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Windrunner
02-09-19, 04:33 pm
Hey all, I'm a first-time guinea pig mom from Ohio. I just adopted two guinea pig sisters, somewhere around 7 months old, about a month ago. :) I have two dogs and a cat as well -- and a husband, but no kids. I've always wanted pigs (ever since I was 5 years old or so) so to finally have two sweet little pigs is awesome!

So far everything is going well with them -- I've researched a lot about diet and care, etc., and I was preparing for them about 4 months prior to actually adopting them. They have a large (2x4 grid) C&C cage and I am planning on expanding it at some point. They're so cute, and I definitely love their company! They live in the living room -- we have a fairly quiet/peaceful home so they're right in the middle of all of the action and all of the life, but it's not super noisy.

Their names are Alleria and Sylvanas (any World of Warcraft fans here? *nerd alert*). I'll post pics of them at some point! So far I am loving being a pig mom! They're definitely sweet, fantastic, adorable, sassy pets.

Guinea Pig Papa
02-09-19, 04:51 pm
Welcome to the forum family!

So far it sounds like you're doing everything right! There's nothing like a couple of piggies to complete a home.

LittleSqueakers
02-09-19, 05:05 pm
Hello and welcome! Kudos to you for doing your research and preparing ahead of time! There are lots of experienced and knowledgeable owners on this forum, so feel free to ask any and all questions. We also love pictures and stories! :)

Windrunner
02-11-19, 05:59 pm
Thanks for the welcome! :)

My main question right now is guinea pig noises. I think I'm fairly confident in what wheeking sounds like -- but things like, what does it mean when wheeking increases in pitch/volume? Is that a good thing, or is it a sign of alarm/fear? And I've noticed that my pigs (Sylvanas in particular) makes a deep rumbly noise, I think it's a purr but I'm not actually sure. I haven't been able to find good videos of what guinea pig noises sound like so I'm still a little lost in that regard!

Also, is it typical variation that one pig is more vocal than the other? I know that personalities and stuff are definitely different pig-to-pig, is vocal-ness one of those things that can vary too, just like one of my dogs is more vocal than the other? Guess I just answered my own question, haha, but I'd like to have confirmation of that to make sure I'm not on the wrong path.

Soecara
02-11-19, 11:27 pm
Check out this link, most of the information there is pretty accurate from what I have listened to. http://www.guineapigmanual.com/guinea-pig-sounds/

It is very normal for each cage of guinea pigs to have a "designated wheeker". I don't have a single cage where more than one in the cage will wheek at a time, they will wheek in unison with the other cages but never with their own cage mate. So in that sense yes it may seem like one guinea pig is quieter than the other if they are happy to let their cage mate wheek enough for the both of them.

Windrunner
02-13-19, 06:06 pm
Thanks for posting that guide!! It’s very helpful. I think the noise that I’ve been hearing is the rumble — fear or anger. I don’t hear it a lot but when I do, it’s a very unique sound that gets my attention!

Also, it’s good to know that there’s typically a designated wheeker... Alleria wheeks too and it often seems like they carry on wheeking conversations, but Sylvanas is definitely much more vocal. :)

spy9doc
02-14-19, 12:13 pm
Don't be so quick to adjudge the rumble as fear or anger. My Sparky is VERY vocal and has a wide range of vocalizations. His favorite one is the rumble and rarely is it uttered as fear or anger. That is just his way of communicating and the noise he most often makes.....other than the "chut-chut" as when he is muttering to himself. Each cavy has his/her own language and way of expressing their current feelings. Sparky makes the "chut-chut" sound while his brother, Chip, sings....a noise somewhere between a whimper and a louder ongoing whine.

Cavies are as individual as we humans are. :cool:

Windrunner
02-14-19, 08:12 pm
Thanks for that reminder! I feel like I'm adrift with my pigs, in terms of understanding their vocalizations, just because I'm so new to it. Growing up I had rabbits and hamsters, along with a bunch of other larger animals (dogs, cats, sheep, goats, etc.). But I feel like there's so much more of a push now than there was 25 years ago to really understand your animals... so it feels a lot more complex and a lot more like learning a new language (which, in a sense, you are).

I just need to spend more time watching and engaging and interacting, I think, before I truly get a more comfortable grasp of what their personalities are like. I mean, I have a fairly good grasp now but the vocalizations continue to elude me more than anything else! :)

spy9doc
02-15-19, 09:28 am
I just need to spend more time watching and engaging and interacting, I think, before I truly get a more comfortable grasp of what their personalities are like. I mean, I have a fairly good grasp now but the vocalizations continue to elude me more than anything else! :)

Think of it like this: You can say the same words, but if uttered in anger, fear, or affection, they sound very different under the circumstances. Relax and enjoy your girls! Their body language often means more than the sounds they make. You will all grow together and grow in understanding. Keep in mind that your cavies will change as they grow up.

Both of my boys came to live with us at 6 wks. and 4 wks. old. My Sparky has been this calm, mellow fellow almost from the beginning. He's this big (3lb) loveable "lump" who just loves his humans and loves to cuddle with us. My husband hasn't been well recently and Sparky has become his comfort animal. There are nights when they fall asleep together on the sofa and Sparky will stay with him for hours.

And, then there's Chip. He was a biter from Day 1. I know where he came from and could never imagine how it happened. He is a nervous, high-strung fellow and could never relax and cuddle. And, he would "sing" at the top of his lungs.......so much so that we couldn't watch t.v during lap time! As time has passed (3.3 yrs) the singing has decreased in both volume and frequency and has now become softer and less frantic. With a lot of attention and training, Chip ceased the biting and began licking instead. It seems that he didn't know the difference between a bite and a nibble. He would try to groom Sparky and evoke winces and whines because he was too rough.

Chip began losing weight and we almost lost him.....dental issues. It then became a frantic routine of Critical Care, Vit. C and meds twice a day. That whole experience has changed him. Who knows if he's aware that I saved his life, but he has been a different piggy since that happened and his response to me has changed. He has become this loving little soul who now just loves to cuddle. He has found his voice and will wheek and chut-chut along with the singing. I feel that our time together is limited, but I'm determined to enjoy him while we can.

LittleSqueakers
02-15-19, 10:25 am
I suppose you can think of it as like language in a way... But in my experience, caring for animals and gaining some sense of "understanding" them is less about trying to assign specific, complex meanings to each individual sound and action and more about spending time studying their natural behaviors/needs and observing your animals as they go about their daily lives. After all, animals don't "think" the way that humans do; they react. So their "language" is a lot more basic and a lot more subtle than learning an actual, spoken language like Japanese or Spanish.

Their's is the language of animals! It's a lot more about intuition and experience than cataloguing individual sounds and actions. It's dependent upon the situation and conditions at the time. Observe what's happening and then think about what the pig is reacting to. Is there a sound or scent in the air that is signaling food? Did one pig just wake the other one up and make him a little grumpy? Is there a menacing shape or movement nearby that could be something dangerous? This language is loaded with emotional context!

I like to think of it as the language that humans have forgotten. But we, too, can kind of tap into it in a way -- 'cause we're animals, too! I don't think anyone can ever completely "understand" another species -- that would essentially require someone to become a guinea pig and live life from that perspective. But I think it's great fun and very refreshing to tap into your "inner animal" and try to see the world from your pet's perspective. You can learn a lot -- about your pet and also about yourself. Anyone can do it -- it just takes practice! lol

spy9doc
02-15-19, 11:41 am
more about spending time studying their natural behaviors/needs and observing your animals as they go about their daily lives. After all, animals don't "think" the way that humans do; they react. It's a lot more about intuition and experience than cataloguing individual sounds and actions. It's dependent upon the situation and conditions at the time. Observe what's happening and then think about what the pig is reacting to.

Kudos......very well said! You convey another side of what I was expressing.

Nan314
02-25-19, 07:00 am
After reading your stories, I had even more determination to get guinea pigs. I think these are ideal pets.

Nan314
02-25-19, 02:53 pm
My little brother in school will have a contest for the best essay, and we have chosen the topic of pets. But since we don’t have guinea pigs yet, and we don’t have any other animals, could you share your experience about these animals? In order to further improve the quality of work, we will be used words to minutes converter website (https://edubirdie.com/words-to-minutes-converter) which will make our work more concise. Thanks for the help.

bpatters
02-25-19, 04:12 pm
Nan314, there are thousands of posts on these forums about peoples' experiences with their guinea pigs. I suggest you pick a forum and start reading.