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

Rescues Fostering tips :)

4boipigs

Valued Contributor
Cavy Slave
Joined
Feb 12, 2021
Messages
943
I'm going to be a fostering a guinea pig for the first time! Obviously I've had my fair share of guinea pig experiences so I'm pretty cut out for the job. Wondering if anyone has any tips on fostering? I'm considering 'fostering to adopt', if I feel like I can handle 5 guinea pigs.

This boy was released to a pet store by an owner who had no choice, otherwise her husband claimed he was going the 'hamster'. He's described as a literal biter, has been very fearful, and the rescue hasn't been able to bond him or keep him next to other males. Currently he is living within smelling/hearing range of other pigs and doing well. The rescue told me he's gotten better with touch and trusting people. The rescue is also considering neutering him at some point in the future. Not sure on age, but likely under a year. I initially just donated to his care back in Feb but his story (that's just the cut and dry version) really made me interested in him.

One of my main worries with fostering is always getting too attached. I fostered a dog I almost adopted (but glad I didn't!!), and that was the last time I bothered. I'm not really a dog fan anymore, and have found small animals like hamsters and guinea pigs to be much more appealing. I don't want this pig to get attached to me like my old foster dog. My old foster dog is always so happy when he sees me like I've abandoned him. I've always believed guinea pigs to care more about their guinea pigs partners than humans, but who knows?

I'm also worried about getting him to trust me!! ALL my guinea pigs have always been flighty when it comes to being picked up, and this is something the foster struggles with. My pigs do trust me, come up to me, accept pets, etc and don't panic/struggle when picked up, but it has never been something I have been able to get my pigs used to.

I have placed his cage between my couch where I usually am at home, and the boys' cages, hoping that this will give him plenty of interaction and chance to get used to me.
 
Hi! So if you realize five guineas are too much, just focus on getting him comfortable being around people etc. It'll be rly kind to the future owners :)
 
Here is my foster piggo. He is HUGE and thought to be under one year old. Seems to be doing just fine. It's interesting how he immediately goes to bite/nibble my hand when it is within reach. I was advised to keep away from his mouth and point him away from me. Hopefully he will ease up.
[GuineaPigCages.com] Fostering tips :)
 
How much does he weigh? He might be a cuy.
 
I'm not sure how much he weighs. Could he be a cuy even tho he is an Abyssinian? I read that cuy tend to be wild, which probably described him at one point. He has settled in amazingly well. I was able to pet him, give him treats, and he acts normal aside from being mouthy (so far).
 
I weighed him and he is 1270 grams. His original Petfinder ad dated from January says "He's young and we think he's still under a year old as he's a small piggy." I'll see if the rescue can give me a history of his past weigh-ins.
 
He's not a cuy. My sows weighed more than that.
 
Isn't a cuy an 'edible' guinea pig?
 
Isn't a cuy an 'edible' guinea pig?

Yes from Peru. About a decade ago they started appearing in USA pet stores and unsuspecting people bought them. Not sure how common that is now as I just learned about it recently.

They are typically orange and white like my foster. Also wild, big, and hard to handle.
 

Attachments

2588D065-25DC-4B5F-A0B7-FD2AA7C5E8FC.jpeg
"Cuy" is just another word for guinea pig. The breed of them that is usually called cuy is larger than the guinea pigs we're used to. Most guinea pigs in this country top out at no more than 3.5 pounds, while cuy can be 5 pounds or more.
 
Oh. I had no idea this was a thing, but that's kinda cool.
I don't understand why Peru would make that a delicacy though. :/
 
Congratulations on becoming a foster parent for a guinea pig! It's great that you have experience with guinea pigs already, and it sounds like you're already thinking about how to make the transition as smooth as possible for your new foster.

Here are some tips that might help:

  1. Take it slow: When you first bring your new foster home, give him plenty of time to acclimate to his new surroundings before trying to handle him. Let him explore his cage and get used to the sights, sounds, and smells of his new home. Once he seems comfortable, you can start offering him treats and trying to interact with him in small ways, like talking to him or offering him a piece of vegetable from your hand.
  2. Be patient: It may take some time for your new foster to warm up to you, especially if he has had a difficult past. Be patient and consistent in your interactions with him, and don't be discouraged if progress is slow.
 
To update, this boy has been hospitable despite being described as bitey and nervous. He has not tried to bite me aside from when it was time to leave the carrier. I can pet him, hold him, cut his nails and otherwise treat him like my other boys. He even sleeps out in the open. He is afraid of being picked up of course. The next step would be seeing if he can handle being side by side the other boys. The rescue says he gets wild when he can see other pigs (he stays a foot from the others but can’t see them).
 
I have seen and held a cuy on only one occasion. I'm acquainted with a woman who raises cuys. I'll attach three pics of her and her boys from the big Macungie show in Pa which is usually held in May.

[GuineaPigCages.com] Fostering tips :)
[GuineaPigCages.com] Fostering tips :)
[GuineaPigCages.com] Fostering tips :)
 
Last edited:
Congratulations on becoming a foster parent for a guinea pig! It's great that you have experience with guinea pigs already, and it sounds like you're already thinking about how to make the transition as smooth as possible for your new foster.

Here are some tips that might help:

  1. Take it slow: When you first bring your new foster home, give him plenty of time to acclimate to his new surroundings before trying to handle him. Let him explore his cage and get used to the sights, sounds, and smells of his new home. Once he seems comfortable, you can start offering him treats and trying to interact with him in small ways, like talking to him or offering him a piece of vegetable from your hand.
  2. Be patient: It may take some time for your new foster to warm up to you, especially if he has had a difficult past. Be patient and consistent in your interactions with him, and don't be discouraged if progress is slow.
Good tips for those who are new to cavies. However, @4boipigs is an experienced cavy lover.

I have exactly the opposite method.......I hold my cavies......and hold them a lot! Yes, give them a little time to settle in, but the more gentle handling and attention, the faster they get accustomed to you and your voice, smell, and anything else they pick up. Some cavies just never get accustomed to being picked up, but then settle down quite nicely once you have them in your lap. They all have their own pace, but being experienced and attuned to them lets you discover their individual personalities.....and believe me, I've never had any two alike.
 
I do need real advice or input tonight! I have a fleece tunnel I never use because the boys just flatten it. I decided my foster could try using it. I picked up my foster out of the cage, removed the wood tunnel, and set the fleece tunnel in that spot. I put the foster back in the cage. He stood still for a second and then he bolted in complete terror to hide in his fleece forest. The tunnel absolutely terrified him! I decided to test it outside the cage also, for better or worse. Guinea pig on the floor and the tunnel not too far away. He came running to me so fast! and hid in my robe. I have no idea what could instill such fear in him of this tunnel. He takes off like a pig that's been spooked, but MUCH faster, just ZOOM away like this tunnel is trying to kill him.

So I replaced the wood tunnel that he doesn't really fit in and decided to try to get him used to the fleece tunnel.

It was very striking because I've never seen a guinea pig be so scared of something new. I have seen them warily approach something new and streeeeeetch out to investigate, but never act like this.

[GuineaPigCages.com] Fostering tips :)
 
Sometimes cavies get spooked by the strangest things. Since he has been in at least a couple other homes, you have no idea unless you can touch base with those owners. You may just have to accept that there IS no definitive answer. At least you can feel good about his behavior in that he ran to you for protection and comfort. That's certainly a positive beginning for your relationship.
 
I didn't think about it last night, but when I brought him home there was a snuggie sack in the carrier and he didn't fear it. That was brown tho and not multicolored.

I bought him a bigger cave so I really hope he doesn't fear that too! I just wanted to give him something he can fit in. 🥺

[GuineaPigCages.com] Fostering tips :)
 
What a cutie! It's a good thing I don't know where you live......I might just kidnap him. I have been in love with Abys for probably more years that you have been on this earth. I have had any other breed (Texel) only once and that was Maya with similar coloring as your boy.

[GuineaPigCages.com] Fostering tips :)
.
[GuineaPigCages.com] Fostering tips :)
 
Your foster piggy is absolutely beautiful and doing very well with you. I'm looking forward to hearing continued progress. I have a brand new snuggle sack that is way too large for my piggies. If it would be helpful for your foster pig, send me a message.

I have a penchant for tan and white piggies, even though my favorite, Lily is tri-colored.
 

Similar threads

Seerseyes
Replies
5
Views
538
Seerseyes
Seerseyes
4boipigs
Replies
33
Views
2K
Guinea Pig Papa
Guinea Pig Papa
Kiwi_girl
Replies
1
Views
431
spy9doc
spy9doc
Top