I have a few questions and would like advice to ensure we are taking the best care of Bacon and Reese's (my son named them). I would add pictures but I am not sure how.
1- Do I need to use the recycled paper bedding across the entire thing? I see images of "kitchen areas" but am not certain what the concept is or if it is a good option. We are thinking of putting a divider in one side that would have bedding and all their food but then what do you do on the other side? leave the bottom of the cage as is? or put something else down?
2- Feeding; I just want to make sure I am doing the best; they have unlimited hay, about 1/8 cup of pellets per day and they get about 4 oz of veggie/fruit combo daily...maybe more as I have noticed my son feeding them bell pepper or celery as he bonds. I have a list of things they can and cannot eat that was given to me when we adopted them but I guess my real question is whether or not they can have too much fresh food? I know there are certain items that need to be limited, but say just in general, is there a hard rule for 4 ounces or if they get more will that harm them?
3- Drafts: this is my big one, their cage is on the floor of our main room; my flooring is ceramic tile. they are kind of close to a back door but we hardly ever use that door. one side is near a fireplace (also not used. If we use the fireplace we pull the cage away from it). Someone told me they are prone to drafts and can get sick but I am not sure how to address that or how to know if it's even an issue in their case.
If someone can tell me how to add images I will be happy to do so.
- And got the T-shirt
They do need bedding across the whole cage. Walking in puddles of urine can cause bumblefoot, and that's hard to cure.
How old are they? If under six months, they need unlimited pellets. If over, then 1/8 cup of pellets per day. Young pigs need extra calcium, which they can get from alfalfa pellets, or from timothy pellets plus an extra calcium veggie like parsley.
Limit the fruit pretty severely. Guinea pigs weren't engineered to process sugar well, and it can upset the bacterial balance in their gut. Here's a chart with nutritional info: http://www.guinealynx.info/chart.html. And another: http://www.guinealynx.info/diet.html.
How about raising their cage on a table, or on grids? There are tons of pictures of grid supports at https://www.guineapigcages.com/photos/
You can also give them some rags or fleece scraps to play with. I used scraps leftover from making the bedding, and just toss them in the cage. Pigs have fun with them and they can help them stay warm.
Fleece is everywhere in my cavy cage because of the reasons mentioned above. If you use it, it's a good idea to prepare it first by washing it three times without using fabric softener. Once you've done that, any moisture will pass right through it and help your piggies stay dry.