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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Considering guinea pigs - plot question (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

revlovejoy
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I've only ever used goldfish before, and a rubber dove. So mammals in magic is a new potential venture for me.

I have looked into getting guinea pigs, since they are easily cared for, and I can't have free running rabbits in this house (dogs). It seems that they are best kept in pairs for their well being.

So I get to thinking, would I not be better off using both in the show anyway, if I could find "twins"?

Here's my logic:

I have the Mak Magic daggar livestock vanish. I plan to also do a little flash paper for part of the storytelling for the routine I'm planning.

Now, aside from my particular routine, isn't it helpful for people to see the animal alive again? If it has disappeared, there is still the psychological issue of - hey that cute animal was there, and ok maybe it didn't get stabbed really, but where is it?

Of course, an assistant can remove said prop, and the animal can reappear later in the show in any number of ways, not even necessarily magical.

But for my purposes, I would like the re-appear to be part of the routine itself. For this, I would need another animal that looks just like it. Thus, the twin guinea pigs.

(As an aside, chinchillas look like they would work, but they a much more expensive proposition, and I believe higher maintenance. I'm not committing to a pair of those little darlings anytime soon. I can handle GPs.
Caveat Lector
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One very important thing for you to do before you put them in your show is to get your USDA license for them. If you perform with them and have no license you can be fined for it. All you have to do is contact the office in your district, which would be the East Coast branch and they will send you all the paper work. It is very easy to do and pretty inexpensive.
https://web01.aphis.usda.gov/Application......OpenForm
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Chrystal
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Hi,

Whatever your decision may be I'd do some research on the net before you purchase the GP's. Affectionate little creatures but they are noisy with a high piched unmistakable squeak when they are excited.

Although I have had several GP's I've always had them paired with a rabbit for friendship. In the animal kingdom some siblings do well at first, until they reach the age of maturity and then fights for dominance may occur and they may have to be seperated as a result. It's why I'd recommend doing some research on this first.

Best Wishes to you

Chrystal
JustinDavid
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Chrystal is 100% correct. Not only is it hard to find a pair that will live happily together, but next to impossible to find twins that wil live happily together.

Chinchillas don't require as much care, time, and attention as guinea pigs, but you will not get them to sit still in any kind of a load chamber, so I would stay clear of them.

Guinea Pigs also lack the ability to produce vitamin C.. so therefore a constant supply needs to be provided in their water, and those little bottles become quite expensive. Also, guinea pigs won't exactly squeek when they are scared or nervous, they might let out one or two, but with music and patter it would be very hard to hear and would be passed on for something else.

Guinea Pigs are probably not a great idea, but the one positive is that when nervous they will stand still (unless they are being picked up).

Justin
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revlovejoy
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Chyrstal,I wouldn't dream of getting a pet I hadn't researched first. Every cavy resource I've found, including a rescue netowrk in PA I would likely use, suggests that a pair has companionship enough with each other, and I haven't come across the recoemmendation to keep them with another species.
Chrystal
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Hi,

I always house my rabbits with a guinea pig for the benefit of each. No territorial issues and they become a bonded pair. They groom each other, sleep and share living quarters. Please trust me on this, the chances are the males will probably fight with the onset of maturity even if they have grown up together. Rabbits as well as guinea pigs may do this. If two rabbits of the opposite sex are housed together they should be neutered and spayed. A bit more difficult spaying or neutering a GP, although I do take mine in for regular checkups.

According to my vet the two animals that get along best in the animal kingdom of two different species are a rabbit and guinea pig. Providing they have been given a neutral cage which neither used soley, previously. I've been fostering animals for a number of years for the Humane Society and at the moment have quite the peacable kingdom. Dogs, cats, guinea pigs and rabbits. My Old English Sheepdogs don't have a high prey drive but rather just herd them back to their cages in the evenings. LOL!

http://www.aracnet.com/~seagull/Guineas/behavior.html#Herd


Good luck to you!
Chrystal
Bob Sanders
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RevLoveJoy,

I know this looks like we are explaining why your plan won't work. There is no benefit there. Make it work and fool us! However, as much as I like your twin idea, I don't recommend guinea pigs. I've done animal acts mosts of my life. But this one is a true misfit. Guinea Pigs are a poor substitute for rabbits. First they are simply noisy. That alone would disqualify them for me.

Secondly, the audience doesn't readily recognize them for what they are. That can really hurt your show. Timing goes right out the window. Your audience is no longer together. Which ones do you serve? (I had a client that made me use live lobsters in my show. They divided the audience's attention. And more people can identify a lobster on sight than a guinea pig.)

I wish you luck.

Bob Sanders
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Bill Hegbli
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Having owned a Guinea Pig, I did not find them easy to care for. They require constant baths, attention, and care of their nails, teeth etc. Then the cage needs cleaned almost daily. They only live about 3 years. It had a beautiful long hair.
revlovejoy
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I would like to thank EVERYONE for their very helful input, but especially Chrystal on the care and housing issue, and Mr. Sanders on the performance aspect.

As an aside, I was surprised to see such a large number of guinea pigs needing adoption. That is further evidence of what has been laid out here about their care needs.

You've all convinced me this is not the route to go.

But I still remain with a general plot question involving any animal disappearance: do you feel it is necessary to have the animal reappear soon in the act, to quell any uneasiness of "what happened to it?"
Bob Sanders
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The animal does not have to reappear on stage. However, I do believe in showing that the animals are safe afterwards. (They do not see them taken from the equipment!)

Doves and rabbits have been used for hundreds of years for good reason. (I've even tried guineas! That was an experience in failure. They love to watch the audience scatter!)

Scheme!

Bob Sanders
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JustinDavid
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I agree with Bob... I don't think the animal has to reappear.

Leaving people with a mystery is why they came in the first place right?
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revlovejoy
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For this particular plotline, reappearing may be necessary. This is why I was considering "twins" so that I can create the illusion of producing the disappeared in another place. This would still make both ends of the effect mysterious - I have a MAK m$$$$r box for just this occasion.

So, how much do rabbits need trained anyway? Smile - I may be able to borrow a pair from a local breeder on the occasion of my few shows.
Chrystal
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Hi Revlovejoy,

You're very welcome and thanks to the others whom posted on here as well for giving good advice.

I'm afraid I don't have expertise regarding using rabbits in performances but if you do a search with the key words, rabbit, you'll find a wealth of information. Mine are strictly pets and my dogs are used for performing.

All the best,
Chrystal
Bob Sanders
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Rabbits are trainable. I just don't bother. They are easy enough to deal with that I don't ask for anything they don't do anyway.

Although Maxine lives with us, borrowed ribbits are fine.

Go for it!

Bob and Lucy
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Steven True
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I never used GP's but did use a rabbit for a short time. If you do decide togo wit a rabbit make sure you get one that won't become rabbitzilla. I was given a rex rabbit when I first started using animals in my act. This thing got to be as big as a horse,well maybe a small horse, but it was big. I finaly gave it to a family that had a small farm and he lived out his life in comfort. I have talked to people that have used GP's and I have herard the samething that most everybody here has already said. If I rememeber right, the Mak livestock vanish will handle a good size animal so maybe the rabbit would be the best. I know you have a dog or dogs but it might be the better of the two to have. Just my opinion here. As for the vanish and reappearance, there is a thread in the little darlins'(I think) about that very thing. I will see if I can find it and post it for you.

Steven
Steven True
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I hope this will work. I have not tried to cut and paste here so don'tr know if this will work. Revlovejoy this is the thread I was talking about,hope it will help.
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=41

Steven
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