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Thread: Bullying, Weight, and Bonding! Ahhh!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Unhappy Bullying, Weight, and Bonding! Ahhh!

    Hi! So glad to be here! I am the proud owner of two female guinea pigs. They just turned two on the first of january. I got them in early november.
    I recently adopted them from a vetinary nurse whose college age daughter couldn't take care of them. (Mercy Purchase). The nurse gave them to me, and I'm the foster mother of Nestle and Dakota. Dakota has adapted really well to life with me, but Nestle is constantly afraid of everything.
    She was bullied by dakota when they stayed in the same cage (about 2 feet by 4 feet long.) I currently have nestle in a 2 by 3 foot cage and dakota in the 2 by 4 footer.
    Nestle wouldn't eat until dakota had eaten. She wouldn't go into the igloo, and if she managed to get into it, dakota kicked her out. All nestle had was a small corner in the upper left, where dakota would relieve herself.
    After I switched them apart, Nestle seemed to be getting better. SHe gained weight and was more bold. But, she still freezes whenever I hold her. She bolts into her hut when anyone walks within 6 feet of her cage (it's at floor level). I put a cloth over the back and sides so she won't feel like everyone's watching her, but it doesn't seem to work. Her cage was on top of Dakota's cage, but she was so frightened I moved her down.
    What should I do to help Nestle feel better? I want to make her feel at home!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Bullying, Weight, and Bonding! Ahhh!

    If somebody could please reply, that would be nice.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Bullying, Weight, and Bonding! Ahhh!

    Nestle may just be one of those skittish pigs who's afraid of everything. Pigs have different personalities, and while some will bond with you, some won't. I've got two litter-mates -- one is supremely confident and is the designated wheeker of the two, the other one is sure that eagles are perched on the side of the cage and that she's going to be eaten if she sticks her nose out from under her hidey.

    The first thing I'd do is take out the pigloo. They're a little too convenient for hiding in, besides having the pig sit in its own waste. Some people take hideys out altogether when they're trying to tame a pig. I don't know that I'd go that far, and I'd certainly have one in at night, but something like a step stool might be better where there's an open area all around.

    Second, the higher cage may be better for her than one on the floor. For one thing, you won't loom so large over her when you're standing by the cage. For another, it's much easier for you to put your hands in the cage more often during the day -- offering her food, gently moving things around, just being there and not killing her! Which is undoubtedly what she thinks you're going to do! Interact with her as often as you can.

    Try catching her by shooing her into a shoe box that you've cut holes in the ends of. Have food ready where you're going to sit, and put her in your lap and feed her goodies. That's probably the best way to win her heart. The food doesn't have to be anything special, just something she likes, and can even be part of her regular veggies.

    Just be patient, and above all, quiet and gentle. She should come around, although it may take a while. They're prey animals, not predators, so everyone and everything is a potential enemy to be guarded against.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Smile Re: Bullying, Weight, and Bonding! Ahhh!

    I will definetly move her asap. Thanks for your advice!

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    Cavy Slave Hhbean's Avatar
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    Re: Bullying, Weight, and Bonding! Ahhh!

    Hi and welcome! Not sure if this will work with your piggy, but it helped one of my guys. He would freeze up during floor time until we made a fort with a sheet for him. He's still not the most adventures piggy of our four but he does walk around more. Maybe try making a sheet top for her cage? Good luck!

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    Cavy Slave CrazyMom's Avatar
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    Re: Bullying, Weight, and Bonding! Ahhh!

    I think routine is my best bet. I do the same thing as close to the same time as possible; no impromptu drop ins. I was cleaning the cage out and feeding them their veggies at night. But I switched to cleaning the cage in the morning, and veggies at night that way I am in their cage at least twice a day.

    How long had the piggies been together before? I thought about separating my two when I first got them but then I realized that is just how they worked. I gave them two bowls, two hidy's (I know three is recommended but it really crowded the space), two of everything. It kept Dulce busy while Olive (RIP) could sleep on her own and eat in her own bowl. Maybe some floor time with both of them together to try to get them to get along?

    Hope something helps!

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