Please come and tell me all I need to know about rehoming guinea pigs

(6 Posts)
TiredMule Sat 22-Dec-12 10:58:39

A friend of a friend has 2 male guinea pigs they want to rehome as they have no grass in their garden. They are both 6 months old and come with indoor cage and outside hutch. These will be our first as a family ( dh and I both had some growing up) We have a cold conservatory and a shed they can go in in the winter-will that be ok? She says they are well handled. We're hoping to go and see them this afternoon.
What do we need to ask/check?
What else do we need to think about and consider?
We will have 2 very excited and happy DD's if we get them and an even more excited DH!

Floralnomad Sat 22-Dec-12 11:11:24

If they are use to being indoors in the warm you will need to be careful if you're keeping them somewhere unheated and perhaps do a staged removal so they don't notice the temperature change too much. FWIW having no grass is not a good reason to rehome as there are plenty of other things they eat and you could always pick them grass if you really felt they needed it . If you keep them clean they are lovely to have indoors and the children will probably get a lot more enjoyment from them .

guineapiglet Sat 22-Dec-12 11:58:48

Hi - how exciting for you all!! They sound perfect and I really hope you and your family will enjoy them. Do have a read of some of the GP threads on here, 70 got some boys of a similar age, and has brilliant ideas for occupying them, so would recommend you read through to give you some help. I agree with everything floral says, be very careful about temperature changes if they are used to being indoors. At the moment it is nice and mild, all mine were in during the winter as it was just too much of a contrast. It is good they are used to being handled, but do be careful with young children, they will need adult supervision whilst they get used to you - if they are indoors, they will become part of your family very quickly. Do try FREECYCLE in your area for runs, equipment etc as people are always advertising stuff for furries. The conservatory will be OK unless it is REALLY cold, in which case light heating may help, it really depends what they are used to - they are very climate sensitive to our damp winters. You will need lots of hay, igloos for them to snuggle in until they get used to their new environment, - this will take a bit of time, let them get used to your voices and being handled by you, they are great company and such sweet little souls, really hope it works out, good luck! <ps they are marvellous compost bins for all the left over apple, banana skins, carrot peel etc, lots of greenery like the leaves of cauliflowers, and so on >

guineapiglet Sat 22-Dec-12 11:59:18

pps let us know how you get on!

Hi guineapiglet is right that I have 2 boars (Rescue brothers) but they were a year old when I got them- so although we missed the cute baby pig stage , we thankfully by-passed the arsey teenage stage.
Though now at 2 yo mine still throw the odd Kevin-esque strop.

Boars are lovely and alot of people say they are more affectionate than sows.
I think that depends on the pigs TBH.

You'll need to consider:

They'll get The Teens. But there's things you can do to minimise.
They need room. Lots of it.
Mine are in at night in a 4'x2' cage. I give them each a box with a newspaper and fleece.They like their 'own' space when they need it.
Though last night I gave them a box full of naice hay (fancy carrot and camomile stuff, not just bedding hay) DD said they were in together. I heard nothing from them last night. I put them in the small bedroom with a duvet on the top for peace.
That's just their sleepbed.
In the day they've got their Pighouse.

Lots to occupy them. Boxes, tunnels, masses of hay. If they've got somewhere to go, when they have a barney, one doesn't bully the other.

And the amount of waste these critters emit beggars belief shock
But that's a direct result of the all important FOOD! A guinea-pigs reason for living.
Which is nice because they are very bribable.

I've put a little oil filled radiator in their Pighouse. Get a thermometer too.
I like their Pighouse temp to be 12-16 c. They're completely sheltered and have their hay.
They don't like draughts or damp, but can cope with cold to a degree. (I put the heater on before mine go out.They aren't too hot indoors. Constant temp is best)

Ask the owners:
which is the bossy one (they might try and change this though if one gets a bit more cheeky and decides they want to overthrow the other)
any health problems?
Have they wormed them (probably not if they don't go on grass)
Any signs of mites (bald spots, snapped off fur, scratching?)
Any food make them sneeze (,y little pig sneezes after ReadiGrass. My GP1 gets a clear nose discharge after fresh grass. Both been checked at vet by Rodentologist)

Find a good cavy savvy vet - you probably/hopefully won't ever have to take them. But if you need a vet, you'll need one quickly.

Read up on impaction (stuck pooh in boars bottoms)
And boars' willies- they can get stuck out (especially if they try it on with each other). Not that my chaps ever would

They sound lovely.
We will need photos you understand!

And Floral is right- not having grass *is8 a rubbish reason for rehoming.
Yes it's better for them to have access to grazing, but they can run on paving.
You can cut grass if there is some. Or give them hay and ReadiGrass (Readigrass is more green, but not soft and springey like hay)

If you do decide to go for it (having weighed it all up) then you'll be doing these little boys a huge favour.
Boars do tend to get overlooked and if these two get sent to rescue, people are more likely to want a female or a baby piglet.
There's alot of misunderstanding with boars (Look at the *Barmy4Boars website. One of my DDs favourite sites)
It was only because my DD wanted a male pig that we got these.

At least with older ones you are pretty sure they've been properly sexed. I didn't fancy ending up with a load of piglets. I had a boar as my first pig when I was 9yo (who was sold as a girl) . We had a collection over the years (accidental piglets and one ready pg)

When my DD wanted a pet I steered her from all hamster thoughts to the Guinea-Pig way of thinking.A few internet searches, a phonecall to a rescue. And within a month we had a Pighouse set up and two boys in residence grin

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