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Settling my new babies in!

Dawn Shaw79

Cavy Slave
Apr 15, 2012
Hello everyone. I have two guinea pigs, Autumn and Poppy. As stated in my profile we have had them 12 days! I am worried as Autumn has started nipping when being handled or when I am in her cage (feeding, cleaning or stroking them). Pets at home have advised us to carry on handling her daily and she will get used to it. We have tried this but she just doesn't tolerate being handled well at all. This character has changed as when we first got her although nervous she never nipped! Poppy was very nervous primarily though seems to have settled in really well! What is everyone’s advice with our little Autumn please? If I am honest the nipping seems to have gotten harder and so I am worried when handling her now! Any advice is extremely welcome we already love our Guinea pigs and just want to nurture them and for them to stay happy and healthy! :)
Where did you get your pigs from? If they came from a pet store, they could have mites, which makes them grumpy because their skin hurts. Read here:https://www.guinealynx.info/mites.html. You can also try to lift her out of the cage using the "elevator" method. Shoo her into a tube or tunnel, cover the end, and pick up the tube. Settle her into your lap for lap time. Also, make sure to wash your hands before handling. If they smell food on your hands, since their forward eyesight isn't very good, sometimes they nip to find out if what they smell is edible.
Thank you for your response. They where bought from pets at home who stated at the time that they where highly unlikley to have mites as that was one of the first questions my husband asked. I am more worried as when we first brought them home she was the more settled pig where as Poppy was very nervous (and still is when any body walks past their cage) Autumn on the other hand would be handled with little nerves though if she is in her main bit of her cage she will stay and look at you ha ha. Autumn really has quite a character though I don't want to be unable to handle her. We are taking them for their first vet check (free with the purchase) tomorrow so I hope that mites will be detected there if any of them have them???
Welcome to the forum! It could be mites, it could be she is taking longer to settle in. Twelve days is not a very long time. She could be nervous in her new surroundings. Be patient with her and try picking her up in a box. When on lap time feed her some goodies so she learns your hand is a good one and not one that is going to hurt her. Oh tangle your hand in the cage and just talk to her so she gets used to you being in the cage without harm.

It is a good thing you are talking them in for a check up. Keep us posted and send some pictures of these sweeties.
In America, we don't have Pets At Home (or Woodland brands :-(), but we do have Petsmart and Petco pet stores. However, I have watched a lot of videos from piggy owners in the UK on YouTube and there has been a lot of negative vibes about getting your pets from there. One young lady got some piggies and hammys there. She said the piggies lived a good long life, but no sooner had she got the hamsters (she got 2) then they passed away on her. That was within about two-three weeks if the dates on her videos are any indication.

I don't think I would listen to what a pet store has to say, they're just in it for the money. I would strongly advise seeking professional advise such as from a vet, however. How did the vet check go? I'm eager to know what advice the vet gave you about your little girl. Hope she stops biting so you two can bond! Good luck.
Awe Thank you both for your advice, we took our babies to the vet who said they are absolutely fine! He told us that everything we are doing is right and he explained that with the piggies being animals of prey they may never look forward to cuddles. He advised us to keep putting our hands in the cage and not to expect too much! I was happy that he gave our girls the heads up that they are both ok! I do think he was a bit of a pessimist though. Later that evening I decided to try and cuddle my cirls and they both were absolutely fine! No nipping no scrambling they just sat on my knee and purred. What a change around. I couldn't believe it! I just hope that it stays this way. We have been advised by the vet and the store to continue getting them out and reassuring them with treats and nibbles so I am very hopeful now that they are settling in to our new home. This morning I was delighted because as I was near the cage chatting away to them, they was both popcorning this must mean they are happy, right?

Thanks again for all of your support. I will upload pics just as soon as I can. They really are little stunners and I am now a very proud new mummy lol
Make sure the girls see you putting food and treats in their cage as well and talk to them in a nice soft voice, as this way they will refer to your hands as a good thing, they get food from them! Otherwise they may just see your hands and refer to them as being picked up, which not all piggies like, although they may be fine once being held. :)
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