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When should I try to pick them up?

kristin25

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
May 4, 2005
Messages
75
Well, as some of you know I got Busby and Berkeley on Sunday night. They each let me pet their head sometimes, and they will eat out of my hand, but if I try to pick them up they run. Berkeley even made a tornado of woodchips and me and half the room were covered! I know I need to clip their nails and check for impaction and stuff, but I can't even pick them up! How long should I wait or what should I do? Thanks for your help.
 
Pretty much all pigs run when you try to catch them. What you should do is corner them in a hidey house or in a corner.. and gently scoop them up.
 
ya i pretty much agree with slap.

and if you absolutly cannot pick them up stick your fingers in the cage, make "guinea pig noises", and talk to them and stuff while there still in the cage.
this might get them used to you, and trust you more.
 
I have a bend grid 'tunnel' in the cage. I try to steer them into that, block the front and then gently get my hand under them from behind. The adopter we got the pigs from suggested using a grid to block their path and slowly isolate them in a corner to minimize stress; that worked too. Although they still don't love it, they are calmer now when I pick them up. Be patient -- it will get better!
 
I wouldn't worry too much about it; I agree with Slap, Happie, and Dallas.

I think I also read somewhere that Guinea Pigs get freaked out about being picked up because their natural instinct tells them a predator is after them (like a large bird grabbing them up from above.)

Both my boys are "runners" and often carry on at me when I go to say hello and pick them up, but I keep doing it any way. The craziest part is I that once I've picked them up, they don't want to be put down and they get all snuggly with me.

I believe it's important to handle your pigs as much as you can so they get used to it. If you don't, it will be difficult to bond with them and they may never get used to you or other humans.

I have 2 pigs of my own and I have been handling them since literally the moment I first got them and I think that's helped a lot, especially since they were young.

My sister once had a pet bird and the person we got him from told her she had to give it lots of attention and handle it a lot, but she never really did and that bird got really mean and we had to take it back.

Just like Dallas said, be patient, but be sure to keep at it - it will get better.
 
Hm. I must admit I now think I made a mistake by picking them up as little as possible cause I didn't want to stress them. But now they still hate it, and it's always stress no matter how calm and gentle I am. So I'm beginning to think I should have "forced" them some more in the beginning. Maybe then they wouldn't freak out now whenever it's nail clipping or AB feeding time. :( A compromise maybe? Give them time to get used to everything (perhaps four weeks or so), and then start handling them every day.
 
I have four piggies, two about 5-6 months old, and two 2-3 months old. The older ones sit still when I put my hands in the cage, but the little ones FREAK OUT. I usually scratch the older ones behind the ears a little when I'm around ^.^ I think they've figured out that I'm the one that gives them food, and I won't hurt them. THat's not to say they like being picked up - they hate it! They'll let me handle them and pet them, but once they figure out I'm trying to pick them up, they dart to the nearest hidey house XD The little ones can't stand it though - I can't tell if they're genuinely afraid of me, or if they're trying to play. If I BARELY touch my baby's back (like, lightly brush her fur with my hand), she'll popcorn and run away. It's adorable XD

Anyways. It may just be that they aren't used to you yet. I gave mine about a week to get used to sounds, smells, etc., but then I started handling them. Age might have something to do with it, because of the two older ones, I handled Pumpkin a lot, and Ginger very little because she used to bite. Then one day, miraculously, Ginger didn't freak out when I tried to pet her in the cage, and she didn't bite when I held her.

Who knows! Give them time to figure out that your hand = food provider.
 
Go get them and cuddle them! They'll get better over time!
 
You really ought to handle them everyday so they get used to you and their surroundings.

I know it seems hard, but it will be worth it eventually.

Pick them up and then hold them in a towel in your lap or hold them like a baby against your shoulder.

You should pet them and speak softly to them while you're holding them. Make them feel as comfortable as possible and eventually they should stop freaking out so much.

Hope this helps!
 
I agree with Baubler (hope I spelt that right). When I first got mine and when the babies were born, I started giving thier veggies to them when they are on my lap (the skittish ones). It seems to have made them much more excited about being picked up. While on my lap we discuss the preferred veggie of the day, whats happening in the cage and all the gossip about the other piggies. Meanwhile I gently pet them or just sit my hand on thier back for contact. They still resist a little (but I think it's just for show so the other piggies won't tease them about being big sucks LOL). But once I touch them they just stay still and wait for me to pick them up. Bare2feet = food in thier eyes ...lol. Worked well.
 
How did I know you were a Canadian?!?! The whole "sucks" thing just cracks me up -- when we were living in Canada, the first time our neighbor called her dog a big suck, I was so confused! Between that, the Albertan definition of "pissed" and trying to figure out what the hell a tuque (sp?) was -- among other things -- my first month was so confusing!



bare2feet said:
I agree with Baubler (hope I spelt that right). When I first got mine and when the babies were born, I started giving thier veggies to them when they are on my lap (the skittish ones). It seems to have made them much more excited about being picked up. While on my lap we discuss the preferred veggie of the day, whats happening in the cage and all the gossip about the other piggies. Meanwhile I gently pet them or just sit my hand on thier back for contact. They still resist a little (but I think it's just for show so the other piggies won't tease them about being big sucks LOL). But once I touch them they just stay still and wait for me to pick them up. Bare2feet = food in thier eyes ...lol. Worked well.
 
They will learn eventually that you are not going to hurt them I agree with slap.
 
Yeah it takes time. My boy still run, CC inpaticular. Smores varies some days he wants to be picked up and if I pick him up when he doesn't want to. He either nipples a bit at my fingers or shakes his head constantly.
 
try singing very softly like a lullaby that helped when I first got April (see left)
 
HAHAHA ... we think the same thing when we listen to U.S. people talk ... 'pissed' means pretty much the same thing all over Canada and the tuque (yes you spelled it right) - woolen hat - you knew that right? What do states people call one?? Funny how you can tell were people are from just by the slangs they use. So being from the states .. whats a 'hollaback girl' ? That one is just killing me to know...

widallas said:
How did I know you were a Canadian?!?! The whole "sucks" thing just cracks me up -- when we were living in Canada, the first time our neighbor called her dog a big suck, I was so confused! Between that, the Albertan definition of "pissed" and trying to figure out what the hell a tuque (sp?) was -- among other things -- my first month was so confusing!
 
bare2feet said:
.. whats a 'hollaback girl' ? That one is just killing me to know...

I acctually have no clue. That damn song comes on the radio every day and I hate it.

When I was in Canada we called the hats tuques. Not a difference. There was also "ziggydo".
 
slap_maxwell said:
I acctually have no clue. That damn song comes on the radio every day and I hate it.

Drives me nuts too !! LOL

When I was in Canada we called the hats tuques. Not a difference. There was also "ziggydo".

LOL - really confuse them now ... hahaha
 
The first time I told my friends I was pissed with my hubby, they all fell over laughing....yeh yeh, har dee har.... I told another friends's hubby that in the States, we just call a 'tuque' a hat, his response was, "Americans -- they're a simple people, eh?" Now Slap's got me all perplexed again with 'ziggydo'....

The Hollaback girl thing is a mystery....the song has something to do with a high school fight -- she's calling some girl out for talking trash, and talks about "put your pom-poms down". I thought she was a cheerleader in h.s. (I don't know WHY I know this, but I was a No Doubt fan back when they were doing ska), so I don't know if it's a derogatory thing or means she's not a stereotype....it takes me a long time to say I don't know, eh?!

bare2feet said:
HAHAHA ... we think the same thing when we listen to U.S. people talk ... 'pissed' means pretty much the same thing all over Canada and the tuque (yes you spelled it right) - woolen hat - you knew that right? What do states people call one?? Funny how you can tell were people are from just by the slangs they use. So being from the states .. whats a 'hollaback girl' ? That one is just killing me to know...
 
"and talks about "put your pom-poms down". I thought she was a cheerleader in h.s. "

Well I almost peed you made my laughed so hard !!! I never expected that !! She looks to much like that Paris Hilton thing to be a cheerleader ... hahaha


"....it takes me a long time to say I don't know, eh?!"

No guff ey !!! LOL
 
No Doubt used to be so good. Then Gwen took all the fame and dumped her band.

I have never heard of the 'pissed' slang. Tell me what it means! If it's bad- PM it to me- I have to know.

I still say "skull cramp" and of course I was a anglophone in Canada... eek, eh?
 
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