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

Picking up a Guinea Pig

maeve100

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jun 27, 2005
Posts
366
Joined
Jun 27, 2005
Messages
366
Hello there,

I just got my precious Monty from the shelter a few days ago. The shelter said he was very friendly and good with handling. Once he is out of the cage he is a doll, but trying to get him out is very stressful for both parties. Online instructions say to cup him and support him and firmly grasp him while lifting him out. Well, the second he knows I am going to try to pick him up he races around the cage and is hard to get a hold of! What can I do?

Liz
 

RubyPiggie2

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Posts
1,820
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
1,820
Leave him alone for a week or so. He needs to get used to his environment first, and I'd advise not giving him floortime or even reaching into his cage for the first week... Don't give him floortime (he'll be too frightened to move) for about two weeks or more.

Welcome to the forums!
 

divine53

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Posts
43
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Messages
43
Welcome! Give your new friend a chance to get used to his new surroundings. Go to the cage often and just stand there and talk to him. Do not try to pick him up everytime that you go to the cage. Put your hand in the cage with an offer of a fresh veggie. Many pigs always run away from being picked up, but they like to be held once you get ahold of them. He would also enjoy having a male friend to live with.
 

kat_0521

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Posts
412
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
412
After a few weeks of what Ruby and Devine suggested, don't get discouraged when your piggie still runs away. What they forgot to mention is that piggies are "prey" animals. Their first instinct is to run away when something is trying to grab them. Many owners on this site (myself included) have owned their piggies for months or even years and their piggies STILL run away.
Once you get a hold of them, they'll sit quietly for lap time. Remember, when you're picking Monty up, use a "scooping" motion, support his hind legs and little bum, and hold him close to your chest. Then when you're moving him to a chair or bed (wherever you're spending lap time), have him covered in a towel or cozy. Many pigs feel more secure that way. And the towel helps later-if he has an accident and needs to empty his bladder. :)
The key here is patience. Your piggie needs time to adjust to his new surroundings. And get used to your sounds and smells, as you're going about your daily routine.
Good luck and post if you have more questions.
 

VoodooJoint

Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator!
Cavy Slave
Joined
Sep 5, 2004
Posts
8,865
Joined
Sep 5, 2004
Messages
8,865
Kat's right.

My GPs always run away from me whan I try to pick them up. A quick and calculated scooping-up is the easiest way for you and the GPs. Once in my arms my GPs quiet down immediatly and enjoy their lap time.

If it gets really hard or stressful to pick them up then try using a small towel or piece of fleece. Cover then with the fabric them scoop up both pig and towel. Uncover them once you are situated where you want to be. Taking away the visual effect of being picked up calms them down greatly.
 

RubyPiggie2

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Posts
1,820
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
1,820
Eh, sorry I forgot to say that (they run away even months or years of having them). My pigs do, but 3 of them let me pick them up... Ruby lets me occasionally, Simon all the time, and Chubby most of the time.. All my others run away.
It even took a while for my pigs to come near me! So if he won't come towards you for weeks/months, it's fine.. Like divine said, sit next to his cage, offer him veggies (not right now, after a week though), talk to him, or you could just sit next to the cage while watching television or reading a book - that way he'll learn to know you're harmless.
 

maeve100

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jun 27, 2005
Posts
366
Joined
Jun 27, 2005
Messages
366
Its been a little over a week since I got him - the humane society counseler said that it was just fine to start playing with him when I got him home because he was such a happy boy. So thats what I have been doing lol. I am glad to hear that its probably the prey instinct making him run and not me :). He seems just fine outside of the cage though.

Also, when rodents chew their teeth it usually means they are upset. Monty seems to do this even while just relaxing by himself in the cage. Maybe its just a bad habit of his?

One more, I was thinking of getting him a friend since I have an 8 hour job and he is alone during that time. Is this a good idea? Or would he be just as happy by himself?

Liz
 

RubyPiggie2

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Posts
1,820
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
1,820
Get him a friend, guinea pigs are social animals. Since you've adopted, you can just go back and adopt one or two more. How big is your cage? It should be a 2x4 preferably or more.
 

kat_0521

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Posts
412
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
412
maeve100 said:
Also, when rodents chew their teeth it usually means they are upset. Monty seems to do this even while just relaxing by himself in the cage. Maybe its just a bad habit of his?

One more, I was thinking of getting him a friend since I have an 8 hour job and he is alone during that time. Is this a good idea? Or would he be just as happy by himself?

OK, I don't know about other rodents, but Monty making chewing noises doesn't mean that he's upset. He's making a really soft chittering noise, with chewing motions like he's eating something right? That's normal piggie conversation. It's a sign of contentment. All piggies do this-it isn't a bad habit of yours. My girl Tigger loves "talking" to me like this when I have her out for lap time. Piggies will chatter their teeth when they're upset-usually its at another pig. It's much louder and means they're showing dominance at another pig. Sometimes this precedes fighting.

And to your other question, YES. Piggies are naturally herd animals. They do better in pairs of 2 or more. Make sure they are same sex, or get Monty or his partner spayed/neutered. There are very few cases where piggies are happy by themselves. If you do get him a buddy, I'd suggest one from a nearby shelter. They always do a very good job at sexing their pigs-most pet stores don't even bother.
 

kat_0521

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Posts
412
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
412
voodoojoint said:
Kat's right.
And thank you, Voodoo for that little ego boost. :p
 

maeve100

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jun 27, 2005
Posts
366
Joined
Jun 27, 2005
Messages
366
Oh! I am so glad to hear that the chewing noise isn't him being upset! He likes me! :).

I got him from the San Diego Humane society so he has already been nuetred. Would another boy be Ok with him? I heard that adult boars have a higher tendency to fight then a male/female pair. The only reason I ask is because at my local shelter they only have males up for adoption at the moment. I would like to have my husband go out with me to pick one that would be "his." :) Also, how do I know if a piggie would be friends with Monty? I couldn't risk bringing one home and have them fight, another C&C cage wouldn't fit and then I would have two lonely piggies. He is very docile though, so I am not *too* concerned. :)

Liz
 

Slap Maxwell

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Posts
4,880
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Messages
4,880
If you are POSITIVE he is neutered, I would say get a female. Look on www.petfinder.com. Male/female pairs are generally much happier.
 

maeve100

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jun 27, 2005
Posts
366
Joined
Jun 27, 2005
Messages
366
Yes, I am positive. He came with a medical history sheet of what he was treated with while there and on it a nuetering procedure and anesthetic are listed :). I will definatly check out that link. I hope I am able to locate one as loving as him that needs agood home & friend. :).
 

kat_0521

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Posts
412
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
412
I don't own any boars, all my pigs are females. I've heard that boars will only fight -to the point of bloodshed- over a sow in heat. Any new piggie you introduce will go through a bit of crap from Monty-so be prepared. What I mean is, there's a very good chance that they'll be sorting out the dominance chain. This will happen even if you get a female. You should only separate if there is bloodshed. Normal things to look for are: humping, chasing each other around the cage, bum-dragging, and rumble-strutting. Rumble-strutting is typically a male calling to a female in heat, but females are known to do this to each other. It's a low, very long purring sound and is accompanied with the above behaviors. Things that precede a fight (and sometimes bloodshed) are: teeth-chattering, throwing nose up in the air, and yawning or showing teeth.
I'm not sure if I missed anything-maybe one of the Mods will see this and fill in any empty gaps. If you're not sure on the sex of your new piggie, there are pages on Guinea Lynx with pictures to help you. Look under "sexing". If that doesn't help, find a cavy-savvy vet who knows what they're doing.
And please, remember to quarantine your new piggie. Keep him in another cage, preferably in a separate room for at least 2 weeks, preferably 3. This will ensure the new pig doesn't have any diseases and allows him to get used to you. Also, during the quarantine period, wash your hands in between handling each pig, and some owners recommend changing your shirt.
 

Ly&Pigs

Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator
Cavy Slave
Joined
Dec 5, 2004
Posts
20,516
Joined
Dec 5, 2004
Messages
20,516
Once you get a hold of them, they'll sit quietly for lap time

You don't know my pigs. Some of my pigs will sit or lay quietly, but others only want to explore and investigate. Bubba always wants to go exploring.

I've heard that boars will only fight -to the point of bloodshed- over a sow in heat.
That is true in some instances, it depends on the personality of the boar. I have two boars in a cage next to the girls and they have never fought over anything so far.
 
Status
This thread has been closed due to inactivity. You can create a new thread to discuss this topic.

Similar threads

4boipigs
Replies
1
Views
668
Guinea Pig Papa
Guinea Pig Papa
Extraterrestrial
Replies
11
Views
1K
ItsaZoo
ItsaZoo
teambenji543
Replies
5
Views
705
teambenji543
teambenji543
Top