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new new new piggies!

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Rattypuff

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Hello,
we are fostering a friends 2 girly piggies, Esme and Fidget.

Its been 48 hours now since they moved in here and they are OK, but not coming out much...
We have a big plywood box, with a seperate bedroom area inside and this is connected to a 5ft x 3ft run which they have access to 24hrs a day.

They come out when i call them, but are a bit hesitant - understandably!
They are indoors so hopefully much warmer than where they were, with lots more room to run, sleep and play.

But here are some questions:

Having never had piggies before (we are used to rats and mice)...

1. How much water should they be drinking? weve connected 2 water bottles inside the run but it doesnt look as if theyve been touched. So ive added a heavy bowl full of water and put it right near the opening to the plybox where they are spending most of their time.

2. I noticed some dark urine on newspaper - should i be worried? I'm not sure what the normal colour is - maybe they arent getting access to water because of nerves?

3. How much veggies to feed - we are giving them brussel sprout leaves, parsely, kale, spinach - all organic. some apple etc. about twice a day -

4. Hay - should they be sleeping in hay and eating the same hay? Is it two different types? what if they poo and pee and then eat the same hay?

My friend really has literally given me NOTHING to go by! apart from that they like greens!

I dont know when to try and handle them - theyre ever so nervous...

any help appreciated :)
Many thanks xx
 
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Rattypuff

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Just to add, i realised it looked as if we are only feeding them veg - we arent!
We are feeding them a mixed guinea food - not sure what make it is, but its no pellets - its the other kind.

x
 

PopcornPigs

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Hi, guineas don't actually drink that much, they might be sneaking it when you're not looking but it might be worth putting the bottle to their lips to see if they drink, as they might just be too shy to come out. Water bowls tend to get messy with sawdust etc so keep an eye on that, bottles are preferred.
errm in regards to urine it shouldn't be that dark? how dark are we talking? it should stain a kind of light beige colour?
Vegetables.. about a cupful for each guinea pig per day. There's a thread of what vegetables are appropriate here: http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=42
They should have as much hay as they want (unlimited) which they can both sleep in and eat, there's not two types. But if you notice there's hay in the cage which is soiled then remove it.
Maybe let them settle in for a few days before handling but say hello/give attention regularly so they become used to your voice/presence over the next few days. Then maybe build up handling sessions over time, getting longer and longer.
Hope this helps :)

x
 

TwoPiggies

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Good to see you are getting your info :)

What age are the piggies? As youngsters can sometimes have a rusty coloured urine have a look at this website it tells you what is normal for piggies including urin http://www.guinealynx.info/normal.html Guinealynx is a great site loads to read on it :)

The link popcorn pigs gave is great for knowing what veggies to feed them.

You say they are on a mixed guinea pig food...are they selective feeding or eating it all? If they are selective you may be best to swap to a nugget to make sure they are getting all they need from the food.

Vitamin C is very important for piggies. Their nuggets will be fortified with it and try to give some veggies high in it :)

Also I wouldn't worry about their water intake they will be getting fluids from veggies...by pair sometimes go a couple of days without drinking then have a couple of days when they do drink.

Hope that helps, I am sure others will offer more info :)
 

Wiebke

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You are very good looking after these piggies. Please be aware that the girls need to stay indoors until spring now, as guinea pigs don't deal well with big jumps in temperature.

Guinea pig urine can discolour when drying, so I do not think that you need to worry.

The ideal diet comprises of
- unlimited hay (50-80% of their food intake)
- topped up pellet bowl until they have reached most of their size, then slowly reduced to 1 handful per piggy per day.
-50g/1 cupful of mixed veg per piggy per day
- fresh water daily - the intake can vary from nearly a bottle to no drinking at all, so it is difficult to give a guideline.

Many people have a hay rack with a tray underneath. Some piggies love nothing better than to sleep in hay, but they also use the tray as toilet. I use a layer of newspapers and wood chippings under some cheaper hay in the tray; only hay goes yucky very quickly.

Please weigh the piggies once weekly on your kitchen scales; it's a good tool to catch illness early.

You will find quite a few threads that may help you in our reference section, but do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have.

You may find that you want some kind of plastic liner in the bottom of your box to keep the urine from soaking in. Many people now use cheap towels and fleece as bedding for indoors guinea pigs. Have a look in our housing section!
 

Rattypuff

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Ah, thanks so much for the fast replies! Brilliant :)

We will be keeping the piggies inside all over winter :)
Its funny because we are used to having rescued rats and mice, which have all passed away now - but you kind of get used to their habits and lifestyle and its very strange when new animals come along.
Its great, we find it fascinating and love learning about them and their lifestyles and better than that, providing them with exactly what they need.

Like i said in my introduction bit, i work in wholefoods, so am lucky that i have access to all sorts of organic veggies, grains etc. which i love to pass over to the animals.

Ok, so the urine bit - its dried and become lighter, so perhaps i was over reacting! Thanks for the info though.
Ive no idea how old the girls are, i think one maybe younger than the other, but i plan to find out.
The dried mixed food doesnt look that great! Maybe we should slowly change to pellets? not sure as have no idea when my friend plans to take them back.
The hay - good to hear that there arent two types! we do plan to buy in bulk though as ive noticed how much can be used.
I wont try to handle the girls for another few days - weve been spending time in the room chatting to them and offering them bits and pieces of food and i think they are quite responsive. I'm sure they are very nervous of their new surroundings and since they havent really had access to exercise or a run :( its quite daunting for them to have a bit of open space for themselves...

Hope i havent missed any answers to things that people have suggested
Thanks again
xx
 

Sarah from Chucklebunnies

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Just to add a couple of things - piggies are very aware of attack from above as they have natural airborne predators. So to get them to venture out and use the run try putting something over the top. Perhaps put a box to hide in a bit away from the hutch so that they can dash to it and hide. Maybe with a treat in it - they so looove cucumber!

Catching them to handle them is tricky as they can whiz along really fast. Try putting a box out that you can then cover the doorway of and take out of the run easily to pick them up easily. I know you've had a lot of experience, but the easier you make it catching newbie piggies the first few times the less stressed they are about it all and the easier it becomes!

Last thing, and I apologise if this is so obvious to you already, piggies are bottom heavy with weak spines, even the baby ones need to be supported with a hand under their bottoms. If you are picking up straight from the cage then please support them all the way along their bodies. It is so dreadfully easy to lose a new and wriggly piggy and then they fall with sometimes devastating results as they are not built for it at all.

Wishing you lots of fun!
 

Rattypuff

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Hi Sarah, thanks - youre totally not stating the obvious at all - we really do want to know lots of things about guineas.
We arent experienced with them, only rats and mice which weve already learnt, are so different. So your advice is very much appreciated.

Ok, so at the moment the set up is, if we need/want to put extra things in the with the pigs, we have to reach over the run and put it in - so i realise this might mean that we appear to be predators. We're trying to sit down low next to them (outside the run) and talk to them.

Hopefully they will come to trust us and realise we want to comfort them :)

xx thanks
 
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