Friday, December 21, 2007

NY-Craigslist-Two brothers

* If responding to a Craigslist ad meet in a public place, or go with a friend. Google the phone number of the poster to
ensure it matches the name he or she gives *

LISTING REMOVED. Irondequoit (near Rochester), NY: Chip and Gizmo are two five month old brothers who need a new home; their owner is moving in to an apartment that does not allow pigs. I am sure that these pigs are well loved, but I hope the poster won't mind if I point out a couple guinea no-nos from her ad in order to educate others (and the no-nos are things pet stores say are great--why not buy two?). (Ad also posted here).

1. The cage is too small. It may be okay by petstore standards, but they're really just out to make money. And these small cages, akin to a person living in their bathroom, get charged for a ton more than it would to buy a great C&C cage, or make your own (we've done both, and when we made our own a huge cage--about nine times this size--it cost about $20).

2. There are no water bottles. The post is relying on water dishes, which guinea pigs will often urinate or defecate in, then no longer want to drink. Plus it evaporates. There should be one water bottle for each pig, if not more--especially for two boars entering adolescence.

3. There needs to be two of everything for each guinea pig to hide in or use. Guinea pigs are territorial, and scarce resources can cause tension and even fighting. That means two pigloos (the pink thing on the right), one for each brother. If you have a larger cage, there will be room for two while still allowing them exercise and popcorning room.

4. I don't see any hay. A high quality hay (not Kaytee brand from the stores) must be available in unlimited amounts to help guineas' teeth and digestive processes. Plus they love it! A good quality hay will be a nice soft green, with few stems. I recommend either Kleenmama's Hayloft (where you can order quality hay and pellets in bulk) or Oxbow, which may be available at your local retailer.

5. A close up of the pellets they're being fed can be seen in one of the brother's photos. This is not a good quality pellet. It should not have colored pieces in it. Guinea pigs pick out the colored bits and love them, but it's essentially junk food. A poor quality pellet diet (such as Kaytee Fiesta) can result in obesity and organ damage. Though transitioning to a quality pellet (again, Kleenmama's or Oxbow) may take time and effort, it's imperative for your guinea pig's health.

6. That wire ball hanging from the lower left hand corner is supposed to be used to hold treats, veggies, or hay, but it is too much work for the guinea pig to get to the food. And solely as a toy, most guinea pigs don't care. They're happier running through a tunnel or hiding in a pile of hay, then popping out covered in their favorite food.

7. My exception to rule number three. There should be ZERO exercise balls per guinea pig. Guinea pigs are prey animals, and being inside one of these can really scare them, as they feel trapped. The construction also doesn't work with their body shape or fragile bones--they can break bones in their spine or feet, and die. Petstores like PetCo sell these marketed toward guinea pigs, even though it can be a fatal toy.


It's very discouraging the more and more you learn
how little their advice can be trusted.

So, end of lesson, and here are the cute boys looking for a new home:


1 comment:

momo said...

Very well said, at the end of the day, it is a number's game for the companies, not the welfare of the animals. And let;s not forget how they charge ridiculous prices for the things they insist our pigs "must" have such as Vit C drops and yogurt treats!