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

Behavior New father of two piggies...advice?

Byrese

Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jun 15, 2012
Messages
13
So about two days ago I brought two new piggies (Theodore & Napoleon) home for a surprise for my wife. At the store (sorry I didn't adopt) they acted very friendly and ran around with their friends. Bringing them home they've acted very skittish. We did hold them for a few moments immediately upon arrival but then after doing some reading decided to let them be in their new cage. The next day (last night) after being left alone for almost 24 hrs, we decided to hand feed them to aid in the bonding process. The piggies of course ran away from us but eventually we picked them up somewhat beyond their will. After sitting for some time while betting, they began to eat the fresh carrots and apples we provided (mine ate faster then my wife's). This morning it took me some time but I finally picked Theodore and feed him from hand for a few minutes. When left alone in their cage though they hardly move, don't eat that much, and hide every time we come near.

I know this process takes patience but in somebodies advice are we doing anything wrong. I don't expect my piggies to warm up to me today but I just need some advice on how we should behave towards them. I'm new so any advice?
 
That's honestly the pigs nature. My adopted girl izzy took a week to warm up to me, but my boy felix still isn't used to me after a month. Something that helps is to teach them you bring them food. That's why izzy loves me :D I get them to smell me before I put the veggie plate down so they learn to associate veggies with me. I also talk to them ALL the time, and I sing them random made up songs. I sit in front of their cage and just talk to them. Izzy is more then content sitting on my stomach, licking my arm, right now. They will warm up to you, I promise. Pet store pigs tend to be WAY more skittish too. I promise, patience will pay off.
 
Welcome to the forum. You're doing just fine, pigs are just skittish in a new place. And sometimes in an old place...

Read the articles on the Home page of this site and at Guinea Pig Education, Care, Rescue and Adoption at Cavy Spirit. Also read the stickies on the diet and nutrition and bedding forums. See the Home page of this site for recommended cage sizes.

The main thing to do is to see if they're both the same gender -- DON'T take the pet store's word for it. They're notoriously bad at sexing pigs. Turn them over, and if they look alike, you're good to go. If not, please separate them immediately -- males can breed at about 3 1/2 weeks of age, females shortly after that. Sexing Guinea Pigs: How to Sex a Guinea Pig has pictures to show you which is which.
 
First of all, I wanted to say Welcome and that we'd love to see photos of your boys....... As far as bonding, it's a slow process. The key is to handle them as much as possible so they start to trust you. They're prey animals and are programmed to be on guard for predators. Try not to cast a shadow on them when you reach in to pick them up. I found that it helps to rub the bridge of their noses before try to grab them. When you hold them, offer veggies while they're on your lap or hold the veggies in your hand when you feed them when they're in the cage. That way, they'll associate your hands with good things. Check out the Diet and Nutrition section for good information on the recommendations for fruits and vegetables. Fruits and carrots are high in sugar so they should be fed less often than vegetables. Make sure they have unlimited hay and no alfalfa once they're over 6 months of age due to the high calcium content. The best pellets are KM Hayloft, Oxbow Essential and Sweet Meadow timothy pellets and can be fed up to 1/4 cup a day per guinea pig. Mazuri 5664 is an alfalfa based pellet and can be fed up to 1/8 cup a day. Good luck with your boys......
 
Thanks for the wonderful advice. This like a whole new world. So can or should I continue to pick them up often despite their negative response as long as I give them a snack?
 
Pick 'em up, and give them yummy snacks. That way they'll associate you with food, and that's definitely the way to a guinea pig's heart.
 
I'd even handle them if you aren't giving them a snack. Just be careful not to scare them. After awhile, they'll become accustomed to the sounds around the house and won't react. At the beginning, I'd be careful about making loud noises around them and startling them. Once they're comfortable around you, even the vacuum cleaner won't faze them.
 
Hey ppls. My wife was putting back one of the pigs yesterday and slightly caught his leg on the cage. He streamed. He's ok though. He's been playing just fine. He even popcorns in the play pen we got them. He is slightly favoring his leg though ever so slightly. Should we be concerned?
 
Can you block off a small area of the cage with grids so that he won't re-injure it running around? If he's playing, he's not likely seriously hurt, but you don't want to let him make it worse by overdoing it.
 
Also is it normal for hem to fight a little or teeth chatter to each other? I know that's a sign of anger. I have to males.
 
How large is your cage? Boars usually need more room than sows to live together peacefully, and a crowded cage can make for aggressive behavior.

Some settle down and do nothing more than brrrrr at each other occasionally, while others squabble more vigorously for years. The general rule is not to separate unless one of them is being bitten or harassed to the point that he can't eat or sleep.
 
Batters that helps a lot thanks. The cage is pretty big....it was the biggest the store had. Don't know the measurements exactly.

Also is this normal? When they are out of the cage in the play area they are like completely different animals. They are popping and playing. We put in a 2 1/2 ft tube for them to tunnel through. When they are here they're great although they still don't want us to pick them up so much (that's getting better). When we do though they are fine. But when in the cage the mostly stay in the igloo. Is this simply growing pains or is it the cage?
 
Without knowing how large the cage is, I can't really say if that's the problem. What I can say is that I've never seen a pet store cage that was large enough for two pigs. Maybe one exists somewhere, but not in any pet store I've ever been to.

Can't you just measure the length and width of the cage and figure out the square footage? This site recommends 10.5 square feet for two pigs, and more is definitely better when dealing with boars.

The fact that they get along ok during playtime outside the cage suggests that the cage itself is the main factor in the squabbling.
 
Without knowing how large the cage is, I can't really say if that's the problem. What I can say is that I've never seen a pet store cage that was large enough for two pigs. Maybe one exists somewhere, but not in any pet store I've ever been to.

Can't you just measure the length and width of the cage and figure out the square footage? This site recommends 10.5 square feet for two pigs, and more is definitely better when dealing with boars.

The fact that they get along ok during playtime outside the cage suggests that the cage itself is the main factor in the squabbling.
 
My wife thinks the size is ok but I'm with you. The size is 40" L X 18" W X 20" H. I think that's 7.5 square feet, which is a min requirement. I feel like such an idiot. I should have known that they were playing me at that store and I knew read about the size requirement before I bought everything. Most websites say I should build one. How do I do that? Where do I get the material?
 
@Byrese, where are you? Closest major city, not your address. That'll make it easier to direct you toward cage supplies.

Or, you can go to Guinea Pig Cages, Care, Shelters, Veterinarians - Guinea Pig Zone and either buy a cage kit, with the coroplast cut and scored for you, or you can search for the grids and coroplast to make it yourself, which is cheaper. There are LOTS of pictures in the photo gallery here.
 
The size is 40" L X 18" W X 20" H.

That's only 5 sq.ft. Can you return the cage since it's been less than a week?

See this page for how to build your own cage.
How to Make a C&C Cage

You can get your supplies from these places:

Grids:

Sears - $17.59 for 23 grids (free shipping to your local store)
Floor Standing 6-Cube Storage Unit- Stor-Tools-Garage Organization & Shelving-Storage Hooks & Accessories

K-Mart - $19.99 for 23 grids (also free shipping to your local store)
(broken link removed)

Bed Bath & Beyond - $19.99 for 19 grids. (sign up for their coupon to get %20 off)
(broken link removed)

Walmart - $21.97 for 16 grids (free shipping to store)
Whitmor White Wire Storage Cubes, Four Cubes Interlocked - Walmart.com


Coroplast - $10 - $15 per 4x8 ft sheet
(broken link removed)
 
@Patters...I'm in Pittsburgh
 
Check the links in @lissie's post -- those are all good sources for grids and coroplast, and they should all be available in Pittsburgh.
 
Thanks for all the advice. You'll have been great and Ill post some pics and video soon for you to enjoy my boys.

Last question I think. So I'm considering all the info you gave me. In terms of cage size I know that 10.5 sq feet is the min. I'm looking to do either 13 sq ft or even 16. Any suggestions. The 13 would be great but I'm also thinking about as they grow if they will need the extra space. What you'll think? Oh...I have two males.
 
Status
This thread has been closed due to inactivity. You can create a new thread to discuss this topic.

Similar threads

A
Replies
1
Views
548
gpihgos
gpihgos
Guinea_Pigs_Are_A_lifest
Replies
2
Views
458
Guinea_Pigs_Are_A_lifest
Guinea_Pigs_Are_A_lifest
DreamsInPink
Replies
7
Views
874
Guinea Pig Papa
Guinea Pig Papa
G
Replies
4
Views
405
SardonicSmile
SardonicSmile
L
Replies
4
Views
361
Maisie&Hazel
Maisie&Hazel
Top