New Guinea Pig Owner Questions

ReiSixx9

Post   » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:43 am


Okay, I have a few questions. :)

1. I'm going to get two guinea pigs, but only if I can figure out a sure-fire safe way to keep them if I get a cat. Would I just have to keep the cat out of the room that they're in? Maybe get a top for my cage?

2. Is just fleece over towels sufficient bedding? If so, how often do you clean it? Anything else I should know?

3. I've never had two guinea pigs at a time. I know they're very sociable animals and I've seen many people house their pigs together, but I can't help but worry when putting two pigs together. Will they be okay?

4. I've researched the proper size for a cage, but I wanna know what you guys think. Is 70x105cm enough for two pigs or should I try for something more like 70x140cm or 70x175cm?

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:57 am


You need a really big cage.

Look over www.guinealynx.info/bedding.html and www.guinealynx.info/housing.html

Do put a top on the cage. A great place for lots of ideas is www.guineapigcages.com

Read all the links on this page for help on introductions, etc.
www.guinealynx.info/companionship.html

ReiSixx9

Post   » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:16 am


Thanks!

JX4

Post   » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:28 am


Cats don't usually bother guinea pigs unless they are babies. Our cat is scared of our pigs. When we first got the piggies, she would sit next to the cage and stare at them, but as soon as we got one out and put it on the floor with her, she freaked out and ran from the room. She totally ignores the piggies now, and if she hops up to get in our lap and a piggy is there, she immediately hops back down in a disgust and pouts. We have a lid for our cage, though, just in case.

It's dogs you have to worry about.

I think two females might do better for you than two males, but you had better make triple sure that whatever pair you get are really the same sex. We got three females, but one was actually a male and now we have 7 guinea pigs, lol. Two males need a much larger cage than two females. A C&C cage made with grids and a coroplast base work very well. No cage you buy at a pet store will be big enough. Look at the links Lynx gave you.

ReiSixx9

Post   » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:13 pm


Thanks a ton!
I plan on getting two females from a rescue. How do you recommend I make triple sure of their genders if I don't know how to tell myself? Should I just trust the shelter?

JX4

Post   » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:56 pm


If they are very young, it is hard to tell the sexes apart just by looking, even for those who are experienced. I would not just trust the shelter, though, unless that shelter is VERY familiar with guinea pigs. I think there's some info pages here that can help. If the pigs are older than 4 months it should be fairly easy to tell. Males will have testicle sacs that drag the ground. I know that even when they are very young you can extrude the penis on males, but I've never been very good at it. There is a way to feel the penal bone (I think that is what it's called) even in really young pigs. Someone else or a link here in the info pages can explain it better. The testicles don't descend for several months, though, at least they didn't in our male we mistook for a female and in the two male babies we had (which we re-homed). Look through the photos here for sexing guinea pigs and if you need to carry them with you to the shelter to compare.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:26 pm


www.guinealynx.info/sexing.html

That page has info and links to other great pages.

ReiSixx9

Post   » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:57 am


Thanks guys, you've been really helpful!

ReiSixx9

Post   » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:39 pm


I'm probably going to get two female guinea pigs soon.

I've decided to make a 105x70cm C&C cage (DIY). I'm also getting two hideys and I'm making a kitchen area in the cage with a liter box. For bedding I'm gonna put three towels underneath one polar fleece throw which I will clip to the sides of the cage.

Does this sound like a good plan or have I messed something up? Am I missing something? Do you have any tips for me?

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:31 pm


If they are cotton towels, you will likely have to switch them out frequently as they are likely to smell.

ReiSixx9

Post   » Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:36 pm


How frequently? I've read different things from 3 days to 1 week.

groundbeef

Post   » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:16 pm


We use Care-Fresh paper bedding, not fleece, so it may be different, but we clean out the cage twice a week. Three days is good, the fourth day is getting a little dirtier than I'd like, but every three days makes an awkward schedule.

The Care-Fresh is expensive, but we don't have a washer & dryer, so fleece is difficult in our situation.

JX4

Post   » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:46 pm


When I tried towels, they started stinking after just one day in the areas of the cage that the pigs preferred to use. It was nasty. Fleece over the U-Haul pads works better with less smell.

ReiSixx9

Post   » Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:35 pm


JX4, how many layers of towels did you use?

JX4

Post   » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:10 pm


Just one, but it was folded several times. I used them in our hayloft. I had tried newspaper too, and that was stinky too. The U-Haul pads work best.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:05 pm


Ditto JX4 on smelling in one day for the towels and newspapers. I never tried the U-Haul pads but they may be worth a go.

SardonicSmile

Post   » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:21 am


That cage size is (way) too small. I know it says on guineapigcages.com that this is the minimum size for two, but it is super small for two pigs. Piggies will really appreciate any extra space you can give them.

And the smaller the cage, the more frequent cleaning is needed.
Also a litterbox in such a small space will probably not be very practical.

I used to have a diy cage of 140x95cm (inner dimension) and when I used towels and fleece I had to change it once a week. I had about 3 layers of towels (still fluffy towels that properly soak up liquids) and at the bottom I had human washable incontinence pads. I had 2 to 3 piggies living in this cage.

JX4

Post   » Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:10 pm


As for the hideys, make sure they have two openings each. No pigloos. Otherwise one pig can get trapped by the other inside. The more things you put in the cage with the piggies, the less room the piggies have to run around and feel the space. Once you get two food bowls, two water bottles, a place for hay, two hideys in there, the pigs themselves need space to be able to run around and just be.

The smaller the cage, the more frequently you have to clean it, that's true. Pigs pee and poop a LOT. I use the fleece flippers from the guineapigmarket.com, and because the fleece is taut around them that allows me to be able to vacuum up the poo pellets every day. (I use a small hand-vac that is used ONLY for the poo pellets.) I have the minimum size cage for 7 guinea pigs (2 x 8 grids) only because we don't have the space for anything bigger and literally had to get rid of furniture to fit that in. We clean it weekly, but would have to do so more often if I didn't vacuum up the poo pellets daily. As I said, we have two lofts (1 x2 grids) on each end of the cage where we put the hay. Our pigs love to sit in the hay loft and they poo and pee while they munch. The hay lofts have to be cleaned way more often because they tend to collect the most pee and they start to stink from the pee after just 2 or 3 days. Pigs do tend to pee and poo a lot wherever they sit and eat. So, wherever you put your food bowls and hay is where there's going to be more stinky stuff to clean.

We do have a couple of hideys that have two holes, but we don't always put them in the cage. Because our hay lofts are only half-way up the grid (our cage including the lofts is only one grid high), underneath them works like a giant hidey on each end and there are no entry holes to hog. With three food bowls, three water bottles, the two ramps and the two loft spaces we don't like to crowd stuff in the cage too much so the piggies have more space to run. It helps that they are all related and their herd is very closely bonded, but if I could make more space for them, I would. We also have a lid on the cage.

ReiSixx9

Post   » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:13 am


Unfortunately I can't find any U-haul pads in Australia. Also, I was thinking about using some c&c grids to basically make built-in hideys to save a ton of money, but I think the grids might make to big of a hidey (35x35cm). What do you guys think?

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:13 pm


The hideys would need more than one entry/exit. A standalone hidey of grids might be unstable.

Post Reply
29 posts