because raising a large family isn’t for the faint-hearted

Our New Guinea Pig

Yesterday we went to pick up this adorable new guinea pig to join our family!

ozzy a cream and brown striped guinea pig

About three years ago, Becky and Ruby decided they wanted guinea pigs as pets. At the time we didn’t have any pets and the girls, who adore animals, really really wanted some.

I’d never had a guinea pig before, just dogs and cats, and I didn’t know much about them. A friend heard I was thinking about getting the girls some for Christmas and she told me her sister was looking to rehome two females and we could have them complete with their cage.

So that’s how we ended up with Bubble (the grey one) and Squeak (the white one). They were about four years old and they quickly wormed their way into our hearts and all the children loved them.

barry the black long haired guinea pig

Then last year another friend contacted me and said she was looking to rehome the single male guinea pig she had. She’d rehomed him from a friend but her daughters weren’t very interested in looking after him and he was left alone in his cage, something which isn’t very good for social animals like piggies. So we said yes and Barry came to join our family.

three guinea pigs


Sadly, last Easter, Bubble passed away at the grand old age of 7. The girls were really upset but we gave Bubble a little funeral in Nanny and Grandad’s garden. Then, just before Christmas, we lost 7yr old Squeak as well.

Bubble's grave

Naturally, the girls were devasted, as was Barry. Although he wasn’t allowed to spend time with the girls unsupervised (guinea pigs are very fertile animals and it’s dangerous for a piggie over the age of 1 to have a litter) his cage was in the same room allowing him to chat to them.

ozzy a baby orange and brown striped guinea pig

But now he was a lonely little guinea pig, sat quiet and alone in his cage and our hearts broke for him. We immediately started looking for a male friend to keep him company as guinea pigs are better in pairs. Finally, we found the perfect piggie to be our new guinea pig. Even better he was from a breeder with the option of returning him should he and Barry not bond. We had to wait until he was 8wks old before the breeder would allow us to have our new guinea pig and finally the day arrived to go and get him.

Before you can introduce guinea pigs to each other, you have to quarantine the new guinea pig for two weeks, which also gives him time to settle down in his new home. This meant we had to set up another cage ready for Ozzy. The night before we cleaned it out and sprayed it was cage cleaner and in the morning we filled it with sawdust and a BIG pile of hay as guinea pigs love to forage and hide in hay and the bigger the hay pile the more fun it is.

guinea pig cage set up with sawdust bedding and hay

On our way to collect Ozzy, we stopped off in Pets At Home for a new water bottle, house, food bowl and an Alfalfa hay wreath. We also bought the same for Barry so he wouldn’t feel left out. We especially wanted a new water bottle for him as his leaked making his bedding wet and yucky!

daughter holding baby guinea pig

Becky was so pleased to get our new guinea pig when we finally got to the breeders. We even got to meet his mum and sisters. Thankfully Becky was too busy with Ozzy to ask for any more! We put him in the carrier we had and quickly buried himself under all the hay I had kindly filled it with so he could feel safe and hidden.

guinea pig in travel cage

We brought him home and set up his cage before putting him in, he’s actually in there, hidden under all the hay!

guinea pig cage set up

The other girls had no idea we were getting a new guinea pig and were thrilled to meet him, although the biggest kid was hubby. Surprisingly he didn’t moan about the money I spent in Pets At Home but was more concerned that I hadn’t bought anything for Barry and kept asking “Where’s Barry’s?” to everything I showed him!

The hard part now is leaving him alone to feel safe and secure in his new home. He’s hidden under the hay most of the time but I had regular texts and photos from Becky every time he made an appearance last night.

In two weeks time, we get to introduce them to each other!

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Rachel (My Crazy Brood)

Parenting Blogger & Mum of 5

Hi, I’m Rachel, the poor mum of this crazy lot! We are; Dad (Bob), Ryan (17), Becky (15) Ruby  (14), Rhian (11) and Reese (7). We also have Gwen the staffy dog, 5 guinea pigs and 2 hamsters. Join us as we navigate the craziness that raising a large family with additional needs can bring.


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