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Thread: New Guinea Pig Owner: Should I Be Concerned?

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    Cavy Slave
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    New Guinea Pig Owner: Should I Be Concerned?

    My cousin rehomed his two guinea pigs to me as he was becoming impatient with them (they were new to his home and were still getting comfortable I'm guessing). I've had them in my home for about a day now, and as expected, they've been in their hidey pretty much all the time. The reason I'm slightly concerned is that they haven't touched their pellet food or their water. I've heard them chomping away at their hay in their hidey but that's all. Is this normal? Or should i be doing something to get them to eat their pellet food as well, especially the water? Also, if I were to bond with them, would my presence near their cage startle or scare them away even more, or should i keep talking to them regardless? I also heard cuddling with them might work but I dont want to scare them by picking them up all of a sudden. How do I slowly introduce myself to them and get them to come out of their hidey more often?

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    Cavy Slave Snugglybutt's Avatar
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    Re: New Guinea Pig Owner: Should I Be Concerned?

    From my understanding, pellet food is one of the least important aspects of a pig's diet, while hay is the most important. Are you providing fresh vegetables for the pigs to munch on as well? If you are worried about water intake, when washing their vegetables you can leave them extra damp. My pigs barely touched their water when I first got them, perhaps my presence scared them. I'm sure they will start drinking soon. It's good that they are eating their hay though!

    For bonding, I think your presence is very important. I talked to my pigs a lot when I first got them. I told them about my day and narrated what was happening when I was playing video games. Instead of plopping veggies into their cage, I had them eat from my hand so they got used to my scent. It took a couple of days for them to actually come to me though! As for taking them out, I think it's a good idea to get them used to being picked up and being out of the cage. After having my pigs adjust for about a week, I would take them out separately and have them sit on my lap while I fed them vegetables. It took a few weeks for them to be comfortable on me, but they now actually sleep on me during lap time!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: New Guinea Pig Owner: Should I Be Concerned?

    For a few days, drape something over one end of the cage. Move the hay, pellets, veggies and water either under the drape or very close to it. They're absolutely convinced that you've got eagles in the house, and they don't want to come out in the open and get eaten themselves.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: New Guinea Pig Owner: Should I Be Concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    For a few days, drape something over one end of the cage. Move the hay, pellets, veggies and water either under the drape or very close to it. They're absolutely convinced that you've got eagles in the house, and they don't want to come out in the open and get eaten themselves.
    I tried that tonight and for the first time heard them both out of the hidey! How long should I keep the drape on? Or are there any signs/indications that I should remove it or keep it on for longer?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: New Guinea Pig Owner: Should I Be Concerned?

    After a few days, start gradually pulling it back so it's not covering so much of the cage. They'll eventually start moving around in the open, and then you can remove it.

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