The pigs have landed!

My daughter has been dying to get a pet.  She did pretty well with the hamster she ‘shared’ with some of her cousins, but let’s be honest and admit that a hamster is barely a pet, and the chances of taming one so that he won’t follow his natural urges to bite the heck out of you are almost nil — especially when it’s a transient hamster who changes homes every couple of months.  (If anyone had asked me, I’d have recommended a mouse or rat — they are much more playful and friendly.  But no one asked me.) So after PC the hamster met his mortal fate, I began to hatch a plan to talk my wife into allowing another pet into the home.

One that doesn’t bite and is unlikely to escape its cage.

One that actually like to handled.

One that has a life expectancy of more than two years.

And most importantly one that will not aggravate her allergies and general fear of animals.

A guinea pig.  It took some convincing but I’ve had a guinea pig before.  So finally everyone was sold on the idea.

But guinea pigs are social animals and it is better to get a pair.

Also: pet stores don’t tell you this, but guinea pigs need a lot more room than the glorified litter boxes they sell.

So I did a little research and built a “C&C” cage:

homeisready

That’s more than 8 square feet.  10 square feet would be better but  was not practical.  I think we’ll eventually add a “loft” for more room to roam, but I was able to build this in a couple of hours.  (It is still about 3 times as big as where they were living before.)  Difficulty: I could not find corrugated plastic larger than 30″x36″ locally so I had to splice several sheets together.   That added a lot of cutting and taping.  Also I made the ‘walls’ extra-high to reduce mess & drafts, and to keep them from getting their heads near the openings in the mesh.  That’s just me being over-protective though.

Then we drove down to Amish country to buy a couple of guinea pigs from a guy who needed to find a home for his g.p.s.   Sadly they’d grown up in one of those cramped little commercial cages.

Attica! Attica! Attica!

Attica! Attica! Attica!

I got their new home ready, and they seemed pretty happy in it, but I’ve read they really some time to settle in and should be given a chance to acclimate, so we’ll to leave them alone for a day or so to get used to their new digs before handling them too much.

homesweethome

We haven’t had time yet to make fleece bedding so for now we’re using the pet store shredded paper.  Ideally they will also get another hiding place so they feel more secure.  And I need to build a little hay feeder, since g.p.s really ought to have some access to hay as well the usual pellets and fresh veggies.

pigsinnewhomeFor now though they just need to get used to their new, more roomy home.

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Published in: on May 11, 2013 at 7:17 pm  Comments (8)  
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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. As random as this is, I loved this post. What are their names, if you don’t mind my asking?

    • Well the names their original owner gave them are Rocky and Hummer (Hummeri s the lighter one). But we know a Rocky so Riley wanted to rechristen them. She’s calling them Suggles and Cuddles, which might be changed. I think we should give them something more dignified. E.g. Professor Snuggles and Mister Cuddles. That is so much less demeaning. 🙂

  2. Very cool!

    I’ve got a couple of pigs too, and in order to get them off the floor I built a table – http://towerofthearchmage.blogspot.com/2012/09/how-to-build-gaming-table.html

    I am curious though. What’s fleece bedding? I just use newspaper.

    • The idea behind fleece bedding is you use a fleece blanket over some absorbant layers (towels or a moving blanket etc.).
      I’ve seen a few different ways to work it but will leave it to my wife is good at sewing!
      http://wymyczak66.hubpages.com/hub/fleeceforbedding

  3. Welcome to the ranks of cavy slavery, please leave your pride at the door! No really, whee are glad to see you have got more than one guinea pig, in a big enough enclosure and you know what you are talking about, Such a relief!

    As far as bedding goes whee would like to warn that fleece bedding does get smelly very quickly and needs spot cleaning (pooper scooping) three times a day to keep it fresh. Whee live on hay and newspaper with shredded paper bedding which is not only surprisingly cheap when you buy bulk loads of hay but also stay fresher for longer than most other beddings.

    Whee look forward to hearing more about your piggies and will be following! Please feel free to stop by our blog if you have any questions or want to see the mischief piggies can get into!

    Nibbles, Nutty, Buddy & Basil
    xxxx

    • Thanks! Now I’m hearing conflicting reports on the fleece. We are actually still using shredded paper bedding.

      Won’t they eat hay bedding? I guess we’ll try the fleece & towels and see if it is workable.

      • Whee do eat the hay so whee have cheaper hay as bedding and then yummy soft hay to eat on top of that. Whee like flattening it out to lie down comfortably or dig under it and build little dens and burrows. It is great and whee popcorn with excitement every evening when whee get a handful of fresh hay. Whee prefer it as it is more natural. Whee have tried lots of bedding but this is by far our favourite.

        xxxx

  4. I had to show my daughter this post. “See? Another nerd blogger who has piggies in his house!” My daughter has four piggies, and we use aspen shavings – for us, they have been the least stinky compared to cedar shavings and that paper stuff. She uses a setup similar to yours when she gives the piggies outdoor time. Just set up the outer cage in the front yard and the piggies go to town on the fresh grass and dandelion leaves (pesticide-free, of course). Piggie power!


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