Friday, 30 March 2012

Day 56 & 57: All good things must come to an end

This will be the last 'proper' post on the blog, bring out the violin! I hope that you've enjoyed reading (and maybe learning?) all about piggies and particularly the ones that come into our care.

I will update the blog with any new pictures of adopted piggies or when the remaining pigs Gertie, Spook, Mouse, Cosmo & Nova find a loving home. Until then it's farewell from me but rest assured we will continue to work hard for our small furry friends!

Here's the latest picture of little boy Otto with his new big brother Chas...

And my final words would be please make sure your piggies (and rabbits) have oodles of space, lots of hay & a suitable friend. They shouldn't be alone and Otto agrees!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Day 54 & 55: Going home

Today Brad and Ginger officially went home after a few weeks bonding at my house. They get on brilliantly and I had no problems with them at all. I wish my own piggies would bond so easily!

Big thank you to Jenny and her lovely family for adopting Brad and giving him a second chance. Jenny was told by the pet shop she rescued Ginger from that she was 'a biter' and couldn't be with other guinea pigs.... another example of certain pet shops giving bad advice and not understanding the sophisicated and subtle animals they are breeding and selling.

It's a great ending for two lonely piggies that should never have been alone in the first place.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Day 52 & 53: Juba & Cyril

I have yet more good news on the piggy front! Our young male pair of guineas, Juba and Cyril were reserved on Saturday, home visit completed on Sunday and collected that very evening to live in lovely Glossop!

Hopefully, I'll be able to post some updates and photos very soon....

So we just have Mouse with her babies - Cosmo & Nova and Gertie with her baby Spook to rehome! If you know anyone that is looking for a pair or trio of female piggies pretty please direct them to our website:

We provide a bespoke home visit going through all aspects of piggy care and behaviour and of course answer all of your questions. We are a friendly lot so get in touch! We rehome up to 1 - 1 1/2 hours from Stockport.

Gertie & Spook

Mouse (above), Cosmo and Nova (below)

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Day 50 & 51: Very happy days!

I have various bits of wonderful news that you are going to love!

Firstly, I did Petina & Biscuit's home visit today which passed with flying colours. It's great to see adopters educating themselves before getting a new animal. Petina & Biscuit will have a lovely C&C cage, complete with fleecey blankets, huts and lots of toys. Lucky pigs! They will hopefully be collected on Tuesday.

Secondly, remember Ralph the neutered male? Well he's been rehomed to live with 2 lady pigs. After a few weeks of living side by side they are now together and very happy! See picture below of one very smug Ralph (he's at the front of the run)....

I got the following text from his adopter Cheryl:

''As you can see progress is being made - Ralph is now enjoying time with the girls enjoying fresh dandelions - bonding going very well. He's had a bath and been groomed too!''
This is definitely the best part about volunteering for an animal charity.

Thirdly, Otto, one of Mouse's babies has been rehomed and successfully bonded with new big brother Chas! How cute is this picture?

Finally, bonding with neutered male Brad and potential lady friend Ginger is looking very promising. They have been living in my house for a week side by side in neighbouring cages. They have been interacting and sleeping side by side so today I introduced them on neutral territory.

No scraps, squeals or anything of any great note. I was ready for a battle on my hands but thankfully not! Ginger is extremely confident whilst Brad is very nervous so it works well. Ginger would annoy less tolerant piggies and I'm sure would start a fight with a dominant female. She constantly follows him, nudges him and generally is an annoying teenager with him! But he puts up with it very well and warns her off when she's gone too far. She has not stopped popcorning and I'm so pleased she's no longer alone (don't let me down now Ginger!)

We are at the stage when they are being a bit amorous but that will start to disapear when they are less of a novelty to eachother. Happy days!

I'm still keeping a very close eye on them but they are in the same cage now - lots of noise but no scrapping. I will keep you posted! Here's some pictures from today....
First thing this morning - bonding starts over parsley

Following each other around.... Brad looking scared of me rather than Ginger!

This evening after a whole day on neutral ground, just before going into new cage for the night. Brad taking cover!

I love being a guinea pig match maker even if it may give me an ulcer through stress..... :-)

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Day 48 & 49: C&C cages v 'Shop bought' cages

Recently I’ve had a few people asking me about housing for piggies. I had a look online at the cages available and it was pretty shocking. Most cages are 100cm and under and cost a fortune! The largest I could find was over 150cm but cost £160!

I hate to think that piggies get stuck in pokey cages and their owners end up paying through the teeth. This is why I built my own C&C cages.

Hebe loves her comfy bed and fleece to sleep on rather than traditional wood shavings

I’ve mentioned them in a past blog but I thought I’d include more pictures & explain at bit more why they are great.

1.       They are cheap £30 roughly for a box of cubes/ £15 for a sheet of plastic for the base.
2.       You can make them to any shape and size you like.
3.       Easy to clean (sweep up everyday, change fleece and litter trays once a week).
4.       Unlimited headroom.
5.       Can be personalised with fleeces and lighting to blend in to your home.
6.       Most importantly piggies love the space!
7.        You can put the cage on the floor or on a table to easily reach your piggies.

Only problem is that you have to build them yourself. Clicking the cubes together is easy as is rounding up the toys, litter trays, hidey huts etc (you can spend more after saving so much money on the cage!).
You can be creative with C&Cs!
It’s the plastic base that is a bit of a faff. I ordered mine online and then cut it to fit my cage by measuring the internal dimensions and scoring the plastic, bending to fit. You just need to google ‘sign plastic’ ‘corrugated plastic’ or ‘coroplast’ and you can buy a sheet in different colours if you like. Lasts pretty much forever though!
Two groups of pigs living separately but side by side

 So yes, C&C cages are the best – your piggy and wallet will thank you for building one!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Day 47: Making friends

After the fun and games that was the Liverpool Half Marathon I'm quite pleased to have a relatively quiet week ahead. I only have 2 guinea pig related tasks to complete! Petina & Biscuit's home visit is on Saturday so I'll be doing that and secondly I'm continuing to bond Brad the RSPCA piggy with his potential girlfriend Ginger.

It's going very well so far, they are living side by side and definitely enjoying eachothers company. Brad is a very timid piggy but when he's near Ginger he becomes much happier, more relaxed and chatty. It's lovely to see him acting like a guinea pig should instead of being scared and lonely on his own. Why people keep these sociable animals alone is beyond my comprehension - I can only presume they have never experienced a group of happy, chattering and pottering piggies!

Here's some pictures from the first few days...

Ginger having a nosey

The first day meeting Brad through the bars (you can see him in the background hiding!)

Nudging noses and chatting to eachother 

Dinner time!

Ginger reminding me that her claws need a manicure!

It's still early days but I hope by the weekend we can introduce them on a neutral ground and see how we get on. Often reactions through bars don't give you a proper indication of how they will get on when physically together but I really do think it takes the 'edge' off when they finally meet. They get used to each others movements and smells etc.

I will keep you posted!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Day 45 & 46: Liverpool Half Marathon

We did it! Myself, my friend Jan and sister Lisa completed the Liverpool Half Marathon! It was hot and hilly but we survived. I did 2hr 19 mins, Jan 2hrs & Lisa 2hr 5mins. I've never run down hill in my life and half the course was down hill so that was pretty tiring (damn you Manchester and your flatness!).

Totally worth the pain and suffering as I've raised £362 so far and Jan & Lisa over £100 each. Here's some pictures from the day...

Lisa smashing it at the finish!

Me & Jan at the end

...and again!

And something funny to make you laugh!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Day 44: Otto

It's been a very good day today! Firstly, Mouse got the all clear from the vets and was safely dropped off at our private boarders ready for viewings by potential adopters. The babies were all sexed (just to double check!) and we do indeed have 2 girls and one boy. Otto (above) the boy will be separated next Saturday when he's 3 weeks old. But never fear - he's going to live with this chap....

This is handsome Chas, a 4 year old male guinea who lives with a lovely lady called Julie who volunteers at the RSPCA Stockport Branch. Chas lost his friend earlier in the year and has been a bit lonely since so Otto should do the trick we think! It's great that he won't be alone as is often the case with males as they are a bit tricker to find a friend for (you need just the right age and personality match).

Mouse, Cosmo & Nova are now up for viewings on our website so if you are interested give us an email before they get snapped up - I think Mouse is the most famous piggy in Manchester at the moment! Our email is or call 0161 882 0680. They must be rehomed as a trio.

I picked up Brad the neutered male and brought him back to my house ready for bonding to start next week with his potential girlfriend. Poor boy is very skittish but I'm hoping his new confident lady friend will be just what he needs.

Now off to put my playlist together for the Half Marathon on Sunday!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Day 43: Auf Wiedersehen piggies

Today is a bit of a sad day. Tomorrow Mouse, Cosmo, Nova & Otto are going to live at our private boarding facility whilst they are waiting for their new homes. They are 2 weeks old and going strong so I'm not worried but it is sad that they won't be around anymore. En route I will be taking them to our exotic vet for a check-up on Mouse's ear.

Luckily, Otto has a viewing tomorrow and if all goes well I will be doing his home visit on the same day ready for him to go home when he's old enough. He will hopefully be bonded with a 4 year old boar who has lost his buddy this year.

But I won't be down on numbers for long. When I drop Mouse and co off I will be picking up Brad the male piggy and bringing him back with me in preparation for starting bonding next week (see older post).

So here are the last pictures this end of the gang.....

......this is definitely the worst thing about fostering!

All together


Cosmo & Nova


If you can offer a fabulous home to Mouse and her 2 babies Cosmo & Nova please get in touch via email

Only the bestest home will do & they will be a trio! :-)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Day 41 & 42: Bonding continued

I had a busy day yesterday, after work (and some circuit training for the run on Sunday) I went to do Ralph the piggy's home visit and it passed with flying colours! Ralph will hopefully bond with the adopters 2 current females and she has her bonding tactics all worked out. Ralph will also get to enjoy grazing on the lawn which is something he will have never experienced before. Great result for him.

It's been a hectic few days with various reserves on the pigs but I've also been bonding my own neutered male Rodney with 2 lady friends. It was always my intention when I rescued Rodney for him to live with the girls but blimey, they are the most miserable, narky pair I have ever met! Honestly, I'm glad I adopted them because I'm not sure anyone else would! They HATE being handled, scream the house down when you cut hair/nails etc and generally don't like people. I've tried to socialise them for a while now but came to the conclusion they are too damaged from past experiences and best to leave them too it. To be fair they are better than they were..

So here's some pictures from the bonding session. They had lived side by side for over 2 weeks. The 'slow' bonding approach seems to have worked well. I knew that one of the 2 girls, Moneypenny would be the trouble causer so I introduced Rodney to her first:

Keeping at a safe distance....

Rodney being brave and checking out Moneypenny (brave lad!)

 Rodney getting licked and generally inspected by Moneypenny

Ignoring each other and grooming (always a good sign)

More 'nose to nose' contact, sussing each other out

Moneypenny chilling out and Rodney not really sure what do with himself!

After I was confident they were okay with each other (after 4 hours or so) I introduced Honey too. She definately aggrevated the situation, lot more teeth chattering and 'warning off' with teeth showing but nothing too bad. By the evening I had managed to get them all in the same neutral, cleaned out pen.

It's still a work in progress. Rodney is learning what he can and can't do, how close he can get before they chase him off but it's very early days. Bonding is rarely ever instant, the trust has to develop and this can take a while. I'll keep you posted!

N.B Pretty please if you are bonding any animal make sure it's on a neutral territory, you are there to supervise (with something to break them up if they fight ie. dust pan) and that male/female combos are neutered. This is particulary important with rabbits. Don't rush - bonding can take hours or months.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Day 39 & 40: Good news!

We've had some great developments in the last few days!
* Brad piggy is reserved pending bonding with a lady friend.
* Ralph piggy is reserved, again pending successful bonding with 2 ladies.
* Petina & baby Biscuit are reserved.

We just need homes for...
* Juba & Cyril male babies as a pair
* Gertie & baby Spook
* Mouse & her 2 daughters Cosmo & Nova
* Mouse's male baby Otto (needs an older relaxed single male or neutered female).

You can see them all on our website - I'll be putting Mouse and co up on Friday.

They are growing really well and have found their little voices. They trot around chatting to eachother at dinner time - it's very sweet to watch. I'll try and get a video. Mouse is a very confident girl when it comes to food, standing on her back legs and chewing on the bars of her cage till I pop some tasty treats in!

Here are the latest pictures of them...

Incase you didn't know (unlikely!) I am running the Liverpool Half Marathon on Sunday for all the guineas and rabbits rescued from the Booth's Garden Centre fire in January (see Day 1 blog post). I'm nearly at my target but please help me get there!

You can text donate by texting - IAAL65 £1 to 70070

Thank you everyone that has donated!