Guinea pig advice(9 Posts)
Hi. I would be very grateful for some advice. We have 2 boars that are about 18 months old. From the start they have hated us, no interest in being friends despite hours of effort by all. Over the last few months it has got worse making daily care (as well as nail clipping, grooming etc) a nightmare for all. They just seem petrified. One more so than the other. Have set them up in the conservatory with a large indoor run for the winter and have noticed some sexual agression between them, is this normal? Is part of their unhappiness each other? Really at the end of my tether as l dont seem to be able to give them a fulfilling environment.
Guinea pigs mount each other as a way of displaying dominance and sorting out who is top pig. It is absolutely normal and to be expected. Unless they are fighting and causing each other damage they is nothing to worry about.
If they still feel frightened after all this time I would get them out regularly and for very short holding sessions when there are no noisy kids about with the TV and radio etc off. Just pop them on your knee, maybe wrapped in a towel or blanket so they don't feel exposed. Don't even stroke them. Just set them there one at a time and set a treat beside them, their fav veg or fruit or even a few nuggets. After a while they should realise they have nothing to fear. Guinea pigs are so worth the effort. Once they are relaxed in your company they are so sweet.
They don’t hate you. Pigs are food machines. I suggest just sitting next to their new run and offering them food, chatting to them etc. When you pick them up for cuddles, put them on an old towel so they feel snuggly and keep the, in sight of each other.
The behaviour you see is normal dominance stuff. It’ll carry on and is normal. My original boars bickered like mad, but hated being apart. Just make sure they have two hidey holes so they can get away from each other if they want some peace. I used to give mine two igloos and face the doors away from,each other so they didn’t have to look at each other if they didn’t want.
Keep trying with them.
Thank you for the advice. We have had guinea pigs before (but only singlarly) they have always been enchanting, happy little things. I will keep trying.
Our boars mount each other, it's a bit gross but normal to establish the top pig.
Our sows do the same, usually GP7 pounces on GP8 .
GP8 wouldn't bond with GP6 (our boar)
They are Enigmas Wrapped in Puzzles
YY they are very food orientated little animals , usually their bellies will bring them round.
Never had boars only sows . Agree best way to their hearts and minds I'd through food. Never known a piggie not partial to a bit of fresh parsley.
DH sits by their hutch or run and talks/reads the paper/discusses cricket with ours. They are in the utility room for the winter and talks to them I great deal.
We also have a routine - not always strictly adhered to but most days are similar.
So there is
breakfast and a chat
Play time - outside in the run when weather suitable (all day in late spring, summer and early autumn)
Now they are in they get to play in the utility room - blanket on floor, tunnels, boxes and cut grass, dandelions to eat.
From around 4 til they get fed up (Sadie starts whining when she has had enough)
they have TV and cuddle time.
To start with wrapped in towel or fleece, but once tame just sitting on knee or shoulder. They are stroked or just held and talked to.
Back to hutch, tea around 6 and then final stroke about 9 when we cover the hutch.
Ours are really tame, very very rare do we get weed on, occasionally we get a poo or 2, but no wriggling, scratching or trying to escape.
Our newest pig came as a 10 week baby in late September and she is already settled and sits nicely. Although we suspect that she was socialised and well handled in the rescue
Slow, bit sure, no sudden movements and gentle handling, with parsley as a bribe should give your pigs more confidence with you.
Ours like a very gentle stroke/tickle behind their ears
Food+ Routine yes.
Piggies get narked when their day-to-day routine is disrupted . (Like their going to slip into malnutrition induced coma if they don't get fed at the 2nd bout of wheeking)
My little darling were 'chatting' ( aka GP7 the noisy sow) was squeaking away at 06.15 this morning on a Saturday because "No you don't get a lie-in , we're Hungry ".
DDs boar GP6 and sow GP7 are the noisy pigs, my little girl GP8 is an angel. She knows that the cagemates do the legwork and she'll get fed at the same time !
DD tickles their chins "What all of them, that must've taken a while" ....she gives me a look.
GP1 is quiet most of the time, he will occasionally squeak if you try to take him off the person he wants to stay with but he just makes a strange grunting noise most of the time. We thought at first that he couldn't squeak but we have now decided that he's just very laid back.
GP2 is quiet in the cage but when you come out the TV struggles to compete.
GP3 is noisy whenever he is awake,
GP4 is silent most of the time and is a loner but is trying to be friendly and now squeaks at the other pigs a bit and a lot when out of the cage being cuddled.
They are all different with food as well, GP1 will come and take whatever food is on offer and will run around with carrots and apples in his mouth.
GP2 refuses to take any food from your hand.
GP3 is stupid - he insists on taking the carrot/apple/whatever off GP1. GP1 just accepts it, now we give GP1 the smallest carrot, GP3 comes and takes the small carrot and then GP1 goes and takes GP3's one which was always the largest. GP3 is oblivious to the fact that he's been fooled.
GP4 likes hay and fruit and vegetables but is on hungry strike as the pellets have been changed and that doesn't meet with her approval. I accidentally ordered the muesli type mix and postage to return it is £15 so the pigs are having to finish the 30kg sack before I buy their normal food.
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