Guinea Pig Chirping Research - Data Needed

BaaaaL

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Hello everyone!

Recently, (after spending a night sleepless every 2 weeks or so) I started wondering about the possible reasons for chirping (bird sounds) in guinea pigs. As is well-known, only a relatively small subset of all GPs produce this sound, and it always seem to occur at night. However, the only research I was able to dig up about the subject seems to conclude that there are no consistent behavioral patterns associated with chirping. As I am a social scientist by profession, with adequate background in inferential statistics, I decided to run a little pilot study. First, some background:

We have two piggies, the older and bigger always chirps when she is in heat, like clockwork, every 14-16 days. The smaller never chirps, granted, her cycles are not as well-noticeable. I have read somewhere, that some people claim chirping serves the purpose of reestablishing contact with lost herdmates, which seems to be supported by claims that some pigs may start chirping after the loss of a cagemate. My hypothesis is that chirping develops in piggies that were, early in their life, but after reaching sexual maturity, kept together with pigs from the opposite sex. Obviously, this need not be the case 100% of the time, but it is as good a working hypothesis as any. To support or refute this, I would like you guys to post the following data about your piggies:

-Gender
-Age
-Chirps (yes/no)
-If yes, is there a pattern? (at night, during ovulation, etc.)
-Is he/she neutered/splayed?
-How many other piggies is he/she currently together with?
-What is their gender?
-Was he/she at any point kept together with pigs from the opposite sex after reaching maturity? (yes/no/no idea)

Once I gather enough data, I'm planning to run a binary logistic regression to see whether any factors significantly influence the likelihood of a piggie chirping. It is not an extremely well-designed experiment, and relies on self-report data, which I dislike, but it is as good a start as any. Obviously, I am going to share the results here :)

Thanks!
 

Julia Rafferty

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Pig 1:
-Male
-3 months
-Yes
-Whenever I am in the same room but never any other time. Even if my parents are in the room he won’t chirp but the second I come in, even if he can’t see me, he starts.
-Not nurtured
-one other pig
-Male
-No

Pig 2:
-Male
-2 months
-No
-Not neutered
-one other pig
-male
-no
Pig 2 has started to squeak a little but only if I pick him up for a cuddle... I think it is a happy squeak because he seems to like to cuddle.
 

anyar.dris

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My piggy Deedee, now in gp heaven used to chirp a lot.

-Gender >>> Female
-Age >>> 3.5 y.o. (when she passed away)
-Chirps (yes/no) >>> Yes
-If yes, is there a pattern? (at night, during ovulation, etc.) >>> No there wasn't. Sometimes she would chirp in the middle of the day, sometimes at night, sometimes in the middle of the night. It usually happened though when she was just standing and staring out somewhere. Then she would snap out of it sometimes with our help.
-Is he/she neutered/splayed? >>> No
-How many other piggies is he/she currently together with? >>> She was with her sister for the first 2.5 years of her life, then we adopted a neutered boar (which passed away after 4 months of having him, then we got another sow.
-What is their gender? >>> Male and Female
-Was he/she at any point kept together with pigs from the opposite sex after reaching maturity? (yes/no/no idea) >>> Yes but only only around 4 months.
 

Merab's Slave

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Good luck with the research. It sounds impressive.
Pig 1 - female - 5yrs 7 months
No - never chirps to my knowledge
Not spayed
Shares with 2 other females
Lived with a neutered boar from about 6 months to just over 2 years old.

Pigs 2 & 3 - female sisters - 3 years old next month.
Never chirp to my knowledge.
Not spayed.
Live with each other and Pig 1
Never lived with any other pig since being weaned.
 

arcticfox34

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I do have a chirper, but I'm not sure which one it was. It was too dark to see. :D
 

Guineapigfeet

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One of my girls has chirped twice. I wasn’t in the room to see who it was either time, but the answers are all the same which ever pig(s) it was!

-Gender - female
-Age - about 18 mo that at the time
-Chirps (yes/no) - twice, for a few seconds each time, about 1 week apart
-If yes, is there a pattern? - both times were in the morning as I was getting ready for work. It sure about if she was in season, I don’t remember any of them being obvious about it at that time
-Is he/she neutered/splayed? - No
-How many other piggies is he/she currently together with? - Two sisters (three altogether)
-What is their gender? - Girlies
-Was he/she at any point kept together with pigs from the opposite sex after reaching maturity? - No
 

piggieminder

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Pig 1
Male
3.5 years
Chirped at floor time twice when aged 10months and at 1 year approx.
Both times at floor time - doesn't like floor time!
1
Male
No

Pig 2
Male
3.5 years
Never chirped
No pattern
1 (pig 1)
Male
No
 

Qualcast&Flymo

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I have had various aged boar pairs (from 6 weeks to 6 years old) and have never heard any of mine chirp. (They could of course have chirped when I'm not around though!)
None of mine are/have been neutered, so have never as far as I know been in the same cage as females since 3 weeks old. Though as the most recent 3 are rescues, they will have been in the same room as females for at least a few weeks whilst they were at the rescue.
 
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