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Thread: nibbling and biting normal or not?

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    Cavy Slave BopBop's Avatar
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    Question nibbling and biting normal or not?

    Our girl is about 3 months old. She has in the last month started nibbling on fingers. I have been careful not to handle her when I smell like food.
    I know some nibbling is normal but she's started biting down hard now and today pinched hard enough to draw blood. She's usually fine in my lap or with being picked up. It seems to be when she's been out of her cage for a bit and needs to potty. Or if I'm holding her against my chest she gets nervous.
    I've been holding her just a bit longer so she doesn't associate biting with getting put away. We do lots of hand feeding of veggies so hands should be associated with love and good things.
    What else can we do? Just wait it out?
    Last edited by BopBop; 05-17-13 at 07:38 pm.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: nibbling and biting normal o zar not?

    My guinea pig seems to have to "test" my fingers to see if they're carrots. I am still pretty new to guinea pigs so I can't help much more...

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    Cavy Caged
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    Re: nibbling and biting normal or not?

    Could she be going through puberty/adolescence? I think that might explain the change in behaviour ... she's becoming more assertive. Like she is saying, "Hey, I need to pee/poo NOW. Put me down!!" Haha, I'm gonna bite your finger to get my way. I could be mistaken though - can't remember exactly when puberty starts for guinea pigs. Maybe someone else will know... I also heard, again not sure if it is true - but biting could be a sign that a guinea pig is in pain ... Hope that helps!!

  4. "Thank you, Helena29, for this useful post," says:

    BopBop (05-18-13)

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner MochaAndMoo's Avatar
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    Re: nibbling and biting normal or not?

    Is she biting you because she feels un-comfortable when being handled and petted? If so, she could possibly have mites.
    Or, you could possibly just have a Piggy who likes fingers for lunch! Mocha used to be a biter when she was a lot younger, she eventually grew out of it.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: nibbling and biting normal or not?

    Nibbling can definitely be a sign of wanting to be put back in the cage. If I were you, I'd try putting her back when she first nibbles and see if that solves the problem. If she's ok in your lap for the first 15 minutes or so, that's probably good enough, particularly for a baby.

  7. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," say these 2 members:

    BopBop (05-18-13), Melissa123 (05-17-13)

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Melissa123's Avatar
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    Re: nibbling and biting normal or not?

    2 out of 7 of my boys nibble on me or any beds that are near them when they are ready to go back to their cage during lap time. They have never drawn blood but if I didn't take my finger away the second they tried to bite down, it would be possible. I don't think they would mean too, they are just very spunky! Some piggies nibble a lot more than others. Every young boy I've had has always nibbled me as if they were testing my fingers to see what they were. The more it happens, the easier it is to see when they are about to bite down so you can remove your finger for a bit.. Honestly I just put my boys back into their cage when they start nibbling on me or beds, that lets me know they are done and I am perfectly fine with that

  9. "Thank you, Melissa123, for this useful post," says:

    BopBop (05-18-13)

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    Cavy Slave BopBop's Avatar
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    Re: nibbling and biting normal or not?

    She has no issues being petted or held. Just typically near the cage. You guys don't think putting her back at the nibbles re-enforces it? Or will make it worse? I can certainly try it. She's very smart. All ready coming when called and takes her veggies and such very nicely from my fingers or dd's. She loves my daughter more than me, no nibbling or biting her and she's only 20 months.
    But I let dd give the majority of the veggies so she associates her with good things.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: nibbling and biting normal or not?

    Muggle nibbles when he is tired of attention too(ready to go back for which ever reason). If ignored he will bite harder, if ignored I get peed or pooped on.

  12. "Thank you, lunarminx, for this useful post," says:

    Melissa123 (05-18-13)

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    Cavy Star, Video Contest Winner soccerchickgrp5's Avatar
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    Re: nibbling and biting normal or not?

    When my boy Dale is in an uncomfortable position he bites hard on my shoulder or finger. He usually just nibbles on fingers if you put your fingers in the cage. It can be associated with love and good things. When Chip wants attention he nibbles my stomach for attention.

  14. "Thank you, soccerchickgrp5, for this useful post," says:

    BopBop (05-19-13)

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Melissa123's Avatar
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    Re: nibbling and biting normal or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by lunarminx View Post
    Muggle nibbles when he is tired of attention too(ready to go back for which ever reason). If ignored he will bite harder, if ignored I get peed or pooped on.
    So true! Mine do the same thing

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Melissa123's Avatar
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    Re: nibbling and biting normal or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by BopBop View Post
    She has no issues being petted or held. Just typically near the cage. You guys don't think putting her back at the nibbles re-enforces it? Or will make it worse? I can certainly try it. She's very smart. All ready coming when called and takes her veggies and such very nicely from my fingers or dd's. She loves my daughter more than me, no nibbling or biting her and she's only 20 months.
    But I let dd give the majority of the veggies so she associates her with good things.
    I would equal out those veggies that way she starts thinking of you the same way as you daughter. Maybe one can do AM, then another PM veggies? Do not reinforce if it's in the cage. If you see your piggy about to bite hard pull your arm out for a few moments then try to love on her again. If you're doing lap time with her and she does bite, that means she is ready to go back. I always put them back if they do this. It's mainly because they need to go potty but my Guinness doesn't mind peeing on me so he won't start biting on me until he is done with the cuddling. :P Nibbles are way different then bites. A few of my boys will give kisses and nibbles

  17. "Thank you, Melissa123, for this useful post," says:

    BopBop (05-19-13)

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    Cavy Slave BopBop's Avatar
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    Re: nibbling and biting normal or not?

    Thank you all! Will try it and hopefully it curbs the behavior a bit so she knows she doesn't have to chomp down to get my attention!

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