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General Recently got my first guinea pigs, looking for reassurance/tips

magoosmom

Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Nov 26, 2011
Messages
8
Three weeks ago, I adopted 2 female guinea pigs. They are young (abt 3 months), and both are smooth coated. They've been named Cupcake (blonde) and Zuri (black with white stripe).

This is my first foray into the world of guinea pigs and I've been doing a lot of researching--both before I adopted and continuing on even now. Even with all the research, I still find myself questioning if I'm doing things right.

They do share a cage and I adopted 2 because everything I read suggested they do better with company. After adopting them, I left them alone the first couple of days so they could get used to their surroundings. Ever since then, I have been talking to them every time I pass the cage, sometimes stopping to stroke them.

Once a day, usually in the afternoon, I take them out of their cage and take them to a pen. While in the pen, they get a heaping of fresh veggies. During this time, I pick up each pig and spend time holding each one and hand-feeding them, if they want it. Then after a good while, they go back to their cage. My son, who is 13, helps with all of this and during the past week, has begun picking them up as well.

My concern is that even after 3 weeks of this, the pigs still seem to be pretty skittish. If I walk by their cage, Cupcake tends to dart into the hide hole (a big round tunnel). Zuri used to do the same, but there's only one hide hole right now (yes, I'm fixing that soon) and they can't both fit. When I go to pick them up, they run like crazy. When I hold them and try to pet them, Cupcake makes the durr sound (really strong purr) every time I stroke her sides or back. The only time she doesn't is if I gently rub around her ears or her nose. Zuri tends to buck hard if you pet her head and flinches if you touch her sides.

On the one hand, I know it's *only* been 3 weeks, but on the other hand, I'm wondering if a) I'm doing something wrong or b) if these babies will ever not only get used to us but actually look forward to seeing us.

I will say that they will eat from our hands for the most part, they just don't care to be touched or picked up. I would really like for them to not only like it but love it LOL.

Another question I have is about hay. I have timothy hay (and yes, just recently read that alfalfa hay is best for babies so I will be getting that on the next trip). I put hay in their hay rack that clips to the outside of the cage and more hay in a hall ball that hangs on the side.

My issue with the hay is that I swear Zuri just wants the hay to be able to pull it out, like it's a game. I put a huge amount of hay in the hay rack last night and she had it all over the bedding by morning. :crazy: It's a little frustrating because they are going through the hay like crazy.

I think that's all I have for now (isn't it enough??? LOL) but I am glad to find a forum I can ask questions and learn more about them. They are really cute, sweet critters and I hope to have them loving us in no time!

Thanks in advance!
 
well..i read from the internet that they said it is usual for them to just shot into hole or their hiding houses...and the internet said that you can slowly be bond with them..
for example,you can start by sitting next to them(but never stand next to them unless u put their cage around your chest height because humans look like giants to them)
after a few weeks,you can start talking to them and they will talk back to you^^(in piggies language)
if you have done this,you can have another way to bond with them.
you can have some food that they like a lot and give them with your hand after feeding them with the tidbits you can pet them of hold them.
keep doing this until they are familiar with you..
hope i have answered your question^^
 
I'd just let them pull the hay out. I buy it by the bale because they make such a mess with it through out the day and night, I change it each day. Hay is the cheapest thing here so I'm happy for them to do whatever they like with as much as they like ha ha :)
 
magoosmom, you're doing exactly the right things to get to know your pigs. Just be patient -- it may take weeks or months for them to be completely trusting.

But your babies do not need alfalfa hay. Timothy hay is fine as long as they're getting extra calcium in the way of alfalfa pellets.
 
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