Guinea Pig Experts!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by totoro, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    This is pretty funny and cute. Our therapist's daughter who is adopted and has/had some issues had a guinea pig and now that she is a teen had realized that she does not have the time for her piggy. So she spent a loooong time going back and forth thinking about it. Well therapist kept thinking about this as well, she kept going back to N...

    SHe asked us about N- would N like one. She felt this would be a great fit for her and help her grow. Help her with anxiety etc.

    We spent over a month, thinking, all of us. We did not tell N though. N has been asking for one for over a year.
    But we spent the past month going over all of the details with N and the what ifs.

    So last Wednesday was the big exchange. :D

    Flossy- Florence- came home after an hour visit in her office. She is a long haired bicolored- orange and black little sweety!
    therapist gave us all of the supplies.

    So now I have been reading up- I know she needs to lose weight and we have been working her big butt a bit! LOL
    I also have read in everything that they do so much better with a friend.

    So we may in time add another. She is 2 yo.

    I am finding that she is super picky- a variety of lettuces and carrots! apples... that is it- turns her little nose up at everything else.
    I have the timothy hay and her pellets.

    Is there a trick to adding food. I read not a lot of fruit- very small amount.
    Any other info??? We are using our huge dog crate as a play pen which opens up on the sides!

  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hmm. If she's been by herself for 2 yrs it may not be wise to add a "friend". If it's another female.........and if they're any way like gerbils or hamsters.....they'll fight and attempt to kill the new comer. Maybe not every single case but it's a risk. I learned this the hard way with hamsters as no one ever bothered to mention it and Travis had opted to take in a friends hamster to keep the ones he had company. Yeah. New friend didn't make it and it was traumatizing for the kids who found it first. We introduced a male to a female and had no issues really, except lots of lil hamsters to give away. lol Oh, and FYI they'll tell you that daddy hamsters and or gerbils will eat their young if you leave them in with momma and babies. We found that not to be the case,. Daddy took as good care of them as Mommy did.

    Nichole only had the 1 guinea pig for that reason. I wasn't pressing our luck a 2nd time around. If difficult child spends plenty of time with it, it won't have need of any other friend.:D
  3. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    My daughter has 2 of them at her dads. She says don't give them iceburg lettuce as it gives them diarhea. She says hers love the stem part of fresh broccoli. They often really like water/baths.

    She says they love the igloos to hide/sleep in. She also says that hers like their own corner litter box and they do use it and don't go elsewhere in their cage.

    She says that the wire cages can sometimes be a problem as their legs get stuck in them, the cage with bars is better/safer.

    She says she whistles at hers and they love it and whistle back (well squeek back lol)

    Enjoy getting to know your new GP!!!
  4. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Thanks! She only gets the fancy mixed lettuce... her cage has the plastic bottom and therapist seems to have all of the "right" toys! LOL
    From what I have read from some of the rescue sites they claim that they place piggies together at any age and after being alone at any time. They had a whole article about how to place them with another after the loss of a partner.
    It seemed to be a big deal because of their "herd" instincts???
    We will give her lots of time to get to know us before we do anything.
    I will keep offering her veggies. She did not like broccoli. :)
  5. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    My uncle and his wife had gp's and had multiple ones added at different times. They fed them a variety of fruit and veggies also but as I remember, the fruit was limited because of um....intestinal issues. They would let their's run around the house free and also had the plastic balls for them. They were really friendly and one of them leaped from uncle to me once cause she liked me so much. :bigsmile:

    You can also tell when they are happy....they tribble. I can't describe what a tribble sounds like but you'll know it when you hear it. There are many gp sites may want to find one and see what they say about introducing new piggies.

    Have fun! I'm considering getting one or two myself but I'm not sure how Chester would react! LOL
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We have friends with guinea pigs and they bring the spent straw to us (they change it far too readily, in my opinion) and we put it in our compost bins.

    We have budgies, though, plus I just got back from a visit to the zoo. What you need to keep animals happy, is to make them work for their food a little. Change things around, make toys and use those to get to know what they like and don't like.

    For example, today I watched the meerkats being fed. The keeper was tossing meal worms to the meerkats, but then she tossed a small hard plastic ball with holes. You now the sort, you find them in kiddie golf sets for example. And in the holes the keeper had put more meal worms (live food for meerkats). Their behaviour changed - they went for the balls and worked at them, trying to get the meal worms out.

    Now, I have a couple of things for the budgies that you could adapt for the guinea pig to make her work at her food a little. One is a variation on the ball stuffed with meal worms - it's a rubbery egg shape with holes, a sort of parrot kong. I often stuff it with thistle for the budgies. This egg thing is weighted so it springs back up if they push it over.
    Or we have a kebob - it's a stainless steel spike with a clip on one end. You can spike fruit on it, or other food, and then hang it up on the side of the cage for them to work at.

    I'm thinking you could make a guinea pig kong out of a plastic drink bottle, by cutting holes and then stuffing in some lettuce, thistle or chickweed for the GP. I bought a cute budgie bath, but they don't use it. I made one for them that they love, out of a takeaway plastic container which I put marbles in the bottom of, to stop them tipping it out.

    Also for GPs (and budgies) is safe wood to chew on. You can colour it if you want to make it look good, using food colouring.

    Pet toys needn't be expensive. And if you have a lot, then change them around, it keeps them mentally stimulated and happy. It also helps the animal feel safer and more confident, making them a more enjoyable companion.

  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Our bunny only liked a few select fruits and veggies beyond her pellets and hay. I figured she knew what was best for keeping her little system in balance, so I stuck to those few things I knew she liked and agreed with her. It also made it easier on me as I didn't need to be vigalent about watching what came out and trying to remember what she'd eaten. YOU may have the desire to feed her more variety, but she doesn't have that NEED so I'd suggest respecting that.

    If she needs to lose weight, just cut back on the pellets and hay (which is high in calories/protein) and up the outside the cage playtime.
  8. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Thanks! That sounds like pretty practical advice SRL! I suppose she does know what she likes?
    Marg I agree, we have been doing these things as I read more about them. I like ideas of using more stuff around the house and not purchasing things. I have been making her come out of her little house to eat a piece of lettuce out of my hand each morning and now she comes out when she sees me!

    At night I have been bringing her out and "making" her come to me. She wants to be near me for comfort. N has been having her go through a cut open box after school. We will continue to see what toys we can make. I like the kabob idea. :)

    She is actually a funny little critter! I have dubbed her "skittles" after her little droplets. LOL

    I think I have heard the little purr or tribble, she likes me to rub her face/head and then her chin... I hear this little purring sound- I hear a different one when I rub her bottom! Doesn't sound like she likes it.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    There are different purring sounds. You also get a tooth grinding (thigosis, I think it's called - husband can correct me), you may notice it when she is either agitated, or especially comfortable. I remember noticing this when stroking a guinea pig under the chin. Scratching them on the cheeks is usually loved too.

  10. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    Marg is right about the term although she spelt it incorrectly.

    It's Thegosis which means grinding of teeth as a means of sharpening them. This is often done by rodents and rabbits (which are not rodents) both as a means of keeping those front teeth sharp enough to cope with their diet and as a relaxation habit

    The word comes from the Greek thegos which means "to sharpen"

    It should not be confused with Bruxism which is the term used by dentists for night-time grinding of teeth in humans. Bruxism can be very damaging and needs to be managed in consultation with a dentist.

    Marg's Man
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Isn't he great?

    Honey, I'm about to leave to collect the girl. See you after your meeting.


  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Arent GP's the ones who like the yogurt drops?