Archive for April, 2010

Planet Guinea News

Planet Guinea News


After a short time of being unavailable (both to us and yourselves) Easigrow is now available. Easigrow is by far the healthiest of the grasses we grow and sell and it seems that we are not the only ones of this opinion! We have been growing more WheekGrass instead but missed our quick growing Easigrow.

Timothy and Orchard Grasses:

Timothy grass has been out of stock for a while with the intention of buying in more in the Spring (now!) but on reflection this is not what Planet Guinea is about, we are a rescue, not a business; the seeds we sell are stock that we use here and currently we have no use for Timothy meaning that theoretically we could be left with it if it does not sell. We do not have time for EBay as our rescue comes first- what doesn’t go in the shop is donated to another rescue or used here. It would be a false “fundraiser” to keep it in stock so we will only have it in store when we are reseeding and have some “left over”.

Timothy does not do well indoors, we use the Cereal Grasses for that, but if you wish to purchase some for outdoors The Hay Experts stock a Mix containing Timothy and Orchard plus Meadow grass and Fescues that can be grown outside. We will continue to stock our Guinea Pig Garden Mix, that is professionally mixed for us but everything in it is selected by Planet Guinea, making it a unique mix containing 50% herbage and 50% Orchard/Timothy mix. This has come a long way from our first mix in 2003 which was selected to be “nutritionally balanced”, we have since learnt that proportion, just like in the human diet, is a factor that cannot be ignored- what you are feeding is almost irrelevant if you are giving incorrect portions. For example we wouldn’t “just recommend” feeding hay in the diet, we recommend on Ratewatchers to feed their “body mass in hay daily” – as opposed to a handful for eating AND foraging!

Email Addresses and Evolution of Planet Guinea!

Over the next month we will be losing our email address. The store will remain open though.

Reading Guinea Pig Rescue is now receiving more emails nationally and some internationally and we are changing the address to reflect it. Our rescue address: will still be available, but our main contact address is: Guinea Pig Welfare is evolving along nicely, thank you to everyone that is part of it.

Pigfesto 2010
After considering the basic needs for guinea pigs Guinea Pig Welfare came up with their own Pigfesto. The essential needs in the Pigfesto allow guinea pigs to be “guinea pigs”, and there is no substitute for any of them. For example, foraging is a natural behavioural need for guinea pigs, this cannot be substituted by providing other “toys”, (plastic balls for example). The need to forage in hay is the basic Pigfesto need. Where this is not happening other behavioural issues can be occurring. Guinea pigs have the same behaviour “issues” as dogs, for example, (aggression through fear etc etc) except guineas are a lot smaller and, for the most part the behaviour is ignored/glossed over or not even recognised.

The Pigfesto has already proved useful for outlining to new guinea pig owners the absolute must haves for good health and well-being.


Guinea Pig Welfare now have a Facebook page for topical jottings and daily news and pigtures. Member’s pigtures and views are welcome too. Come and see what we’re thinking about on Planet Guinea and what our Beautiful People are doing! We are a completely open group, no pressure to join! Quality not quantity. No individual medical advice is given though we are happy to help with finding a vet. Our latest comment was regarding the way SOME RSPCA centres will be admitting animals, a national paper has seen it as an excuse almost to qualify dumping pets! However, this is an illegal act, everyone is still responsible for their pets, including finding alternativ e homes if they cannot be kept.

We also recommend joing/viewing the Gorgeous Guineas Facebook group which features 5 of our past Guests, Digger, Oriana, Roza, Chiara and Mr. Magic- all RGPR guineas.There is a link from our page.


So far this year we have admitted one sow, Little Miss Magic, and rehomed a total of 21 guinea pigs. However, only 3 of those guinea pigs have gone directly from here, the others were still living in their own homes, waiting for a place here in particular (which was strangely complimentary). Rehoming policies/standards have been the same, none went to outdoor homes, in fact some went from living in an unheated shed to an indoor home, and the same questions were asked and satisfied. Two of the humans in particular stated that they wished me to do the preliminaries.
Based on last year’s rehoming we will only admit 9 more guinea pigs here but will continue to assist rehoming those that are in their own homes. It is a harsh fact that if we cannot rehome guinea pigs then we cannot “magic up” space that is not there for more to come in 😦 Coupled with the opening of a Pet superstore about 5 minutes down the road from us, things are not, yet, looking up. I don’t do sob stories and sympathy- these are facts. Will I stop rescuing? No, but I will not burn myself out. One pig at a time 🙂

Any advice contained in this newsletter is not meant to substitute veterinary care and advice, you have a legal obligation to seek veterinary attention if you suspect your guinea pig is ill.


Mr. Softy, Little Miss Magic, and Nutmeg enjoying some runtime.