Please tell me about Guinea pigs

taraann81

Songster
10 Years
Apr 9, 2009
1,490
5
171
Ontario
This is one animal I have never owned but often fawned over at the pet store.

I have recently been offered 3. A dad a mom and their daughter.

This is what I DO know.

I should either get another male and keep the boys in a separate cage from the girls OR get the dad neutered and keep the 3 together. I assume i would feed them guinea pig pellets and hay( fresh greens and other peelings from the kitchen).


I need to know what they are like as pets?

Do they smell?(honestly, I find no matter how much you clean a rabbit cage there is always a bad rabbity odour about them.)

I have done some reading and plan on building a cage (I've read about cloroplast and those metal square things.)

Just basically I need very honest pros and cons about guinea pigs.

Give me all the good and the bad.

Thanks
 

chicmom

Dances with Chickens
10 Years
Feb 24, 2009
8,696
284
316
Strasburg Ohio
Well, I have to tell you that guinea pigs are pretty darn stinky. You really have to keep after cleaning their cages because if you don't it gets absolutely stinky.

They're very cute though. They have a cute little whistle. If you handle them alot, they can be tamed, but you've got to be very careful handling them because they squirm until they get used to you and if you drop them....it can mean a broken leg.

Alot of people feed their guinea pigs rabbit pellets instead of guinea pig pellets and that is a BIG MISTAKE. The reason is that guinea pigs can't produce vitamin c in their bodies, and the rabbit pellets don't have that. So alway feed them guinea pig pellets.

They also like alfalfa blocks or just some alfalfa hay or timothy hay as a treat. Different things like apples and carrots. Mine liked to be outside--I would put a cage over them and they love eating clover and grass.

You have to trim their nails, and you have to make sure they have things to chew because their teeth just keep growing and growing, so they need to be able to wear their teeth down on things to chew.

So there are some things to consider.........
 

Godsgrl

Ostrich wrangler
12 Years
Aug 27, 2007
1,992
21
211
at the zoo usually
There is something about breeding the females too. Something about you have to breed a female before she is 9 months ( I think) or her pelvic bones fuse, and she will not be able to deliver the pups. Guinea pigs need fresh greens every day-like kale, spinach, carrots, romaine lettuce. Just not iceberg, because it has no nutrition in it. They learn your routine, and weep loudly for their kibble. They are a lot of fun, and can be very affectionate.

We had some that lived in our living room, and they would weep every time they heard the fridge open. The current ones we have live in my son's room, and they weep when we walk by. LOL
 

Alabama ee

Songster
9 Years
Feb 18, 2010
881
11
164
We have one. They make great and interesting pets. They are usually very calm. Most are very sweet natured.

They make adorable noises that mean different things. They purr when they are happy. Make a chirping noise when begging for food etc.Ours chirps at us whenever
we open the 'fridge. She sit up and begs like a dog! If you hold her in your lap, she purrs. She also purrs when she eats a carrot! Too funny!

One bad thing, for a small creature, they eat a LOT of food. They need hay(about a large handful), and a small bowl of fruits and/or vegetables every day.

Get the biggest cage you can. Full grown, they are about as big as a 6-8 week kitten. The boys grow bigger than the girls. The cage we have her in is about 2 feet by 31/2 feet.
Many of them, including ours, will only poop/pee in a certain spot. Some people even put a small pan full of cat litter in the spot, or wood shavings.
I put wood shavings throughout, and spot clean the one spot more often. I clean the whole cage once a week. One thing about them, is that if you do get two, I would get 2 boys or 2 girls. They can have a ton of babies. Remember Star Trek the episode on "The Trouble With Tribbles"? I think they got the idea for the show from Guinea Pigs. They can get pregnant at just 6-8 weeks. Also, this is very important: if the female has not been bred, and is later bred after she is 6 months, she could die. Their pelvis fuses together if they have not been bred by 6 months. MOst animals you don't want to breed early, but these are different. They can still get pregnant, but since their pelvis is fused together, she can't have it. You would then have to make an expensive trip to the vet, if you even caught it in time. Even then, the vet might not be able to save her.

The only other care tip I can think of, is that they need their nails clipped every so often.

A good link is http://www.guinealynx.info/index.html
 
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tamelroy

Songster
11 Years
Jan 19, 2009
458
0
152
Mass
I didn't read all the posts, but for us I will never get any again!

They stink no matter how much I cleaned their pen.

They were nasty no matter how much I held them! Them would bite me every shot.

I guess it depends, I don't know, but I know I wouldn't get them anymore.
 

chickensioux

Songster
10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
4,229
54
241
Western North Carolina
Usually when I get a pet it's until death do us part but I have to say after I got a guinea pig, within about 3 months I was looking to rehome her. She was very sweet, made cute nioses, enjoyed being held but all I did was clean her cage......daily!!!! If I let it go past 1 day it smelled up the whole house. They are cute and can be very sweet and fun so if that overriddes all the cage cleaning, I recommend one.......
 

Bec

THE Delaware Blue Hen
12 Years
Feb 21, 2007
4,015
36
251
Home Of The Delaware Blue Hen
We have 2 females and they barely stink at all! I have had males in the past and they are super stinky! Guinea pigs do drink a lot of water, so therefore they pee a lot. I can clean their cage once a week and they are good to go. I keep them in the kitchen, so I would notice if they stunk..they don't. I really love them, every time we open the fridge, they weep weep at us!!! They are so nosy! Mine are very used to kids so they like to be handled and we let them run around sometimes too. They poop a lot so it is best to keep them in a little area that you can easily vacuum up, no guinea pig poop under the couches and things.

I would probably get him neutered (if it was financially possible) and keep all 3. I am not sure how it would go if you got another male...I am not sure how they react to company. I kept 2 males before and they were fine, but they were brothers that were raised together. I am sure someone on here knows about that stuff.

If they are all together now, the girls are most likely pregnant already, so you may want to be prepared for babies!
 

Alabama ee

Songster
9 Years
Feb 18, 2010
881
11
164
Quote:
The one we have (girl one) does not smell either. If you have a big enogh cage, it should not be a problem.
 

Bec

THE Delaware Blue Hen
12 Years
Feb 21, 2007
4,015
36
251
Home Of The Delaware Blue Hen
I agree, our girls have a big home, so maybe that helps
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mothergoose

Songster
13 Years
Jan 12, 2007
1,019
159
241
Chebanse, Illinois
We have guinea pigs too! Currently, around 20. Ours are housed in our rabbit building though, not in the house. Though, we still do clean cages once a week and do not notice any oder from them...the rabbits are another story, and their cages are cleaned once a week too!
We also have 2 of our guinea pigs that are kept at our kids school. They are the 3rd & 4th gr. class pets. They clean their cage once a week and no oder problems there either.

I love guinea pigs, but I am glad that I have a seperate building for them...5 kids, a husband, and a dog is all I can handle in the house!

Christie
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