Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stiiiiiillllll Waaaaiiiiiting...*sigh*

Before I update Poppy's status, I'm so excited to now have SEVEN followers! Eeeeeeeeee! (That's my high-pitched, excited sound...)
Anyhoo, I've been watching Poppy today (and I do need to upload some pics of her) and I can see the pups moving around inside her. She's keeping close to her food dish, and resting on top of her sleeping bag (she's too big to get inside it). I'd be willing to bet she will give birth within a day or two.
In other "news," the woman who adopted Miley generously donated a large cage, so I have moved my two oldest pigs, Moe and Joe, into their new home. They used to take turns using their igloo, but now there is enough room in their cage for TWO igloos, so they have been making use of both. I figured the big cage would be a good retirement home for them, ha!
The cage that Moe and Joe were in is also bigger than some of the other cages my piggies are living in, so I am thinking of upgrading Martini the next time I clean him out. I now have several empty, spare cages that are small, but can be used in case of emergencies, or as travel cages. Yesterday my husband and I were looking online at Morton great would it be to have my own guinea pig HOUSE someday?!
I promise new pics will be on here soon, possibly tonight, especially if babies arrive!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Quick Update

I haven't written on here in a few days, so I wanted to update everyone on a few guinea pig goings-on...
Miley (whose picture is not yet on here and who came with Casey) has her adoption pending, as soon as her new mom can find time to get here. We had a pickup scheduled for tomorrow, but because the weather is getting worse, it had to be postponed. The woman adopting Miley is willing to drive over two hours to get her; she already has two females in a very large cage, so I know Miley is going to a good new home. Eventually!
Prescott loves his fleece and his foot is taking quite a while to heal, but the sore is getting smaller as the days go by. It took a long time for his first foot to heal so I keep giving him his cream and I change out his fleece every 2-3 days.
Poppy looks like a giant fuzzy pear; she loves her new cage and her own little private "corner room." She is not using her "sleeping bag" but I left it in the cage for when she does finally give birth, and the babies can use it.
Not much else is going on..I have a sick daughter so I've been tending to her and neglecting my blog a bit. I will post pictures when I have a little more time. Oh, and I'm excited to see that I have FIVE followers now! Hurrah!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Still Waiting...

We are still awaiting the arrival of Poppy's litter. Tomorrow I am picking up a 2x4 C&C cage at a discounted price from our friends at Piggy Bed Spreads, and I think I will move Poppy into it so that she and her kids will have plenty of room. I have one person lined up to take a baby, but obviously I don't know how many we will have, and they may be staying here for awhile, so I want to make sure everyone has lots of space.
Right now Poppy is so chubby she can barely squeeze into her igloo, but she is eating well (she's gotten a lot less fussy). As soon as the pups arrive I will post pictures. This will be Poppy's LAST litter (hooray!) and then we will see about Miley, who had been living with Casey before I got them. Miley is so young, I'm really hoping she's not pregnant as well, but we know how guinea pigs are! :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Guinea Pig Bedding

There are all kinds of options out there for guinea pig bedding...with one major exception. Cedar is NOT to be used under any circumstance; its oils can cause serious diseases in all kinds of rodents and rabbits, so don't use it for any of your small animals!
Now, I know I'm going to get comments about this, but I do use pine shavings. I do not, however, use the "fancy" shavings from pet stores, or the rough-cut pine intended for livestock. I have never had any health issues with pine; my seniors have been living on it all their lives. If you do use pine, just make sure it doesn't have scents added to it, and don't use livestock bedding as it can contain large chunks that guinea pigs can chew on, not to mention other stuff that can be ground into it.
Fleece is an attractive option for guinea pigs, as it is comfortable and washable, and can be made or cut to fit any cage. I put Prescott on fleece when his bumblefoot wasn't healing quickly enough; all I have to do is wash it out every 2-3 days. It's warm and snuggly...much better than the newspaper he had been on before!
You can also use aspen bedding, Yesterday's News, or Cell-Sorb, but be prepared to pay for it. Aspen is relatively inexpensive, but the other two are not, especially if you have a LOT of guinea pigs like I do.
Whatever bedding you choose, make sure you keep the cage clean. Sometimes I change bedding out twice a week, depending on how "productive" my piggies are. If you walk in the room and the cage smells bad to you, it's beyond time to change it...and imagine what your guinea pigs are smelling living inside it! Keeping the cage clean is even more important if you have long-haired breeds like silkies or Peruvians. Ammonia and solid waste buildup can lead to respiratory problems, and the waste can get matted into your guinea pig's coat and feet. Keep everything clean and it will save you a lot of headache (and vet bills) in the future!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reaching the Limit

Every day I go on Craigslist to see what's going on as far as people giving animals up, and lately there have been an alarming number of guinea pigs being sold or given away. I used to respond to most of these ads; I would at least offer our rescue as an alternative to taking the guinea pigs to a shelter, or worse. (Believe it or not, some guinea pigs end up being let go into the wild, thrown in the trash, left out at the curb, etc.)
At this point, I have a hard time telling anyone no, but I'm also maxed out with guinea pigs for the moment. Adoptions have slowed, but the demand for rehoming is always there. I am literally running out of space in my house.
I never thought the need for a guinea pig rescue would be so great, but as each year goes by, I find the need even GREATER. I am always willing to help in any way I can, but because I am the only cavy rescue in the area, I end up with so many...a few people have volunteered to foster, but we really need more help. If you've ever considered getting a guinea pig, and just want to try it out and provide a temporary home, please contact me.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Post-Holiday Saturation

Although things were VERY busy around here just before and during the holidays, with both getting and adopting out piggies, everything has now slowed to a crawl. I see a lot of guinea pigs being sold or given away on Craigslist, some of them Christmas presents. Amazing how quickly people tire of their pets...
Right now, I actually have more unadoptable than adoptable pigs. Most are too old, one is still recovering from illness, some do not like being handled, and some I've simply grown attached to and can't let go. My biggest worry is the arrival of Poppy's litter, along with the five guinea pigs I'm picking up Saturday, some of which may be pregnant as well. I've asked a friend if she would be willing to help out and she said yes, so I don't get completely overwhelmed, but we are most likely in for a bumpy road ahead!
Adopting any animal should be a commitment to its life, not a spur of the moment decision. I'm hoping to find the pups homes, but if not, they will have their forever homes here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I've been talking about applying for NY nonprofit status for, oh, probably about a year now, so today I printed out my certificate of application and MAILED IT along with my fee...hooray!!! Now, let's all hope I did it right and get accepted...
I applied under the name Cloverleaf Farm, as we do take in other abused, neglected or abandoned animals (including goats, feral cats, llamas, etc.). What I am hoping is that once we get our nonprofit status, we will add a "donate" button to this site and set up an account that will be used exclusively for our animals. This will also enable us to keep track of our expenses regarding all our animal welfare stuff. The nonprofit status will also enable donors to put their donations on their tax returns, whether those donations are monetary or material (food, bedding, cages, supplies, etc.). Lastly, I feel it will finally make us "legit" on paper, in case anyone has questions about what we do.
What I want to make absolutely sure of is that our donors know that their generosity will NEVER be abused, and is always appreciated. Today I received a large bag of pellets, two bags of timothy hay and an outdoor enclosure from someone who adopted from us; they are moving (taking our piggie Gizmo to Austin, TX with them) and thought of us when they needed to give away the cage. Now our piggies will have a shady outdoor place to play when the weather gets better!

What About Rats?

I've had a few people ask if I have rats for adoption, or if I rescue them. I USED to; in fact, one of the first rescues we had when we moved out here was a pregnant rat that someone found on the side of the road (in a box, in the dark, while it was SNOWING). It was a miracle that she was found. All seven of her babies were female; I adopted out two, and the others all stayed here until they passed away.
I like rats, and I think they make excellent pets, despite the public's general phobia about them. I've owned quite a few in the last six years, and even adopted three from the CNYSPCA when they had several dozen. I was down to four a few weeks ago, then suddenly lost three to old age, so I have one female remaining, and I don't plan on taking anymore because the guinea pig rescue has gotten so huge.
However, if anyone is interested in rats, I do know someone who does rescue and adoption, and I will pass on her e-mail if you contact me. Like guinea pigs, many rats end up in shelters or rescues, and they need our help as much as any other type of animal!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

We Have a "Situation..."

While I was at work today, I got a call from someone near Binghamton who is looking to rehome a mother and four baby guinea pigs. She tried all the pet stores in the area; they are full, and there are apparently NO guinea pig rescues down there that we know of. The babies are 9 weeks old and are all still with the mom. At this point, I may be taking in two more adults, and I have a most likely pregnant mom due in a few weeks. I do have a cage on the way, and got one last night, but let's just say I'm running out of house space and cage space. If ANYONE out there would be interested in taking one or more of this person's guinea pigs, please contact me via my Gmail address. Worst case scenario, they would end up either at a pet store, or I would have to add them to the clan here. I love my pigs, but I have so many it's getting nearly impossible to give them a lot of attention (but they are very well-fed and clean).
Any help would be appreciated, even if you just pass on the website and spread the word around. I don't have any pictures right now, but one baby is an albino, two are black and white, one is tri-color, and I don't know which are boys or girls.
And check out "guinea pigs flood mealtime" on YouTube..that's how I feel right now! haha

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Very Piggy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone! We got our first piggie of 2010 today, our little "biter," who I've decided to name Taz (I was going to use "Fang," but he's kind of energetic and reminds me of the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Tunes). I will be posting pics in the next day or two, but wanted to remind everyone that I do still have several guinea pigs ready for adoption!
I wasn't expecting to get so many new guinea pigs in the last week, so I'm "overrun," so to speak. Still available are Rodney and Buttons (males, between 1-2 years), Duff (young male), Foxy and Roxy (1-2 year old females), and Salty (adorable, squeaky, approx. 3-4 month old male). I am currently evaluating Taz and Martini, both of whom seem to be "nibblers," so I want to give them a few days to settle in before handling them as they may be stressed. I am also completely out of spare cages, so I will not be able to take any new piggies unless they come with a cage!
Hope you all enjoyed your holidays, and new pics will be up soon! :)