Help with lap time or handling?

FleurElizabethA

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Hi!
I have two new piggy pups, approximately 10 weeks old... We've had them for a couple of weeks now and they're slowly getting more confident although one- the dominant piggy is much more confident, the other is still very skittish and has only once taken food from ym hand through the bars of the cage. The dominant piggy, will do it often if he's interested in what I'm offering😊

My question is; after watching the videos on here on picking them up without the use of my hands etc, would it be worth lifting one while in its tunnel and resting the tunnel against my lap and having some sort of treat readily available for him to come out, just for 5 minutes or so for laptime/handling?
We also have a play pen thing that's big enough to sit in ourselves, they go into that when I'm doing a complete cage clean out. If I sat amongst them in the play pen would that help with getting them more accustomed to me? Got this idea after reading and watching so many videos saying to let them come to you but thought best to ask on here just to be safe.

The two piggies are doing quite well after only a couple of weeks being here, they're popcorning and eating and drinking like no tomorrow but they do retreat to their hideout when they've had enough! Which is out que to let them be for the time being X
 

sport_billy

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Yes, we used to have our most skittish piggies in a tunnel on our laps and feeding some coriander to them while they were in there, slowly little heads would pop out :))

You can do the play pen idea too, just respect boundaries they set and in time they will become more receptive. We have had erm... 10 piggies now and only a few have ever loved lap time... others tolerated it and Widget would get board and wander off.... Many though enjoy fuss in cage and used to come over to be fussed. Others like our 4.5 year old now Chickpea doesn't like and stroking, but she will happily be hand fed... I have done nothing different, piggies vary in the interaction they feel comfortable with.
Keep doing the things you are doing and try the tunnel idea, it is a good one
 

Free Ranger

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We go in the pen! It's funny because they climb over our legs (esp if there's a bit of veg on top!) Ground level handling is safer for piggy.
cropped gigi.jpg This is daughter in the pen. Louise has been with us 4 months but she's mature - 3 years - and at this age they're not so lightning fast! She's also a sucker for a fluffy surface so was happy to sit for a while being handled. I picked her up and put her there though. Eventually she looks around and tries to move off so we just let her get down herself. Her friend was eyeballing her warily but my philosophy is that if they can see each other not being eaten they might chill out a bit! Daughter doesn't want to handle Zara because she's bitey. Flora is 2 and sees no reason to sit on anyone... she rarely sits at all, in fact I'm not sure I've ever seen her resting! But she's only been here since January.

I have to pick them up myself because it's me that cuts nails, applies meds and sorts out my boar's rear end. But sometimes I sit in the enclosure and pick them up (again, ground level) just for a few minutes. I stroke a bit under the chin or around the ears or on the cheeks, depending on where they like it, I check little feet, I might give a bit of cucumber or something. It's really just so they get used to the fact that sometimes they get picked up and it doesn't mean it's the end of the world (or even nail cutting day!)
 

Piggies&buns

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My boys live in a shed and dont like being handled but they are very happy to climb on me or go about their piggy business while I’m sat in the shed with them. They’ll come over to see if I’ve got treats etc but they don’t like being picked up. I only pick them up to do their weekly weight and health checks, they don’t like being cuddled.
 

weepweeps

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Hello. I have my two piggies in the bathroom every evening. I put waterproof sheets on the floor and sit in there with them. One of them will now jump onto my lap for food. The younger one won’t but he will eat from my hand and run around me. They are very happy for me to sit with them. They have tunnels, boxes and cat beds to play in as well. And hay cakes to munch on. 😊
 

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FleurElizabethA

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We go in the pen! It's funny because they climb over our legs (esp if there's a bit of veg on top!) Ground level handling is safer for piggy.
View attachment 169981 This is daughter in the pen. Louise has been with us 4 months but she's mature - 3 years - and at this age they're not so lightning fast! She's also a sucker for a fluffy surface so was happy to sit for a while being handled. I picked her up and put her there though. Eventually she looks around and tries to move off so we just let her get down herself. Her friend was eyeballing her warily but my philosophy is that if they can see each other not being eaten they might chill out a bit! Daughter doesn't want to handle Zara because she's bitey. Flora is 2 and sees no reason to sit on anyone... she rarely sits at all, in fact I'm not sure I've ever seen her resting! But she's only been here since January.

I have to pick them up myself because it's me that cuts nails, applies meds and sorts out my boar's rear end. But sometimes I sit in the enclosure and pick them up (again, ground level) just for a few minutes. I stroke a bit under the chin or around the ears or on the cheeks, depending on where they like it, I check little feet, I might give a bit of cucumber or something. It's really just so they get used to the fact that sometimes they get picked up and it doesn't mean it's the end of the world (or even nail cutting day!)

Thankyou so much! I've never seen pictures of anyone really having climbed into the pen with them, I can be a bit skittish too so have been worried about doing it myself... I'm worried about scaring or upsetting them! I think I'll be doing this tomorrow😁 Luckily where we live there is a groomer of sorts that cares for guinea pigs that charges very little to clip their nails... It traumatised me enough with my two kids as babies! I had their grandma doing it for me😂
I thought the playpen would be better with the idea that they can see each other, whereas if I take one with me to the settee-Which is in a different room to the cage- the other wouldn't see that it was OK! That's hoping that they wouldn't freak out to start with😂X
 

FleurElizabethA

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Hello. I have my two piggies in the bathroom every evening. I put waterproof sheets on the floor and sit in there with them. One of them will now jump onto my lap for food. The younger one won’t but he will eat from my hand and run around me. They are very happy for me to sit with them. They have tunnels, boxes and cat beds to play in as well. And hay cakes to munch on. 😊
That's such a brill idea! I wish I had a bathroom big enough, it's very narrow! Short of putting all of their tunnels and play things in the bath and climbing in with them, i don't think we'd have enough room on the floor!
Can I ask where you got the grey house/hideout? I love it, all the ones I've seen online are flat and look a bit naff,Struggling to find one that's like yours! X
 

FleurElizabethA

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Yes, we used to have our most skittish piggies in a tunnel on our laps and feeding some coriander to them while they were in there, slowly little heads would pop out :))

You can do the play pen idea too, just respect boundaries they set and in time they will become more receptive. We have had erm... 10 piggies now and only a few have ever loved lap time... others tolerated it and Widget would get board and wander off.... Many though enjoy fuss in cage and used to come over to be fussed. Others like our 4.5 year old now Chickpea doesn't like and stroking, but she will happily be hand fed... I have done nothing different, piggies vary in the interaction they feel comfortable with.
Keep doing the things you are doing and try the tunnel idea, it is a good one
I've had a bit of luck this evening, even without taking them out of their cage... They both- Draco, our dominant piggy and Hagrid our our very skittish one, both took food from my hand and came over for a sniff, Stayed still and let them come as far as they wanted and retreated if they got scared!
Thankyou for the advice, Its been difficult to find anything about laptime etc without just hearing not to pick them up but they sometimes enjoy cuddles! I'll be trying the tunnel idea tomorrow while Oh is home, just incase we have an escapee and there needs to be more than one of us able to chase and catch them again!
 

Wiebke

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Hi!

You may also find the guides via this link here helpful, from learning about prey animal instincts, piggy whispering and first lap time:
Settling In And Making Friends With Guinea Pigs - A Guide

This is just one chapter in our very useful New Owners information resource, which covers all the areas we get the most questions and concerns about. Apart from making friends with your piggies, it helps you to learn understand key guinea pig behaviours, learning what is normal and what not and lots of practical and precise care advice. Here is the link, which you may want to bookmark, browse, read and re-read at need: Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
 

Free Ranger

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It traumatised me enough with my two kids as babies!
I used a tin-pot pair of play scissors out of a Christmas cracker. You could bend them with your fingers. It was the only thing I felt confident enough to cut baby nails with... they worked a treat but wouldn't even cut paper!
whereas if I take one with me to the settee-Which is in a different room to the cage- the other wouldn't see that it was OK!
The fluffy one in the pic cries like a baby if you take her fuzzy friend out the cage. We are supposed to respect the piggies hierarchy and put the dominant one in new territory first but we have to move Louise into the pen before Zara because she gets so upset! Hence I join them on the floor rather than juggling 2 on my knee.
 

weepweeps

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That's such a brill idea! I wish I had a bathroom big enough, it's very narrow! Short of putting all of their tunnels and play things in the bath and climbing in with them, i don't think we'd have enough room on the floor!
Can I ask where you got the grey house/hideout? I love it, all the ones I've seen online are flat and look a bit naff,Struggling to find one that's like yours! X
Morning. They are cat beds from Aldi. Only £10! Bargain.
 
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