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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > THE LOUNGE > Anyone here have guinea pigs? Will be getting two tomorrow, many questions
Last Post by Svandis at 10/25/2012 1:58 PM (15 Replies)
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User is Offline Svandis
Norway
442 posts Send Private Message
10/21/2012 11:56 AM

Hi! I know this is a bunny forum, but I know that a lot of people who have rabbits, also have guinea pigs, so I figured I could check and see if any of you guys could help me out with a few questions

A bit of a background story: 

Ever since I moved away to go to uni and braught the bunnies with me, my parents have been wanting to get my little sister another pet. Especially since Mathias died, who was "her" rabbit. They have been thinking of getting her a guinea pig. They will of course take responsibility and not leave it all up to my little sis. 

Me and my BF have been wanting a second pet since Mathias died, but we have kind of put the idea of a second bun on hold, since we are really enjoying having this special one on one bond with Bosse. We have been looking into guinea pigs as well, and been wanting one or two for quite a while now

So today I was on a Norwegian site very similar to your Craigslist, and I saw this add with two of the sweetest guinea pigs I have ever seen, and the girl who was selling them lives just in the next neighbourhood, 5 minutes away from us! I contacted her and looks like we are going to get them tomorrow!  It is a girl and a boy. We have a couple of NIC grids left, and plan on making a cage/pen for them out of that. 
We were thinking of keeping the boy ourselves, and give the girl as a birthday gift to my sister. Her birthday is Nov 11.

So, here are my questions:

  1. Since they are girl and boy, I should keep them separated, right?
  2. I've read that guinea pigs are very social and need to be with atleast another guine pig. Is this correct or is it like with rabbits that they can bond with humans and do fine as solo-pigs? (I will let ours have supervised play time with Bosse, but I know this isn't going to replace the company of another guinea pig) 
  3. They are only one month old. Is this too soon to ween them from their mother like it is with rabbits?
  4. I've read that you sholdn't neuter or spay guinea pigs, only if you plan on keeping mixed sexes together, or for medical reasons. Is this correct?
  5. I'm planning on litter training them, and I've read that this is quite difficult with guinnea pigs. I was just wondering what I should use as litter? I use pretty much the same as Yesterdays News for Bosse, can I use this for the pigs as well? I've seen that a lot of people on youtube use wood shavings, should I use that instead?
  6. Anything else I should be aware of that I haven't thought of asking? 

I know this seemes sudden, and I realize I should have already known these things before I contacted the owner. But I knew I wasn't going to get a better offer than this. She lives so close and the piggies are really well taken care of. I know the basics of GP habitats, diet etc. I just want them to have a good life with us. 

Thank you for any answers or tips you can give me!

Some pics:

 Girl

 Boy


User is Offline FrankieFlash
Michigan
1715 posts Send Private Message
10/21/2012 3:01 PM
I've been learning more working with the rescue since they handle guinea pigs so I know I can answer at least a couple of your questions. Here's is a great reference though that experienced guinea pig slaves have put together: http://www.rasarescue.org/photos/gpigcare.pdf
1. YES. They can reproduce easily. And when a female is in heat they can jump as high as a rabbit to er procreate. So they need to be seperated and have lids of some sort when you aren't supervising. The rescue I work with usually neuters/spays.
2. The link above goes into more detail but I know they are very social creatures and do like interaction with humans and or other guinea pigs.
3. I honestly don't know.
4. I referenced that above. Of course, you would have to have a very guinea pig savvy vet.
5. I don't think most guinea pigs are trainable. The rescue doesn't attempt it. I know a couple people who put those corner pans in if the pig is really tidy like that but most won't use one corner only. BUT don't let this stop you from trying!
They are adorable... good luck!

User is Offline Malp_15
British Columbia, Canada
601 posts Send Private Message
10/22/2012 5:18 AM
I don't know much either, but we just had a couple pregnant females dumped outside my animal hospital so we've been dealing with babies

3. Generally guinea pigs can be seperated from mom around 17-21 days old. Guinea Pigs are born with hair, their eyes open, and teeth! They do nurse, but also start eating real food right away as well. Female GP's also have a ligiment in their pelvis that opens it wider during labour, to allow them to give birth to such developed babies!

4. I don't know the stats or specific info on spaying/neutering them, but I work with one rabbit/guinea pig savvy vet and she neuters all of hers. She only has males, but said that she had encountered fighting between them when they weren't neutered.

User is Offline Svandis
Norway
442 posts Send Private Message
10/22/2012 5:34 AM
Thanks for the great answers! They are here now and they are soooo adoreable!
They are VERY skittish, but I'm figuring it is from the car ride (their first ever), the new environment, not being with their mom, new bedding (fleece instead of shavings), and new noises, smells etc. They are sitting perfectly still. The boy has pooped a little though so that is good. We are not going to separate them today, as we think it will be a lot of extra stress on them. They are huddled up together in one of the huts atm. I put a little bit of lettuce, cilantro and carrot in the hut with them, as well as a few pellets. Oh and a little hay. I just want them to eat and feel better. The girl we got them from said that they are not sexually mature for a few more weeks, but we are going to separate them very soon.

THEY ARE JUST SO CUTE.
I hate that they are so scared though, breaks my heart haha.

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
17968 posts Send Private Message
10/22/2012 6:59 AM
The guinea pig rescue I helped at just neutered - they only spayed the females if there was a medical reason. My understanding as well is that the females are sexually mature at 4 to 6 weeks, so they need to be separated asap.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
Forum Leader
10587 posts Send Private Message
10/22/2012 9:41 AM
The others have covered your questions I think, so I just want to add that I grew up with piggies and I think they are the perfect pet for kids.
Congratulations!
Definitely keep them separated until one/both are speutered. Consult your vet about it. I'd get them a basic exam asap just to establish your relationship with a vet.
They don't litter box train, and we just lined their cages with litter, and it was our chore as kids to clean the cages. They squeak and scurry alot, and also nestle in your arms and sit on your tummy, My older brothers had 2 for years, then later I had one of my own after they passed. A single piggy was fine with me as a companion.
My mother used to like to show her friends the part of her area rug that was under the couch - where my pig chewed up the tassels. Watch out for nibbling!
 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

User is Offline Svandis
Norway
442 posts Send Private Message
10/22/2012 11:29 AM
Thank you guys! Have separated them now!
Should I still neuter the boy even though they are not going to be living together? If he is going to be a solo pig? 

They are so so cute. I heard some rustling about in my bedroom (where they are staying. I'm trying not to bother them too much) and some happy squeeks, and i went in to take peek. They were out in their cage looking about and they had pooed and peed in the litter box! I had filled it with some litter/bedding/hay from their previous home. They had also pooped other places in the cage, but if they keep peeing in the box, I might keep them on fleece, even if their poops are everywhere (I'll just scoop them up). If not, I'll have to get them/the one I'll keep a proper cage so that I can have bedding/litter in there. 
I think my sister will be very happy, and my parents loved the idea. 

Here are some pics so far! (before I separated them)


User is Offline FrankieFlash
Michigan
1715 posts Send Private Message
10/22/2012 11:32 AM
I had the pleasure of photographing some guinea pigs (along with rabbits and hamsters today for RASA ) Anyway, I asked to make sure I gave you the correct information about spaying/neutering. She neuters all her male guinea pigs but rarely spays the females. She explained that the spay for a female g-pig is way more complex than it is for a rabbit and therefore its costly and dangerous. She also said that she thinks its mean to have two unfixed pigs next to each other b/c it will drive the guy crazy. She has lots of fixed neutered boys and they also calm down from being fixed like rabbits. Hope this helps! And I would seperate them but give them hiding spots and keep them near each other but not able to get to each other. You don't want babies!

User is Offline Svandis
Norway
442 posts Send Private Message
10/22/2012 11:36 AM
Thank you so much FF! I have them in the NIC cage/pen, and have separated them with a thick wooden plate. They can still hear and smell eachother, but can't really see each other or "procreate" through the bars haha! They have each their own hidey hut and their own litter box etc. I bought double as I figured I would have to separate them.
The link you posted earlier was super helpful btw!

User is Offline FrankieFlash
Michigan
1715 posts Send Private Message
10/22/2012 1:36 PM
That looks like a great habitat Svandis. I would neuter him if you can find a savvy vet. Reasons being if you want him to have a pal later on, he can go dating at a rescue (if there are any that do that) and it'll help with behavior issues to. There's really a smaller "safe" window for neutering g-pigs though no pressure but make up your mind soon

I think you'll make a great g-pig owner!

User is Offline Svandis
Norway
442 posts Send Private Message
10/23/2012 5:08 AM
Thanks!
I'm so indecisive about the possible neuter! Will his life quality be worse than if he is?
I have just spent a lot of money on Bosse at the vet (checking for mites/parasites/ringworm), and I don't really have the money until next month. Or, I DO have the money, but I will be living pretty much from hand to mouth the next month and I won't have money for emergency.
Is it cruel if I don't do it? I'm not really planning on getting him a friend, but my mind could change after a while.. IM SO INDECISIVE

User is Offline FrankieFlash
Michigan
1715 posts Send Private Message
10/23/2012 5:10 AM
I would wait the month. That much of a time difference doesn't matter- I think it's the year difference kinda thing just because their life span is overall shorter than a buns. But if you can find a vet comfortable with guinea pig neuters I would do it in case in the long run you want to get him a friend, it will go much more smoothly.

User is Offline Svandis
Norway
442 posts Send Private Message
10/23/2012 5:22 AM
Okay, thanks for all the pointers FF!
I'll probably update in the chat if I decide to go through with it

User is Offline Bones
160 posts Send Private Message
10/23/2012 5:15 PM
Cute guinea pigs. Unlike rabbits Guinea pigs really do need to be with other Guinea pigs because they live in huge herds in the wild. Here is a page that talks about that http://www.guinealynx.info/companionship.html .

User is Offline Miss Megan
59 posts Send Private Message
10/23/2012 5:32 PM

So, here are my questions:

  1. Since they are girl and boy, I should keep them separated, right? yes and get the male desexed
  2. I've read that guinea pigs are very social and need to be with atleast another guine pig. Is this correct or is it like with rabbits that they can bond with humans and do fine as solo-pigs? (I will let ours have supervised play time with Bosse, but I know this isn't going to replace the company of another guinea pig) guinea pigs need a friend i have 4guinea pigs all together one desexed boar and three wonderful sows
  3. They are only one month old. Is this too soon to ween them from their mother like it is with rabbits? nope guinea pigs are born ready for the world the earliest you can is 4weeks no sonner but if you feed them plenty of hay and pellets u should be fine. introduce veggies when they are 10weeks old.
  4. I've read that you sholdn't neuter or spay guinea pigs, only if you plan on keeping mixed sexes together, or for medical reasons. Is this correct? yes but i would still neuter your male for if u dont plan on more you cannot keep them alone nor trust them together for two seconds.
  5. I'm planning on litter training them, and I've read that this is quite difficult with guinnea pigs. I was just wondering what I should use as litter? I use pretty much the same as Yesterdays News for Bosse, can I use this for the pigs as well? I've seen that a lot of people on youtube use wood shavings, should I use that instead? ive tried litter training but its impossible they pooh when they walk when they eat, drink and lay around. they are though more than likely to pooh in the tray if u have hay there
  6. Anything else I should be aware of that I haven't thought of asking? cage size how big would u have if too small they could fight and once blood is drawn u will never get them together again.
I know this seemes sudden, and I realize I should have already known these things before I contacted the owner. But I knew I wasn't going to get a better offer than this. She lives so close and the piggies are really well taken care of. I know the basics of GP habitats, diet etc. I just want them to have a good life with us. 


User is Offline Svandis
Norway
442 posts Send Private Message
10/25/2012 1:58 PM
Thanks for the answers Miss Megan!
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > THE LOUNGE > Anyone here have guinea pigs? Will be getting two tomorrow, many questions

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