Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

  1. #1
    Cavy Newbie
    Joined
    Aug 08, 2021
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)
    Thanks
    0
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts

    Unhappy Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    Hey I'm in real need of help and advice please.
    We picked up an 9 week old guinea on Friday 8/6. We've a large C&C cage with plenty of hay, water bottle, hidey houses and everything else.

    Since taking him home he's hardly eaten or taken his water at all, aside from a thin slice of bell pepper and a little hay. The hay is the type that he's been used to as is all the other food we've put out. This was done Friday night, Saturday morning and night, and this morning (Sunday). We've been real quiet leaving him the time and space to settle but really stressed as he ain't eating or drinking.

    Expected that he'd take his own time to explore and roam his new home but we've not seen him at all. Understand that's normal, but how about the food/water situation? I've read that if they don't eat hay for 48hrs then they've at risk of major health concerns.

    Any help here guys

  2. #2
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
    Joined
    May 12, 2015
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,371
    Mentioned
    138 Post(s)
    Quoted
    587 Post(s)
    Thanks
    800
    Thanks
    954 Rec'd/738 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    He's 9 weeks old, he's in a new environment, and he's alone. He's petrified.

    I know this may not be the first thing you want to hear, but he needs a buddy. And he needs time.

    Try covering one end of his cage with a towel. One thing he's sure of, is the house eagles he thinks are coming to eat him. Try placing his food and water as close as you can to where he's hiding, and you can also sit next to his cage and talk to him, and just spend time with him so that he gets used to you.

    And with that said, guinea pigs are herd animals as well as prey animals. They do much, much better in pairs or large herds. You'll find him do much better with a friend.

  3. #3
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
    Joined
    May 12, 2015
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,371
    Mentioned
    138 Post(s)
    Quoted
    587 Post(s)
    Thanks
    800
    Thanks
    954 Rec'd/738 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    This is also a good place to start, in regards to the care of your new addition:

    https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...nea-pig-owners

    Its full of great information for you about your new little buddy.

  4. #4
    Cavy Slave Smileandnod's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2018
    Posts
    331
    Mentioned
    27 Post(s)
    Quoted
    56 Post(s)
    Thanks
    57
    Thanks
    159 Rec'd/111 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    I am thinking everything that @GuineaPigPapa said above as well...

    But...just to be on the safe side I thought I'd ask about how your little one looks. Do you notice any nasal discharge or eye discharge? Is he or she pooping?

    If eyes & nose look good and you see normal looking poop, then I would put a nice pile of fresh hay (try to get some strands with seed heads if you are using Timothy hay) and put it close to wherever he/she is hiding that way they don't have to venture too far out at first.

    Let us know how things go.

  5. #5
    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 08, 2018
    Location
    Central MN
    Posts
    592
    Mentioned
    29 Post(s)
    Quoted
    85 Post(s)
    Thanks
    16
    Thanks
    146 Rec'd/140 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    You might also try putting a little stuffed animal in the cage near a corner or hidey. Make sure there are no plastic eyes or nose, and no ribbons he could chew on. Mine has a stuffed bunny from Dollar Tree and she sleeps near it quite often.

  6. #6
    Cavy Newbie
    Joined
    Aug 08, 2021
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)
    Thanks
    0
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    Thanks all. We picked him up a buddy yesterday morning. Both are eating hay, veg, but not drinking from the water bottles. Plenty of liquid in the kale, peppers, cucumber that they are eating so hope they'll be ok.

    Health appears fine, pooping a lot! So it's a clean up each day which is a problem as they are still really nervous of us. It was quicker to clean out the cage then get them back in. Please tell me that this gets easier, I know there won't be a quick fix but I'm worried if I've to cage clean every day they'll be forever terrified!

  7. #7
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
    Joined
    May 12, 2015
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,371
    Mentioned
    138 Post(s)
    Quoted
    587 Post(s)
    Thanks
    800
    Thanks
    954 Rec'd/738 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    Spot cleaning daily is pretty much a must. Full bedding changes vary on what you use. They WILL get more used to you, but they take time. And sometimes they take a lot of time. Don't get discouraged!

    So glad you got him a buddy! But DO turn them both over to make sure they are the same sex.

    You'll find a great deal of help here http://www.cavyspirit.com/sexing.htm on how to accomplish this.

  8. #8
    Cavy Newbie
    Joined
    Aug 08, 2021
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)
    Thanks
    0
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    Thanks and yes, they are boys - 100%

    We are using a fleece liner as a base with waterproof pads, these are around the food and water stations. I'd hoped they'd mainly go there, maybe in time.

    The biggest challenge is when trying to get them out of the cage for a daily clean, they bolt in fear almost running for their lives which breaks my heart! Once they are back in they hide together for hours, today hasn't been a good day so far!

  9. #9
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
    Joined
    May 12, 2015
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,371
    Mentioned
    138 Post(s)
    Quoted
    587 Post(s)
    Thanks
    800
    Thanks
    954 Rec'd/738 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    Quote Originally Posted by Texan View Post
    Thanks and yes, they are boys - 100%

    We are using a fleece liner as a base with waterproof pads, these are around the food and water stations. I'd hoped they'd mainly go there, maybe in time.

    The biggest challenge is when trying to get them out of the cage for a daily clean, they bolt in fear almost running for their lives which breaks my heart! Once they are back in they hide together for hours, today hasn't been a good day so far!
    You're describing completely normal behaviour. They are prey animals, so they fear literally EVERYTHING. I can't stress enough how much patience it takes, and not to be discouraged. Some pigs come around quicker than others. Some are skittish their entire lives, while others become total lap pigs. There is no way to know which you've got.

    Enjoy them for what they are now. Baby pigs are so much fun and given some time, they will popcorn and be the happiest little guys for awhile. Getting them used to you is a must, as you may occasionally need to bathe them, they will require nail trims and other basic health checks.

    Yummy treats help with the process of getting them used to you. But not too many!

  10. #10
    Cavy Newbie
    Joined
    Aug 08, 2021
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)
    Thanks
    0
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    Thank you. When we got the first he did make a few of bubbling sounds, since we got his brother we've heard a lot more and do have fun playing together. After our earlier incident and now back in their cage I've put a sheet over the top and let them have quiet time. They are both hiding under a hammock although have ventured out to eat some apple.

    For the next clean I'll put the fleece hidey house in the cage, leave them to see if they both go inside and remove them in that. Gives me chance to clean before putting them back in. Hopefully that's less stressful for all

  11. #11
    Cavy Slave SSLee's Avatar
    Joined
    Aug 30, 2017
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    223
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Quoted
    27 Post(s)
    Thanks
    18
    Thanks
    56 Rec'd/54 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    When I first got my piggies, getting them out of the cage was the most difficult part as I wasn't fast enough to catch them. Plus not having had much contact with animals previously, I was a little afraid of them. I still remember @bpatters' suggestion to corner them with a box and that worked. Later on I started using different items such as hidey house, cuddle cup, fleece tunnels, and the litter pan and putting treats inside to encourage them to go in. I was so afraid they would leap out while I was moving them to the kiddie pool, which is where they hang out when I'm cage cleaning. To this day, Felicia prefers to be carried out in a fleece tunnel and Lily in the cuddle cup. When I put down a new tunnel in the kiddie pool they know they are going back to their newly cleaned cage and fight to be the first one into the tunnel. I've had Lily at least 3 years and Felicia 2 years; Felicia learned the transportation system from Lily. There are numerous videos on YouTube on how to catch skittish piggies but it never worked for me.

    @Texan, are you changing out the liner daily? If you are doing spot cleaning, you do not need to take them out during the cleaning process. I use serving tongs to pick up the poops and gloved hands to remove the hay and change out the pee pads. When I'm doing the daily cleaning, the piggies like to come around and sniff . In fact, they like to get in the way.

  12. #12
    Cavy Newbie
    Joined
    Aug 08, 2021
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)
    Thanks
    0
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    Thanks some good ideas there as these kids are fast!!! Once caught and being held they appear happy, I do stroke under their eyes and ears which I've read helps calm them. They've not jumped from my hands...yet!

    The liner is being daily changed, they pee/poop everywhere despite the pads being placed at the food/drink stations. The cage was a real mess this morning, hopefully once trained/bonded with us it may get easier,

  13. #13
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2021
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    125
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Quoted
    22 Post(s)
    Thanks
    4
    Thanks
    19 Rec'd/17 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    Quote Originally Posted by Texan View Post
    The liner is being daily changed, they pee/poop everywhere despite the pads being placed at the food/drink stations. The cage was a real mess this morning, hopefully once trained/bonded with us it may get easier,
    Welcome to the poo and pee world of guinea pigs!

    I'm glad that the guinea pigs are doing better, my guinea pigs love it if I stroke under their ears too.

  14. #14
    Cavy Slave SSLee's Avatar
    Joined
    Aug 30, 2017
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    223
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Quoted
    27 Post(s)
    Thanks
    18
    Thanks
    56 Rec'd/54 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    @Texan, guinea pigs are messy animals and from what I've read here, boys are worse than girls. It is a lot of work to change out the entire liner daily and wash/dry it. Do you have a number of pee pads? If you do, in addition to putting pee pads in the kitchen areas, put them in other areas that get dirty the most and you will just need to change the pee pads out daily instead of the liner. It is much easier to wash the pee pads than an entire liner. That takes care of two problems, fewer liner changes and less chasing of piggies around to take them out of the cage. Now that I think of it, pretty much the entire edge of my cage is lined with pee pads and I change them out every 1-3 days, depending on how dirty or wet it gets.

    I have pee pads in a variety of sizes, from 3"x5" to 12"x12" and 5"x12" ones to put under the fiddle sticks. If you, or know of someone, who can sew, that would be a weekend project. If you don't, it can be pricey to stock up on a large number of pee pads at one time. I'm sure you've already discovered that pee pads are available from Amazon, EBay and Etsy. I can't sew and have thought about sewing them by hand.

    I also tried microfiber dish drying and chenille bath mats but both stay wet longer than I prefer. Maybe they will work better if there is a piece of fleece over it.

  15. #15
    Cavy Newbie
    Joined
    Aug 08, 2021
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)
    Thanks
    0
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    Yes I've a number of pee pads, the way it's going they will soon cover the entire cage.

    The first guinea (piggy 1) that came home is much calmer, he's even coming close to my hand for food although won't yet take it but it's a great improvement and he's exploring and more confident. Unfortunately piggy 2 (the newer arrival) is a nervous wreck and bolts whenever I go near the cage. If he's hiding elsewhere then piggy 1 is more willing to explore, if piggy 2 bolts then all momentum is lost and they end up in a hidey house for hours.

    If this normal or have I a skittish piggy 2? If so, can this have a negative impact on the other in regards to bonding with us giants?

  16. #16
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
    Joined
    May 12, 2015
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,371
    Mentioned
    138 Post(s)
    Quoted
    587 Post(s)
    Thanks
    800
    Thanks
    954 Rec'd/738 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    Pigs are no different than people. Some introverted, some extroverted and everywhere in between.

    All you can do is take time to get to know their personalities.

  17. #17
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2021
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    125
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Quoted
    22 Post(s)
    Thanks
    4
    Thanks
    19 Rec'd/17 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    Yes it is COMPLETELY normal for guinea pigs to be skittish. Bonding with guinea pigs just takes time. Try to talk softly to them and move slowly. Lying on the ground sometimes helps. Guinea pigs tend to be less intimidated by someone on their level. I agree with Guinea pig papa, guinea pigs definitely have different personalities.

    Coming closer to your hand for food is a good sign! That means that guinea pig 1 is warming up to you! Hopefully once guinea pig 2 sees guinea pig 1 approaching you, then he’ll feel more confident.

    BTW, do you have any names for your guinea pigs?

  18. #18
    Cavy Newbie
    Joined
    Aug 08, 2021
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)
    Thanks
    0
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    Hi.
    I'm in need of a bit of help...again please!

    As above we've had the guineas since August 6 & 8. Fully aware they take time, sometimes a long time to feel comfortable, confident, not forgetting hide a lot.

    Rupert (8/6) has shown a little adventure by being the first to leave a hidey when food is out while I'm sat next to the cage. This is undone whenever Monty (8/9) comes out, the moment he sees me, a shadow or anything he will bolt, Rupert then scared does the same. This happens every time I put food in their cage, the moment I speak, even enter the room, you hear the crashing as Monty takes cover, followed by Rupert. I've been approaching the cage crawling, doing the 'washing my head' thing, even trying to whistle (not my strong point) but get the same result. Once they have finally settled and start to eat it's then a matter of time until they face off with each other, making the low rumble sound, shaking their rear, standing on back legs, twice they have butted heads. Obviously I've no idea what goes on when I'm not around.

    They are both eating plenty of hay and veg, not that keen on nuggets and drink very little water, I've two bottles in the cage which are changed twice a day. The level doesn't really go down much, that's a concern too as I'm now checking at every change over they they work and aren't blocked. The veggies i should add are soaked in water.


    I'm working from home so I now sit in the same room, talking to them but they are really inactive during the day. It's morning and night they had a mad few moments and that's about it. I've boredom breaker tubes, wooden bridges, hidey houses, wooden toys filled with hay and a big cage that could house a few more based on the guidelines but they don't appear to have any interest in anything.

    Is any of the above normal please?


    I'm due to give their cage a full clean this weekend and I'm dreading it! I am going to try and usher them into a hidey and lift them into a run as opposed to trying to pick them up. I'm really worried of destroying what little/no confidence they have. As they are both shelties I'm also conscious of when its time for a haircut, nail cut, also weigh them. No idea how that will go!


    Clearly I and them need help please guys

  19. #19
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
    Joined
    May 12, 2015
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,371
    Mentioned
    138 Post(s)
    Quoted
    587 Post(s)
    Thanks
    800
    Thanks
    954 Rec'd/738 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    Everything you've described is normal. Guinea pigs are most active around sunrise and sunset. They are babies, new to the environment and scared. They will most likely come around but it takes time. If the veggies you're giving them are soaked in water, they are tiny enough that that's probably more water than they need and that's likely why they're not drinking from the bottles. It's also possible that they don't know how to use the bottles yet, and they will likely learn that in time. In the meantime, you are doing the right thing by keeping their veggies wet. They don't necessarily need pellets, and if you're supplementing them vitamin c in their diet as you should be with the vegetables they may not eat them at all and it really doesn't matter.

  20. #20
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
    Joined
    May 12, 2015
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,371
    Mentioned
    138 Post(s)
    Quoted
    587 Post(s)
    Thanks
    800
    Thanks
    954 Rec'd/738 Posts

    Re: Guidance needed please - new to guinea pigs

    Just as an aside.........

    You can get yourself an IP camera with night vision if you want to see what's going on when you aren't around. A really good one can be had for less than $60 and once set up is accessible from anywhere that you have an internet connection.


    As far as picking them up goes..........they will likely never enjoy it. They are prey animals and associate being picked up in the same way that a predator would grab them. It will take plenty of time to gain their trust to the point that picking them up will become easier. Out of six pigs in the last 11 years, I only have one who is totally fine with just reaching out and picking him up. Scooter became fine with it when he was sick, and I believe it was just because he was sick and was resigned to it.

    For the most part, don't become discouraged. It won't happen in a day, week, month, or even a year. And remember that their skittish behaviour is hard wired because they are prey animals. It isn't personal and their urge to run doesn't mean they don't like you.

  21. "Thank you, Guinea Pig Papa, for this useful post," says:


User Tag List

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •