Don't understand new lone pigs behaviour

emmyk89

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Hello!
I was a pig owner a few years back I had 2 boars who were brothers and bonded.
5 days ago I rescued a single 1yo boar who was advertised online in a little cage totally unsuitable for a pig so I took him in, with the intention to get him a friend within the next couple of months (currently house hunting so will have space to build a bigger C and C setup once we buy a place) and he's now in a larger more suitable cage.

Anyway, I think hes been alone since he was young- the owner said he was born to a sow who was "rescued by her sister who didn't know she was pregnant" and so I assume given to these guys. She said she had tried getting him a friend but "was grumpy" and didnt get on with others. But ofc bonding and finding a friend has to be properly done and behaviour that looks aggressive can just be the hierarchy establishment behaviours.
Oh they also had a dog and a 3 or 4 year old kid. They told me he is friendly and likes a cuddle.

I haven't had a lone boar before and his behaviour seems really strange to me. He doesn't squeek, wheek or make any noise at all. Not to new hay being put in, veg, bags rustling, nothing! I've heard him only twice make mildly happy squeaks in his cage but they were very quiet.
Got him out for the first time 2 days ago to fully check him over as I hadn't done so since getting him. I put him on a towel on the bed with hay and pellets, he seemed very relaxed as he was munching everything and lay down and snuggled himself onto the towel to lie down and eat. I checked him over (bum, eyes, grease gland, fur and teeth) and he was fine mostly and then went back to eating and lying down. No noises though at all.
Stroked him around his head and he started squeeking but, it was more a higher pitched squeak, the sound I recall from my old boys that was annoyance, nout loud but I'm sure it wasn't that happy pipping they do, so I stopped. Few mins later, he carried on eating the hay and my fella slowly went to stroke him and he seemed fine, then couple of mins after that and he sorta nipped him. Then chattered his teeth quietly too abit afterwards and I know this is deffo annoyance, so left him to it and put him back.

We've only had him out once since then yesterday (I needed to weigh him and hes scratching a fair bit so wanted to check for fleas) after the checks I put him on a nice towel on the bed with hay again and seemed to be happy munching his hay. Then he chattered his teeth very occasionally. He seemed a bit restless, pulled the towel with his teeth then he peed, I assume he just wanted to pee at that point and that's why he chattered..? I put him back anyway.

I was sat beside his cage last night briefly and heard him chatter his teeth quietly in his den and saw him "yawn" a few times also. Is he warning me away?!

He isnt skittish at all, like I haven't seen him get startled and run off once, but he sits alot in his den. He comes out to eat hay (only occassionally though!) and drink and to go to his bowl. If any of us stand up or walk he doesn't run away like id expect a scared pig to, he carries on eating like normal and looks up at us watches us etc. But then after he's had enough food etc, he goes back in his house.
We've hand fed him his veg and pellets throughout the day the last 2 days to help him get used to us and to associate us with nice things I.e food and he's accepted the food we've given him and comes to bars for more at the time. After a while he then hides again. I've bought hay from dustfreehay company so its good stuff, burgess excel gpig and science selective grain free pellets, rosewoods dandelion forage, flower forage and breakfast "cookies" yet he seems to eat none of the forage at all either, whereas my old pigs used to love the dandelion forage.

Also, he can't be tempted out of his den at all, with bags rustling, fresh hay, veg, nothing! Only when he comes out himself is when we can feed him his treats and veg, and hes happy when he does - he takes them out of our hands comes to the side for more etc.

Another time yesterday he came out of his den to eat again I just sat beside the cage for a bit, showed him my hand and stroked his head gently, then suddenly he just went to nip me. We don't go over to the cage every time he comes out either to give him space, it's just been the odd occasions that I've talked about here.

He just seems totally indifferent to humans, noise, food, toys etc. My old pigs squeaked all the time, they loved their food, beds, cardboard, bags rustling and all that I just dont understand the quietness and his indifference. Its just I've never been nipped before by a guinea pig or chattered at either.

I bought him a fleece bed that came today and put that in his den after I spot cleaned and replaced smelly bedding etc this morning, he didnt squeak or popcorn or anything. Though he has been lying on it and has been for ages now so he does like the bed!
He hasnt been out from under his den at all this morning, it is a bit chilly that could be why but, I could barely even tempt him to the edge of his den to give him his veggies or pellets.

Is his quietness unhappiness? Will he always be quiet? Wonder if he will forever be a grouch and a nipper, will he ever get on with a new piggy.. I just want him to be happy. I'm just not used to this from a pig. If he does choose a friend, will this help him come out of his shell a bit?

Thanks all :)
 

Piggies&buns

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he just sounds like a piggy who for one isn’t scared of people, but as there is a possibility he has never been with another piggy then he has never had the need to make piggy sounds To get a response from another piggy. The nipping is him trying to be dominant over you and convey his displeasure.

also, guinea pigs don’t get fleas. If you see him excessively scratching then he may well have mites (which you cannot see - you can only see their evidence such as egg casings or bald patches), then he will need to be taken to the vet for the diagnosis and correct parasite treatment.

if he has a friend then his behaviour may change, but you are going to need to find the right friend via dating at a rescue. It’s all going go depend on character compatibility and if may be advisable to have him neutered and bonded with a sow.

Moody guinea pigs: Depression, Bullying, Aggression, Stress, Fear and Antisocial Behaviour
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
Who is the boss - your guinea pig or you?
" Biting" And What You Can Do (Biting, Tweaking, Nibbling and Nipping)
 

emmyk89

Junior Guinea Pig
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Stockport, Manchester
he just sounds like a piggy who for one isn’t scared of people, but as there is a possibility he has never been with another piggy then he has never had the need to make piggy sounds To get a response from another piggy. The nipping is him trying to be dominant over you and convey his displeasure.

also, guinea pigs don’t get fleas. If you see him excessively scratching then he may well have mites (which you cannot see - you can only see their evidence such as egg casings or bald patches), then he will need to be taken to the vet for the diagnosis and correct parasite treatment.

if he has a friend then his behaviour may change, but you are going to need to find the right friend via dating at a rescue. It’s all going go depend on character compatibility and if may be advisable to have him neutered and bonded with a sow.

Moody guinea pigs: Depression, Bullying, Aggression, Stress, Fear and Antisocial Behaviour
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
Who is the boss - your guinea pig or you?
" Biting" And What You Can Do (Biting, Tweaking, Nibbling and Nipping)
Hes not "excessively scratching" just scratches occasionally, always worth checking anyway. He has no bald patches or egg casings either so think hes fine

Yeh I know about dating at rescues and possibly having him neutered and being put with a sow, depending on who he chooses as his friend
 
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