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Adopting Will They Hate Me?


New Member
Cavy Slave
May 19, 2012
Hi, my pigs are brand new to my home, so I fully expect them to be skittish. I'm not picking them up yet, I've been talking to them. They still haven't fully warmed up to me but hopefully over time they will. However today I need to clean their cage and I'll need to pick them up and place them somewhere else while I do it and I'm just nervous that I'll scar them emotionally and it will take even longer for them to adjust to me. Should I hold them to help them get used to me or touch them as little as possible? Help! I want to be a good Guinea Momma! I need to learn!
How long have you had them?

You can entice them into a cat carrier or something with some food and then put them into floor-time area (If you have one set up). Though, if you can't do that, they're not going to be emotionally scarred forever. :p

If they've adjusted enough to be out roaming their cage, that's when I start handling any new pigs I have. They're not going to warm up to your voice, and then be magically okay with being held after. It's a bit sad when they run away from you in fear, but over time they will get comfortable with being handled.

I really recommend burrow bags and fleece tunnels to make catching them easier. You can just scoop up the entire burrow bag when they run in there. I feel it also makes picking them up a bit more safe. You have to make sure their backs aren't bending dangerously and their bums are supported. That's a bit harder to do with new pigs with bare hands, but maybe there is a technique I've been missing out on.
Why would it emotionally scar them to move somewhere else from their cage? You'll have to do that any time you clean it. Trust me, they aren't going through any kind of emotional trauma every time it happens. :)

Well, any time you bring a pig home, it's best to leave them be for a day. Just to ease the transition to a new environment for them. If it's been more than a day, feel free to pick them up and hold them. That is one sure way to get them used to you. Even better if you offer them bits of carrot or green pepper while you are holding them. They will quickly start to associate being with you as a positive experience.
Hold them often! The more you hold them the more they will get used to it. MissJean has some good techniques.
I've held mine since day one. I'm pretty bad about that, I generally make animals spendtime being touched or held to get used to it with little or no transition time. Cant say its perfect but my two cats, dog, and so far, pigs, seem fine. I did remove them from the room when i vacumed though. Didnt wanna scare them to much.
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