I meant to take pictures during the introductions, but I completely forgot my camera in the car. It went really well! Brick, the smooth white and blonde, seems to be a bit pushy and anxious to lead the group. And of course Bear isn't having it. Luckily my two old men are pretty laid back and let Brick sniff, mount, and chatter his little heart out, but put him in his place when it got out of hand. Mortar is the runt of the group and is more intent on keeping out of the drama. I think they'll all do well together.
Here are some pictures of the new boys with mom:
Mortar and Mom
Brick and Mom
The boys are in a temporary cage right now until the current cage gets some finishing touches. It should be ready for pigs by this evening. Here it is nearly complete. All we need to add is the side and front caging and to attach the roof:
The new cage is looking good. I'm not positive they can get up that ramp but you can try. You may end up needing to build a little platform and a switchback but from the looks of it. husband (boyfriend?) can do that no problem if necessary.
Yes, the husband is very handy. He's an electrician's assistant and loves to take things apart and build. At one point he wanted to design a lighting and ventilation system for the new cage...ha! Maybe we'll tackle that down the road once we see how the boys take to it!
Bear and Mo took the first floor and Brick and Mortar took the top. They haven't figured out the ramp quite yet - I have a feeling we're going to have to put carpet squares or something on it. We moved the new boys downstairs to hang out with the old men for a bit, and we were highly entertained watching them check each other out. At one point all four were running circles around a pigloo butt sniffing each other. That was a good laugh. The cat was highly entertained as well. He's somewhat perturbed that he cant get his little paws in there...to which I squirt him with the water bottle.
So far so good! I haven't had an opportunity to take pictures of the finished product yet. I'm trying out fleece as bedding this time around, and it's all new to me. I'm hoping to figure out a system for it after getting used to this huge 24 square ft. cage. Oye.
All the pigs are seeming to enjoy the vast amount of space they have to run around. At his point, Mo is the only one who's figured out the ramp. I think Brick is on to it, but he hasn't yet mustered the courage to give it a try. So now, every time Mo "magically" appears upstairs, Brick has a little fit and Mortar calmly steps aside to stay out of the way. Mo is such an instigator. Always has been and probably always will be...he runs around upstairs, eating their hay and pushing around their pigloo, all the while Brick chases him around, lowly rumbling and wheeking like "Hey! HEY! Whachu doin up heer! Don't eat dat! Dat's mine! HEY!" Then Mo scurries down the ramp and Brick looks down after him, his rumbling continuing like he wants so badly to follow him but can't quite figure out how on earth to get himself down there.
Bear is happy as can be just where he is - in his pigloo downstairs without the whippersnappers harrassing him. Mortar seems to be more intent on just staying out of the way. For example:
I snuck this picture in while he wasn't looking...
This is right after the first flash...
Right before tucking the boys in for bed we sing them a little good night song. Silly, I know, but it's a ritual we've come to know. They're our children after all. :) While I was tucking them in last night, I noticed that Brick kept following me around as I moved around the cage. I thought that was interesting. The other boys never did anything like that, so that's new to me. I snapped a picture of him while he was staring me down:
The more I look at this picture, the more ideas I get on how I could Photoshop it to look silly. I haven't quite figured out Brick's personality yet, so I opted to go with this creative route. Here he is again, only with his little aluminum prison mug, clanging it back and forth against the bars hoping to catch mom's attention to get more carrots:
*HA HA* Oh boy...if my manager here at work REALLY knew what I did with my time...tee hee...
- 4 the Good of all Pigs
I've already found that actually *getting* to the pigs is a bit of a challenge, though I expected this. I might have to have Dan design some sort of piggy scoop-catch or something ;)
Bear, approx 4 years old:
Bear is the grumpy old man of the group. Before the youngins' came, he held the dominance in the cage. He's a temperamental snuggler who doesn't mind being held but will start to nip at you when he's had enough. He's a big scaredy cat that doesn't like it when mom and dad play music from the computer, but doesn't seem to mind music/sounds from the TV (???). His favorite time of the day is breakfast, and his favorite food is carrots.
Mo, approx 5 years old:
Mo is a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-faux-hawk kind of piggy. He's an explorer who prefers to be perched at the highest point rather than snuggled. He's the first one of the cage to try out something new, (i.e. the ramp), and flaunts it when he's capable of doing something no one else is (i.e. instigating the other piggies in the cage then running up the ramp or jumping on top of the hidey house). He's a pretty laid back little guy who doesn't mind not being the leader, but doesn't like being pushed around. He's just an all around happy piggy. He enjoys long skips around the living room and playing chicken with the cat. His favorite time of the day is whenever he can stir up play time, and his favorite treat is banana.
Brick, approx 1 1/2 years old:
Brick is, at heart, an absolute sweetie. When he's not chasing everyone else around the pigloos or waving his butt in their faces, he keeps general watch over the family. He's the stinkiest of the bunch - mom had to trim out some of the hair on his rump because it was so crusted with Boar goo. But it was really a bit pointless because anytime any of the other piggies moves or decides to walk around, Brick is there to remind them of his presence, and the Boar goo can be smelled from across the room. Luckily, though, Brick seems to tire out easily and can be seen frequently lounging around on his side, back leg extended out. He also likes to follow mom and dad around the cage when they approach, unlike everyone else who seems to run and hide. He enjoys a good burrow and hardy snuggle. His favorite time of the day is whenever everyone acknowledges his awesomeness.
Mortar, approx 9 months old:
Mort is the runt of the group, but he's got a lot of spunk. He's taken after Mo in that he tends to be pretty laid back, but he'll really only tolerate so much smack from his cagemates. He prefers to stay out of piggy butt-sniffing sessions and tends to hide wherever he thinks he'll stay out of sight/sniff. He's also something of a little explorer, but he still exhibits of bit of anxiety about adventuring too far from the familiar. We see Mort picking up little traits from his cage mates all the time - he's gotten a little more brave about standing up for himself (from Brick), he's exploring more (from Mo), and he's enjoyed trying all the new foods (from Bear). He enjoys quiet time, and he seems like the type that might appreciate a good novel. His favorite food at the moment is a tie between hay and lettuce.
And here are the happy parents:
This picture was taken after we had just gotten engaged. It's one of the only pictures I can find where we're not being *completely* goofy. We were married this past December and recently moved back to our home state of PA from NYC. Dan works as an electrician's assistant for a local electrical contractor, and I work as an office manager for a real estate company during the week, and work in the grooming salon at a Petsmart during the weekend. I'm actually in the process of going to grooming school, which I'm looking forward to. Mo serves as my guinea pig (hardy har har) for haircuts.
Last night we had a butt-cleaning session. Oh how those boars get messy...
Afterwards, everyone seemed pretty pooped (ha!) and lounged around the couch watching TV and pondering the meaning of life:
And because the big-guy is out of the office today and tomorrow is a holiday (WOO!) here are some more silly pictures where mom had fun with Photoshop:
Bear is smiling. I think this was probably taken BEFORE the butt cleaning.
Piggies on pillows:
Mo being his cute self:
Mortar showing a little hand:
And Brick getting fed up with Mom putting a camera in his face:
The doc talked to me before thoroughly examining the boys, and I tried to subtly get the point across that I was relatively familiar with guinea pigs and guinea pig health - I told him I wanted to treat the boys myself with Ivermectin but didn't feel confident enough in figuring the dosage out. I also told him that Bear and Mo had previously been treated for lice and mites with Revolution (back when we first got them) and it was effective. He told me about a conference he recently attended where studies showed selamectin (Revolution) was turning out to be an ideal treatment for lice and mites in rodents. Of course, it's not regularly promoted for rodents because Revolution's target audience is cat and dog owners. He showed me the handbooks he received at the conference and also talked me through how he calculated dosage for all the boys. Of course, the real point of me writing all this is to say that I'm very pleased with this vet. He was open to my opinions and questions, and seemed to have a good grasp on cavy knowledge and treatment.
All the boys had their Revolution treatments (and I have the 2nd dose for two weeks from now) and thorough check ups. Everyone is healthy, coming in between 2.2 lbs and 3.1 lbs. Brick had his front teeth filed even (I verified he wasn't taking any length, but just evening them out...I have NO idea how Brick's teeth got that way). Bear had a sore on his back - looks like the boys are getting into it when we're not home. Mo had one too, but it was mostly healed. *sigh* Oh those piggies. We may have to remove the ramp to keep them separated (even though only Mo and Bear use it...why they would go downstairs when Brick is being bossy is beyond me). They seem to be fine when we're around, sharing food, laying with each other, etc. So who knows.
The next step: butt baths. Ever since adding Brick to the group. all the boys' grease glands have been in overdrive. Anybody have any secret remedies on dissolving the gunk? I'm planning on using Palmolive...
Then you have the task of getting rid of the cleanser. You can try bunny bath, dish soap, or Malaseb (a veterinary shampoo available online). I've never used the Malaseb but Mum swears by it and says it can eve do the original de-gunking alone.
So glad you found a good vet. A vet who already knows about the uses of Revolution is rare indeed.