Last week I discussed cage sizes for your guinea pigs. This week I want to discuss the bedding to go into the cages.
The most popular thing going around these days are fleece cage liners. You can make them or buy them; they are reusable, washable and save money over time though it may be a little costly to get started. Just google Guinea Pig Fleece and a huge amount of sites and videos will come up. If you choose to buy from someone, you'll find they only make for the C&C cages and the Midwest one as they think those are appropriate sizes. There are a few who will custom make, but it's rather expensive.
I've never tried fleece but would really like to. CC thinks she can do the sewing part (I'm not sewer) but I would really like to test it first. After some research I came across this:
What's happening here is that the person put absorbent material on the bottom and then just used fleece over the top securing it with the cage. Great Idea! So I'm going to give that a try!
Not all fleece is created equal, so make sure to read the websites on the proper kind to choose and make sure to wash it until it absorbs!
When it comes to shaving beddings do not use Cedar (the oils are bad for piggies), Pine only if it says it is "kiln dried" or Aspen. The best bedding in my opinion is CareFresh....it kind of looks like shredded cardboard! It can get pricey though so you may want to do a mix of CareFresh and Aspen.
Regardless what you choose, remember - piggies need a clean and dry environment.
I love Guinea Pigs - they are my favorite small type pet (commonly called pocket pets); but they do require some work!
If you're thinking of getting one, here's some points to consider:
1. Get 2. Guinea Pigs are social animals and regardless how much time you can spend with you're GP, it'll never be enough. When pairing 2 females or 1 female & 1 neutered male works best. Two males may fight, even if they've gotten along for quite sometime. I'm keeping my fingers crossed with Nigel & Ozzy!
2. Small children? GP have sharp teeth and may accidentally bite a finger thinking it's a carrot or something. Also, monitor your children; no one wants their GP squeezed to death!
Still think it's for you? Next thing to decide is the cage: Remember, BIGGER is always better!
Just walk right past those starter kits in the pet store; they are way too small.
The big thing these days is what is referred to as C&C cages that you make yourself.
I don't have these, nor have I ever made one (though I'm thinking about it) but it is a rather neat and crafty way to get a lot of bang for your buck. A good source for building is Guinea Pig Cages. And if you're not able to build one or find the materials to do it, well...there's a site that has it all for you: Guinea Pig Cages Store All shapes, sizes and colors! The sister site offers cage accessories: Guinea Pig Market
But let's say.....you just don't have the room to display something of that magnitude or maybe you just want to store buy until you can build or maybe, just maybe....you want something store bought. Again...bigger is ALWAYS better.
The Marchioro Cage (Tommy 120) is the cage to have! I use to have 2 of these - expensive? Yes, but HUGE and they had stands for them that were available if you wanted it. LOVED them....but like I said in a previous post; I gave them away and now they are practically non-existent. The cage ran 47 inches in length. You may come across them at yard sales, online sales and such.
This photo really doesn't show the length....but if you come across one, remember - the large one has the two door openings, the smaller ones do not. That will help you know whether or not you have the right sized one.
Though that cage may be hard to find.....I have come across some others that are more readily available:
The Midwest Cage. It's the closet one on the market to the C&C cages and is fast becoming a favorite. Check around on prices because it can range anywhere from $35 to $70 depending on where you get it from. There are 2 versions of this cage - one with a top and one without, so watch for that! This cage has a canvas bottom rather than a plastic one. However, you can buy 2 of these and hook them together, making one HUGE cage for your GP! There is another one like this made by All Living Things.
Living World makes 3 sizes of this cage. I bought the medium size (length of 37 inches) used; but there is a larger one (47 inches) like the one pictured. Again, prices will vary but expect to spend around $80 for this one. And if you come across one at a yard sale? The largest one has the 2 top openings like above.
If you happen to come across a large rabbit cage, please be aware that you must remove any wire bottom (you know that piece that let's the poos drop thru). Guinea Pigs feet are not designed to live on a wire bottom and can result in injured and broken legs. As a matter of fact, rabbits shouldn't be on them either!
As I come across suitable cages, I'll post them. And please add your finds in the comments!
"Guinea Pigs" is going to be a weekly feature here on the blog, hope you enjoy it!
Seriously, how can we possibly be thru half the year already?????
Some updates to get things started:
I am still struggling weight loss wise as I guess I always will; I get a week or two of weight loss then go all off track. I so need to get that under control. I'm trying but the constant thought of food is becoming overwhelming. Am I the only one that thinks that a "diet" does no more than make you constantly think of food? I mean, you're tracking, weighing, measuring and planning meals....shouldn't you're mind not be on it???
In 15 days I'll be heading out for the Annual Sister & Nieces & Great-Nephews beach trip! So looking forward to that!
I got 3 new guinea pigs - yep, THREE!! If you've been reading here for any length of time (or know me personally), then you know I've loved guinea pigs ever since I was little. I've had them since I was 8. When hubby and I moved into our house (soon to be 10 years ago), I had 15 guinea pigs! As they died out, I decided to keep the herd at smaller numbers and to prevent from increases gave the cages away (big mistake there, because I had nice HUGE cages). Anyway, eventually I had none and it was like that for a year or two. Then I begin to see people selling or giving them away on FB and I watched this one poor guy get overlooked time and time again. He was just a plain brown guinea pig where all the others were multi-colored. I eventually went and got him, named him Rossi and then added a hairless guinea pig to the mix (Morgan). I lost both of them this past year.
Hubby advised me not to get rid of the cages this time around, lol! I kept watching for giveaways, but apparently no one had any, not even for a small price....and the pet stores want almost $40 for one pig - OUTRAGEOUS! Our local PetSmart started getting hairless ones in, which is very rare, and at the price of $75 - which is rather cheap actually.....but I just couldn't decided.
Then.......my friend Kim (who works at the Humane Society) called me. They were over run (as all shelters are this time of year) with kittens and we're trying to free up the small animal room. They had 2 guinea pigs, could I adopt them? Well of course I could! So Ozzy & Nigel arrived. Then a week later I was looking at Craigs List and someone had a hairless for FREE! Their other guinea pig couldn't get a long with it, so they needed a home. So I snatched up Bernie!
Nigel & Ozzy
I really want to get them a really big cage and add all kinds of cage accessories. Only issue we are having is that for some reason our dog Dexter is obsessed with them (never was with any others). He tried to grab poor Ozzy right out of my hands. So I need to get the upstairs straightened out again and move everything there. I can gate Dexter out.
It's happening slowly...but I'm getting back into weight loss mode.
And it's been much simpler then I thought....
I started writing it all down.
Back in 2010 when I started my successful journey with Weight Watchers, there either was no app, only an app for iPhone or I had a stupid phone....I don't remember, lol! But.....it wasn't the "norm" to use an app. We wrote things down.
So I went back to the basics.....
First, I needed a notebook. Though any will work obviously, I chose to buy one of the WW ones. They have 2, the original one when Smart Points first came out, which is brown with a quote from Jean Nidetch on the front and the newer one which is black, a little larger and comes with lettering to create your own inspiration. I chose the little brown one as I owned it before and liked how it was set up. It gives me a place to track my food and at the end of each week there's a place for "hindsight" and 2 pages for "notes". I use one note page for things I come across during the week that I need to work on and also for the little week victories; the other note page are goals for the next week plus any notes from the meeting. I also made a little pocket in the front to hold my weight tracker and such; I used a quote:
Writing down what I'm eating is making me more aware of what I'm eating. It's way too easy to get into the habit of pushing a few buttons to log and move on. Writing it down makes me truly see what I'm eating.
Second, I stopped worrying about points. Whether it be Smart Points, Points Plus or Classic Points....I don't worry about it. If when writing down I know the point value, I do write it and at the end of the day I do look up and total it out. There are days I am really over and there are days that I have leftover points; but I don't let a point value dictate what I'm going to eat. Doing it after the fact gives me the chance to look back and decide what the best choices are or aren't.
For the most part, I try to stick to the Simply Filling Food List which is mostly lean meats, vegetables, fruits and fat free dairy, but I do eat off list as well - like that large vanilla shake last night.
So, how has writing it down and not worrying about a point value worked? Well I've been doing it for 2 weeks and I'm down 3.2 lbs. Not bad!