ARISTO STUD CAVIES

Purebred Exhibition Quality Rex Guinea Pigs

ABOUT ARISTO STUD CAVIES

   INTRODUCTION

Our cavies are reared in the best possible conditions to ensure they are fit and healthy and reach optimum condition for showing and breeding. All our cavies are reared on a comprehensive diet of proprietry branded cavy food, good quality unlimited meadow hay, mixed fruit and vegetables and grass so they reach peak condition and live for as long as possible. We feed a range of fresh cut grass, carrots, curly kale, spring greens, savoy cabbage, raw beetroot, apples, celery, cucumber and any other seasonal veggies we can source locally.

All cavies are regularly treated for parasites and handled daily to ensure good temperaments. All cavies are sold in good condition and are healthy.

OUR CAVIARY

As the main purpose of our hobby is to produce and show good qulaity animals we take time to ensure all our cages are well maintained and cleaned out regularly and given fresh good quuality hay twice a day. The cavies not only love ploughing through heaps of sweet smelling hay but it also helps to keep them clean and healthy and keeps their teeth short. They have unlimited food and are fed twice a day so they always have fresh food, bedding and water at all times.

 

 The cages we use are all purpose built, clean, well maintained and good quality. Old, dirty, mouldy or rotten cages can be harmful to cavies and good cages are key to good health. All our cages are gloss painted white inside to maximise the natural light in the caviary and improve hygiene. Litter boards at the fronts of the cages ensure bedding is kept tidy and prevents the occupants from falling out during feeding times! Most of our cages have sliding removeable partitions so we can adjust the size of the cage depending on the numbers in each group. Sows usually like to be kept in small groups so we are able to increase the pen sizes to accomodate them. All our cages have clean well maintained water bottles that are filled up twice a day.

Our caviary is situated inside a lovely dutch barn style shed which has been built onto a concrete base in order to prevent rats and mice. The shed floor is swpt twice a day and we take pride in making sure the caviary is clean and tidy at all times. The caviary has opening windows providing light and ventilation, an electric fan for warm summer months, lights and a great stereo system which the cavies love!

     
 Our newest addition to the caviary is our sow house which consists of a childrens playhouse that has been converted into a guineapig play area. The sows adore living in a natural colony.  The indoor pen is approx 23 square feet and contains a tudor style house, play tunnels and hideouts. Clean fresh woodshavings provide a dry attractive surface.  The outdoor pen is accesssed by a drop down ramp with a post and rail style fence. The sows love it and skip all four feet in the air!!!

OUR CAVIES DIET

We have a weekly delivery from a greengrocer  supplying sacks of carrots, raw beetroot, cabbages, celery, spring greens, curly and flat kale, apples and any other seasonal fruit and vegetables to help keep our cavies happy and healthy. Fresh fruit and vegetables provided on a daily basis are essential for maintaining good health and fitness for showing.

We also have regular deliveries from our Pet Food supplier 'PetMunch Ltd' based at Weston Super Mere for compound dried food as well as a very good supply of good quality meadow hay.

Our piggies do well for us and they deserve the very best. They have a strict regime of twice daily feeds so they are never bored or hungry! Now Spring has arrived we have a very good supply of lushious green grass packed with clover, dandelions and plantains.

 

OUR HIGH WELFARE STANDARDS

In the Summer months our cavies have access to an outside run on a rotation basis so they can run and play out in the garden. We do not mix rabbits and guinea pigs and do not support neuturing cavies unless for medical reasons. We carefully select our sows for breeding making sure they have sufficient rest between litters, are not over weight when they breed and are retired from breeding in good time with a view to showing them in Sow classes. We take great care to ensure our cages are not over stocked and that where appropriate they have tunnels, houses and tubes to hide and play in.

We make sure that all our cavies have company as cavies are naturally gregarious and are nervous and timid when kept alone. Our cavies are trained from young to sit quietly and confidently on the bench in preparation for showing in order to minimise stress and help them to show themselves off to their very best!

 

Whenever necessary our cavies receive prompt veterinary attention to ensure they are in the best possible health and have the best chance of recovery if they become ill. We have many years experience in caring for sick and injured cavies and have the skills and knowledge necessary to administer treatment and assist with any problems sows may experience when littering. We invest in a wide range of veterinary products for treatment at home and have an excellent vet practice nearby who are always on hand to help with emergencies and surgical procedures. Rearing cavies this way is a costly and time consuming exercise so you will appreciate that the babies we sell help towards these costs.


Why Buy Your Cavies From Aristo Stud?

Beware there are many unscrupulous pet breeders out there who will happily sell baby pigs on the cheap from just £5 an animal. From personal experience of visiting some of these places the pigs are often kept in dark, over crowded cramped and dirty conditions and bred repeatedly on a poor quality diet so the sows are in poor condition. Cages often have little or no bedding, are wet and covered with faeces and bottles are either green, empty or non-existent. Such places usually provide little or no organic matter so cavies are prone to diarrhoea when fed fresh food. Feedback I have received from people who have purchased babies from such places is that they are often short lived or come with skin conditions, may be pregnant or in ill health. I have been offered week old babies that the breeders claim are 5 weeks and seen poor condition breeding sows covered in sores only to be told this is apparently normal when you breed! Be very warey of anyone who has lots of guinrapigs for sale. Exhibition breeders usually breed for their own use rather than for any financial gain and will normally only have a small handful of pigs available at any one time.

Putting the problems right can cost a small fortune with vets consultation fees starting at around £20-£35 per pig before treatment.. The welfare of our cavies is paramount and we take great pride in them and hope that you will appreciate the lengths we go to to promote good animal welfare and produce happy and healthy animals. Like all animals guinea pigs can suffer from a wide range of illnesses but the conditions you rear them in and the care you take in selecting breeding animals can significantly help to reduce the chences of your new pig becomming ill.

We take pleasure in providing advice as part of our aftercare service and are always pleased to hear how our cavies are getting on in their new homes. We do not breed for profit and our breeding program is in place to produce high quality show animals and develop and strengthen the pedigree breed we keep as part of our well established hobby.

SINGLE GUINEA PIGS - Guinea pigs are naturally gregarious and in the wild live in large social groups so should not be kept on their own on a permanent basis. A guinea pig kept on its own is usually very shy and timid and can be much more difficult to tame and handle. It is also very unlikely that you will experience the full range of vocal noises that cavies make when they are excited or centented. As we do not want our caives to have to live on their own we will not supply single guineapigs unless you already have one or more as company. If a guineapig dies leaving its cage mate alone a replacement should always be obtained as it is very likely they will pine and possibly die. If you do not wish to start again with babies we may be able to provide an older companion animal of a similar age., Please enquire if you are looking for a companion guinea pig.

RABBITS - Please note: we are unable to supply guineapigs as companions for rabbits. Guinea pigs and rabbits should not be housed together as they have different dietry needs and rabbits are likely to kick out and injure a guinea pig. Rabbits and Guinea Pigs should not be housed together foer the following reasons:

  • Rabbits and Cavies have totally different dietary needs
  • Rabbits can produce their own Vitamin C. Cavies cant so must be fed foods that are rich in Vitamin C.
  • Rabbits require a limited ration of dried food to avoid becomming overweight and small quantities of fresh food to avoid upset tummies
  • Cavies require large quantities of fresh fruit, vegetables and cut grass to stay healthy and should have unlimited dried food available at all times to ensure constant access to Vitamin C
  • Rabbits often become territorial and do not want to share their house with anyone else. They may become aggressive and could easily injure a cavy. Rabbits are much larger and heavier than cavies and should always be housed seperately.
  • Rabbits like to gallop around a large cage and kick their back feet out and a guinea pig would not only be terrified but could easily be injured or killed
  • Male guinea pigs will try to mount rabbits and could be bitten or kicked if the rabbit gets annoyed
  • Male rabbits will constantly chase and harass a guinea pig believing it to be a female companion

NEUTURING - I have seen a number of small animal unregistered 'rescue centres' promoting the practice of neuturing guinea pigs and rabbits in an attempt to avoid unwanted babies. Neuturing a small animal carries an unnecessarily high risk of injury or death as a result of the anaesthetic and should be avoided at all costs. There is simply no need to ever neuter a small animal unless it is done to save the life of the animal. If you want to avoid unwanted pregnancies it is simply a case of keeping males and females apart. If you are buying a pair, buy two of the same sex. Neuturing is a very costly exercise so its not surprising that veterinary practices are keen to recommend it. Putting a guinea pig through a potentially harmful operation that will cause stress and pain is really not necessary.  It makes much more sense to keep them in same sex pairs or groups and we provide comprehensive advice on making sure yo have the right combination..

We take great pride in the health and well being of our cavies and provide free Cavy Care advice booklets with every cavy sold. We also provide an aftercare service and are able to offer Holiday Care if you have to go away.

SHOULD I BUY FROM A BREEDER?

The answer is yes, of course you should always buy direct from a REPUTABLE breeder. If you buy from a pet shop of garden centre you have no idea where the animals have come from, what conditions they have been reared in and how they have been transported. Many pet shops and garden centres across the South West use Nationally based commercial breeding centres as far away as Essex and many of the larger chains of pet supermarkets obtain their animals from abroad so the animals travel hundreds of miles in cramped conditions. Animals bred in such centres are usually kept in large groups, are often poor quality, pregnant or unwell. Buying an animal from such places because you feel sorry for it only makes room for more and supports unscrupulous commercial trading in animals. .

There are many websites scattered across the internet that are vehemently against breeders of any sort. These are usually run by people who operate so called unregistered 'rescue' centres that demand compulsory 'adoption fees' as payment for the animals. While there are without doubt  many unscrupulous breeders out there who only breed cavies to sell for profit there are also many dedicated cavy fanciers who devote themselves to caring for and showing these amazing creatures.

 

 

As a prospective buyer you should visit the breeder before commiting to buy and check out the conditions for yourself. Dont be afraid to ask questions and always ask to see the breeding parents as this is usually a good way of checking your babies are from healthy, happy stock. Ask to see what the breeder is feeding their stock. If they dont have a stock of fresh veges then the cavies probably dont get any and are likely to suffer upset tummies when you take them home and feed them.

Ask to see what they treat their animals with as this is often a clue as to whether they know what they are talking about. Use your gut instinct. If you dont feel the conditions are right walk away. Never buy an animal because you feel sorry for it. You will only be making room for the breeder to produce more and supporting a trade based on poor welfare.

 

The majority of breeders who show will hold their stock in higher regard than those who dont. Ask whether the breeder is a member of the Southern and National Cavy Clubs, local Cavy Clubs and Recognised Breed societies.  Dont be fooled by a fancy website. The internet is host to a vast array of hidden nasties so always check out the breeder for yourself. The Cavy Fancy relies on the good reputations of its members and is there to promote good husbandry and breeding practices. Members have a genuine interest in the animals they keep and are usually happy to provide advice and guidance.