New and Have a Few Questions


Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:47 pm

I'm new to the boards from central/northern New Jersey! I am getting two female guinea pigs either at the end of this week or beginning of next week and I can't wait! I've never owned guinea pigs before but I've been doing lots of research and lurking around on these boards for a while.

I was planning on adopting but one of my moms co-workers has two piggies that they want to give away due to too many pets. I kept begging her to have them send me a picture and apparently this was the best he could do (I hope the picture works.) --


I was supposed to get two girls a few months ago but it fell through so I have all my supplies, but have learned a lot since then so I have to change what kind of food I bought and I want to buy fleece.

When buying fleece, should I go to a store that supplies it and have them cut me the right amount? Or can I just buy fleece blankets?

I also have a question about hay, I was just planning on buying hay from the local pet store we have. I am pretty sure they carry oxbow hay because I know they carry oxbow pellets. Is it strongly suggested to instead buy hay from a local farmer? My boyfriend actually lives on a farm so it wouldn't be hard for me to get a hold of it but I don't know if it is the right kind of hay.

Thanks and I'll post more pictures as soon as I get my new pigs!

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Supporter in '09 - '10

Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:15 pm

Thanks for researching. You are starting out WAY better than I did. Your pigs are cute!

Have you researched cage sizes at

Oxbow is one of the highly recommended hay and pellets. There is also where I buy my pellets and hay. The shipping looks scary, but when you figure out the cost per pound, it comes out cheaper or about the same as Oxbow. If your boyfriend can get you bales of Timothy hay, that would be awesome! Pigs need grass hay 24/7, it doesn't have to be Timothy. Also, if your pigs are younger they will need alfalfa pellets. I switched to Timothy pellets when my pigs were around 5 months old. A little early in some opinions. Some people believe pigs should stay on alfalfa pellets until they are a year old.

You can go to a fabric store and get them to cut fleece for you or you can hop on over to the Sales forum here and there are talented people here who make cage liners and other goodies!

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Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:19 pm

Does your boyfriend know what good hay looks like? You want it soft and fresh and green and free of mold: gl/hay.html has spectacular hay, too.

Glad to hear you are not buying pigs from a pet store! There are so many, like the ones that will be coming into your life, that need good/better homes.

Check out this thread for links to fleece info:

You could start with inexpensive fleece blankets (not all fleece is the same - that thread will lead you to more info about fleece).

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Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:30 pm

Congratulations. They look kind of big for the small cage they are currently in.

I use inexpensive fleece blankets at the moment. I switched pretty fast and those fleece blankets were in abundance during the holidays. The only thing I'm finding out is they aren't going to last very long. There is alot of lint in the dryer when laundry is done, and that's from the blankets. They are getting kind of thin in places. They work great for wicking the moisture away, but you get what you pay for.

I'm sure during the warm summer months they are going to be hard to find.


Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:15 pm

I bought a cage already, the Midwest Expandable one that has the canvas bottom, it's 8 sq ft. I am planning on buying another one as well most likely to expand since it just meets the requirements in size. I can't wait to get them out of that cage they are in now!

I just talked to my boyfriend about the hay and he said he is pretty sure that they do not grow timothy. So what I am gathering is to not buy hay from a pet supply store? I feel like shipping might be a bit of a nuisance.

As for the timothy versus alfalfa pellets, I have a feeling they are probably eating timothy pellets now, just because seeing what type of cage they are in I'm guessing the owners aren't too knowledgeable about guinea pigs. So if they are already on timothy should I continue to feed that to them? They are only four months old.

Those links are super helpful about the fleece, I think I know what I'm going to do. Probably newspaper, towels, then a layer of fleece. Hunybee do you find it cheaper to buy fleece blankets over getting it cut at a fabric store?


Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:31 pm

How old are the pigs? It's ok for younger ones to eat alfalfa.

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Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:32 pm

Shipping can get expensive, but even with shipping, buying from KM is still cheaper (and you can buy it in bulk!) KM's hay is amazing quality hay and your pigs will gobble it up :]


Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:44 pm

Okay so looked into buying from KM, shipping almost $29! That is for 25 lbs, that won't spoil before I use it all right? And does anyone have an estimate of how long that will last me?

And moonfall they are almost four months old, if they are already on timothy is it okay to switch them to alfalfa?

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Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:46 pm

THose Midwest Cages are a good alternative.

As for they does seem like a hassle doesn't it? But I promise, once you start doing it you will wonder why you ever bought it in small amounts at the store. It is easy to store it in the box it shipped in. Just remove the plastic garbage bag and keep it in a dry place like a closet. It does come out much cheaper in the end, too.

When you first get the pigs, take them to your vet for a well pig check. It's always a good idea to do this just so that you have peace of mind. Plus the vet needs to see them when they are well so he knows their behavior to compare to when they are sick.

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Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:49 pm

I buy the 45lbs of bluegrass from KMs for my two girls and it lasts me for 4-6 months. It comes in a nice sized box that I split in half. I put half in a big trash bin and leave the rest of it in the box and leave it in the attic. As long as the hay has some aeration (I poke holes in the box and trash can) and doesn't get moist, it will last for a really long time.

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Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:23 pm

I haven't bought any yet from the fabric store. At the holidays, i bought eight 30x50 blankets for $2 and $3. That's the perfect size for a 2x3. My cage is a 2x5. So I cut up a couple of them to extend the length, and to make little fluffy "bed pillows" for them to sleep on. I've also hung scraps up on the grids to make a couple of tents (man caves).

If you get to keep the pet store cage (and you'll want to), you can use the ramps for a second level to your cage, if you decided to build up too.

Cinnabuns Legacy

Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:46 pm

Thank you so much for not buying from a pet store. We have eight cavies and we go through about sixty pounds of hay a month (including what they eat, what they waste, and what falls on the ground as I'm getting hay out of the box). If you store it properly (well ventilated, don't store in a plastic bag, in a low-moisture area) it shouldn't go bad before you use it. Just a warning too, cavies waste a LOT of hay, and I've found it impossible to stop it, even with hay holders. Provide timothy, bluegrass or orchard grass as the hay with Kleenmama's or Oxbow's alfalfa pellets (switch to timothy pellets when they are a year old).

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Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:03 pm

More than likely the pigs are on an alfalfa pellet. Most pellets at the pet store are. It is perfectly fine to buy hay and pellets at a pet store. Oxbow is the best you will find there. I choose not to shop at stores who sell animals, but do not hold it against anyone who does.

Like I said, you do not have to use Timothy hay. Just make sure what you use is a grass hay. Hay can last for years if stored properly.

The shipping at KM is scary, but trust me, if you do the math you will probably come out cheaper or about the same as hay bought at a store or ordered online.

I would find out what pellets they are on. If they are alfalfa and it isn't a good pellet then you can switch them right over to Oxbow or KM.
Last edited by codyNpatches on Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:04 pm

Okay so I bought a 25lb package of timothy hay from Kleenmama's, hoping it will be here by the time I get the girls or at least soon after. What do you find best to put the hay in when feeding it to your piggies? I was thinking about buying one of those corner litter box things to put it in because I think that the hay holders will get more hay on the floor.

Hopefully I can find some fleece blankets on clearance since they are going out of season!

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Supporter in '09 - '10

Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:06 pm

You can make your own hay holders, use paper lunch bags, or purchase a safe hay holder. Just make sure any hay that gets on the floor is taken out every day so it doesn't mold.


Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:09 pm

Congrats on soon becoming a piggy Mammy :)
It is great you did your research before you got your piggies, it sounds like they are going to have a great home!

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Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:14 pm

Good luck with your future piggies!

If you buy from you can get 50lbs of oxbow timothy hay and only pay 5.99 for shipping including all other items in your purchase. It also has other great supplies on there for your pigs and other animals too. Sometimes when you buy certain items in bulk (6 or more) there is a discount price.

I usually buy my fleece by the yards and then cut and sew to the size needed at home.

Keep us updated :)

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Supporter in '09 - '10

Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:17 pm

I keep forgetting about their $5.99 shipping!


Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:28 pm

Ah I almost had a heart attack when I saw your post Shana but I think that I paid around the same price from KM. But actually I think if I got the 50lb one it would have been less.... hmm I'll definitely remember it for next time.

codyNpatches the paper bag idea is great. I'm just trying to find the most inexpensive ways to do things, but still be sure they have everything they need. Any other tips are greatly appreciated!

Thanks GPT I'm so excited about getting guinea pigs!

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Supporter in '09 - '10

Post   » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:32 pm

My hay rack is a square grid storage thingie from Target, but I don't think that would work in your cage.

I also use paper sacs and toilet paper tubes (cut down the middle so no injuries will happen) in addition to their regular hay rack.

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