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Small pets

Day one and needing advice

31 replies

KinkyDorito · 07/05/2013 20:00

Hi all

Right, Tony has managed 24 hours of stealth. He is hiding in his bed and sticks his nose out to get food, then heads back in again.

I put him a veggie selection in this morning - a bit of carrot, a bit of celery and a couple of outer cauli leaves. He left most of the celery and some of the cauli.

When I got home, I de-poo'd, freshened his water, hay and put in new pellets (which I don't think he's really eaten). I then put him in a little bowl with some kale, parsley, a couple of slices of cucumber and a couple of pieces from the top of a red pepper. He appears to have eaten all of that without us seeing him.

That seems like a lot of veg for one small furry mammal.

Should I just be putting veg in once a day even though his cage looks barren with just pellets and water? DH thinks twice a day might be overdoing it.

Also, we haven't really held or stroked him yet; he seems so nervy. At what point do I do this? If we are relying on me coaxing him out, I suspect this could take ages.

OP posts:
70isaLimitNotaTarget · 07/05/2013 21:12

If Tony's eating that's a good sign that he's settling in.They do manage to trough an amazing amount of veg (greedy little so and so's) Grin

Keep a check on his droppings- they should be smooth, slightly glossy but not mucousy, slightly curved sometimes and plentiful.

My boars don't drink water.Their bowl is untouched, the bottle they have in their winter cage doesn't alter.But still I give them fresh water daily (love them spoiled pigs) water can go 'off' quickly.
The pellets need changed regularly- they will lose their Vit C quickly.Mine eat the pellets but I think it's after the veg .

I give breakfast and evening veg (a choice of 4-5, different ones night/morning)
Guineas like to do most of their eating at dusk and dawn (crepuscular) then they tottle off to pooh eat in peace.(They eat the first passing of poohs, very soft, you probably won't see these ones). My little Abbysynian boar gets a bit soft after too much grass so he wouldn't have veg at night after a long grass day. But loads of hay.

He'll need a while to settle, but the shop said he was good with people. When you do lift him, just slowly take everything out of his cage so he's got nowhere to hide in (put them back after Grin ) and he'll get used to being caught.
We caught ours the same day we got them for a cuddle. DD was too excited to leave them in peace but ours were adults so used to being handled. But give your boy a couple of days, everything is new to him.

GPs have to eat fairly constantly (if they go without food for 7 hours it can cause gut stasis and liver failure). They rarely overeat though some are chubbier (Yes you GP1) than others.

One of the nicest things about GPs is finding out their favourite foods.
Our love parsley,corn on the cob, banana, red peppers, apple, watermelon and strawberries. With the 'boring,bulking' veg like spring greens, carrot,brocilli stalks. (Too much sugar isn't good for them).
Emjoy him and within 48 hours he'll begin to show his Piganality Wink

KRITIQ · 07/05/2013 23:09

All round good advice there from 70!

It's funny with pigs. I looked after two sows over Christmas - absolute dolls they were, but I was so worried they hardly touched a drop of water. They didn't die or anything (whew) so I guess they were okay.

Let's just say my boys are "heavy drinkers," and always have been - like 200 ml a day between them. But I've had pigs who weren't that interested in water, so there is alot of variation.

Piganality. Love that!

MrsShrek3 · 07/05/2013 23:18

our girlpigs get through tons of hay. and love celery.
carrots, cabbage, parsley, cauliflower etc all ok (apple is scary apparently) but celery is the best food in the universe Grin
they also drink a lot, half a 300ml bottle in 24 hrs for the pair of them, more in warmer weather unless it just evaporates more Confused we've had them a year this week (aww) and they're starting to seem happy with handling and now actually come out for a chat when we take food Smile they won't eat the dry food that looks like poo but will eat poo that they do in the food bowl. weirdos.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 07/05/2013 23:28

Aww, it's amazing how different they all are, they all have their own little ways.

Celery- I'm the mad bint in the market or the supermarket looking for the leafiest celery for them (DH get the Pigs Cast Offs stalks.

If mine drank that much water I think they'd need to swim, they pee rivers Grin

MrsShrek3 · 07/05/2013 23:33

(minor hijacking) 70 (supreme knowledge of all stuff Pig) - what's the deal with them doing what the dc call the Pig Alarm - sounds like a bloody car alarm Grin if we turn up with veg? Excitement aka "gimme gimme it now" or alarm "big human thing approaching" ?

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 08/05/2013 00:04

The excited shrieking is 99% a "Food Food" call. (And a 1% "Alert Alert" to let the other pig be aware)
Big Human Things are there purely to supply food and cuddles .

Our GP1 gets very animated when he hears a parsley bag rustling (GP2 doesn't squeak at all). GP1 leapt into a bag of parsley once. His bum was on my shoulder. DH holding the bag but not being quick enough.

It's a different noise to the one he makes when his brother is taken away (if I catch GP2 first and put him in the Pighouse. GP1 runs up and down really fretful "Where is he. I'm sure I left him here. Where's he gone"?

High pitched, LOUD but with a different edge to it.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 08/05/2013 00:06

supreme knowledge Blush Aww Gee.

Will show this thread to my Grinny Pigs tomorrow Wink

guineapiglet · 08/05/2013 09:02

There is nothing like that food alarm call, shows they are very excited and know you are on your way armed with something nice and delicious! There are lots of clips on youtube of all their different sounds, I love the noise they make when they are exploring together, kind of quizzical, very sweet!

You might just have to take it very slow kinky, just get him used to your voice and new surroundings, he will slowly start to get more confident, he has been stuck in a pet shop with no company for a long time so it will take some time for him to build up his confidence, the fact he is eating is brilliant, but you will have to be quite patient with him. I used to cuddle my guineas with cuddle cloths initially, something like an old tea towel, put the guinea on your lap, and wrap him up so he is secure. Have a handful of grass next to you so you can gently stroke him whilst he investigates the grass. Start slowly, do it for about 5 mins and then gradually build it up - he has been handled before but not by you, so you need to establish your kind of cuddle pattern. With our shyest girl, who was also blind, this took about a month or so to get her into a little routine, and she became very affectionate at the end, bless her.

guineapiglet · 08/05/2013 09:05

PS guineas have to chomp and gnaw constantly to keep their teeth primed, so they will get through a massive amount of food, watch them out on the lawn, they are so organised and methodical in the way they eat, and nothing distracts them!!!!

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 08/05/2013 11:08

guineapiglet are you on YouTube again getting your fix of Guinea-Pig Noises again?

Have you got that patch of lawn cleared yet in prepartion for visitors /foster GPs or your new Fur Babies?

StitchAteMySleep · 08/05/2013 11:16

When I wanted to get my piggies used to be handled I used to hold them and offer fresh grass I had picked from our garden. They love fresh grass. They now climb into my lap to get it.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 08/05/2013 12:02

We wrapped our pigs in a towel when we first got them- partly to make them secure, partly to absorb when they peed (though they are very good now- they do a little "Stampy-Dance" when they want to go.

They seem to like being right up at our necks (lucky they don't bite) Grin

StitchAteMySleep · 08/05/2013 12:38

I used to have pet rats too, they used to sit under my hair on my shoulder while I wandered about the house.

FernieB · 08/05/2013 13:52

Kinky just take your time. He'll get used to you all. I think we left ours for 2 days before we picked them up and then it was just for a short time and with lots of parsley bribes. Using a towel is a good idea - soft for them and absorbent for you Grin. They all seem to have their own favourite veg. Both my boys love kale, cucumber and celery, but only Smoothpig will eat tomato and red/yellow pepper (I think Scruffy is scared of any veg that isn't green). Scruffy is a heavy drinker, but Smooth doesn't drink at all. I give fresh hay in the morning and veg in the evening, but they get the odd bit throughout the day as well.

FernieB · 08/05/2013 13:54

70 - my boys also do the 'where is my brother thing when I take one of them out'. The one left behind runs round madly trying to find the missing one, then as soon as they're in together they fight.

KinkyDorito · 08/05/2013 18:15

Thanks for all of the tips!

Day Two and Tony is still a recluse. He has had a bowl of kale and carrot this morning, then a bowl of pepper, kale, parsley, cucumber and a little bit of apple this afternoon. I just went out into the garden which, due to my rather poor gardening skills, has very tall grass, and chopped him a handful of dandelion leaves and grass. He is sticking his nose out to pinch things then running away.

I tried to empty his cage down and take him out, but it was a bit of a struggle. I had a hold for a minute and popped him back as he seemed very nervy. I felt rotten after.

He has started to venture out a bit now when we aren't anywhere near and get food. He was down he with DH last night and was sat eating his pellets.

He does a mega amount of poo for a small animal. I've been emptying each day. There must have been half his body weight today!!

I've also let the cats in to have a sniff of the cage a couple of times. I know this is probably unsettling to Tony, but everything is at the minute. He is eating like a trooper and I'm assuming he's drinking too given the wee in the bottom, so he can't be too disturbed by us all.

I'm trying to be as gentle as possible as I would like a guinea/cat-topia where everyone is happy. I can dream!! Smile

OP posts:
KinkyDorito · 08/05/2013 18:20

Interestingly, the cats seem super-nervous and very jumpy. They are quite anxious creatures and they know something is up, even though they haven't seen Tony yet.

OP posts:
guineapiglet · 08/05/2013 19:44

Hi all!

Kinky sounds like Tony is really stuffing out! Go a bit easy on all the different things you give him though, his little digestive system may not be up to all the goodies you have offered, they usually say one or two foodstuffs for a couple of days - you dont want him getting the runs!
I would also go a bit easy on the 'cat time', as it might scare him - they have an amazing sense of smell, but I know you want them to get used to each other, time is the essence with guineas!

70 - lol!!! Yes I am still getting my 'fix' by watching the little darlings on Youtube, there are some amazing sights and sounds on there, plus the ones fighting over cucumber make me cry!! Front garden is nearly clear - now need a fit and muscley young man to come and chop down all the hideously overgrown shrubs and hedge, to finally see whether a lawn is feasible. Horror! I have just pulled out loads of ivy which I would be worried about, plus it is steeper than I thought.:(
No takers yet on guinea sitting.... any Hampshire guinea owners requiring a home/holiday home do let me know - can also travel!! :)

guineapiglet · 08/05/2013 19:45

PS LOL Fernie at guineas being 'scared of veg'- bless.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 08/05/2013 22:59

GP1 has taken a shine to banana- I was a bit dubious but he picked up a chunk of it and was NomNomNom in the corner.
GP2 likes CuttedUpGrapes and CuttedUpStrawberries.

Neither of them are that fussed by carrot. I put them in for colour Grin

I reckon if they have a variety then they'll get their Vitamin C.

I am always Shock when what they eat colours their pee/pooh (easily amused me)

Kinky it always baffles me how much these animals pooh. They can sit with us for their evening cuddle just lifting their rumps and slipping out pooh (luckily GP pooh is non stinky)

KinkyDorito · 09/05/2013 06:33

Yep, don't really want the runs!

The cat-time was odd. Tony came out and ate his dandelions and paid them no heed. I think they were freaked out though. Tony seems far more nervous of us, but I guess when he's lived in a PAH glass tank for a bit with the faces of humans pressed up against him, he would be. I'm still limiting contact with them though.

I'm going to attempt the big clean out this evening, and putting him into an indoor 'run' with DH to keep an eye out. This will be his biggest adventure so far.

Thank you all again for your help Smile.

OP posts:
FernieB · 09/05/2013 10:09

Kinky I have never known an animal poop as much as a GP (and I'm a farmers daughter!). I've also never known anything to eat as much as they do.

70 does GP2 not realise that he has his own set of teeth that could cut up strawberries and grapes? What happens if you don't cut them up for him? Grin at the idea of you putting in carrot for decoration. They are fussy little things. Smoothpig will eat pretty much anything, but Scruffypig only eats green vegetables and we've noticed he seems to have a liking for dead leaves that blow into his run outside.

dotty2 · 09/05/2013 14:06

Hello everyone - we are going to become GP owners in June if all goes to plan. It's the first time anyone in this house will have owned a pet - including me and DH. So a bit nervous, but excited too, and it's fantastic reading the GP threads on here - lots of good advice.

We are getting them for our DDs birthdays in May and July - so June is in the middle, plus we will be at home for a good few weeks after they arrive with no nights away so a good time to settle them in. Planning to get a bonded pair from a local rescue centre.

Can I just ask what you use for indoor runs? They will be primarily living in a hutch outside, with a separate run to go on the lawn. I mostly work from home so will be able to put them out for some time on the grass most days. When it gets chilly I am thinking of putting them in the DCs playhouse, and when it gets really cold I will bring them in. We'll only have room for a small indoor hutch, so will need a run we can put up and put down - which I guess will also be good for exercise on damp days in summer. I saw some portable put up indoor/outdoor runs for sale online but wondered if there was a cheaper solution? Thank you, wise GP owners.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 09/05/2013 17:47

Fernie I could let GP2 do his own cuttedupfruit but the main reason (not because he's my little boy Grin ) is if I put one whole strawberry in or two whole grapes and his Evil OverLord rather more pushy brother takes the whole thing, GP2 won't ask for it back.
Then if I give them too many, his little guts will suffer.

YY to dead leaves- GP1 scoffs anything he finds in the run outside- leaves, petals,hoovered up. While sitting on nice fresh grass.

dotty for indoors, try a large shallow paddling pool. They are in the shops now. You can wipe them easy enough. And if you CBA deflating them, they store well.
Alot of those GP pens don't have a roof or a mesh cover. Fine for inside (if you don't have cats) but no outdoor protection against foxes/cats.

I'm going to scout out a paddling pool for the GPs.
GP1 won't walk on laminate (strange).

Not long till June Grin Have you seen any GPs that you like the look of?

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 09/05/2013 17:50

GP2 would put on his Father Dougal Face
"Well it looks like a grape. And it smells like a grape.But it's all weird and roundy. I have them CuttedUp"

He'd have to lie down with hot,sweet tea Wink

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