<![CDATA[Cream City Caviary<br /> - Blog]]>Sat, 13 Feb 2016 16:21:19 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Setting Up A Cage For Your First Guinea Pig / Skinny Pig]]>Thu, 27 Feb 2014 22:10:12 GMThttp://www.creamcitycaviary.com/blog/setting-up-a-cage-for-your-first-guinea-pig-skinny-pig Before you get a guinea pig or skinny pig, make sure you are able to give them a good life! Can you provide them with enough space? Good nutrition? Love and attention? Medical care? Also, if you are thinking about getting a guinea pig, you should really consider getting two. Guinea pigs are social animals and love to be with other guinea pigs. It is best to get guinea pigs that are already in pairs, but most female guinea pigs will get along with each other. Males are notorious for fighting with other males, but some males can live together just fine, especially if they are father and son or were paired from birth. I have a father and son pair of skinny pigs that love living together. Read my post about male guinea pigs here.

First, you need to get the cage. Most people keep their guinea pigs in cages that are much too small. Guinea pigs are happier and healthier in big cages. 
I use a C&C cage, which I love because they are very customizable. The smallest cage you should have for 1 or 2 guinea pigs is approximately 30" x 44". I bought mine here through the Guinea Pig Cages Store: http://www.guineapigcagesstore.com/standard-guinea-pig-cages
You can also use more traditional cages, but make sure there is enough space, good ventilation, and that the cage has a flat bottom (no wire bottom cages!)

Second, figure out what kind of bedding system you want to use.
  • Some people use wood shavings. These are relatively cheap, but are not very absorbent and do not help with odor control. Also, never use cedar wood shavings because they are harmful to guinea pigs!
  • Other people use Carefresh or another absorbent paper product. This helps with odor and absorbs well, but is more expensive. I use Carefresh bedding or Vitkraft paper pellets in my skinny pig's litter box.
  • Fleece bedding is very popular in the guinea pig community. Fleece is washable and reusable, so it saves money overall (although the initial investment can be pricy). Fleece bedding needs to be spot cleaned more often than other forms of bedding. I prefer fleece bedding because  it saves me money (and looks pretty!). I bought my fleece bedding here at Piggy Bedspreads: http://www.piggybedspreads.com/MidwestPiggyBedSpreads.htm
  • If you are not willing to spend the money on a fleece liner, there are other options. My friend has her own DIY fleece system for her guinea pig cage. She layers fleece, towels, and newspapers.
  • Try a few of these options and figure out what works best for you! After many years of experimenting, my favorite system is: Fleece liners from PiggyBedSpreads and a litter box filled with absorbent paper bedding. Click here to see my cage setup.

Other things that guinea pigs need:
  • A high quality pellet (with lots of vitamin C, no fruits, nuts, colored pieces, etc. I use Oxbow Cavy Cuisine).
  • Fresh water.
  • A constant supply of hay (Alfalfa hay for guinea pigs under 6 months, Timothy hay or Orchard Grass for guinea pigs over 6 months)
  • Somewhere to hide/ sleep.
  • Something to chew on.
  • Vitamin C (can be given in the form of veggies and supplements).

Here are a list of supplies that I personally use for my pigs:
  • Oxbow Cavy Cuisine Young Guinea Pig Food (or another similar alfalfa hay based food): for young Guinea Pigs up to 6 months.
  • Oxbow Cavy Cuisine Adult Guinea Pig Food (or another similar timothy hay based food): for adult Guinea Pigs over 6 months.
  • Oxbow Western Timothy Hay
  • Oxbow Orchard Grass Hay.
  • Hay holder. I have a freestanding wooden hay feeder from Living World and make my own hay bags. You can also buy cheaper plastic or grid hay feeders from the pet store or get creative. For a while, I used a bird seed cake holder for hay. Here is a picture.
  • Carefresh Natural Pet Bedding or VitaKraft Pellet Litter.
  • Fleece absorbent liners.
  • Plastic or glass water bottles ( I use Living World brand). Water bottles are better than bowls because guinea pigs will kick bedding and poop into bowls!
  • Oxbow Daily C Stabilized Vitamin C Supplement (optional).
  • Oxbow Natural Science Multivitamin (optional).
  • Ceramic food bowl.
  • Somewhere to hide/ sleep: Ex: cuddle cups, cardboard boxes, plastic igloos, tubes, tunnels, fleece or towels to sleep under, etc. Here are some of my beds/ tunnels.
  • Chew toys, usually made of untreated wood, cardboard, or grass.
  • Litter box (optional. Some pigs will use a litter box, some will not). I use a ferret litter box.
  • Nail clippers. I trim my pig's nails every few weeks with regular human nail clippers.
  • Shampoo. I use tearless baby shampoo. Skinny pigs/ guinea pigs do not need to be bathed very often. I only give my pigs a full bath about 4-5 times a year.

Guinea pigs do not make their own vitamin C, so providing fresh, vitamin C rich veggies is a great way to keep them happy and healthy. Here is a list of some of the treats that my guinea pigs love (to be fed in moderation):

  • Parsley
  •  Kale
  • Carrots
  • Red, Yellow, and Green Peppers
  • Seedless Watermelon
  • Seedless grapes
  • Tomatoes
  • Dandelion leaves
  • Spinach
  • Strawberry
  • Cucumber
  • Celery

Keep following this blog for more guinea pig care tips and product reviews! Enjoy your new guinea pig(s) / skinny pig(s)! They are a lot of work, but definitely worth it. :)

<![CDATA[Living World Hay Feeder, Large: Review]]>Sat, 22 Feb 2014 23:26:19 GMThttp://www.creamcitycaviary.com/blog/living-world-hay-feeder-reviewThis Living World Hay Feeder was part of a fabulous prize package I received from the generous people at Hagen!

My pigs love this hay feeder! It keeps their cage nice and clean, and holds tons of hay. It is heavy and well made and the pigs cannot tip it over or crawl inside. Very little of the hay is wasted because none of it gets soiled. One nice feature of this hay feeder is that it does not need to be mounted, so it is incredibly versatile. I can put it inside the cage for day-to-day use or outside the cage for playtime.  I would definitely recommend this hay feeder to all guinea pig owners!


Peanut and Pipsqueak checking out their new hay feeder!
<![CDATA[Living World Prize Package!]]>Thu, 06 Feb 2014 03:23:49 GMThttp://www.creamcitycaviary.com/blog/living-world-prize-packageI recently received my Hagen Living World prize package in the mail! It was filled with such wonderful items!
Hay tunnel!
Hay feeder
They love it!
Ergonomic food dish.

I will be doing reviews of many of these products soon! My pigs are testing them right now :)
<![CDATA[Guinea Pig Soap Giveaway!]]>Mon, 20 Jan 2014 07:42:36 GMThttp://www.creamcitycaviary.com/blog/guinea-pig-soap-giveaway
Check out this fun new giveaway! Enter to win a bar of rose scented guinea pig soap! A winner will be chosen on 1/27/14. US only. 18+
<![CDATA[Guinea Pig Hay Bags]]>Thu, 16 Jan 2014 22:13:42 GMThttp://www.creamcitycaviary.com/blog/guinea-pig-hay-bagsLately, people have been switching to  hay bags instead of hay racks for their guinea pigs, so I decided to give it a shot! I sewed some hay bags a few days ago and the pigs love them so far. Using the hay bags wastes a lot less hay since it doesn't fall out the bottom. The bags also hold a lot more hay than the grids. Plus, they are so cute! The only issue is that the bags are getting a little dirty, so I think I'll make a few sets of them and wash them with the fleece. Overall, these hay bags seem like an improvement!
<![CDATA[Cute Video of Peanut and Pipqueak the Hairless Guinea Pigs Eating Green Peppers]]>Sat, 11 Jan 2014 01:34:26 GMThttp://www.creamcitycaviary.com/blog/cute-video-of-peanut-and-pipqueak-the-hairless-guinea-pigs-eating-green-peppers
<![CDATA[Check out my Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for More Guinea Pig/ Skinny Pig Updates!]]>Thu, 09 Jan 2014 05:45:40 GMThttp://www.creamcitycaviary.com/blog/check-out-my-facebook-twitter-and-youtube-for-more-guinea-pig-skinny-pig-updatesCheck out my Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for even more guinea pig/ skinny pig updates, tips, pictures, videos, and more!



<![CDATA[Can Guinea Pigs Eat Carrots?]]>Sun, 05 Jan 2014 01:59:39 GMThttp://www.creamcitycaviary.com/blog/can-guinea-pigs-eat-carrotsYes!
My pigs LOVE carrots. However, carrots are high in Vitamin A and should not be fed in large quantities. My pigs get one baby carrot per pig, every other day. Also, remember that carrots are not high in Vitamin C, so make sure you also feed your pigs Vitamin C rich food, veggies, and/or supplements. In moderation, carrots can be a great treat for your pigs! Happy munching!
Pickles is very suspicious that I'm interrupting his carrot time...
<![CDATA[Do Male Guinea Pigs Always Fight?]]>Fri, 03 Jan 2014 01:28:21 GMThttp://www.creamcitycaviary.com/blog/do-guinea-pig-boars-always-fightNo! It is a misconception that boars will always fight. I have had pairs of boars that were best friends and others that fought like crazy. There is no guarantee that a pair of boars will get along, but here are some steps you can take to prevent boars from fighting:

1.  Introduce the boars in a neutral territory outside the cage.
2.  House them in a big enough cage (with enough food, water, toys, etc for two pigs).
3. I have found that giving boars a  bath can calm aggression and neutralize a bad situation (especially if they are spraying each other).
4. Also, thoroughly clean the cage and all toys and houses with a vinegar and water solution. This can help make boars less territorial.
5. My boars spar occasionally when I accidentally put a toy or house in their cage that smells like my girl skinny pigs. Keep girl scents away!
6. My friend has two male guinea pigs who got along a lot better after the dominant pig was fixed. But remember, any surgery has risks!

If possible, the pairing should include a more submissive boar and a more dominant boar. The best pairing is two baby boars, or an adult pig and a baby. Pepper was introduced to Pickles as soon as he was weaned. Pepper has always been a very submissive pig, which is one of the reasons I picked him to be Pickles' cage mate. They get along great (even better than the two girls!) and are constantly cuddling and eating side by side. Not all male pigs will get along, but there are definitely steps you can take to increase your chances of having a happy boar pair!

Even if your boar cannot live with another boar, guinea pigs are social animals and still appreciate having another guinea pig in the room! Solo guinea pigs are sad guinea pigs.

Best friends!
<![CDATA[Happy New Years Eve!]]>Tue, 31 Dec 2013 19:54:55 GMThttp://www.creamcitycaviary.com/blog/happy-new-years-eve]]>