Walky

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Hi again, guys. Some of you will remember me, since I've made such a bad first impression of myself as an owner LoL. (I'm that guy who let the dog chase after his guinea pig for the first week)
But I'm way over past that, and I've made soooo many improvements.
Porca is so much better, less shy and happy, and now she's even HAPPIER, because I've bought her a roommate! :D Yesss, I've got another Guinea Pig, by the super creative and uncommon name of *drum roll* COOKIE (because she looks like a chocolate cookie) **CREATIVE**
Cookie.png


The question I have today is about their food, more precisely, about how much food is good enough for them. I'm giving them pellets everyday (which they don't seem to care much for), vegetables and they have Alfafa Hay spread all across their playing area. (btw, I've expanded the area, will show at the end of the thread)
I've made this plate of vegetables for them today at lunch
comida da porca.png porca comendo.png
Yes, I'm aware I've exagerated a bit in the quantity. But the point is; I'm curious about if I should leave the plate overnight for them to eat as they wish, or if I should remove the plate and give them in the morning. I've seen countless videos and reports of guinea pigs getting used to lunch and dinner time, at the point of squeaking when they want to tell their owner to feed them.
Also, I got worried about obesity. Will they get obese if they eat too much veggies? Should I reduce the amount of hay, vegetables or pellets? Vegetables seems like it should be their main dish over pellets, since that's what hey usually eat in nature aside from hay and grass. And the "1cup of veggies once a day" seems so little for them. I'm much more content seeing them savour those delicious vegetables over industrialized gray pellets of not-so-delicious nutrients.

So, give me tips about this.
Should I always leave veggies and pellets in their area, or should I remove it and only give them on fixed periods of the day to create a schedule?
I actually would like hearing them squeak for food ^-^

Oh, and here's the new area I've made for them. It's a huge mess right now, It's almost cleaning time, but it's just so you have an idea of how wide it is. There's the cage, which Porca is pretty dominant about, but usually let's cookie get inside, and there's a shoebox that I've turned into a house for Cookie. It's not onscreen because it is the box that closes the gap between the two tables so they don't run around pooping everywhere, but it's the same size as Porca's cage.
casa da porca.jpg

A quick update for those who helped me with my last post about Porca being unhappy:
I've made a huge progress. She's not running away too much from me anymore, but she still barely let's me pet her. She's fine with picking her up and lap time, but she really doesn't like petting, except for under the chin. I've managed to feed her from my hands, tho the only thing she eats are carrots and apples. She refuses all the other foods I give her manually. She's SUPER ticklish, and just touching the fur in her back makes her twitch around and try to bite me if I keep doing it. I've seen her popcorning a few times, so that's something. But sadly, she's still scared of me. If she's outside the cage or shoeboxes, and I make a move around her, she runs straight to her hideouts. But luckly, she'll get used to me overtime. And I've found out that she's a big drama queen. I tought that she cried too much when I pet her, but she's ALWAYS whining and crying when she's with Cookie, so I guess that's just the way she talks?
Oh, and I've noticed something weird today. Sometimes my dog Saphira enters my room, and she's super curious about the piggies. Cookie ran away when she saw the dog, but Porca stood still, and when Saphira approached to smell her, Porca smelled her back. Saphira backed away a little, and Porca started following her! I was so dazzled by this! And Saphira is a big dog, she's a border collie.
But anyway...
Cookie, on the other hand, I've still haven't figured her out, but she might be more interactive than Porca. She's 2 months old and was the bigger piggy in the petshop where I bought her. She's only been her for 3 days, and is super scared of me, runs desperatly when I approach to pet, and screams like hell when I try picking her up. But she is already eating veggies from my hand when I put her in my lap or on the ground, she approaches more than Porca, and I've heard more different noises from her than from Porca.
They fought a lot on the first day, teeth chatter and all. Porca is the dominant pig, usually leads the way when they explore the room, and is the one who dictates wether Cookie can or cannot enter the hideout Porca's in. But they're getting along fine now. Cookie screams A LOT when Porca chases her and sniffs her butt, but I guess she's just a drama queen too, because they're not fighting anymore.

So that's resume of what happened over the past few weeks, for those who helped me and are aware of the whole story. I really want to tank you all for helping. The website is wonderfull, full of hospitality and good people. I really feel welcome here ^-^ Good job, everyone!
 

Hoppity.K

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Hi there. Good to hear about Porca. There are some very good threads on here about portion size of veggies etc... if you go to the top of homepage they’re there. My 3 girls eat their bowl of veggies within minutes of it being given to them and they enjoy this each morning and evening. Hay makes up 80% of a guinea pigs diet so should always be available for them to munch on whenever they like. Clean fresh hay. Hope this helps xx
 

artcasper

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Lots of hay always.. never reduce the quantity you give them... I give a small amount of veggies morning and night.. . They eat the lot within mins...

I would be scared to let a dog sniff a guinea pig ....
 

winifredandalp

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I have two 5 week old sows and i give them equal amounts of food (for example two pieces of cauliflower each and 2 pieces of brocoli each) so there isn't any fighting over food. Before I went to bed yesterday I checked for food around and there was some leftover broccoli, and in the morning it was all gone, so I suggest you leave it overnight and they will eat it in their own time!
 

Walky

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Lots of hay always.. never reduce the quantity you give them... I give a small amount of veggies morning and night.. . They eat the lot within mins...

I would be scared to let a dog sniff a guinea pig ....
I understand your fears, but Saphira is not a dog, she`s a child. Seriously, you`d be amazed on how smart she is. If I give her a piece of cooked meat, she bites it and I say "No!", she imediatly lets go of it. That's how smart. ^-^
I may be a bad guinea pig owner, but I can say I'm a hell of a dog owner.
 
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Lady Kelly

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I understand your fears, but Saphira is not a dog, she`s a child. Seriously, you`d be amazed on how smart she is. If I give her a piece of cooked meat, she bites it and I say "No!", she imediatly lets go of it. That's how smart. ^-^
I may be a guinea pig owner, but I can say I'm a hell of a dog owner.
Whilst your dog may be well trained it would not be advisable to allow her contact with your piggies. Even if she dropped them after biting and you saying "no" it would be too late for the poor piggies. Most dogs have a natural instinct for things like this. I saw it with my mum's dog when she got a wild rat in the garden. If I'm holding one of my pigs when she's around she watches so intently that I know I couldn't trust her even for a millisecond
 

Walky

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Whilst your dog may be well trained it would not be advisable to allow her contact with your piggies. Even if she dropped them after biting and you saying "no" it would be too late for the poor piggies. Most dogs have a natural instinct for things like this. I saw it with my mum's dog when she got a wild rat in the garden. If I'm holding one of my pigs when she's around she watches so intently that I know I couldn't trust her even for a millisecond
Dude, chill. I've said my dog is super smart and trained, and she has never shown any sign of attacking them. She is ridiculously smart. The guinea pigs are also not afraid of her anymore, sometimes they even cuddle on my bed together. There is no way in hell Saphira would ever attack them, and I'd be willing to bet my arm on it. There are different kinds of dogs, and jsut because yours is instinct-heavy, doesn't mean mine is.
 
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Lady Kelly

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Dude, chill. I've said my dog is super smart and trained, and she has never shown any sign of attacking them. She is ridiculously smart. The guinea pigs are also not afraid of her anymore, sometimes they even cuddle on my bed together. There is no way in hell Saphira would ever attack them, and I'd be willing to bet my arm on it. There are different kinds of dogs, and jsut because yours is instinct-heavy, doesn't mean mine is.
I really do hope your dog proves me wrong for the animals sake. I have heard too many stories of supposedly safe dogs attacking small furries and it's horrific.

Please could you refrain from your tendency for bad language on the forum. We have a wide range of members of all ages including minors. Please keep posts family friendly. Thank you
 
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VickiA

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I appreciate that this has provoked a strong response.
@Walky please re-read the forum rules. Terms of Service And Forum Rules Aggressive, offensive or discourteous posts will be edited and/or removed. Please do not swear on the forum.

As for dogs & piggies we, as a forum, have a duty to educate. We have seen piggies attacked and injured by dogs or scared literally to death after being chased by a dog (even those that lived with them as family members). It’s not the dog’s fault. It’s just their basic instinct.

Many sites and groups ban photos and discussions of piggies with dogs or other animals. Some rescues refuse to re-home piggies to homes with dogs. We aren’t anti dog or dog owners. We just have to promote welfare of the piggies.
 

sport_billy

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A quick update for those who helped me with my last post about Porca being unhappy:
I've made a huge progress. She's not running away too much from me anymore, but she still barely let's me pet her. She's fine with picking her up and lap time, but she really doesn't like petting, except for under the chin. I've managed to feed her from my hands, tho the only thing she eats are carrots and apples. She refuses all the other foods I give her manually. She's SUPER ticklish, and just touching the fur in her back makes her twitch around and try to bite me if I keep doing it. I've seen her popcorning a few times, so that's something. But sadly, she's still scared of me. If she's outside the cage or shoeboxes, and I make a move around her, she runs straight to her hideouts. But luckly, she'll get used to me overtime. And I've found out that she's a big drama queen. I tought that she cried too much when I pet her, but she's ALWAYS whining and crying when she's with Cookie, so I guess that's just the way she talks?
Oh, and I've noticed something weird today. Sometimes my dog Saphira enters my room, and she's super curious about the piggies. Cookie ran away when she saw the dog, but Porca stood still, and when Saphira approached to smell her, Porca smelled her back. Saphira backed away a little, and Porca started following her! I was so dazzled by this! And Saphira is a big dog, she's a border collie.
But anyway...
Cookie, on the other hand, I've still haven't figured her out, but she might be more interactive than Porca. She's 2 months old and was the bigger piggy in the petshop where I bought her. She's only been her for 3 days, and is super scared of me, runs desperatly when I approach to pet, and screams like hell when I try picking her up. But she is already eating veggies from my hand when I put her in my lap or on the ground, she approaches more than Porca, and I've heard more different noises from her than from Porca.
They fought a lot on the first day, teeth chatter and all. Porca is the dominant pig, usually leads the way when they explore the room, and is the one who dictates wether Cookie can or cannot enter the hideout Porca's in. But they're getting along fine now. Cookie screams A LOT when Porca chases her and sniffs her butt, but I guess she's just a drama queen too, because they're not fighting anymore.

So that's resume of what happened over the past few weeks, for those who helped me and are aware of the whole story. I really want to tank you all for helping. The website is wonderful, full of hospitality and good people. I really feel welcome here ^-^ Good job, everyone!
The ticklish thing and the biting when you touch back is a prey thing pigs feel very vulnerable when back and flanks are touched, it's a no when it comes to touching them.
You are making lots of in roads with her and doing really well, you were a very big person to come on and ask for advice and admit the things you did wrong, so well done for that and you are making positive changes also.

The crying you here in the cage off Porca with Cookie is then sorting out the dominance between them, sows bicker a lot more when they are in season. This will happen regularly and is normal just make sure they have there own spaces to go into.
 

Walky

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I really do hope your dog proves me wrong for the animals sake. I have heard too many stories of supposedly safe dogs attacking small furries and it's horrific.

Please could you refrain from your tendency for bad language on the forum. We have a wide range of members of all ages including minors. Please keep posts family friendly. Thank you
I`m super sorry, I didn`t evne noticed I used a bad language. Re-reading my comment, I don`t even remember where the bad language was before the edit. Forgive me. I`ve realized the comment may have been angry and a bit over the top. I got a little mad, honestly.

The ticklish thing and the biting when you touch back is a prey thing pigs feel very vulnerable when back and flanks are touched, it's a no when it comes to touching them.
You are making lots of in roads with her and doing really well, you were a very big person to come on and ask for advice and admit the things you did wrong, so well done for that and you are making positive changes also.

The crying you here in the cage off Porca with Cookie is then sorting out the dominance between them, sows bicker a lot more when they are in season. This will happen regularly and is normal just make sure they have there own spaces to go into.
Thanks, billy. I`m noticing patterns in Porca`s behavior on this. So the ticklish thing is not actually being ticklish, but a super disconfort in being touched? I had no idea. I kept doing it sometimes because I thought it was just a tickle. I will take care not to touch their backs anymore.
 

Lady Kelly

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View attachment 77782

I find this image a useful guide to demonstrate Piggy no go zones for touching. I have 2 piggies who will tolerate their back being touched.
Haha I do love that picture. The only thing missing is the "woe betide the individual who tries to brush my hair the wrong direction"
 

VickiA

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Haha I do love that picture. The only thing missing is the "woe betide the individual who tries to brush my hair the wrong direction"
Yup, I experienced a real angry rumble this afternoon when I did that to Poppy :lol!:
 

RosieMaia

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I love the picture!

I have an aby boar, who has two rosettes on his behind. He loves it when I gently pet him there using a circular motion (following the natural direction of the hair growth), he always stretches out and makes happy sounds when I do it. He also loves me petting the rosette on his forehead in the same way. But he is an exception, my two girls don't let me get anywhere near their behinds.
 

Betsy

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Mine don't like their behinds being touched either. Mid back is as far as I can get without a rumble!
 

Reenie

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I actually took Bobby to the vet, his reaction to having his lower back touched is so severe, I thought he was in pain!
To go back to @Walky 's question, I just wanted to say that alfalfa hay isn't good except as an occasional add on, as it is not really a grass, it's a legume, and very calorific. Good old meadow hay or ideally Timothy hay in large quantities is what you want to feed to keep them healthy and their teeth worn down.
Piggies would eat veggies all day, but again, just a small amount is better, once or twice a day, like in the guides. Just think of hay like a proper healthy food 80%, Veggies like a healthy dessert 15% and nuggets and alfalfa like biscuits/snacks 5%. Like kids they would eat the dessert and biscuits all the time if you let them, but as a responsible owner you have to make sure they're eating a balanced diet. Never believe them when there's a pile of hay and they squeal that they're hungry lol. Fruit and other treats are the MacDonalds of the piggy world and should only be given on a a week or so, in small quantities.
 

Walky

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I actually took Bobby to the vet, his reaction to having his lower back touched is so severe, I thought he was in pain!
To go back to @Walky 's question, I just wanted to say that alfalfa hay isn't good except as an occasional add on, as it is not really a grass, it's a legume, and very calorific. Good old meadow hay or ideally Timothy hay in large quantities is what you want to feed to keep them healthy and their teeth worn down.
Piggies would eat veggies all day, but again, just a small amount is better, once or twice a day, like in the guides. Just think of hay like a proper healthy food 80%, Veggies like a healthy dessert 15% and nuggets and alfalfa like biscuits/snacks 5%. Like kids they would eat the dessert and biscuits all the time if you let them, but as a responsible owner you have to make sure they're eating a balanced diet. Never believe them when there's a pile of hay and they squeal that they're hungry lol. Fruit and other treats are the MacDonalds of the piggy world and should only be given on a a week or so, in small quantities.
I've read that Alfafa Hay is ideal to piggies younger than 6 months. Porca is 4 months and Cookie is 2, so wouldn't that make Alfafa the best option for them? Also, I live in a small city, the pet shops rarely have hay for sale, so it's pretty hard to find different hay options.
 

Reenie

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Hi, I believe that it's a common misconception that young/pregnant piggies need alfalfa hay. Here is a link to the diet guide on the forum, it talks specifically about alfalfa hay. This is probably one of the best guides to diet you'll find, and I have used it to shape my guinea's diet. It shouldn't be too difficult to find meadow or Timothy hay - in my experience they are readily available in most pet shops. Obviously I don't know if that is the case in Brazil.
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diet
 

Walky

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Hi, I believe that it's a common misconception that young/pregnant piggies need alfalfa hay. Here is a link to the diet guide on the forum, it talks specifically about alfalfa hay. This is probably one of the best guides to diet you'll find, and I have used it to shape my guinea's diet. It shouldn't be too difficult to find meadow or Timothy hay - in my experience they are readily available in most pet shops. Obviously I don't know if that is the case in Brazil.
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diet
It's not a problem with the country, but I live in a small city, we have only 4 vets here, and just one of them is kind of specialized in Guinea Pigs.
I'm pretty astonished on the lack of knowledge normal people have about these animals. The very pet shop I bought Porca and Cookie barely knew that they needed different hays, they kept the piggies in cages with no bedding, with only food and pellet, never giving vegetables.
 
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