Brand-New Owner in Need of Advice!


New Born Pup
May 8, 2018
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Hello! I just signed up for this forum.

I'm in need of some assistance with my new guinea pigs!

I have just adopted two sows from someone who was moving. I'm the oldest of six, and my family has wanted some new pets for a while now. We picked them up, both of them in separate cages, and brought them home. They've been in the master bedroom closet where there is space for them, as we are currently working out a space for them that will be permanent.
We've made sure to feed them fresh veggies and Timothy hay. We got cheap pellet food and I've already purchased the Oxbow brand that are what I've seen recommended. They've seen and heard a lot of new people, so it must be a little overwhelming for them!

One of them is a longer-haired white guinea pig who is a year old. Her name is Fionna. She was found in a box outside the pet store, shedding and thin. Her previous owner fed her and cared for her so that she wasnt so thin! Her fur is still a little patchy, but she's getting better. I'm not sure what she went through to end up in that box. So far, she has let us gently stroke her and she rumbles when we do.

The other is a short-haired gray guinea pig who is five months old. Her name is Winnie. She's very skittish, and food motivated! We haven't been able to easily pet her because she doesn't want to be touched. She loves Timothy hay and loves to hide, much more than Fionna.

This evening we tried to give them some floor time, because they've been in their cages for almost three days. We guinea pig proofed my small bedroom and decided to let them out. I was the one to pick them up, which they hated. I didnt want them to be frightened but I needed to corner them in order to pick them up. I was as gentle as I could, and I placed them both on my floor (with fleece blankets).

At first, they seemed okay with exploring and looking around this room they have never been in before. It turned into a dominance thing after a minute though. Fionna chased Winnie, both of them had teeth chattering and squeaking towards each other. At one point, Fionna tried to mount Winnie. I had to pick them up and put them back in their respective cages. It was so much harder to get Fionna back in her cage, and at one point she snorted/puffed at me.

They're back in their cages now, but still next to each other. They're still chattering their teeth.

We've never had guinea pigs before... does anyone have advice? Thank you!


@MaceyMace There are some behaviour guides on the forum which will be worth a read.

Guinea pigs are social animals and prefer to live with other guinea pigs. But that also means that they need a social structure i.e. one pig will be the top pig or boss pig.

To work it out they will use dominant behaviour such as teeth chattering and mounting.

Until you are ready for them to live together permanently I wouldn't give them floor time together.