2 days later I came home with KC. His first cage was extremely small, about 30 inches by 20 inches (I look back now and cringe at my ignorance) and he just sat around most of the time so I wanted to make him a bigger cage with some room to run around. My wife wouldn’t let me buy anything else to make the cage any bigger, so, with my creative juices flowing freely, I pieced together a pen about 6 feet long by about 1 foot 8 or 10 inches wide out of Plexiglas, hardware wire mesh, a 10 gallon aquarium on it’s side (which made a nice sturdy second level), empty cereal boxes, plastic painters drop cloth for the lining, and duct tape. All of which I had lying around the apartment from previous projects.
After I got that finished I put KC back in the cage, and he loved it! He started popcorning and running all over the place, but something still just didn’t seem right about him so I did some more research, still keeping clear of internet forums and just sticking with info pages and the likes. The next day I found out that GP’s are heard animals and do best in at least a pair, so I went in search of a friend for him.
2 days after getting KC, I brought home Rodger from another pet store (I was still ignorant of all the homeless piggies at this point). I didn’t know anything about quarantine periods so as soon as I got Rodger home, I barricaded off a section of the hallway, put them both down on the floor, and stood by with a towel in hand. They hit it off pretty quickly. There was a little rumblesrutting, and some curious noises, and many mounting attempts made by KC, but no fights, no flying fur, no blood. It went very well. I think though that they tolerate each other more than anything. They never sleep together, cuddle with each other or anything, but they live in harmony.
Next, finding GL and the first vet visit.
Cage pics will come a little further in the story......
Shortly after I joined GL, I read a post about URI’s, and another about mites, then I read another post about pet store piggies frequently being sold with both these conditions, so I looked my boys over really good. I found one of KC’s ears looked really dry and scaly, and I noticed Rodger was shedding really badly, and that his skin looked really dry and flaky, with a few scabs. While I was checking them out, KC sneezed!! He sneezed so hard that something was hanging out of his nose! Ahhhhh!!!!! URI!!!!! NO!!!!!!! I immediately called the vet. They didn’t have any open appointments that day, but said that they could fit him in that afternoon, in about an hour. “Great!” I said. “Thank you so much. I’ll be there early.”
So in we go and sure enough, both my boys had a URI, and mites! Grrrrrr. Stupid pet stores! So after &120 bucks for cold meds and mite shots we came home and had some floor time and peppers (which I quickly found out that they absolutely love). Poor guys. KC didn’t take the car ride very well at all, so he needed some extra lap time before his floor time that day.
Next, first pen beatification project
So into the fabric store we go, where all the other husbands were standing around with a bored look on their faces, but it was the opposite in our case. It was my wife who was standing around with a bored look on her face. Well, when she wasn’t chasing our son around the store. Then it was a….. well…..different… look. Oh well. Anyway, I couldn’t really find any fleece that looked like it would let the pee pass though in a timely manner, but I see this rack that said furs. There was one that looked similar to one of the pictures of fleece that I saw on here. After a closer look, the weave seemed somewhat loose and looked like it would let the pee flow through so we got about 4 yards of that. It actually turned out to be a lot more than that. It was three yards wide when it was on the spool, but it was folded in half so it was really 6 yards wide. So 24 square yards of fake fur later, we were on our way home.
After clearing out a big enough space to lay this stuff down to cut it, into the pen it went. KC loved it!! He started running around and popcorning all over the place. He even bounced off a couple of the walls! Silly pig.
sorry about the low light. It was the best I could do.
There werre a couple of smaller pieces left over after cutting the pieces that I needed to line the cage. My creative juices started flowing again and I made them a tunnel with the fur side in, and I got a box, filled it with bedding and lined it with fur and made a little cozy box for them. KC loves the tunnel. He lays in it all the time.
He tried to get out of it the wrong way one day. It didn't quite work out for him.
After we got done with the 3 shot series for mites, we had to take an unscheduled trip to the vets. I was carrying Rodger down the hall to close the doors for some floor time. Well, I guess he decided he didn’t want to wait for me to put him down. He wanted down NOW! He launched himself out of my arms, and landed on his side across a toy tub in my sons’ room. It scared the living sh um, crap out of me! After I caught him, I put him down in the hall, and he started dragging his back end around. “Oh crap! He’s broken his back or something!” I called the vet, and it just so happened that there was a seminar that day that was something that exotic vets had to go to as part of their credential hours so there were no guinea pig vets anywhere in the city! I called 10 different places and no one was in.
The best I got was an emergency animal care, but they didn’t have any GP vets there either. They said they might be able to stabilize him until we got in to see our normal vet, but I didn’t know whether to trust a non pig savvy vet to do something like that, so I just put him back into his cage with something warm to snuggle against to hopefully keep any swelling or bruising down until I could get him in to see his doctor.
The whole rest of that day, he hid in his pigaloo. He didn’t even come out to eat or drink. I was so worried about him. I felt so bad too. I couldn’t help but to blame myself for his fall. I should have had a hand on his back while I was carrying him around just in case anything like that happened. I know better now.
9:30 the next morning we went to see the vet. While we were there, he started eating some of the pellets that I took with us. That made me feel a little better. She felt him all over, took an x-ray, and thank God nothing was broken. He was just really sore. We were sent home with pain meds. By the time we got home, the meds must have kicked in because he went straight to the veggie bowl and sucked them down. Boy was I relieved!
Shoulder pigs!! It doesn't matter to KC how you are sitting or laying. He wants to be on your shoulders! He forced his way behind my head when we were lying on the couch the other day. I had to prop my head on my hand cause he refused to move.
What do you want?!
Whatchya doing down there?
At first my wife wasn't too crazy about the piggies, but they sucked her in. She gets them out for cuddles and stops by the cage to talk to them and check in on them about as much as I do.
one of the lofts
After we bought and moved into our house we adopted 4 more piggies. 2 boars and 2 sows so the cage turned into a 3 story condo with the top level divided and prepared for 2 boars and 2 sows.
I used 1x4's for extra support for the top level so I could leave a wide open area to access the cage for cleaning and what not.
Before top floor division
After mite treatment and proper quarantine the two new boys and two new girls were put into their new homes.
New boars, Zedd and Buddy. Zedd is the all white one.
New sows, Sabrina and Lila. Sabrina is the PEW.
A week after the completion of their quarantine and introduction to their new home I began wondering if the two new boars would get along with the other 4 so in went another ramp from the second story loft to the third story.
Here is a full pic of the condo complete with cat, dog, and kid proofing.
A day of dominance issues and no injuries later things seem to have settled down pretty good. We are keeping a close eye on them for the nest few days to make sure, but I think this is going to be a succusses. I wonder what the largest amount of boars is that have been successfully kept together.
Well, I can't completly say no injuries later. Zedd was so excited to have a bigger space to run around in that he went zooming across the bridge that connects the 2 lofts and hit the corner of the coroplast and cut his cheek. Poor little guy. I think he'll heal up ok though. He is in quarantine right now with an Oops pad as bedding to keep things clean so he can heal up. We are monitoring his weight daily to make sure he is still eating and what not. So far so good. All coroplast corners are now rounded off.
A couple months after we got KC and Rodger we started looking into buying a house. Well, with a house would come more space. With more space, we could have a bigger cage! With a bigger cage, we could get a couple more piggies!!!! Yay!!!!!!! So I started looking at craigs list to see what was up there.
It was there that I saw an article from a gal that had 3 piggies, 2 boars and one sow. Well it turns out that she bought 2 guinea pigs from a pet store, and like so many others, they were missexed. Well, momma loved pappa, and um, pappa loved momma, and well, you can figure out the rest. She kept one of the pups and unfortunatly gave the rest back to the pet store.
So here it is, a year later and she doesn't have time for them anymore due to too much work. The sow is pregnant again for what ever time it was becuase she never seperated them and she put them on craigs list and advrtised the sow as pregnant saying "breeders may be interested". I didn't much like the looks of that, and as one of the boars was long haired like I had been looking for, I contacted her. By the time she replyed to my e mail, the sow had already been adopted, but the boars were still available, as well as their 2 by 5 C&C cage so enter Frisco and Nicky.
She said that the 2 boars had never gotten along and she thought it was becuase it was that they were father and son, but it was becuase she was trying to keep both boars and the sow all in the same cage. Grrrrrr. I really really didn't like the way this woman thought. She seemed really nice as a person, just very misguided in the care of her GP's.
After we got them home and set up the cage, they did just fine and still do to this day. It was becuase of the sow that they were constantly fighting.
Next- from 4 to 8