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nessie
04-17-18, 07:44 pm
Hello!

I just adopted a 6-month old guinea pig today. I was hoping to receive some tips because she is very jumpy and nervous. She has gotten a little better, but the slightest noise or movement will cause her to scurry into the corner of her cage. I made a dark little hidey-hole in the corner she likes to hide in so she feels safe. I understand that this behavior is normal as she is young and needs time to get used to her new home, however, does anyone have any advice on how I can build a bond with her and get her to trust me and be comfortable around me?

Thanks!!

bpatters
04-17-18, 08:35 pm
Welcome!

I'm sure you'll get lots of advice on how to tame her, but here are some articles as recommended reading:

https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/113176-Information-for-new-guinea-pig-owners
https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/107827-What-NOT-to-do-for-your-guinea-pigs!

wheekermommy
04-19-18, 05:55 am
Hello welcome to the forum! Couple questions first then I will answer your question. First off how big is your cage and what type of set up do you have? If you could post a pic that would be awesome! :)

Second, if your cage is big enough have you considered adopting another girl guinea pig? They are happiest with a friend and it can help with confidence.

LittleSqueakers
04-19-18, 08:50 am
Welcome to the forum, and congrats on your new piggy!

Ditto on getting the new girl a friend. Guinea pigs are herd animals, and the benefits of having at least a pair cannot be emphasized enough. Pigs with a friend are happier, healthier, better adjusted, and more fun to watch and take care of!

Check the guineapigcages.com website for cage size requirements. As others have already said, cage space can also make a huge difference in your pig's health and behavior.

Other than that, a new pig adjusting to a new home and new family is mostly just a matter of time and creating a positive association with you. Hand feeding veggies is a great way to teach a new pig to trust you. Spend time talking to her in a quiet tone of voice so she can learn and get used to the sound of your voice. Even just being in the same room and doing nothing can help her get used to your presence and understand that you don't always want something from her every time you're around. I feel like this helps them to not feel like they have to constantly have their guard up while you're around.

nessie
04-19-18, 02:39 pm
Currently, my parents are not up for adopting another guinea pig, although I know that would help a lot. Right now I'm just trying to give her lots of attention and hang around her so she doesn't get lonely. So unfortunately, I don't think having a second guinea pig is an option right now :(
The dimensions that were written on the box of the cage said 28 x 17.5 x 18.2. It has a ramp that leads up to a higher platform, which I taught her to climb up. Sometimes, when she gets startled, she knocks the ramp over and I have to reattach it. It's pretty spacious.
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bpatters
04-19-18, 04:08 pm
It's about half the recommended size for a single guinea pig.

ChubbyMonroe
04-20-18, 03:07 am
Hello welcome to the forum! With my youngest female guinea pig, she is very skittish and doesn't come out alot, so I tried a method that a website advised.

- you have to get her out often and put her in a outside run to get used to being at her new home.

- pick her up every so often so she gets used to you.

- set a time so she knows when food is coming, they will come out because guinea pigs love food!

- finally ensure they are safe and talk to her to reassure her.

I hope this advice helps!

nessie
04-20-18, 09:24 am
Oh no! What do you recommend for a bigger cage? I see a lot of people with big cages that don't have a top to keep them enclosed. I would be worried about having this kind of cage because she knows how to climb and she would likely escape.

nessie
04-20-18, 09:27 am
Thank you for this advice! Do you have tips on how to handle her and pick her up successfully? She is very sensitive and runs away at the slightest contact. I give her treats and try to pet her put she jolts and runs away :(
I figure it's normal to have to chase her around a little bit before I can actually succeed at picking her up, but do you have any specific tips?

PiggieLover101
04-20-18, 09:34 am
A c&c cage is recommended for guinea pigs. You can always make a top out of the grids used to make the cage. Although pigs can climb up ramps, like the one shown in the picture of your cage, they most likely can't climb the cage itself. At first I thought maybe mine would be able to get out too, but they've never been able to. If that's whats keeping you from getting a c&c cage then I would get one anyway.

nessie
04-20-18, 09:39 am
I have been trying to stress the importance of my guinea pig having a buddy to my family, and I think they are considering it. I want the guinea pig(s) I have to be happy and live in the best home possible :love:. A bigger cage is definitely something I need to get.

ChubbyMonroe
04-20-18, 09:53 am
Sorry was not right

ChubbyMonroe
04-20-18, 09:54 am
I have been trying to stress the importance of my guinea pig having a buddy to my family, and I think they are considering it. I want the guinea pig(s) I have to be happy and live in the best home possible :love:. A bigger cage is definitely something I need to get.

My tip on picking her up is to be very reassuring and pick her up gently from under the stomach. If this method does not work, after several attempts, I would try removing all the hideys so she can't hide away and try to get her in one corner and pick her up.

wheekermommy
04-20-18, 10:22 am
Thank you for this advice! Do you have tips on how to handle her and pick her up successfully? She is very sensitive and runs away at the slightest contact. I give her treats and try to pet her put she jolts and runs away :(
I figure it's normal to have to chase her around a little bit before I can actually succeed at picking her up, but do you have any specific tips?

I am so glad you are going to get a bigger cage, both of you will be so much happier. Her because of the increase in size and you because it will be easier to keep clean and you can see her happier :) For cages you could do two midwest habitat plus combined together with the dividers/ramp taken out or a 2x4 or larger cxc cage. CxC is a favorite just because you can make it for fairly cheap or buy one off the guineapigcages store. For two girls you want at least a 2x4 cxc but bigger is always better :)

As for your concern of climbing, both cages you can add a lid too. Unless your piggy is climbing on top of the hideout though, I highly doubt it will be needed. But let us know what cage you go with and we can help with lids if needed.

For bonding, patience is key. I found it super helpful at the beginning to take a open cardboard box with a flap for the piggy to walk though. Then put some favorite veggies/hay and wait for them to climb into, or gently corral if needed. Once in the box put the flap back up and then lift out of the cage. You can now pick her up from the box.
This way you avoid the endless and stressful chase game. When it comes to put her back lower the box down then let her climb out on her own.

A box might be difficult to fit in your current cage so large tunnel or a closed bottom cozy would also work. You just need something to corral her in that she can be safely lifted in.

When you have her out talk softly to her and let her get used to you. Make sure she always has somewhere to hide. So if you have her on your lap have a sweater or a blanket that she can hide under if she wants. For floor time make sure she has hideys. You want her to gain confidence by giving her a safe place and letting her come out one her own.

Hopefully this helps. Let me know if you have questions!

nessie
05-05-18, 12:34 pm
Thank you so much for your help! We have been looking into the CxC cages and are considering getting the Medium (2x3.5 Grids) Covered Cage.

I was wondering how tall this cage is, and if I will be able to fit a Plastic Pigloo inside it for her.
Also, do you think I will be able to use the hay rack I currently have on the new cage, or are there better options?
She also really does enjoy running up the ramp to eat her pellets. Can I incorporate a ramp with a platform to this cage?

I am a little concerned about the price...

bpatters
05-05-18, 12:43 pm
A 3.5 is the bare minimum for one pig, and if you ever get a buddy, which is highly recommended, it's not large enough.

Also, please don't buy a pigloo. They only have one opening, there's no air circulation in them, and the pig sits in it's own waste. Cuddle cups or fleece forests are far healthier.

You can build a C&C cage for very little money, particularly since this is an election year. Political signs are made out of coroplast, and old signs are free. See https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/107825-Where-to-find-C-amp-C-cage-materials.

nessie
05-05-18, 07:23 pm
For one guinea pig, would one Midwestern Habitat Plus work? It is already significantly larger than the terrible cage I have right now.

nessie
05-05-18, 07:35 pm
I am also really interested in using fleece, but I am a little confused on how to use it. How do I clean off the pee?

aranelchan
05-05-18, 07:49 pm
For one guinea pig, would one Midwestern Habitat Plus work? It is already significantly larger than the terrible cage I have right now.
Checking online, the dimensions given are "24 W x 14 H x 47 L" presumably in inches, which would make it roughly the same size as a 2x3.5 C&C cage, except that it would be 4 inches narrower, which actually means slightly less than the surface area of a 2x3, which is what I have often seen suggested as the minimum for one piggy. I guess you should do what you have to do, but putting in a bit of work for a C&C cage might be cheaper?

bpatters
05-05-18, 08:41 pm
The smaller the cage, the less well fleece will work. And you have to wash it to clean it. There's a ton of threads about fleece on the forum, and a search function at the top of the page.

pipsparent
05-06-18, 07:05 am
Hi and congrats on your new baby! I started with the very basics as well with a rescue we got through our pet store. Unfortunately here, we are limited and the local rescue adopts in an area of our PetSmart. However, Gracie was 8 months old when we brought her home and asked the store. Purchased everything they said was best and it is now in storage-brand new.

We purchased very little for our cavy cages. Although we have added products from this site, we had a LOT more fun creating and making our own. We started with purchasing a package of storage grids for about $20 plus shipping from amazon. We went to Ollies and purchased plastic ties to re-inforce for about a dollar. We started with a 4x8 tarp under the cage and used the ties to twist up. Then added puppy pads and 5-x60 fleece blankets for the liner. This was the beginning and we started on a 2x4. However, that changed very very quickly. We found corrugated cardboard at home depot, bought another package of storage grids for the same price and added two lofts with many of the supplies here (a bit at a time for price balancing). We also eventually got some accessories from the other link here at guineapigmarket. However, with so many cages now in the house, I learned to get fleece at wholesale and some uhaul pads to go over my bases made of corrugated cardboard.

You can really have a ton of fun with this, honestly and the cost can be very little for basics. My daughter gets allowance but also does chores and helps to make the cage and accessories along with using allowance for the ones she likes from this site. It's a project I never thought I would enjoy with my daughter but a passion and joy we now both love.

If your area is not limited, I suggest to talk to your local rescue for 'piggy dates' to find a rescue whom will bond best. Any rescue will be very happy to help you with that and bonding a 6 month old rescue can be simpler for all if you let her have some say, if at all possible. While this was only our experience, Gracie just could not be bonded with another sow. I am told this is pretty rare but she is also very close with my daughter. My daughter has an open cage that is only used as a kitchen and sleep area while she is let to have the run of the room and has been from the beginning. My daughter stays in there all day and is home schooled so Gracie is used to this. She is also roughly the size of our 2 lb chihuahua and plays with her pretty much all the time :-).

Take a look on google search as well for cavy cages. Pinterest even has tons of pics and ideas for cages. Trust me, you and your little ones can really have a blast with this and we can now kick out a base and cage in about 45 minutes after doing this and changing so many times. Please start larger as vs basics. Our family room and my daughter's room is now cavy cages and our guinea pigs are so happy for it. I have three in our family room but it is now 6x 2 and lofts. I promise they noticed; anytime we added for them, they did zoomies and popcorned non stop. Also, check out requirements for their dietary needs. We were quite surprised that it was not as simple as what the pet store portrayed. Their salad time each day is a fun time that we chart every day to be sure everything is balanced. Make certain there are two of everything. Especially water bottles and tons of hay!

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pipsparent
05-06-18, 07:45 am
FLEECE CLEANING- Just adding. I change the fleece one day a week. However I also use a vacuum downstairs twice a day for feces but upstairs my daughter uses a hard bristled small broom and dust pan. You can get for a few dollars. Again, twice a day. We have 2x1 kitchens with soft bedding for eating. It keeps down cost and cleaning. Corners can have additional squares for easy daily changing as it's collected here most. You don't have to be complex. Clean in washer once a week; add a bit of vinegar and no scent allergen free detergent. I hand wash small items.

spy9doc
05-06-18, 08:32 am
We found corrugated cardboard at home depot

Very thorough and very helpful post! However, one correction.......your use of the term "corrugated cardboard" may be confusing for newbies. It is actually corrugated plastic which is where the brand name Coroplast comes from.

It sounds as though your household has become "cavy crazy"? Welcome to the family! It's delightful to welcome a newbie to the Forum who has experience and good advice.

So how about some pics of Gracie and your daughter or Gracie and the chihuahua? :D

pipsparent
05-06-18, 10:08 am
Very thorough and very helpful post! However, one correction.......your use of the term "corrugated cardboard" may be confusing for newbies. It is actually corrugated plastic which is where the brand name Coroplast comes from.

It sounds as though your household has become "cavy crazy"? Welcome to the family! It's delightful to welcome a newbie to the Forum who has experience and good advice.

So how about some pics of Gracie and your daughter or Gracie and the chihuahua? :D

Thx and you asked for it! Gracie is my Guinea grandbaby :-). The first are from about 6 months ago when she was smaller.



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pipsparent
05-06-18, 10:23 am
Excuse my daughter's room-We relocated here after hurricane Irma from Fla, closed on the house in just before Christmas and just now mostly completed the wall and door to separate one large bedroom into two for my daughter and 20 year old son. Still painting the new wall. We are also slowly completing and adding to Gracie and pumpkins cages as Pumpkin turned into a mis-sexed boar that we needed to separate from Pip (yep, Pippin is about 5 weeks pregnant). That's when we rescued both Salem and Pixie for newly alone Pippin. Really hoping for a boy for poor papa "Punk'in" (as my daughter lovingly calls) to have as a cage mate.
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spy9doc
05-06-18, 10:56 am
Cute pics! Just be aware that one can only insert a maximum of five pics in one post. As a result, some of your pics aren't available to be viewed.

That chihuahua looks much heavier than 2 lbs! My 3 lb. Sparky might be a better match. lol

pipsparent
05-06-18, 11:31 am
Sorry-I'm still bonding with my smart phone and new tech of this century. I'm old :-). Would love to see pics of Sparky and the other four legged family members. Your home sounds as happy as mine. Ours are Bella and Lollipop along with the guinea pigs in here.


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spy9doc
05-06-18, 12:40 pm
Sorry-I'm still bonding with my smart phone and new tech of this century. I'm old :-).

If you are over 50+ y.o, there are many of us here in that category!

You know, I have never done a photo shoot of the boys! The cavies in my avatar are my dearly departed Chester and Maya. Now that the weather is improving, one of the things on my to-do list is to take pics of Sparky & Chip. The boys are the only four-legged creatures in our home......unless you count my husband when he is cleaning the bathroom floor. :crazy: