Where People & Piggies Thrive

Newbie or Guinea Guru? Popcorn in!

Register for free to enjoy the full benefits.
Find out more about the NEW, drastically improved site and forum!

Register

Don't want to do the wrong thing!

Guinea-Newbie

Active Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
Posts
26
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
Messages
26
We have two new piggies in our family and we want to try and make their introduction as smooth and stress free as possible. We've built them a c&c cage (2x5) and I'm wondering how to go about teaching them that when we come near it's not to harm them but to give them something wonderful, like a fresh veggie or some new hay. Does this just take time and patience? Are there any tricks to know?

Thanks for any and all advice!
 

Trixie

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Posts
182
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
182
It just takes time. I have 5 piggies and I have 2 sometimes 3 of them that don't always run. I have had 2 of them since January and the other 3 are babies 2 monthes old yesterday.
Talk sweet to them and hold the treat in your hand. Make them come get it. Soon they learn that your not that monster that is going to eat them, but a treat instead.
Be patient it takes time. :)
 

critterlover

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Nov 5, 2004
Posts
386
Joined
Nov 5, 2004
Messages
386
Because you have 2 pigs, they will have each other for security, this will help them adapt.

You can keep a bowl of washed veggies on top of the cage, then give them veggies throughout the day in small quantities. They will get used to associating you with goodies. If they're extremely shy and are always hiding in their hidey houses or cozies, you can drape a sheet over the cage to give them a feeling of more security. Also, daily handling will help socialize them. You can put them on your lap and feed them veggies. They will get more and more comfortable with you.
 

pennick

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Posts
1,761
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
1,761
Just be patient. Continue to talk to them and give them treats. Also give them lap time each day. It can take a few months for them to start feeling comfortable. Always make a big deal out of giving them veggies, or putting hay in their cage. They will associate your pitch of voice with something good coming.
 

Guinea-Newbie

Active Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
Posts
26
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
Messages
26
Thanks for the tips! One of the girls will already eat a little something from my hand (but not every time) and they're getting lots of lap time and free time, since we're home all day. The other one seems to not even know what veggies are...she's the one that came from a less than ideal home though, so it's not surprising.

Since we are home all day and the girls are getting quite a bit of attention, is there such a thing as TOO much of a good thing? I don't want to overwhelm them, although they seem to be doing well so far.
 

Denise

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Aug 10, 2004
Posts
899
Joined
Aug 10, 2004
Messages
899
Welcome to the forums! It really does take time and they may never be comfortable enough to just come over to you. Mine don't, but when they are caught, they sure love to cuddle.
 

pennick

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Posts
1,761
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
1,761
Maybe you can sort of have a routine everyday. This way they can anticipate what is to come. Its great that you can give so much time to them. Make sure they get quiet time also for themselves. I think it is better to take them out a few times a day for short periods in the beginning so they can get use to their cage and settle in. Then gradually longer periods can be done after a couple of weeks.
 

critterlover

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Nov 5, 2004
Posts
386
Joined
Nov 5, 2004
Messages
386
Yes, it is possible to give them too much attention. Because your pigs are new, they are more susceptible to illness, so keeping stress to a reasonable level is important. Guinea pigs can be fragile animals. Attention is good, but they need lots of quiet time too to adjust to their new life.
 

Guinea-Newbie

Active Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
Posts
26
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
Messages
26
critterlover said:
it is possible to give them too much attention.
It seems we may have hit their max yesterday, as one of them gave a little nip when she was taken from her cage. I'm assuming this is normal and their way of expressing they've had enough?

Keeping the kids away has been quite a challenge as they are in extreme piggy love with their new pets...can't blame them really, since they're completely adorable! :) But it falls to me to be the guinea pig protector, so I'm often chasing kids away so the girls can have some quiet time. Is half a dozen times a day out of their cage too much?
 

pennick

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Posts
1,761
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
1,761
Yes, I think twice a day for "lap time" is enough for a couple of weeks. You can spend more time just sitting by their cage talking to them. After a couple of weeks you can extend the time out. Let them get use to their cage first before they have to get use to free time out.
 

kat_0521

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Posts
412
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
412
Guinea-Newbie said:
It seems we may have hit their max yesterday, as one of them gave a little nip when she was taken from her cage. I'm assuming this is normal and their way of expressing they've had enough?

Keeping the kids away has been quite a challenge as they are in extreme piggy love with their new pets...can't blame them really, since they're completely adorable! :) But it falls to me to be the guinea pig protector, so I'm often chasing kids away so the girls can have some quiet time. Is half a dozen times a day out of their cage too much?
The nip (during lap time, that is) can be interpreted as "I need to pee" or that they've had enough petting and would probably like to explore. Most piggies are quite polite about not going potty on people and will try to let you know before there's an accident. It's just a matter of learning their "signals".
She may have also nipped you because there may have been a smell of food on your hand. Some owners say piggies will lick/nibble for the taste of salt on our skin.

I think it's great your piggies are getting so much attention and if nothing else, it will help socialize them and make them realize they made it into a nice family. It'll also help you recognize signs of sickness early on.
Hope this helped. Good luck and keep us posted!
 

critterlover

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Nov 5, 2004
Posts
386
Joined
Nov 5, 2004
Messages
386
Is half a dozen times a day out of their cage too much?
Yes, it seems like a bit too much, once or twice a day would be plenty, at least at first. The thing with guinea pigs is that even if they're stressed out by all the handling, they won't necessarily show it, they are prey animals and hide their stress very well. I don't know if you have a digital scale or not, but weighing them regularly, especially during this critical period, will help you detect any illness before they show symptoms.

Just watching them in their cage is fascinating. You can let your children put the veggies in the cage, pick grass and dandelions and change the water etc., that's fun for them too.
 

Guinea-Newbie

Active Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
Posts
26
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
Messages
26
OK, sounds like we'll need to cut back a bit on handling the little guys for awhile...we do have other pets in the house, so it's not like the kids are without options...they're just so thrilled with the guinea's.

The pigs have been spending a good part of their day hiding in their house...is this normal, or a sign they're scared spitless?
 

Slap Maxwell

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Posts
4,880
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Messages
4,880
My pigs at first spent every waking moment in their pigloos. Hiding treats around the cage is a great way for them to come out.
 

pennick

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Posts
1,761
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
1,761
Thats normal. Piggies do spend alot of time in houses. Its a good idea to keep the food and water and hay a good distance away from the houses. This way they have to travel there to get it. Once they get more comfortable they will spend more time out of their houses, especially eating the hay.
 

Guinea-Newbie

Active Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
Posts
26
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
Messages
26
When we put them back in this afternoon after a cage cleaning (we made the switch from bedding material to fleece...woohoo!) I left their house out for a bit so we could watch them interact. It's pretty clear that one of the guineas is very curious and daring while the other is like a deer in headlights at the slightest sound or movement. It'll be interesting to see if they continue that throughtout their lives or if we'll be able to bring the timid one around with enough time and patience.
 
Status
This thread has been closed due to inactivity. You can create a new thread to discuss this topic.

Similar threads

Guinea_Pigs_Are_A_lifest
Replies
7
Views
553
ItsaZoo
ItsaZoo
kinny
Replies
13
Views
690
bpatters
bpatters
G
Replies
2
Views
64
bpatters
Top