Advice on chilling out new piggies.

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I was wondering if I could get some advice from other owners. I have previously kept other rodents like rats and hamsters before but am new to Guinea Pigs.

I purposefully got a pair of pigs from a breeder so that they would have been handled from birth and I assumed hand tame- but these pigs just aren't.

I have named them sausage and meatball (I have a weird sense of humour!) and after 2 weeks havent got a clue what to do. I have tried leaving treats for them and starting to find out what they like to eat and what they don't- for example put a carrot in there and they won't touch it but peel the carrot up and its gone- but never when I am in the room.

This is my problem- when I am in the room I see hide nor hair of the pigs. They are situated in my office which I spend the majority of my time in. They have places to hide and that's where they stay. I know they are eating their food and drinking but don't know how to tame them.

If anyone has any ideas that would be great help.
 

AudioHeart

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Helloo and welcome to the forum :)

Congratulations on your new arrivals! They sound just like any other piggie in a new home, it's best to leave handling them too much for a week whilst they settle into their new home and find their feet.

Guinea Pigs are prey animals so are naturally born shy, and quick on their feet.

Sometimes it depends on the piggies personality on how quickly they'll become friendly some piggies don't like to be picked up and huggled, others are cuddle monsters - but i prefer watching mine so amusing. I got my boys when they were six weeks old, and have had them for seven months, only recently my Artie has started warming to me Harvey however liked me from day one (cupboard love) but I'm still working on their friendlyness. :)

It might take them a while to be more friendly towards you, but during the first week I'd suggest spending as much time as you can talking to them, allowing them to become used to your voice and establish a routine for your piggies; it'll help them know what to happen and what to expect during the day.

During this week, they might start coming out of their shells, and as time goes on take things slowly, during veggie time spread out the veggies and I'd suggest leaving your hands in the cage (without touching them) for them to sniff you, and get used to hands being around, once they are used to your hands in the cage you can start trying to stroke them and being used to hands and being handled.

Some piggies find it a scarey experience when being picked up and cuddled, I'd recommend a cuddle cup or small pet bed (you can buy them from a member on our forum who donates to a piggie rescue or find them at pet stores or make one yourself if your good at sewing) to 'herd' your piggie into, and then they can be picked up + cuddled whilst they feel secure and safe.

Also if you have a cage sometimes it's best to have it on a table or raised surface so they are on our level and can see us at a height that doesn't seem so daunting!

It is best to not rush into things, i know this can be hard esp with gorgeous little fluffballs :)

Hope it goes well, good luck and can't wait for pigtures once they start coming out of their shells, and don't hesitate to ask any more questions!
 

Wiebke

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Welcome to the forum!

Sadly, it very much depends on the breeder - many who breed just for money don't handle their piggies, they just breed them and sell the babies.

Here is a collection of tips on how to settle in skittish new piggies. Whether yo handle them regularly right from the beginning or whether you wait won't make much of a difference in the long term, as long as you are gentle and - if you have children - only let them have supervised time with the piggies, so that they have space to get their bearings.
http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=36239

I have generally found that any piggies from a breeding background that I rehomed from rescues were usually very skittish at first.
 
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Thank you for your advice.

Thank you both for your advice and the link- it seems no matter how much you research an animal you can never tell what is going to happen till you get a pair yourself.

The breeder I got them from was a show breeder- she had a few pigs, got to see the Mum and Dad and the pig seemed to be happy with her, that said the breeder kept the pigs in hutches inside with about a 10th of the size that I have given my two so not sure if that is daunting them.

Thank you for the advice about raising the piggies, at the moment they are on a c&c cage on a desk top which i put on a coffee table but maybe higher would be better- can always get some legs for the desk top (Ikea Jobby!).

The guys just hide all the time at the moment, one of them cowers everywhere and only comes out of his shell when he can't see me! But with your advice and lots of bribary will see what happens.

Thanks for the advice again and yes will post photos when the guys come out from under the hay!
 

Wiebke

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Best of luck and give them time - they will come out of their shell with patience and persistence.

PS: The best place to get piggies from are actually reputable guinea pig rescues - those people really care about their charges, know them well and will only rehome them when they are ready and guaranteed healthy. They also give support and advice during the settling in period. There is a whole range of piggies coming into rescue, from the probably best known cruelty cases to beloved pets that had to be given up for various reasons to babies born to mums coming into rescue pregnant. All my piggies are rescues now after I got caught out with my first couple of shop piggies.
 

AudioHeart

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Hope it goes well, they'll eventually come round as Wiebke says patience and persistence! :)Keep us updated and I'll keep my fingers crossed that they'll come out of hiding soon :))
 
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