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Ok, I may now be obsessing about GP related stuff - please HELP!

26 replies

PacificDogwood · 23/03/2014 14:18

I have bog standard cage from Pets at Home (inherited from a friend) with water bottle, food bowl, tunnel etc.

But I now like the idea of using a liner, maybe even getting this cage??
Is the liner I linked to the kind of thing people use instead of bedding??

I am now looking at outside runs… help me, help me!

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PacificDogwood · 23/03/2014 14:48

Oh crap, now I covet a C+C cage. Any experience?

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PacificDogwood · 23/03/2014 16:54

Crash Pad from 'Pimpmypiggy, anyone? Grin

Come on, you are not obsessing with me enough!!

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expatinscotland · 23/03/2014 16:55

Oooo, we are pet sitting some guineas in Glasgow next month! Can't wait!

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 23/03/2014 16:56

Pacific - Hi !

I haven't used C&C but there are great reviews about them (and I bought myself some shelves from Costco that are 14" square sections to make cubes) just in case I ever need a back up cage.

This winter, my boars (we have an adult 3,6 yo and a teenager about 9 months now) they were very very judgey unimpressed at our 2'x4' indoor cage so I bought a panelled section metal run (I would alter the shape and size , but it was about 5'x3' with an extra bit at the bay window) when they were in at night in the small bedroom.

C&C can be adjusted to fit the shape you need, you can make levels if your guineas are the type to climb (mine aren't), make a hay box to keep the stray hay minimal.

The liners are cosy , put something like newspaper underneath, they wick away moisture and stay dry on top.
I put some dog piddle pads under newspaper (mine can be trusted not to chew things) . Every day their hat trug needed changed, they certainly tested the Piddle Pads to the max (and they never drink Confused

Can you find out what your potential boys are sleeping on just now? It will be more comforting for them to keep the same (even short term until you decide what works for you)
They should give you 'changeover food' but if you want to alter that, do it gradually.

VET-BED is very popular (fleecy, lightweight, lots of vets use in recovery cages)

Outdoor runs- there was a post recently about this. I've got a metal one with 'tent peg' spikes to hold it. We're very happy with that.

When you get boars (and I've only had 2 boars recently, my childhood piggies were girls and my very first piggie (male) was a tragic little case who didn't last long Sad )
So we've had a steep learning curve Grin
Lots of room. Activity. Space to get away if they want to but they do like to know where the other one is -even if they don;t want to share boar-space.

They are inbelievebly greedy little things. GP3 was glaring at me over an empty plate (well there was spinach in it but that wasn't good enough. He clean forgot the pile of dandelions and grass I gave them....)

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 23/03/2014 16:58

I give mine a large low sided fabric pet bed (the sides are 1-2" high, they wouldn't climb into "CrashPads" but mine are very idle, young piggies might like them.

fortifiedwithtea · 23/03/2014 18:52

Crash pads look very cute but guineas like to be covered.

The other night Millie climbed up my very soft dressing gown sleeve. I had to take it off with Millie still inside. I put it on the floor, thinking she would come out of her own accord. However Coco went and joined her and I had the two of them stuck and refusing to budge Confused

Someone made themselves very comfy I'm looking at Coco and popped out 3 poos in my sleeve Envy

Cuddle sacs are easy to make with a basic sewing machine. I made one for Fatimus. I used cuddle fleece. I made 2 'bags' each 40 cm long and 60cm in circumference.

1 stitch each piece of fabric along the 60cm edge so you have 2 tubes

2 Stitch boning (which is plastic on fabric tape) 1.5cm away from top of 1st tube

3 right sides together stitch tubes together at top edge

4 Stitch across one bottom edge, doesn't matter which one.

5 Turn right side out. It should look like a long bag with a ring of stiffening in the middle

6 Stitch across raw edge and push inside the bag.

If I made another one I may tweak the design so there is boning both ends in which case I'd have to add a base.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 23/03/2014 20:07

Grin my obsessing means that every time I go to Costco, I bring them home a box (usually a banana box, this time an orange crate -cardboard)

I tried a box and a soft old pillow one year. "Ooh that'll be nice and cosy "
I put a plastic trug with a door cut out full of hay in the corner . I put a cardboard 'lid' on.
Every morning, they were in the trug. No droppings on the pillow. Loads in the trug.
Two hairy little faces "We're guinea-pigs in a bucket. Poor guinea"

I put the hay back in their bed.

Ooh BTW Pacific they need hay 24/7. If I'm trying to persuade mine to be tidy (no chance) or in summer when I don't want them to cook themselves, I give mine Hay Cookies -flat , dense discs of hay.

GP1 pees on them Hmm

PacificDogwood · 23/03/2014 20:34


Thanks for all your pig stories - they made me chuckle.

I saw those little fleecy sleeping bags; they do look v cosy. Thanks for the sewing instructions, fortified.

I am sure I'll be back with lots of questions - 70, even I, never-been-a-piggie-owner-before, recognise your name as a font of GP related knowledge and wisdom.

Will I really have to clean their anal sacks??
I've been to some interesting but slightly daunting web sites today…

'Our' piggies have a 'reserved' noticed next to their online photos - that's us!! Grin.

One of them will be renamed 'Geoffrey' (or Jeffrey? Must ask the DSs…) because MineCraft pigs are called Geoffrey by one of the YouTube nuts Hmm. And Sergeant Tibbles….

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70isaLimitNotaTarget · 23/03/2014 21:16

Awwww Geoffrey/Jeffrey - I love human names for guineas (I had a list of names for GP3 . I was meant to choose his name because it was GP1 who picked his new pig. I was all set with Boris but DD decided on Dylan. Not Dilllon or Dhillon but Dylan. He's called Dill at home Grin )

I've never done anything with their anal sacs but when you bath them you can gently press to protrude their penis and give it a wipe round with some soft gauze.

I'm very Blush about the font of knowledge - I've had guinea-pigs from when I was 9-22 then when my DD was 9 she wanted a pet so we got her boars.

I was reading up like mad, so much advice out there. Some sites insist that males should be neutered but it doesn't change them , just makes them sterile.

My DD wouldn't consider having her boar neutered after GP2 died (so we got GP3 as a very little boar from a Rescue) and touch wood they've been good. Though GP3 tries to bonk the older boar - he gets a shirty look and GP1 stomps off muttering.

I just popped out to see them. GP1 is sitting in a pile of lovely fresh hay. GP3 is naughtily hiding in GP1s wicker house. (He will get his bum smacked, he has the haybox. He knows this)

Good Luck when they arrive Grin

PacificDogwood · 23/03/2014 21:24

I now want to name the other one 'Brian'.
'Geoffrey' and 'Brian' - I think that goes well together Grin.

I love hearing GP stories, so thanks, 70.
My boys' former childminder now does small furries boarding so I already know where they'll go when we are on holiday.

Here's another question: we go away about 1 weekend a month, from Saturday morning until Sunday night. Will they be ok if I make sure they have plenty of hay/pellets/water for that length of time? I just assumed they would be… Blush.

I think I have already agreed to neuter them when I filled in the form at the SPCA centre… I'll have to check with them. So it does not alter their behaviour, does it? So why bother (and put them through it)? I have been convincingly reassured that they are 2 boys - I have NO intention on breeding them.

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70isaLimitNotaTarget · 23/03/2014 21:51

Hmmmm, actually the RSPCA information is one that advices neutering (neutered brothers if they've been raised together)

I'd ask them for their reasoning behind putting a little animal through surgery.
And yes, definately get them to double check (when we got GP3 we asked the Rescue Centre Owner to double check - we were putting new pig with an adult male so no mistakes wanted Grin She applied pressure to the sides of his 'nads and there it was. Actually their bollocks are small at that age so difficult to tell by that alone)

Advantages of neutering?
If you are in a situation of losing one, then you can get a female/females without having to wait for surgery and the 'going sterile' period. (I think that's another reason my DD didn't want her boy neutered. He'd have to wait too long for a new pig)

And they are less likely to get impaction (where they get old and saggy bum muscles and they can't poo easily . That's another thing to read up on )

Leaving them 36+ hours? You might be fine but they'll run out of fresh food. They need fresh water.
And sadly , if they get ill, they go downhill quickly.
It's better if someone can check them, make sure their wheeking and eating.

Brian is a brilliant name, I had a car called Bryan - with a y not i.

PacificDogwood · 23/03/2014 21:58

Ah, thanks again.

C+C cage has just been ordered with matching liners

Brilliant, Bryan - how posh Grin.

I don't see us getting more piggies, but who knows!? I do have 4 DSs and I had to be quite clear that we are getting 2 'family GP', and not one each.

I still have some old fleecy baby blankets - presumably they could be cut up and made in to tunnels and beds and stuff?

Anal sacs and impaction - oh my, the glamour!

I am sure I can ask our neighbours to give them fresh water and a handful of straw when we are away overnight.

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PacificDogwood · 30/03/2014 19:50

For anybody who's interested the C+C cage is a huge success.
I was limited in size to a 2x3 with loft and it's about twice the size of any petshop bought cage, but I do think it may need an extension when they are fully grown.
The ramp down from the loft actually reduces floor size of course, something I had not really considered. It's more than fine for now, but I am already plotting to move them to our dining kitchen and they could have a ginormous run there Grin.

I have also put together the Eglu we've had for aaaaages (acquired used a couple of years ago from a kind MNer, natch Wink) and its 3 meter run for when the weather is a bit better (it's still cold and bloody windy here…).

They are enjoying the fleecy blankets pee and poo everywhere, but custom made piggies bedding is on its way. Gawd, I am enjoying all this far too much Grin

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Sawdust · 07/04/2014 21:47

Hello! Glad it's worked out so well for you. Hope you don't mind of I ask you and any other c & c owners a question? How easy do you find them to clean? I have a 'traditional' indoor cage. It is larger than average at 1 m 20 but I am always on the look out for ways to make my piggies happier! Thanks!

Gingerbics · 08/04/2014 06:42

HiSawdust, I have a 3x2 c&c cage and find it pretty easy to clean. Once the pigs are out I use a pan from
Dust pan and brush to scoop everything into a bin liner, then roll up the old newspaper. Once empty I sweep up any stray bits then just spray with pet friendly cage cleaner and wipe it out with a bit of kitchen roll. Does seem to take a lot of bedding to fill it.

stilllearnin · 08/04/2014 06:57

Can I ask a piggy set up question please? We have an indoor set up as we have foxes in the garden. We have a big play pen but their actual cage is the usual plastic and wire 1.5m affair. I put puppy pads, newspaper and then loads of hay on top. I then give then fresh hay in a ball and also a hayrick. I started with fleece liners though which I loved but found hard to get clean. If you use fleece how do you clean it. Does it wreck your washing machine?

Sawdust · 08/04/2014 08:00

Thank you, Gingerbics! That doesn't sound too bad. I was worried that it might all start coming to bits when you clean it so that you get sawdust, hay and poops everywhere!

Stillearnin - I used fleece for a bit and found that I had to give it a really good shake outside otherwise it did clog up the machine. It was fine once I did that though, and came out clean just with washing powder.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 08/04/2014 08:04


we have an indoor run for winter nights (in the small bedroom. My boys are out in their Pighouse now)

I put a folded tarpaulin + newspaper on the carpet then they have a trug of hay.
I give mine a couple of folded fleeces to sleep on with the puppy pads under.
Best thing I found to brush it is a Lakeland Limited 'Buddy Brush' - it has rubber bristles.
Then wash them in an old pillowcase (tie with string)
That'll stop your washing machine getting clogged.

( I try to keep the hay in one part, fleece in another. They'll wander over to sit -and pee- in the trug )

stilllearnin · 08/04/2014 11:57

Thank you- believe it or not I'm a bit funny about hair!! I absolutely love them though and waste a lot of time cuddling and talking nonsense at them!I suppose I was just thinking it takes a lot of hay to fill the cage and then keeping the cage fresh means I almost wasting quite a bit of good hay. They currently have an old fluffy dressing gown in their play pen!

PacificDogwood · 08/04/2014 17:09

I've barely had my GPs for 2 weeks and, look at me, here I am answering a question Grin

I've just cleaned the dirty beggars them again - it's a breeze.
I only given them hay for food, not for bedding, so the dust/bits is not bad.
I've decided all their droppings can go straight in to the garden, so I take the fleece out and shake it all in to a flower bed Grin.
I am still sticking everything straight in to the washing machine - it'll pack in soon, won't it? Hmm

The 2x3 C+C cage looked huge when we set it up, but extension plans are afoot… GPs taking over the world. Well, our house anyway...

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FernieB · 08/04/2014 19:02

Pacific - I do the same with my boys. They are on towels in the conservatory during the day (warm weather has disappearedHmm so can't go out) and I shake the towels on the garden. Fortunately piggy poo comes off easily. Then it's all into the wash. My machine will probably die soon too.

FernieB · 08/04/2014 19:04

BTW they are taking over the world. They're starting by training us to fetch them veg when they wheek. When we've mastered that they can train us to do other tasks (grocery shopping/vegetable gardens etc) until they control us completelyWink

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 08/04/2014 21:37

YY - many times on the way home from work I'm stopping off at Sainsburys to buy veg.

"They don't like green peppers" I mutter
"They like the mini gem lettuce with the red bits"

Or the dawn stealth raid of grass , scissors and bowl (in my Carole Hochman lei-sure robe Blush

FernieB · 08/04/2014 21:59

Mine also love the mini gem lettuce with the red bits. I think it's quite nice but I only get the leftovers.

I haven't been trained in the dawn grass picking raids yet. They've started me off mid-morning Grin

PacificDogwood · 08/04/2014 22:04

I need a lei-sure robe? Who knew??

I did a mid-afternoon grass raid in high heels today, straight from work, handbag over my shoulder. I keep scissors hidden in our hedge so I am able to enter the house bearing freshly cut grass Blush.
I am easily trained…

Mini gem lettuce with red bits, eh?
They certainly do NOT like green pepper, do they? I have been judged and found wanting.

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