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Do your guinea pigs suddenly twitch and arch their backs and then jump around for no reason?

(35 Posts)
Countingthegreyhairs Wed 30-Jul-08 15:51:53

Just wondering ....

Also, how long did it take (after you first brought them home) for them to be comfortable enough to wander around your sitting room without running off? (If they actually ever reach this stage with young dc about!!)

I'm a novice owner - can't you tell? Any advice gratefully received ...

Countingthegreyhairs Wed 30-Jul-08 17:22:12


GentleOtter Wed 30-Jul-08 17:33:50

Have you checked it for fleas?

CarGirl Wed 30-Jul-08 17:35:26

yes they do they are just frolicking grin

DontlookatmeImshy Wed 30-Jul-08 17:39:41

Usually this is normal. It's called .........popcorning........ and means they are happy

Scroll down this page to popcorning. Does this sound like what they are doing

belgo Wed 30-Jul-08 17:40:25

My rabbit does this.

DontlookatmeImshy Wed 30-Jul-08 17:41:38

That is also a really good site for advice on care etc as well.

GentleOtter Wed 30-Jul-08 17:42:49

I feel like a complete cow now for thinking fleas....

DontlookatmeImshy Wed 30-Jul-08 17:49:09

Don't feel bad Otter. That was my first thought when I saw ours do it for the first time. I thought they were having flea induced seizures.

Although gps can get mites (too small to be seen) that could cause twitching, usually accompanied by hairloss too, but I'd guess in this case that's not the problem.

Countingthegreyhairs Wed 30-Jul-08 19:01:22

Goodness ... you learn something every day ... particularly on Mumsnet!!! No offence taken Otter!!

Thanks for your responses everyone ... it certainly does sound like popcorning ...

have got an appointment with a vet on Monday to get them checked over (bought them from a pet shop and just want to be sure all OK) ... apart from anything else have sneaking suspicion one who is supposed to be a gal is a bloke ....

How long does it take (in general) for them to be sufficiently tame and at ease so they don't try and scarper when you pick 'em up?

SubRosa Wed 30-Jul-08 20:12:45

It depends on the guinea pig, tbh. Our previous g pigs were very gentle and loved being cuddled, it took them a couple of weeks to get used to us. The ones we've got now had been owned by someone else and had been roughly handled; it took 3 months of very gentle handling to get them to trust us.

If your g pigs are jumping, it sounds like they're fairly happy and settled already

wohmum Wed 30-Jul-08 22:34:33

we've had our 4 for approx 2 months and they are still not very tame and run off if you try to pick them up.. one is definitely bolder and more confident than the others, ( the one i strongly suspect is a boy - see my thread about pg gps) but they are happy to sit and be stroked once you get hold of them.

I've tried to get my DSs to be calm and very quiet when picking them up - DS1 is ok but Ds2 (5) is still a bit too loud and is all sudden movements. old- ob

Beauregard Wed 30-Jul-08 22:37:56

We have had our guineas for 9 months and although fairly happy to be held for short periods,they will still run off when you go to pick them up.I remember reading that it is just in their nature to do so as they would have been preyed upon in the wild.
popcorning is great btwsmile

Countingthegreyhairs Thu 31-Jul-08 09:15:58

Oh thank you SubRosa, disproportionately (if that's the right word, am knackered this morning) delighted that you think they are happy and settled in smile. I know it's incredibly soppy but I've fallen for them hook, line and sinker after only 8 days of ownership. Have never 'known' a guinea pig before and hadn't realised that they have such strong characters ....sat by their cage last night for 40 mins talking to them gently ... even the timid one ate a bit of cucumber from my hand - dh says I am developing an unhealthy interest grin

They were popcorning again last night (brilliant description for it) - it is indeed great to watch PelvicFloornoMore

Sounds like a very similar set up here Wohmum - one much, much bolder than the other and my 5 yr old is having troubling tempering her enthusiasm when handling them too -have to watch her like a hawk...

Btw the funniest thing is when they are startled by something the bold one takes up prime position blocking a particular corner of the cage and the timid rushes over and tries to leap behind her for protection but there isn't enough room so she ends up half-sitting on her companions back ... oh I could go on ...

perhaps we need a special topic for besotted owners

DontlookatmeImshy Thu 31-Jul-08 10:07:17

Before you know it you will be joining a guineapig message board

Countingthegreyhairs Thu 31-Jul-08 11:44:01

lol Don't Look At me

must confess to already having sneaked a look at one of those owners sites ....blush

but you've got me thinkign about a guinea pig equivalent of mumsnet ...

my hutch mate refuses to eat her five-a-day, what can I do?

do all Peruvians act this strangely?

my baby sow refuses to have her toe-nails clipped any suggestions???

AIBU to wish that my owner would not sit outside my cage all day spouting silly baby-talk?

OrmIrian Thu 31-Jul-08 11:47:07

I love guinea pigs. The jumping thing is joie de vivre as far I remember. When mine had babies they would walk in a little furry crocodile across the lawn doing this at regular intervals. So sweet smile

Countingthegreyhairs Thu 31-Jul-08 12:35:28

aw at furry crocodiles along the lawn .... that's so lovely

... although - being concerned about the gender of one of mine - have to say we are hoping we won't have babies to contend with just yet ....!

CarGirl Thu 31-Jul-08 19:06:26

baby pigs are gorgeous my gps used to let me handle their young within a couple of hours. Mine were more like dogs you'd open their run and they'd trot into the house, select their own carrot out of the veg cupboard etc etc then when it was time to go the would potter back out of the house into their hutch - fantastic. My bossiest & boldest one was def a girl, her sons were a bit feeble though!

DontlookatmeImshy Thu 31-Jul-08 20:38:21

If they are over 4 weeks old, have been together more than 2-3 weeks, and one is a male there is a strong chance that the female could be pregnant shock. Has there been any....erm....humping type behaviour wink

wohmum Thu 31-Jul-08 22:31:35

I agree - they are lovely. I'd never been that keen on small furry pets before, but our guineas have really changed my mind. very cute and when we let them have the run of the front room they charge about in a crocodile squeaking like mad!

I'm still convinced we've got at least 1 pg guinea and dsperately hoping that it produces before we go on hols if so.

anyone know what the gestation period is? we've had them for 2 months and they were 9 weeks when we got them. would they have produced by now if one was a boy?

DontlookatmeImshy Thu 31-Jul-08 22:36:24

Gestation is approx 9-10 weeks. It would probably be really obvious by now if one was pg. My brother used to describe our pregnant pig as looking like "a football with a head on it".

thumbwitch Thu 31-Jul-08 22:43:48

gps are fab! really easy to get completely hooked on them, I haven't had one for a couple of years now, on the principle that I will be emigrating soon, but I have a gp calendar and DS loves to stroke the pictures! Can't wait to get some more.

popcorning - hadn't heard the term before
but they all do it when they're feeling exuberant. One thing to know - DON'T ever let anyone give them penicillin - all gps are congenitally allergic to it and will get anaphylactic shock and die from it. Good job Fleming didn't test it on gps!

All my gps would run away whenever I tried to pick them up, regardless of how friendly/ intelligent/ hand-reared etc they were - I think it's partly just devilment!

Enjoy your gps, they all have different characters and are just the best.

CarGirl Fri 01-Aug-08 18:47:58

With their first litter they frequently have only one or two young but I'd still expect them to look quite fat if pregnant and if you feel their tummy you will feel the baby(ies) moving grin

christywhisty Fri 01-Aug-08 20:49:26

Ours usually run if you go to pick them up , but they will sit and be cuddled for hours until they want to wee.

Our one that died recently used to start going backwards, when he wanted a wee and we knew when to put him back out.

Our new baby who is 10 weeks now has just started squeaking when he wants to go.

They always seem to have a mad half hour in the evening, popcorning and the little one chasing the big one around.

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