Had Guinea Pigs for a month and haven't handled them(13 Posts)
As the title says really. I got two males about a month ago and I still haven't handled them.
They're living in a large dog crate in my living room and although they're a lot less skittish than when I got them they still run away when I go near them.
One of them will take lettuce from my hand and let me stroke him but the other won't come near me.
I feel bad for them because they're not getting the exercise and stimulation they need but when I go near them they get so stressed.
Mine still run away when I go to pick them up - it's their instinct to run away from anything that comes for them due to being prey animals.
I just catch them gently. Mine are massively tame once you've got them and very cuddly.
I would just start with gently picking them up one by one having them on your lap for 5 mins with tasty treats.
They've got a big igloo and loads of tubes that they run into. I don't fancy putting my hand into the igloo in case they bite.
I was thinking about covering one end of a tube and putting that on my lap but I don't want them to start avoiding their tubes necause they love them
Mine always run away and hide in the furthest away bit of their cage when I put my hand in to catch them. My eldest pig is 4.5!
If they're being awkward, I remove igloos etc so they're easier to catch. They always love being held once I've got them. They get parsley or basil. Mine have to be caught to be taken outside to their run so I'm catching them a couple of times a day and they still hide from me.
Just go for it. Hold them firmly but gently and don't worry about the teeth, they rarely bite.
yes, you need to be brave op and just start catching them. if you cuddle them in a blanket they will feel safer. lots of food will cheer them up too
I'll give it a go tomorrow as I'm off work.
Any idea of special treats I can give?
In the Pighouse they run into their haybox which makes them easy to catch (providing I remember to block the two doors )
In the run.....................they are little nightmares. We have a Hop-Inn tunnel in the run and the Pighouse (canvassy material with three tunnels) They are naturally inclined to run to safety so we can scoop up the tunnels once they're inside.
Even after all this time, they won;t be caught easily, it's part of their game
Try a box with a treat in it, when they go inside, cover the door and lift them out.
They are very unlikely to bite, even my bitey little GP5 doesn't bite when we catch her.
Scoop and hand under the belly and the other under the rump and they're secure.
Wrap in a towel.
It does make me wonder if guinea pigs only go still when you pick them up because they are actually terrified of being killed, so they stay still to protect themselves. How does anyone know that they actually truly like being held?
I was thinking of getting guinea pigs but this does make me wonder.
Ours will sit nicely (I don't feed them while we cuddle them, they have breakfast and supper so they know they get fed and when).
They'll cuddle up , usually making for the left shoulder.
They'll curl up into a croissant shape or tuck their feet in like cats do. That's not the action of an animal that is poised to flee.
A couple of ours have fallen asleep though most of the time our trio are too busy chattering to each other to sleep.
We sit on the floor with them, they'll scoot round and climb off and on DD and I.
I agree they never 100% trust their Food Provider (that's their kinder name for us ).
But most domesticated animals have a symbiotic relationship with their humans.
We give them security,food,,safety,routine and a correct environment (company,health care, freedom to express themselves in their group)
So though they don't live a natural existence like a wild animal, they have good trade off I reckon.
And though there are 10000s out there, we've made a difference to our pigs' lives , I think.
GP5 was uncuddly when we got her, she's settled down really well. I often think she's wishing she was Somewhere Else but she'll tolerate me for a while.
You need to read all the piggie threads Shoes , you'll be ordering hutches and runs before you finish
That's really interesting 70isaLimit - the fact that they do fall asleep while you're holding them would seem to suggest they must be perfectly content . And yes it does seem a good trade off and I've no doubt you've made a difference to your pigs' lives.
Whenever I'm about to do something new, I always read lots and lots of information, I like to be fully prepared. I guess what I'm really trying to do before going ahead and getting guinea pigs is to get inside the mind of a guinea pig .
I do not want to get inside the minds of my pigs - I'm fairly sure they're thinking quite unpleasant thoughts about me
I have one pig - Scruffy - who's not really a cuddler. He'll sit next to me and be stroked but won't sit on a knee. Gingerpig loves it and curls up happily. Then, of course Scruffy decides he wants what Gingers got, because he is 'top pig' and so he climbs onto my knee and shoos Ginger off. Then he remembers he doesn't like it and they swap places again .
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