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Small pets

Guinea Pig Questions!

4 replies

TheImprobableGirl · 10/09/2016 17:43

I am on the cusp of adopting two baby piggies. Littlest DD is 2 and bigger is 6 so I think they are at the stage to start caring for an animal- although it could be mainly for me.... Anyhow i digress.

My couple of questions are

  1. how feasible is it to have an indoor Guinea pig? I have found a lovely two storey hutch with a shallow ramp and a closed bedroom area (more of a cottage than a hutch...) which will live in my kitchen. Would it be ok just to let them out to roam, or are they likely to eat through wires and things? The house isn't super big and we would have a run outside, but is there anything I really need to make sure they can't ruin things... I'm assuming they can't climb the stairs? Hmm

    So they would be pretty exclusively house Guinea pigs, like a dog? but with access to outside in a run for some fresh air and grass etc.

  2. do they smell overly bad/make very much antisocial noise? I am aware of meeping and squeaking but because all Guinea pigs when I was younger were kept outside I can't really remember how antisocial it was. I could shut the kitchen door on them but that seems cruel!

  3. is it worth getting Guinea pig insurance? like some sort of pet insurance incase they get poorly?

  4. where would I go to buy two little female Guinea pigs? dp says pets at home but I am concerned about overbreeding etc. But don't want to chance an inbred from gumtree or similar... I don't mind paying a bit extra to ensure happy piggies, but a little reluctant to get older ones due to the kids ages and growing with them a bit...

    Apologies for the epic post, I just want to give some piggies the best happiest home!
OP posts:
70isaLimitNotaTarget · 10/09/2016 20:58

Ahh guinea-pigs Grin
Lots of owners keep them indoors. You need to be careful where you place them . No overheating, draughts,full sun or damp.
Yes, they'll eat wires !
Mine have (not the ones I have now, we have too many wires to free range) in the past eaten: carpet, shoe laces, any paper, house plants, books, onion skin........
And we had one that could run upstairs (tiny tiny little homebred female) and two that could climb downstairs.

You'd be safer getting an indoor run , if they go outdoors you can get a secure covered run.

Piggies don;t smell if they're kept clean, males smell a bit 'boary'. Hay smells more than the pigs.

They are crepuscular (active dawn/dusk) ours sometimes delight in being noisy at 3am in Winter, we put a duvet over the cage to insulate them. I tell them "Oi Pigs, shoosh" they usually whinge if they've run out of food.
So you could close the door and they'll get into the routine of Night=Sleep. (Until someone opens the fridge or rustles a crisp bag.....)
GP2 clanged his plate against the bars at 6am to tell us to feed him.

Insurance-I got a quote for GP1/GP2 but it was £££.
You're best to put money aside, you might never need to spend it. They don't need vaccines or neutered (unless you want to mix a boar with sows).
Things like teeth you could find the price of to give you an idea.

All mine are from Rescue, they do tend to have more boars. We were lucky that when we needed two sows they had a huge number of sows from a group of ex breeders. Feisty, needed handling and some TLC.

When we got our new girls, there was nothing (I did look at Gumtree but I wasn't going to pay the owner to do them a favour for their Desperately need to rehome due to allergies I want £40 adverts . Their loss, I'd have loved their Piggies but I wasn't going to put ££ in their pocket).
Then two ladies were a-waiting and they now live with us (they refuse to bond with our lardy trio so we have a 3+2 set up)

Phone a few Rescues, I reckon now the Schools have gone back their will be a few "Kids lost interest" ones.

Tiny piglets are lovely but they are very skittery and quick. They soon mellow to lardy adults.
All my piggies are lovely, I have one who is a bit bitey (when she's in one of her moods) they get a bit snipey in season but the temper lasts 24 hours.

TheImprobableGirl · 10/09/2016 23:25

Thanks 70
Some great info there, particularly about wires. I should be able to block off the floor ones. I would like them to be free range, I shall probably give it a couple of weeks and then buy an indoor run Grin

My dd's (particularly the littlest) will almost definitely lose interest in the cleaning bits, and I've grown up having between 2-9(!) piggies at my parents over the years, so I'm quite aware of what they need in the way of food and cleaning, I'm very excited to meet mine Grin

OP posts:
70isaLimitNotaTarget · 11/09/2016 00:20

The piggies I have now are so different to the ones I had back in the 1970s/1980s.

They never got half the foods that my pigs relish now.
Sweetcorn, all these new fangled leaves, the fresh herbs.

As we have so many open little mouths, I can snap up loads of the Bargains in the veg aisle and I know they get eaten.

Tonight when we cleaned the Pighouse, our GP4/GP5 girls ran into the haybag (I fill one of those Bags For Life, we keep hay in a clean dustbin in the garage)
They were wheeking and chortling Grin.

I would love to meet these Mythical Cavies that need cleaned once a week, mine would be swimming in it.
Food goes in and my word, it comes out t'other end Wink

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 11/09/2016 00:23

And years back I had two Singing Piggies. Both were Mums, one was pg when she sang first just to creep us out at 2am.

The girls I have now- two are ex breeders, two have not bred.

So far, no singing but I live in hope.

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