Guinea Pigs' lifestyle, Uncategorized

It was so hot…

… we almost had the impression our brains are liquefying.

But now it’s over and we can go back to our usual Belgian weather and activities. 🙂

Stay tune, we will tell you about our diet :P, the preparations Ms M does for their holidays and many other interesting stories.

 

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guinea pigs tales

Life with two toddlers

Our family counts 2 toddlers, one of 1 year old and one of 3, and four guinea pigs. Getting rid of the piggies when Ms M was pregnant first time was out of question. And some strict limits are in place regarding the interaction between piggies and kids.

First and most important, piggies are not toys. They have their life and they should be left in peace to live it. This doesn’t exclude playing with them, but the moment the piggies are not comfortable anymore, the play stops.

Since Lil’ M’s birth, piggies started to adapt to the new life. Parents and kid too, but this is about the piggies. New noises, lots of noise in general, toddler jumping on the couch, toddler getting in te cage and stealing food, you name it.

Now Lil’ M jumps from the back of the couch on the couch and Spock and Data keep munching their food like nothing happens.

Lil’ G brought new challenges in the family. He started walking earlier and he didn’t understand much about inflicting pain at that age. So all he wanted was to get in Spock’s and Data’s pen and play with them. That’s why their exit to the couch was blocked. Actually the entrance to their cage was blocked. 😀

Now Lil’ G is big enough to bend over the fence and try to pet them. Weirdly enough Spock accepts it! He usually doesn’t accept being touched.

While Lil’ M steals their veggies and pellets, Lil’ G takes the water bottles and drinks the water. So Ms M must check the food bowls and the water bottles before going to bed.

The difficult part was when Worf died. This had to be explained to Lil’ M and she insisted on playing with Kirk to keep him company and be his friend. She used to ask to be put in his cage and stayed there talking to him and giving food.

Once she insisted on putting a spinach leaf on his head and on hers too and said they were wearing hats. Kirk was not disturbed.

Of course, the adults were always around and the cage is big enough for the piggy to have enough room to hide from the toddler.

Now that Kirk and Archy live together, Lil G goes to the fence and tries to say their names. Achy and Kik. 😀 He even gets super excited when the piggies are roaming in the cage.

Guinea Pigs' lifestyle, Uncategorized

Open Fence Days

Ms M broke all the written and unwritten laws of binding two guinea pigs males. She followed her gut and apparently it works.

Kirk and Archy were out on the couch for few times and they didn’t seem impressed one to each other. They were on the couch, passing by, but not really doing something together.

Wednesday afternoon Ms M decided to open the fence between the two of them and see what happens. The main thing she skipped (and please don’t do this at home!) was cleaning the cages and making sure the odors are neutral. But the boys didn’t seem to mind this.

She had two main concerns: how the boys will react at being together and how the white ones (Spock & Data) will react to meeting Archy at the fence. Spock can be very nasty with Data if something bothers him at the fence.

Well, everything went pretty well. A little bit of teeth chattering, but no biting, no fighting.

Still Ms M hadn’t had the guts to leave them like this over the night, so the fence was back late in the evening.

Fortunately, the other adult biped was at home on Thursday and Friday and the fence was up again, this time for the night too. The boys are fine together, although we do not see any huge friendship there. But tolerance is acceptable if this gives them a bigger space.

Archy is still getting scared of the movement around him, but less and less and being with Kirk seems to diminish it. So far s good!

And Ms M is happy she can take nice photos of both of them. 😀

Guinea Pigs' food

Introducing new veggies

There are two toddlers in the house and one of them was recently weaned. Ms M somehow thought the phase of introducing new veggies to creatures around her to be over. She couldn’t be more wrong…

The Gang is officially on diet. The long story in another post. So carrots, pear, apple, other fruits are out of the question. As they already have some preferences, the humans were left with limited options to build a balanced menu for them.

Broccoli was a “veggie non grata” for the boys, but Ms M remembered that kids need several interactions with a veggie to accept it. So she decided to give it another try for the piggies too.

First time, Kirk was really reluctant. He looked at her with that face saying “are you out of your mind if you think I would even consider eating this thing!”. Spock didn’t even go next to it. Data sniffed it. And we have no idea about Archy, as he was to scared to get out of his wooden house. Probably scared of broccoli.

But they saw there was nothing else for dinner so they took the risk and a bite. And one bite became two and three and look, the broccoli is gone!

Now broccoli is on their weekly menu and they usually eat it.

Guinea Pigs' lifestyle

Archy & Kirk: so far, so good

Saturday it was a big day in the house: Archy moved in the main pen with the others.

Ms M decided it was time to have the full gang in the middle of the house and, as Archy seems to be in good physical health, he was moved in the living room. Ho got the ancien spot of Kirk, Kirk moved where Worf used to live and the white boys are still where they like it best.

The point was to have Kirk and Archy one next to each other so they could get friendly. And not to have Archy next to Spock, as the last one is a little bit sensitive (please read “crazy”). Also, another goal is to use Archy with living with two toddlers and two adults.

So, Archy got The Spot! The corner pen from where he can watch the house. The down side is that everyone passes by to get to the kitchen or to come to the living room. So he runs and hide every single time. But he seems more and more relaxed, although there is a long way ahead before he will get used with all the movement in the house.

Kirk was a little bit vexed by the fact that his pen went smaller again, but happy to finally meet Archy in person. And, incredibly, he seems calmer and less jealous.

In three days there was no teeth chattering! Just sniffing and a great desire from Archy’s part to chew the grid and get to Kirk. 😀 The two boys are event chit chatting at the fence. And they eat together.

The plan is to wait few more days and then to start taking them out together in a neutral space. Under supervision, of course. The human are also waiting for Kirk’s sutures to resorb in order to avoid accidents.

 

Guinea Pigs' health, Guinea Pigs' lifestyle

2 things you shouldn’t buy for a guinea pig

When we got Archy, the previous owner also donated everything he had for him. Food, pen, wood house… But also two objects that Ms M asked Little M to throw to the bin as soon as they arrived home.

First was a hay-ball with a bell. Why not using one? For two main reasons:

  • A guinea pig can and may caught his head between the wires. If you don’t believe us, check on the Facebook groups or on the internet and you will find some cases. Of course, not all the piggies do this, but what if it is exactly your piggy that does it?
  • Second, that bell sound scares them. They don’t like it and means danger to them. So why would you want to keep your piggy in constant stress?

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As a side note, whenever one of the humans rings some keys around Archy’s pen, he runs and hides.

Second thing was a harness (leash). Somehow the previous owner expected a guinea pig to quietly walk along on the street.

Reasons why not to use a harness on your piggy:

  • Their spine and corporal construction is not made for a harness and you could really harm them.
  • Walking your piggy outside is a tremendous stress. They are little scared creature and anything that “flys” around scares them to death. Just try to open an umbrella next to them or drop something on the floor. The outside world has much more stimuli than my two examples…

Be wise when buying things for your piggies! 😉

Guinea Pigs' lifestyle

Well trained piggy slave

7:10 am. Ms M gets out of the bedroom.

As soon as Archy spots her, he starts wheeking. Not very difficult to spot her, as his pen is right next to the door. So, he starts wheeking. Softly in the beginning, louder and louder after all.

Ms M rushes to the veggie shelf, grabs an apple and a red paprika, cuts each of them in four chunks and rushes back to Archy’s pen with them. Meanwhile the bigger toddler already woke up due to the wheeking, but she fell back asleep.

After feeding Archy, Ms M goes to the other three. They wheek, but not that loud.

Kirk sniffs the apple and the pepper and doesn’t seem impressed. Not only this, but he places himself at the fence with a begging face.

Definitely Ms M is impressed and goes grab the celery to give him something he likes. Poor guy, not even a week ago he was on a surgery! He needs to be spoiled.

Finally, some pellets and hay and the piggies are quiet again.

Time to wake up the toddlers!

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