Sunday, October 28, 2012

About Cavies: First preparation for having guinea pig

Guinea pig is not from pigs family... It is a rodent! Contrary to the name Guinea pig, This adorable pet is not from Guinea... but South America. Guinea pig is also called as cavy/arkus/marmut. Cavy is still consume as a protein source in South America and kept as a pet in the house.

I just bought 2 guinea pig 2 months ago... I thought having guinea pigs is like having hamsters... BIG MISTAKE for me. Taking care of guinea piggies is like taking care of kitten only harder... they have a very specific diet requirement such as foods that high in vitamin C. If you want to adopt guinea pigs, you will need to prepare its basic needs.

List of basic things to have:
1. Rabbit water bottle
2. Bedding (Fleece and towel)
3. Food container
4. Pellet
5. Cage ( types of cage is optional)
6. Hay
7. Some vegetables (not poisonous for guinea piggies)

Well, this is my cage in case you do not have an idea what kind of cage to have...

But of course there are more type of cage you can choose such as cat cage that you can buy in the pet store... it is just a matter of preference. The only problem is the one you buy at the petstore will cost you a fortune but the space you bought for your cavies is small and the bottom of the cage is build of wire cage. I read many reviews that the wire bottom of the cage will cause harm to your cavy feet.

For those a fan of DIY and fun designing cage, I encourage you to try the C&C cage. The C&C cage build from coroplast and mesh wire rack. I will list down the things and cost for me to build approximately 4.4" x 2.2" cage. These things are all obtainable in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah!

List of things needed for the C&C cage:
1. Coroplast - you can get it in the stationery store such as popular (1Borneo), Kim Siang (1Borneo).(RM6.8-7.80/ PIECE)
2. Mesh wire rack - you can get this in DAISO 1B & Centre point =RM5/piece
3. Connector - DAISO (1B and Centrepoint)= RM5 (12 per set)
4. Cable wire - DAISO (1B and centrepoint) or you can try store that sells hardware and homeware. = RM5 /PACK (170 per pack 2mm cable wire)
5. Old towels
6. Fleece - DAISO (1B and centre point) (1/4 size of normal fleece blanket), SUPERSAVE (small size fleece blanket =rm12.90; big fleece blanket= rm16.90)

If you buy 4 mesh wire rack, you make a square shape cage size 2.2"x 2.2". If you buy 6 mesh wire rack, you can build 4.4"x2.2" cage. These measurement is just approximate measurement. Just follow the perimeter of the cage above to build a rectangle or square cage... the reason I put divider in the cage (picture above) is to slowly introduce my new guinea pigs to my old guinea pigs.

After you build the perimeter of the cage, then you can start adding room to the cage such as kitchen and bedroom. If you want to reduce poops, it is good to build kitchen from basket because they like to poops in there. my piggies like to poops in the basket while they eat and sometimes they will sleep on their on poops but it is just their nature to sleep where they like to eat. To keep your piggies clean, just give them a bath every month. Some owner will prefer weekly or twice weekly bath but only give them bath if they really need it. The bedding for the cage is very important because you can keep your piggies from soaking up their urine.  Some like to use newspaper as bedding but newspaper is not as absorbent as towel. Plus, news paper will stick with the coroplast when it dries up. So, replacing the newspaper everyday is very important to prevent your piggies to soak with their urine and smells. Towel is another option though.. you can replace the bedding every week provided you clear up the poops everyday to prevent smells. The correct way to put towel-fleece bedding is to put a layer of towel under the fleece layer so you will have 2 layer. The towel will act as absorbent, and the fleece as the dry layer to prevent soaked piggies.

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