Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Guinea Pigs for Kids?

While I know there are a great amount of people who buy guinea pigs for their childrens' amusement and take perfectly great care of them I wanted to bring this topic up. We have taken in far too many guinea pigs (as other rescues have too) that have come from families saying: "my kids don't play with them anymore". I try not to be sarcastic and I tell people I understand, and I do. I understand that children are CHILDREN and they lose interest in everything.

We as parents like to entertain them, give them what they want, etc. But we have to be prepared to take care of the animal and love it, etc, when the kids are done being excited about it. Think of it this way... I don't like taking care of the cages, I dislike the poo and pee getting on me, or the stuff getting on the floor, it's a pain. The smell sucks. Now I'm an adult and I can force myself to do it regardless of how much I want to. A child is not going to do that, they lose interest and they don't want to take care of a pet for 5+ years.

While I don't recommend a family not get one just because they have kids who will lose interest. I would like to see families that want to adopt as a whole, not just the children. Moms and or dads who don't mind taking care of the pigs and will spend time with them. Compared to other animals these guinea pigs are very easy. You don't have to walk them, buy huge bags of litter, etc. They require daily handling and food, water, hay, vitamin C.

I just wanted to put the idea out there that while other websites say how great of a first pet cavies are, or that they are great for children, yes they are, but be realistic and adopt if YOU want to be responsible for it. Not a child, or anyone under the age of 18(ish).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

New York State Fair & Guinea Pig Breeding

Today was the show for cavies and rabbits (I think) at the New York State Fair. A friend and I went with our significant others to see all the piggies, because we love guinea pigs. The show was a bit less than we thought it would be. The guinea pigs were all caged and they were pretty small, and then they were brought one by one to the show guy, who graded them. I guess I was thinking it would be like a dog show. So, we got to pet a few and walk around seeing all of them.

It really surprised me, all the guinea pigs there, they seemed to be about the same ages, up to 6 months old I would guess. There were two cages (normal size) of guinea pig moms and their babies, who were so cute and very young, but I didn't see the owners anywhere.

While the set up was ok, they didn't have much room and they were suppose to be there through the whole fair. That way people will have something to look at, how I would love to smack the guy who came up with that. Anyhow, we asked about buying one, because I was interested in getting one out of the breeding cycle, but I didn't see any that looked like parents. The signs were posted after the show telling us who was for sale. I would say it was about half of them. We asked someone and she said a lady there starts breeding in the spring time to bring them all to the fair show. She had about 80+ there.

I haven't completely gotten to the point where I hate breeding yet, but I'm sure it will come. Those piggies looked so lonely, and I didn't see hay in their cages. There was lettuce (dark green) and carrots though, and each had their own water bottle. I wouldn't say there was anything really wrong with it, just that I wouldn't want my piggies to be there.

So what do you think about the breeding and the shows? What's the point? What do they get out of it? At selling them at $25 a piece and there being about 100 of them, how is that really worth the time invested?

That all said we did pay for one, and can't get it till the end of the fair, I'm hoping when I go back they will have the older ones that can be rescued from breeding.

One last thing, I really disliked their ears being tagged, what is that all about?

Friday, August 27, 2010

4 New Female Guinea Pigs for Adoption!

We met a nice guy named Tom today who had to give up his 2 female teddy guinea pigs. They are so nice and must stay together. Penny & Minty. They are our first teddies here at the rescue and they are so fun, their hair is course but they are so sweet. And if anyone is interested in them, they're previous owner would like updates via email and such, so keep that in mind. Penny is copper with red eyes, Minty is dark with brown eyes.

Little Girls- 1 Abby and 1 American
Their names are Sweet Pea and Wolly Bear (but I think she should be SnickerDoodle). Sweet Pea is the American and Snickerdoodle is the Abby. They are young, I would say around 6 months.

Just hit the application button if you are interested in either of these couples.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

3 Guinea Pigs Adopted Out Yesterday!

Yesterday we had a busy day here at the shelter. We had a science teacher come and check out our sow guinea pigs and she ultimately chose a baby girl we were going to keep and the aunt. The aunt is the one that is blind in one eye. She liked how calm and lovable they both were.

Immediately after someone came to select another female for their baby girl, and they chose Rhino who came with Ellie (long hair black peruvian). Ellie didn't seem to enjoy having a cage mate at all, and was not the nicest to Rhino so I thought it best to separate them. Rhino was such a great piggie, she will be missed here. Now her name is Princess though and they absolutely loved her, I know she went to a great home.

On Friday we are going to be getting two new girls, I already have pictures, what do you think? I love seeing newbies...

Oh and for those who haven't yet visited the Hub page on guinea pig bedding please do, it will increase traffic to our site if you can leave a comment there as well.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Timothy Hay for Guinea Pigs in Bales

We were lucky enough to have someone who surrendered their guinea pigs to us give us a bale of timothy hay. It's got to be a good 40-50 pounds. We have used it for a few weeks now and have used about a third of it for the rescue. At some point we will have to get more, but where?

Well luckily enough there are local farms that sell it in bales for very cheap, $2-$10 each, and we found them right on Craigslist. I just wanted to let others know that it is out there, and it is cheaper than any store. Check Craigslist, ask anyone who sells Hay on there if they can direct you. If no one there can you should call the local feed store. Google lets you do that simply by putting your location and feed store in search.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A New Hub Page- Guinea Pigs Bedding

I spent a big chunk of the day writing all about guinea pig bedding, what to use and what not to use. It's all on Hub pages at guinea pig bedding. I put some videos and pictures and links to other good sites and just want to get some comments on there if anyone can do it. Thanks :)


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Peruvian Gorgeous Female Guinea Pig Ellie

This is Ellie, she is so beautiful. She is also scared, hides all the time, and runs like crazy when we open the cage. Oddly enough when we put her in with the rest of the girls, she showed dominance and wouldn't take anyone's sniffing and such. We ended up taking her out, she needs more handling and such.

She won't be going anywhere for awhile because of her lack of socialization, and we can't separate her from her cage mate so we will keep her as well. She is in the pictures too. Rhino is the cage mate, she is a female, just a boy's name the guy said. She is very friendly and comes right to you when you put your hand in the cage.

What do you think? Isn't she pretty?

Our C&C cage for female guinea pigs

Today we cleaned the adoptable girls' cage and I took some pictures. I almost think they are more spoiled than our own guinea pigs. Here is a long shot that includes their 'kitchen'.

This is the 6x2 grid coroplast cage. We put a couple of our own in to socialize with them. The kitchen is actually a tray from a cage that came with another pig. It is about 1.5 inches at the sides, and we put all the hay in there because it gets bad and into the fleece fibers bad when not on something.

Needless to say, the girls LOVED it. But now I am wondering if I can turn it into a 6x3 grid cage, because that would be more room.

Can I put two male guinea pigs together?

Lately I have had quite a few people bring up the issue with housing two males together. Most of the time people automatically assume they can not do this.

It's frustrating because it is a HUGE myth about guinea pigs and not only is it not true, but it is also probably a cause behind accidental breeding. Thinking you have to have a boy and girl together in order to have two guinea pigs. Everyone wants their pig to have a friend, but boys shouldn't be together?

Let me be clear: BOARS can be housed together.

Just like people they all have their own personalities. When we got our baby guinea pig, he went in with our older male with no problem at all.

My girl (the first one we got) was absolutely horrible about accepting another pig. We tried split cages, baths together, everything we could think of. Finally it came down to getting a 2x3 grid cage and consistently trying to put them together. It took a long time.

The adoptable girls we have mostly live together. We have 7 right now and had 11 all in one HUGE c&c cage. They were all fine, and if we put our first girl in there, she is fine too, I think too many are there to be the spoiled pig she is. :)

As for the boys we have, out of the 10 we have gotten we have had two issues. 2 pigs that do NOT get along, I am not sure what their previous situation was, but they both came with a lot of bite marks. I'm worried they may have fought over food, housing, etc :( That was an environment issue.

The other two pigs we got and had a problem with were split before they came, they have been together ever since, but absolutely don't mix well with the other males. They were spoiled ROTTEN before and it isn't worth it to try to get them to go with others.

Really I believe it comes down to attitude. A pig that is laid back and such can be put with others, those with a spoiled background, somewhat stuck up (for lack of a better term) will be harder to adjust. With all of this said, I read a great page on all of this called Guinea Pigs Social Life by Cavy Spirit.

So if your question is Can I put two male guinea pigs together? The answer from most any real guinea pig experienced person is YES!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Guinea Pig Cages- Guinea Habitat

I was just searching online for the cheapest guinea pig igloos or living world domes, and found the coolest (well close anyway) guinea pig cages. They are called guinea habitats.

Compared to c&c cages they are just a bit easier because you don't have to run about finding parts, etc. I love how easy it is to separate the sections with the dividers and then how they have openings in them that can open or you can put a ramp in between.

While I wish I had found these sooner, I don't need them now. We have 1 6x2 grid cage, a 2x2 grid cage, and 2 2x3 grid cages, plus another 7 or 8 cages for piggies. But they look awesome, and the cost isn't bad at all. $37.95 I believe is one of the prices I found with free shipping. They are almost 4 feet long, by 2 feet, and 14 inches high. I like the idea of the canvas underneath, sounds interesting at least. Cost effective I don't know :( for c&c cages we spend $18 on the grids and then $20 on the sheet of coroplast and can get two cages out of that.

Here is what I was thinking though, as I can't do buy the guinea habitats. I am thinking of using a wire cutter to cut out a couple of grids, and extra coroplast to make a few two ways ramps. Then I can sand down any sharp areas for the piggies, and give them a kitchen YAH!!!

If I get around to it, I will post pics, but you have to check out the guinea habitats, they are so neat.

Our First Vet Visit for Guinea Pigs

Yesterday we noticed a sore on the guinea pig that had been bitten by it's cage mate (separated immediately after) wasn't healing very well. It looked infected and we were worried. We got right into the vet who said it was not mange- so happy about that, and that he just needed some antibiotics.

Needless to say the antibiotics are NOT easy to administer. They are small pills and he gets half a pill a day, I actually have to get it into his mouth and make him keep it in there to chew it, poor guy. She also said he needs to be held more, apparently the previous owner had not done well with that.

She asked if we had other pets and looked at us like hoarders when we said yes we have 24 guinea pigs, because we are helping with rescue. She was actually nice after that and said she would call if she needed a guinea pig expert.

In total the visit cost $66, which wasn't anywhere near as bad as what I thought it could be. The staff was really nice and if we have any trouble in the future we will go to them again. His sore looks much better today and he should be healing nicely.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Guinea Pig Bedding

I have been in talks lately to get some fleece guinea pig bedding from Piggy BedSpreads. Martha makes beautiful bedding for the cages that lasts and doesn't smell. I may help with her website at some point but I wanted to discuss how great I think her product is.

For a long time other websites have been trying to figure out the best guinea pig bedding to use. From products like Care Fresh, to Soft sorbent, pine shavings, aspen shavings, there are tons of products to choose from. This article from Guinea Pig Cages on Bedding is a great read. Even after all of this, they still haven't found the perfect option though.

Since we started rescue we have gone with the fleece/towels information provided on The Fleece Project Study on the Guinea Pig Cages website we figured out how to do the cages with them not smelling. We did use aspen shavings before, but it was a mess all the time, and our dog would eat the shavings that were all around the house, because no matter how hard we tried they would get everywhere.

The guinea pigs seem to love the fleece, and most of them popcorned around when we put them on it for the first time.

I do have to say we need to clean cages a bit more often, instead of it lasting a week for fleece we are able to get about 5 days out of it. This of course, could be because we have more than the suggested number of cavies in each cage, but we use C&C cages mostly and they have a ton of room. For instance right now we have a 6x2 grid cage and 8 pigs are in it.

So what do you use for bedding? What works best for different sexes, different breeds, etc?

More Piggies

Tomorrow we are picking up two girls at the closest thruway exit. One is an american, white, light brown and tan, and the other is a Black Peruvian female. She is so gorgeous from the pictures. I can't wait. I'm starting to love the Peruvians.

Here are the pics: I tend to like to keep the Peruvians but if the PERFECT home comes along I will definitely consider rehoming.

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Peruvian Female- Luminara

I'm thinking we might keep her. She came from Auburn last night and had a HUGE ball of hair and shavings attached to her bum. It was almost half her size. It took awhile to cut it off, I didn't see any other way to do it, because it was so large.

She hadn't been eating well either, they ran out of food the day before and were feeding her carrots, they were doing the best they could. Unfortunately, carrots are suppose to be a treat only, as they aren't very good for the piggie. Because of this her poo was very tiny, lite brown and shaped funny. I was afraid we would have to get her to the vet. As soon as we got her home we gave her some pellets and romaine lettuce which she gobbled up.

As of tonight though she's doing much better, her poo is regular, brown, still small, etc. She's so pretty and not as scared as she was yesterday. She's so pretty. What do you think?

Friday, August 13, 2010

More New Guinea Pigs

Peaches- Must go with Cream (above)
Harvey (Black) and Buster- Males must go together.
Male Medium Hair- Tri Colored Alone
Male Aby- his eyes are not red, they are black.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tranformer Boys

On Hold
On Hold

 Two of them are orange like the one above and they look exactly the same except two white spots- one on one's nose- one on one's left front foot. Must go in pairs.

Other Girls

Dark Girl & Light Girl! About a year old each- previous owner was not sure.

Family 2

This is a guess- the mom and baby we know for sure- the other one seems to be mom's sister. They are
ready to go. Mom's sister has a cloudy eye, we just got her today but I am going to check into it.

Mom- absolutely gorgeous!
Mom's sister- eye doesn't bother her, looks like a cataract.

A Family of Guinea Pigs for Adoption

Dad- ready to go

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tranformer Piggies

My kids love piggies and name them all. These are the 4 transformer boys. All males. Have been together for quite awhile, were purchased from an animal auction. The twins are skids and mudflap and the other two are jetfire and optimus.

My Piggies

I have four piggies:

Chewbacca- actually a girl but we didn't know when we first got her. She was born in December 2009.
Asoka- adopted from Craigslist pregnant- she was born early 2010, had two baby girls who went to a great home together.
Vader- our first little boy piggie.
Logray- adopted from Craigslist- born early July 2010


Since we got our first piggie in January, we have grown to learn a lot about them and unfortunately the sad circumstances so many end up in. People aren't able to take care of them anymore, accidental breeding happened, children are no longer interested, etc.

We moved into our own home this past month (July) and want to start helping out. We have a couple extra cages, and we use fleece for bedding so that cuts down on costs. Right now we have 4 of our own and 4 adoptables we picked up tonight. I will add a pic next.

Special Notice:

Guinea Pigs are very social animals. If you are considering adopting one, please consider having more than one for improved health and personality.