Cost difference between having multiple pigs?

User avatar
tara8301
Supporter in '10

Post   » Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:42 pm


So right now I have two lovelies, Lily and Nibs. Lily is spayed, Nibs is intact. Nibs loves his wimmens so I've been thinking about getting one or two more ladies. And I think Lily would like some other girls to be with so that Nibs can move his attentions elsewere. Plus, since she's the more dominant one and she's older, it seems like she'd be a very nurturing lady. That is, of course, after I rearrange my apartment to ensure I'd have enough room. But money is also a factor, and I was wondering what those of you that have 2+ pigs think of the cost difference between 2 pigs and having 3 or 4. I'd also either have to get Nibs neutered or get already spayed females, which is the more likely option since I've not had much luck finding a suitable vet to do a neuter within a reasonable distance.

They already get all the hay they can handle and pellets from kleenmama, as well as veggies 2x daily. Of course there would be inital costs related to expanding the pig apartment, getting the pigs, going to the vet, etc. which would be extra, but that's a given. I'm more wondering about the week-to-week/month-to-month difference there may be associated with multiple piggies. I recall reading on another post in which others were trying to convince someone to get 2 pigs instead of 1 they said there wasn't much of a difference between one and two... does that hold for 2 and 3 or 4??

Heh, my fiancee is really gonna love this if I get more piggies... =) Someone on here mentioned once I need to write the pigs into the wedding vows.... 'For richer or poorer, in sickness in health, with 2 piggies or 12...'

User avatar
rshevin

Post   » Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:54 pm


In general the biggest cost of caring for guinea pigs is vet care. Unfortunately vet care increases linearly with number of pigs. Other costs like food and bedding sort of level off because you buy in bulk usually anyway.

User avatar
zazzified

Post   » Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:51 pm


Yeah I have 2 pigs and I don't think adding one more would increase anything significantly other than vet care. Adding two more I think would increase costs a bit but again, most significantly with vet care.

User avatar
Feylin

Post   » Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:52 pm


Yup. Calculate how much you spend per year on vet care for one pig. Don't forget to add in your emergency fund for that pig.

Multiply that times the number of pigs you want. It will be a large amount.

Of course, most likely not everyone will get sick at the same time- but it can happen that MOST of them will be sick or that 2 or 3 of them will need surgery at the same time. How could you pick if your emergency fund was at the 2 pig size?

User avatar
Kermie831

Post   » Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:14 pm


With larger numbers, your cost per head goes down (i.e. buying a case of veggies or a large thing of bedding is cheaper than buying 1 at a time, or a small bag, just like hay is cheaper by the bale than the craptastic bags at the pet store).

I am VERY lucky, I get pellets in 50lb bags (3 at a time), hay by the bale (there are 7 in my closet) and veggie scraps from the produce place (I go about every other day, and its about half an hour in labor separating the good from bad). The killer is vet care. (Sigh, If I could only have a small x-ray machine at home ;) ) The pigs have their own visa.

We often have multiple pigs / animals sick. Right now, Honey is being treated for eye issues, Bella has a infected foot, and Charlie hurt her leg again from running around like an idiot. Meds and feedings are kinda just worked into the daily schedule as needed.

We went from 1 to 2, to 4 to 7. The shift from 2 to 4 was not as noticible as the jump from 4 to 7!

User avatar
mmercedesmom
Supporter in '09

Post   » Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:31 pm


Uh, and Kermie, what about the jump to 40?

It is true that the more you have the more likely you will have several being treated for medical issues. Especially with an aging herd. I have my own piggies and some fosters and sanctuaries for rescue. Usually somewhere in the low 20's these days. I currently have 6 that are on daily or twice daily meds, creams, etc. AND 1 on handfeeding once per day.

I too buy 50 lb. bags of pellets, plus hay by the bale locally. I have found a little market about 5 miles from me that is worth driving to every few days for produce. I have a major supermarket just a mile from home, but the price difference is dramatic and the quality is still excellent from the less expensive place. I do have a bag of corn husks that I scrounged from the trash barrel in the supermarket's produce dept. though. ;-)

User avatar
Kermie831

Post   » Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:39 pm


Hey! We are NOT at 40 ;)

User avatar
mmercedesmom
Supporter in '09

Post   » Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:48 pm


38? Oh wait, 41? ;-)

User avatar
Kermie831

Post   » Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:55 pm


39! (Who are you stealing!?) (or dropping off?!)

User avatar
mmercedesmom
Supporter in '09

Post   » Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:00 pm


Hey, I can't keep accurate count of my own, let alone yours. LOL

I know you'd take Weaver in a heartbeat. In all her spastic glory of tiltyness. I think I made up a word.

User avatar
Kermie831

Post   » Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:11 pm


It's ok, I have trouble some days too! I get really lost when you ask me boys vs girls! But, I have it on my profile, I think.

ok, ok, 39 + Weaver + Hillary = 41. :)

That is a fabulous phrase. I think I need more video of her - esp with her new roomies!

User avatar
tara8301
Supporter in '10

Post   » Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:02 am


Ok, so aside from the initial costs and then veterinary care, there's really not much of a difference? Of course if I got more pigs, I'd set aside more money in the emerg. fund appropriately.

Where do you all get such large quantities of hay and pellets? How many lbs. is a bale of hay anyway?? I saw kleenmama has a 50 lb. bag of pellets, but we do have a few farm stores around where I could possibly get hay.

mmercedesmom - how does the store react to you taking the corn husks? I've seen a few others talk about doing the same and I've been tempted to do so, but I wasn't sure if the employees at the store would be all weirded out.

User avatar
lisam

Post   » Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:19 am


I have my hay delivered from the feed store. Depending on your location and the type of hay, bales can be anywhere from 75 to 130 pounds. My feed store has lately been carrying "mini" bales, which are compressed and expand quite a bit.

Sometimes I get my pellets from KM, but usually from the feed store. Luckily they carry Oxbow.

theamazingbox

Post   » Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:32 am


I asked the produce guy once about taking corn husks. Their corn fest is right outside, so I just get weird looks from every single shopper in the north jersey area, but the produce guy just looked at me like I had six heads and said whatever.

Piggies <3 corn husks. And piggy spaghetti(silks)

User avatar
mmercedesmom
Supporter in '09

Post   » Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:35 am


My favorite feed store has bales that are around 100 lbs I think. Usually CavyCastle and I split one so they get used up fairly quickly. They also carry Oxbow and will order the 50 lb bags for us, no shipping. Their distributor carries them so they get them in just a day or two after we order.

If you ask at the stores for scraps or husks they will say no. Too many people have sued stores so they can't officially allow scraps to go for consumption. At least that is what a number of them have told me. If the barrel is sitting there, I load up a bag and at the check out just say they are the husks and they don't charge. If they ask what they are for, I say "crafts". Like corn husk dolls and such if they want specifics. OR they just think I make tamales. ;-)

User avatar
GuineaPiggin

Post   » Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:55 am


Echoing everyone else in that it's the vet costs that get you more than the supplies.

As for supplies:

>I get a bale of dust-free, kiln-dried pine shavings from my local grain elevator for $5/month($20+ at the pet stores for the same bale)

>I buy 10lb bags of Oxbow pellets from the pet supplies store for $15 and that lasts 2 months

>Hay is from KM's Hayloft and I get a 25lb box every 4-6 months ($35/box from KM = $90 buying in bags at the stores for the same amt)

>Veggies vary, but the husks I talked to my local grocery store (before I started working there) and they looked at me like I was nuts then after finding it was for my animals said "go right ahead". Now that I work for them, I get my husks from the corn we buy and bring home.

User avatar
Kermie831

Post   » Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:06 am


I get the small bales which are about 35-50 lbs. But, they stack in my hosue easier ;)

The farm supply, if they carry Oxbow, might be able to special order you the larger bags, but keep in mind, only keep on hand what you can use in 6 months - or a year if you freeze - to prevent degredation of nutrients (I think those are the times... correct me if I am off!)

User avatar
Feylin

Post   » Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:30 am


There is a website that is just for finding hay.

www.hayexchange.com

I found my local farmers on there and buy my hay for $2-$5 a bale from them.

rpaws

Post   » Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:47 am


Strangely, I've been lucky at the Price Rite for getting corn husks. They have a big barrel by the corn where people shuck their corn.

I put the corn husks (Note: easier to get rid of the silk at the store than at home) in a plastic bag. I always declare the corn husks to the cashiers at the front.

I pretty much get strange looks/comments from the cashiers as to why I would be concerned about 'stealing' corn husks. I told them you wouldn't believe how some stores act about taking them - you get refused, etc. I've had carrot tops confiscated. I think what helps is the cashiers tend to be younger and have the "don't care" attitude.

Some do ask why I want them. mmercedesmom, I think I'll use your response. I sometimes get a weird look when I say guinea pigs and have to explain that guinea pigs can only eat the husks. The corn part is too high in starch for them. Yes, crafts would work.

Suisan

Post   » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:18 am


"Note: easier to get rid of the silk at the store than at home"

Don't leave the silk at the store -- my pigs love it even more than the husks.

Post Reply
28 posts