Boredom Buster: Veggie Kebab

The veggie kebab is one of the more fun and exciting boredom busters our furry family members can have.

How to Make It

  • Gather the correct materials
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    Enjoying a carrot piece. Yum!

    • The kebab: metal, appropriate wooden skewer (with the sharp point cut off after skewering), or a willow stick
    • Something to put on the end of the kebab so everything doesn’t fall off such as cardboard, a carrot piece, or etc (not required if hanging kebab horizontal)
    • Veggies and/or fruits your guinea pig or rabbit likes: Remember! Fruits are a treat, so go easy on them!
    • Something to tie up the kebab: string, yarn, wire, zip tie, twist tie, etc
  • Make the kebab
    • Wash all the fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
    • Cut fruits and vegetables big enough so pieces so there’s enough of a rim between the center and the outside.
    • If you’re using a skewer, you can use the sharp end to skewer the fruits and vegetables. If not, use a knife and cut a square big enough for the stick to pass through. For carrots, we took the knife and spun it in the center of the carrot slice on one side, turned the carrot slice over, and did it on the other side to make a big enough hole. For lettuce/romaine, cut a slit in the center and put the stick through.
    • Slide on the fruits and vegetables in any order. For pieces like parsley, cilantro, or etc, gently tie them around the kebab.
      • Tip: Use the leafy side to tie to reduce the chance of it breaking or ripping in half. This part is more flexible!
    • Secure the end piece to the kebab to ensure your furry friend doesn’t just yank the pieces down off the stick.
    • Once satisfied, hang the kebab securely up in the cage!


Our Kebab

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Made with some broccoli pieces, carrots, cilantro, green pepper, and romaine.

For this one we used a willow stick so they can also enjoy the stick itself afterwards, but metal ones from stores also are great since you can reuse them. Some of our members enjoy the metal one best because they can be cleaned thoroughly.

We used romaine, carrot, green pepper, cilantro, and three broccoli pieces. Despite the picture, not all of it went into the kebab and some pieces were saved for another day!

Reminder: Some types of food are best given as treats and not in excess. Broccoli and cauliflower are on that list. These vegetables can cause bloat – so it shouldn’t be given often or in large amounts. 


019Mixing It Up

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Vertical hanging kebab waiting for the hungry cavy to sniff it out.

Not only can you customize this boredom buster in many different ways, but it can be put in the cage in different ways!

  • Vertical
  • Horizontal
  • Diagonal

You can also choose to secure it tightly so it doesn’t swing around, or secure it loosely so that your furry family members has to put a little extra effort to get some great treats.

 

And that’s it! Hope you and your guineas enjoy their little boredom buster!

 

 

 

 

Trick Guinea Pig – Dreaming Big

Willow’s Dream: Trick Guinea Pig

Straight From Willow’s Tunnel

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“How did it end up like this…” It started with a piece of bedding, then hay, then an eraser, and then this (carrots and other foods). Willow’s great at balancing things on his nose!

Did you know that all those animals you see in TV shows and movies are trained? Mom says some are CGI. I’m not sure what that is, but she said it means they aren’t real. They sure seem real to me, but apparently they aren’t. The other animals though? They are real and very talented! Plus, I learned from my mom when she interned at a zoo that zoo animals are also trained by positive reinforcement. It’s what mom does with my training! (But animals at the zoo still aren’t cuddly. It’s important to remember they still have a bit of ‘wildness’ and ‘unpredictability’ in them. But, some animals are really well trained and mom said she got to see them at Universal Studios – a place she didn’t take me… I still am a little mad at her about that one.)

So, it got me thinking and I asked mom if I could learn more tricks to compete with the TV stars. I mean, wouldn’t it be so cool to be like a TV star and know the tricks they know? Mom said that it would be like taking karate and then saying she was Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. I asked her what she was talking about, but she just sighed and told me not to worry about it. Whoever Bruce Lee is or Jackie Chan, I suppose they must be pretty awesome (though I don’t know if mom would be that great as them).

My mom looked up dog tricks and was trying to find a way to modify them when she came across a website called “Do More With Your Dog” that actually has a thing called a “Title Holders List”. It puts down the breed of dog, name of the trainer, name of the dog, what title was earned, and when. BUT! Looking through the list, mom realized that guinea pigs were on there along with a bunch of other animals that weren’t actually dogs.

She turned to me and asked if I wanted to join the list. How could I say no?

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Celebrating World Mental Health Awareness Day 2016

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We’ve all heard about stopping to smell the roses, but Willow is an advocate to stop and smell the romaine. Why? Because, besides the fact that romaine is delicious, romaine keeps going even after being cut down, even repeatedly. With just a little sustenance, water, it can grow again. Don’t let life cut you down because you’re an amazing person, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Mental health awareness is so important because  the problems people face are very real, but they tend to be invisible. Your best friend, sibling, parent, or anyone can have one or any number of mental disorders, but you may never know it. My guineas have always known what was going on, but it didn’t mean anyone else knew at the time.

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Rosh Hashanah – ראש השנה

ראש השנה

Monday, October 3rd was Rosh Hashanah and Willow was kind enough to take some time out of his day to help us celebrate the new year! He at least enjoyed the apples! 015

 

Straight from Willow’s Tunnel

The morning was what you’d expect from mom and her boyfriend. Mom got dressed quickly and was soon on her computer doing posts for work – which is silly since she said today was a holiday. I didn’t get it, but I thought that maybe I could get her attention for my need of breakfast. Usually I just get pellets and a refill of hay in the morning, but today? No. I wanted WAFFLES. Okay, maybe not, but I wanted romaine, and carrots, and green pepper, and cucumber, and apples. Seriously though? Mom said there would be apples and honey.

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Ash and the Adventure of the Mysterious Green Stuff

Ash and the Adventure of the Mysterious Green Stuff

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Ash’s face when he heard that he got to write a blog post.

Entry 1, 6:58 A.M.:

I am so excited to be writing for this blog! My last servants “owners” didn’t have a blog. Lame!

Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself a little bit. My name is Ash, and today is the first day I and my brother Brock are spending in our new home! I love exploring, and I can’t wait to see what we discover today!

 

Entry 2, 10:18 A.M.:

So far, there has been a lot to explore. There is so much room, and there is another guinea pig here, whose name is Willow! Unfortunately, my adventures will have to pause for a bit. Our new owners (I think they call themselves “humans” and “fosters” – whatever that means) are insisting on putting us on their laps. All we do is sit there while they pet us. I don’t get how Brock likes it; I think it is the most boring thing ever!

Brock enjoying his lap time with the humans.

Brock enjoying his lap time with the humans.

Entry 3, 11:04 A.M.:

What is this? Is it a test? Is it poison? Are the humans trying to kill us?

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About Fostering and Our Fosters as of August

Opening a Home to Potatoes Passing By

Upon moving out to the Twin Cities, I was only sure about one thing. I wanted to make sure that I was still able to make a difference in a life – if not lives – in this new place I would call home for the next year. So, naturally, I looked into rescues and shelters that I could help out at so I could provide a loving foster home to guineas in need while they waited for their Furever home.

While there were many great rescues, I stumbled upon Piggy Haven’s Facebook page and found a post asking for volunteers to help foster. I was enthused to become involved and help out a smaller rescue that focused purely on rescuing the little potatoes. Plus, smaller rescues that focus on a specific animal type or breed tend to have less funding and donations than larger rescues that may have a variety of animals – and therefore more people traffic.

Since joining, not only have I found great and caring people, but I also get to meet a lot of great guineas that come through my home. Some of them have never had fruits and veggies before, some were cramped in cages they weren’t really able to move around, and some just came because life just didn’t work out in their old home. I’ve seen pigs who were abused and neglected (which Piggy Haven’s founder and team helped nurse back to health), sick or had special needs, and those who were just confused and frightened. I’ve also seen pigs who were overjoyed to finally be with us because of their past conditions and have found out life can be better than what they’ve had.

I’ve only been apart of the team for less than two months, but these two months have taught and shown me a lot. My heart is bigger because of it, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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Fleece Bedding: Is it Right for You?

To Fleece or Not to Fleece? That is the Question.

Willow on Fleece

Willow enjoying the snuggle sack as a bed.

With all this talk about cage type and bedding types, it has come to this. One of the most commonly asked questions we get is “should we switch to fleece” or “what are the pros and cons of fleece”? 

I can’t lie. Fleece looks wonderful in guinea pig cages. Customizing cages with different fleece designs has been a favorite activity for many pet owners who use fleece bedding. However, fleece bedding isn’t as easy as it looks. What many people don’t know is that it’s a trade off. Beautiful aesthetic, but more maintenance.

 

The Three Big Questions

Before you go out and switch over to fleece bedding, you need to ask yourself the following questions (and be honest with yourself because at the end of the day, it is the pig’s happiness at stake).  Continue reading