pooing. I used to depoop and fresh up the cage every day then do, drum roll, "The Big Clean" once a week. Not fun. Lovely animals though.

MrsEricBana Mon 11-Jun-18 13:24:20

Freshen

AllIHaveToDo Wed 13-Jun-18 09:47:12

I'm just about to clean mine out now and let them have a good play on the grass. They go through hay like I don't know what!

Here's mine

EastMidsGPs Wed 13-Jun-18 15:29:22

Sadie left, Nessa right .. not happy as fetched in from playing

FernieB Wed 13-Jun-18 16:35:26

Oh East they are two grumpy looking pigswink. How dare you make them pose for photos when they were busy playing. I'm not sure there's enough parsley to sort that one out. Very good looking pigs though.

EastMidsGPs Wed 13-Jun-18 17:09:27

grin
As can be seen Sadie is wasting away pining for DH (still unwell and milking it for all it is worth 😉)

FernieB Wed 13-Jun-18 20:26:42

I thought Sadie looked skeletalgrin.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 13-Jun-18 21:17:59

Well, East the 70 Hogs think it's shabby that your DH isn't dragging himself off of his deathbed and fetching grass for them. He could haul himself along on his elbows with his grass cutting shears in his teeth <tsk>

I had An Entire Organ (gallbladder) removed a few years back and I still managed to haul myself out to the Pigs ( OK< I had DD doing most of the work but I still did it smile

Is it 'cos I am wimmin ?

Dancergirl Fri 15-Jun-18 09:54:34

Lovely piggies on here smile

Ours have settled in, dd is still deciding about names! We have a ginger/white one whose name will probably be Toffee. The black and white one is harder to name!

We've done our first proper cage clear out. I don't know if it's just me but I found it really hard work! We have a ferplast indoor cage with a stand so I was on my knees the whole time with a dustpan and brush sweeping up old bedding/hay/poo. Took ages!

I'm wondering whether to use those puppy pads instead of newspaper, would that make for easier cleaning?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 15-Jun-18 13:40:07

Any b/w of mine would be Magpie, Badger or Domino grin

I use puppy pads , mine dont chew them but they do have a plasticy base so you'd need to see if your guineas are the destructive types.

There's rodent safe wood pellets that you can use as a base layer, but the newspaper on top for easy cleaning and just scoop out the manky wood pellets . Worth looking into (I get mine from The Range and I've seen similar in Jolleys (cat litter) so I'd need to check if thats rodent safe)

Megazorb or Auboise equine bedding works well

And Pigtues ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ya know themz the rulez !

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 15-Jun-18 13:40:37

Pigtures (Hairy Trucker Hands)

Dancergirl Fri 15-Jun-18 19:26:05

Thank you 70

Just a quick question about the run for the garden - what do I need to put in it? Does it need a water bottle and bedding in the house part?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 15-Jun-18 19:57:02

Our boar has a wooden house in his run, just newspaper in the base.
I give juicy veg like cucumber if its really hot , min will quaff this rather than drink (though it must be hot here , my two sows are taking water now)

Things like a tunnel or cardboard box in the run will keep them busy .
Shade is vital, I use a fitted dark bedsheet over ours .

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