Issue 19

May 2021

Welcome

Piggery Newsletter

                                                                                                                                                                 

Our Diary is looking very busy this summer. August is almost completely full, some weeks in May, June and October are full, May half term is full &  October half term is limited availability now.

 

Unfortunately, as many of you know  Peanut passed away during her stay in hospital. After many tests she was found to have Cancer of her liver as well as other illnesses and nothing could be done to save her, Loosing all of my 3 Piggies within 4 months has been devastating to me, so for now I will just have to steal extra cuddles from the boarding and rescue piggies.  Bella has kindly agreed to take over Peanut’s blog for a while, although she has said she may not do one every month as it so much of a commitment………

 

Are you a new Piggy owner?

 

During the past 6 months I have taken a lot of phone calls from people asking for help or advise about the guinea pigs. I don’t mind helping people out and answering any questions where I can be of help to guinea pigs and their owners, but I have received a lot of questions about the same topic. This question, unfortunately I get asked a lot.

 

I bought my guinea pig from a pet shop and now I think she’s pregnant! What do I do?

Well the first thing I would say is don’t panic.  The deed has been done and there is no going back now, so panicking won’t change the outcome. Just get yourself prepared with the facts so you know what to do. It has been known that some vets give the wrong advice about pregnant sows and this can lead to more stress and trouble than is necessary.

Pregnancy for Guinea Pigs is very high risk, both for the mum and the babies. 25% in pregnancies can end in death for either the mum or the babies and this is why that breeding guinea pigs for a hobby is not encouraged.

 

How long will it be before the babies arrive?

Guinea pigs are pregnant for 59-72 days. So firstly work out how long you have had your sow. Pregnant guinea pigs normally take the shape of a pair when you look at them form the top.

If you sit with the mummy pig

on your knee and you put your

Hands gently under her belly,

if you feel movement, the

Babies will be here within days. 

 

Should I take her away from her cage friend?

If they are girls and they get on well together, then NO. Vets often tell new parents to split them, but this is often the wrong advice, We find that Aunty, helps out with the delivery and the care of the young babies. Helping to keep them warm and washing them. If you split bonded girls up, you may find it very hard and stressful to re-bond them back together again.

If mum is with a male, then yes you should split them. Dad will try to mate with mum again as soon as the babies have been born, which will result in another litter very soon.

 

When mummy goes into labour, leave them alone. Mums often need no help in delivering and should deliver all babies within half an hour . watch from afar and if things look they are going wrong, that is the time to ring your vet.  Mum’s normally deliver late in the evening or  during the night, so you may find a nice surprise when you check on them the next day.

 

Newborn guinea pigs weigh about 3.5 ounces (100 g). They have hair and are able to see and run. They will nurse from their mother but are able to nibble at solid food within 2 days of being born

What age should the baby leave their mum?

Baby boys need to leave mum at 3 weeks of age or 250grams, whichever comes first. Boys will try and mate with their mum at 3 weeks as the natural instinct kicks in.

Boars and sows  can hit sexual maturity as early as 3-4 weeks and not 12 weeks as many vets say. 

 

Rabbit Aggression

 

Normally rabbits are cute and cuddly, but some Rabbits can also be aggressive attacking their owners for no particular reason. If you have a rabbit that tries to attack or dominate you, there are things you can try to do, to help reduce or maybe stop attacks altogether.

 Try following these steps and advise given by the Rabbit Welfare Association & you should see an improvement within weeks.

1- Try Neutering, this will reduce the hormonal reasons for aggression.

2 -Provide the correct environment, it removes the frustration and pain caused by being unable to move properly. Aim for an area of 10ft x 6ft and 3 ft high at all times, and places to dig, forage, hide, jump, stretch up tall are very important!   (A run can be only 2ft tall, but better for the run to be 3ft high)

C- Provide the correct diet. Eating hay and plenty of forage keeps rabbits busy, frustration free and healthy.

D- Learn to handle your rabbits correctly, so that they’re used to it and are not scared of being picked up.

E- Never use punishment as a training method. In most cases of aggression, the problem worsens as soon as the owner tries to reprimand the rabbit as the owner appears threatening.

Aggression when you try to pick them up?

If you think this is due to fear or nervousness then try this gentle programme designed to teach your rabbit that you are not a threat.

  1. Stop trying to stroke or pick up your rabbit for a period of two weeks. In that time start to hand feed your rabbit treats and speak calmly to them.
  2. If your rabbit is now more relaxed start to stroke them whilst they are eating the treat.
  3. If your rabbit will take a treat but won’t let you stroke them, you may have to spend longer on the first stage.
  4. If your rabbit tries to bite you when you stroke them, then replace your hand with a long handled brush so that the rabbit bites that instead. When the rabbit bites the brush, stop touching the rabbit until it goes back to the treat and then repeat.
  5. Once your rabbit will accept stroking (by hand or brush) increase the time and the areas that are being touched. If you are using a brush, try to introduce your hand (this may take several days)
  6. You are now ready to start picking your rabbit up. This should also be introduced in daily stages using treats at each level i.e. initially your rabbit can be scooped onto your lap to eat a treat.

By following these steps, you will see an improvement in time, but it does take patience and time, lots of it!!

 

 

 

Fact

Did you know.....

Guinea Pigs don’t sleep for long periods like we do, They just take lots of short naps

 

 

 

Dates for your diary.

Guinea Pig Nail Trimming days

Our next nail clipping morningwill be on

Sunday 23rd May

Between 10.30am and 12pm.

Appointments only.

£5 per piggy and all money raised will go into the rescue fund.

Booking is necessary so please contact us first as Covid restrictions will be in place.


 

 

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