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Behavior new piggies, please help

ddewi

Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Feb 23, 2012
Messages
12
i brought 2 pigs (about 2-3 months old) home 3 days ago.
i've read a lot of useful info in some sites and forums about their behaviour but well, there are couple of things i still don't understand.

1. how do you tell when your pigs begin to be comfortable with you?
i can feed my piggies with my hands, but i have to stay still and wait for them go back and forth approaching me. and if i move a milimeter while they're eating, they'll be frantically running off.

2. when should you start flooring? i've read some people suggest you only start flooring when the piggies are comfy with you. is that true?

3. okay, the dominance drama. it's like endless. so when they're fighting, shall i separate them or just leave them alone?
because my friend told me i shall just leave them when they fight, because separating their fight won't end the dominance drama.

any comments will be much appreciated. thanks!
 
Are they males or females? And how large is your cage? Both those things are important factors in the dominance struggle. And are they really fighting, with bloodshed, or are they just going on at each other?

It may take months for them to be comfortable with you. Be patient, be gentle, and above all, supply them with lots of yummy treats from your hands. Catch them by shooing them into a box with the ends cut out, then put your hands over the holes in the box and lift the box out of the cage. Holding them and feeding them will go a long way toward winning them over. Herbs are good choices, or even just hand-feed them part of their supper salad.

I think I waited a week before trying floor time. Don't be surprised if they huddle together under something at first. Start with a small area, and gradually enlarge it.

Have we seen pictures of these two?
 
both are females. the cage is 0.72 m2, err i haven't put any hideys or toys in it. i'm worried they'll start fighting over and over again if i put any hideys or toys.

oyeah, i have another question. my pigs don't seem to like drinking from water bottle. how shall i train them? i put water in a bowl and i rarely see them drinking from it too. but there's nothing wrong with the poop i guess.

here theey aree, Ava and Casey :)
 
Adorable piggies! Are they siblings? When I first found Auggie, she wouldn't drink water and not knowing anything about how she was raised I figured I would try putting Vit C drops in the water and she chugged it. It is not recommended that you put Vit C in the water, and I am slowly weaning her from it but since that was the only way she would drink I figured that was the best for her.

By the way, welcome to the forum. There are lots of really smart members that will help with whatever you need, just ask.
 
wow those guinea pigs are gorgeous. i really wish i could find some like them.
 
They're so pretty!!! I bet it's Casey, but the way she's out of focus a little bit makes her look like a little stuffed animal! They both look like divas to me lol cuties!

For your dominance fights, I would check out this link (Guinea Pigs Social Life) about halfway down the page is a section called Introductions, and about halfway down that section is the dominance behavior. Really, you want to watch out for blood, that's when it's serious and you need to separate them immediately.

And for your cage size, .72 m2 is acceptable, but bigger is better :p. Check out the home page for this forum ((broken link removed)) for cage sizes (that should be the metric link) and the gallery there (and here) for ideas on how you might be able to make the cage bigger if you can. There are even some amazingly stylish cages people have come up with, it's really amazing.
 
Hello,

Ok, so here's what I've learnt from my guys over the years,

1. how do you tell when your pigs begin to be comfortable with you?

Each piggie takes its own time and has its own way of becoming comfortable with you. Some are bossy and tell you what's what from the get go. Other's are timid eg. my current eldest girl still will not sit comfortably in my arms unless she's securely hidden under a blanket or towel. The trick is to observe what makes them feel secure and to help them achieve that, like providing plenty of shelter, learning if/how they like to be stroked/tickeled. Also, don't be put off at their fleeing at your tiny movements, it's hardwired into them as prey beasties and a good thing - gives them exercise to say the least! As you move around them and the days go by they'll learn when they can relax about your movements, when to scarper because you look like your going to do mean things like clip their toes and when to come grab your attention because you couldn't have anything better to do than feed them right? Familiarity is the key so spend plenty of time going about your business near them and they'll get to know you, and you them.

2. when should you start flooring? i've read some people suggest you only start flooring when the piggies are comfy with you. is that true?

So I only started floor time when I was comfortable that I had a good guinea-human understanding with them, ie. if they got scared they would run to me rather than away. Remember, not all guineas like floor time because the floor is too big and too scary, away from their nice safe pen. I have 2 girls who feel this way so a good compromise was to put the pen on floor level and then open up one end of the pen so the girls could walk in and out of their home freely, playing outside the pen when they wanted whilst able to dash back in at the first sign of danger. So yes, wait till they feel safe with you especially with the more timid guys.

3. okay, the dominance drama. it's like endless. so when they're fighting, shall i separate them or just leave them alone?

As much as I love my girls they can be MEAN to each other. However, to cool down the dominance displays I found the following ammendments to the pen worked like a treat. Firstly I added more hidey holes so each girl could have their own roof over their head at any one time. I also added an extra balcony level to the pen to make sure that if one girl had had enough of the others she could go off on her own and get out of sight of her sisters. This made a major improvement in the fighting. At anyone time I have an excess of comfy sleeping spots, food bowls, water bottles and hay munching points. The idea is, that no matter how mean your sister is to you by taking your snoozing/munching spot, there's a better spot just out of sight of the meanie. Space is key and worth making room for.

Hope that helps and good luck with your little ones. Give them time and patience and they'll adore you. Take care.
 
I'd put a couple of open-ended hideys in -- pigs need a little shelter from those eagles in your house. :p

Take the water bowl out -- they'll learn to drink from the water bottle. Until they do, just make sure their veggies are extra wet.
 
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