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New Member Working to Do Better By My Pigs


Cavy Slave
Jul 10, 2014
Hello, All!

I have two girls, one is somewhere close to a year old, the other is a little over two. They were (my) classroom pets originally, but have come home to stay for good. The youngest, Cloud, seems thrilled to be here. She has always been an extremely shy, nervous pig, and being in the busy classroom on floor level was just too much for her. She has settled down considerably since being away from all the curious faces, and though she's still terrified of being held, will now come up to sniff me during floor time if I pretend I don't see her, and will even take treats from my hand when she's in her cage.

Sparkle, the older of the two, has had a more difficult time adjusting to the change of scene. She is such a curious, social (though not cuddly) little thing. She used to spend all of her floor time at school trying to get into the lunch room to see the children and had to sniff, greet, and inspect every new person or thing she came across. For the first week she was at my house she barely came out of her igloo and spent more of her time on the floor cornering and rumbling at cloud than exploring or interacting with the family at all. She has since returned to her old self where people are concerned, but she still seems more aggressive with Cloud than I'm used to. I worry that she misses the school where she had more space and more activity to watch.

My other worry is that the two of them seem to be running through hay
like crazy and doing a lot more laying about when they are in their cage. When I let them out for floor time, they walk plenty, but Cloud's the only one who's done any real running or popcorning. I just want Sparkle to perk up. She is such a special pig.

In any case, I'm thrilled to have them here with me where I can give them better veggies, think about things like outside playtime, and not have to worry about them being alone all night. I'm also excited to keep learning from this forum. There's so much good information here, and I'm hoping to correct my mistakes from these guys' early lives as I learn more.
hello and welcome to the forums...
Thanks! Here are my little pigs:

[GuineaPigCages.com] New Member Working to Do Better By My Pigs
[GuineaPigCages.com] New Member Working to Do Better By My Pigs
and Cloud!
I'm more experienced in hamsters than piggies, but it seems like you're doing the right thing with them to warm them up to you...good for you for taking them out of the classroom! I think the classroom is a stressful environment for pets. <3
Hello and Welcome,

The classroom is an extremely stressful place for small animals (like guinea pigs). They are prey animals, and so they with a lot of activity it can be overwhelming. They are constantly on alert in an environment like that. It is wonderful that you have brought them both home.

Every guinea pigs personality is different, Sparkle is likely just adjusting to a new environment. Aggression is usually a sign of dominance, and Sparkle is trying to establish herself as the top of the hierarchy in this new environment. Maybe, one suggestion for her change as well is in the past she was too distracted by what was going on around her to try to establish dominance.
Yeah, we did he best we could by them in the classroom. They usually got an hour and a half of floor time six days a week and a reasonable cage, the children were only allowed to pet them one a time if I had them on my lap, etc, but Cloud was pretty miserable, and you're right, home is always better! I'm open to suggestions for how to calm Sparkle down. Like I said, she's back to coming over for a scratch and a pet any time we walk past the cage, and she still follows us around and climbs in laps when she's out of the cage, but she seems so bristly with Cloud. They used to get along fine, but now it seems like she's constantly trying to reassert herself. I don't know if she's just adjusting to the new environment, or if she's really stressed out. We have a dog (who ignores them so far, the cage is up higher than she is tall, and they only come out when dog is closed in another room), so the new smell could be freaking her out. If so, I'm not sure how to help.
Cloud and Sparkle are too cute! I'm glad you were able to take them home and give them time to adjust with your family. I'm also a teacher, and our school has a therapy dog, and I see how much the kids love her but I'm sure it's overwhelming for any animal. I think Sparkle will learn to eventually like her new environment as there will probably be people around and activity in your house throughout the whole day, not just the time frame when the school is open and kids and teachers are there. I often wondered what class pets did overnight or on weekends when no one is around. That was probably a good time for Cloud, but maybe not so much for Sparkle. :)
Hello and welcome to the forum! Sparkle and Cloud are very cute girls! I'm just wondering how long have you had them at home? My piggie (Ferb) took several months to adjust when I adopted him from a co-worker's family and I'm still working with Penny, I adopted her at the end of April. If you're sure of Sparkle's age then it's probably not ovarian cysts making her aggressive, but that can happen in un-spayed female piggies who are around 3yrs or older.
Just give them time -- they'll adjust. We've had a bunch of people whose pigs were thorougly discombobulated when they got new cages, much less moved to a whole new home. As long as there's no major bloodshed, they'll come around in time.
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