View Full Version : Got my first pair of piggies today. I have questions.

07-05-17, 04:40 pm
Hello! I got my first guinea pigs this week, named Pickles and Q-tip, I'll post pictures when I can. At first I only got one, with plans to get a second guinea pig on my next paycheck. I learned almost immediately that was a bad idea. I figured Pickles would be fine for a week until I got paid again, but he was so skittish and would only come out at night to eat. So I went ahead and got him a buddy two days later, Q-tip. I got them from the same place and they already knew each other, and as soon as I put them together, Pickles immediately opened up and they were exploring and playing in their new home uncaring that I was right next to them.

Now for questions.

1.) They are both very skittish and run when I get near the cage or if I walk by, the most they will do is creep up to my hand and sniff it before running away. Is it okay to pick them up and hold them even if they don't like it right now? I wrapped Pickles up in a sheet today and pet him under it and while he didn't try to run away he definitely didn't like it. I know I need to be patient and continue trying to bond and pet them, but I want to know what is too much too soon, I've only had them four days.

2.) I've read that petstore guinea pigs don't know what veggies are, and I think this is true since neither of my piggies have any interest in the celery or carrots I've put out for them. I've tried dicing the celery up really fine, I'll check it tonight when I get home, but is there a veggy that is more popular among piggies that I can try? (I ran out of carrots. :( ) (Also, please don't hate on me for buying from a pet store, I didn't know. :( )

3.) What are a few ways I can get them used to being petted and held?
I keep them in the living room already so they can see me and my fiance every day (that's where we hang out the most to watch tv). If we are just chilling and not talking much they will come out and eat in front of us until one of us sneezes and they high tail it back to their safe corner lol.

As for their set up, I have an 8sqft cage with a fleece pad ( I made it myself, it has an absorbent cotton layer in the middle, it seems to stay really dry) with a towel under that. they have a box for hay, a food bowl, a water bottle, a few wooden chews, one of those chewable pet houses, and a hammock.

Also, I kept seeing people say they use a ladle to scoop up poop, I thought that was really dumb until I tried it. Holy crap that was a brilliant idea.

Jeff williams
07-05-17, 07:59 pm
I'm going to get a cheap hand held vaccum to clean up poop

07-05-17, 07:59 pm
1) That's totally normal for them. It could take weeks for them to be comfortable with being held. Just give them time.

2) It could be relocation stress, give them time. Take out any veggies that they don't eat after a day though so it doesn't rot. Next time you decide to get any pets, think about adopting first (This forum doesn't support pet stores)

3) Keep trying to hand feed them and talk to them. Placing them in the living room is a great place because they will be used to people walking around.

You should have at least 10 square feet for two pigs.

Jeff williams
07-05-17, 08:08 pm
They say more room the better

07-05-17, 09:40 pm
One of my guinea pigs is also named Pickles! Guinea pigs are flighty little things. Mine still run when I go to pick them up and I've had the current two for about six months. but they enjoy being held and petted for short amount of time. After about ten minutes, they get fidgety. They are also creatures of habit. For example, today, I added a loft to my cage and to allow for more light in the bottom story, I trimmed down the wall on the front and it has rocked Pickle's world. She doesn't like it that I can "see" her now, but in a few days she will get accustomed to it. It can also take them awhile to get accustomed to new veggies and sometimes a pig might not like one vegetable as much as others. Here's a chart to show what most g. pigs enjoy. http://www.guinealynx.info/fave.html I try to not introduce too many new vegetables at once.

G. pigs are hardwired to run first and ask questions later, so don't get discouraged if they don't seem to like it. It takes time to get them accustomed to you milling about in their cage. I try to put my hands in my guinea pig cage every day. Sometimes, I'm not really doing anything. I just want them to get okay with me being there. you are off to a great start if they are where you hang out a lot.

07-14-17, 06:11 am
Thanks for the help! I want to upgrade to a bigger cage soon, since they are both young the 7.5sq cage will work for now. I finally got them to eat a carrot due to stubborness on my part. I put a baby carrot and a small amount of pellets in a blender and then mixed that with unblended pellets. since they couldn't tell the difference they ate the carrot! This morning I tried putting a whole baby carrot in there and they gobbled it up! :D I'm going to get them some romaine tomorrow at the grocery store. They still won't let me pick them up without wheeking like crazy, however they seem to tolerate me holding them for a few minutes.

07-14-17, 01:16 pm
Here's some recommended reading for new pigs owners:


07-14-17, 08:00 pm
Try bell pepper and lettuce. These are the 2 staple veggies they should be getting everyday. 1/8 of a bell pepper per pig per day will get them the vitamin c they need (so not to get scurvy). It might take a while, but just keep leaving it in their cage everyday. They'll take a taste test eventually. Leaving the veggies wet after washing has helped with my most stubborn veggie-eater.

They shouldn't be getting only 2 veggies, they need a wide variety in order to get all the essential nutrients. Try to get them to eat 5+ different kinds of veggies everyday. They might not at first, but I'm saying for the future when they start liking veggies.

Get yourself a kitchen scale that measures in grams or ounces. You will need to weigh their food everyday and the pigs themselves every week on the same day. Guinea pigs are prey animals so they like to hide their illnesses (really really well) until it's too late. Weight loss is usually the first sign of an illness. A kitchen scale can save a guinea pig's life. You will need to weigh them and figure out how much food to give them each day. Guinea pigs need 10-15% of their body weight in veggies everyday (ex. guinea pig weighs 1000 g, it gets around 100 g of veg) The amount of veg will probably change each week since guinea pig weights go up and down all the time (50 g and up is when something is wrong). I like to prepare my 2 boys whole day of veg in the morning and split it into 2 separate feedings: one in the morning and one in the evening. My boys get around 160 g of veg between them everyday. They are both 1+ years old.