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I've got 3 8w piggies, 2 Rex (Izzy & Lizzy) and 1 mix (Fizzy) - I've had them since last Tuesday and just brought them inside yesterday. They are very, very skittish. Izzy freezes which makes her easy to pick up, Lizzy runs but can be caught but Fizzy just flies around the cage - this of course makes the other 2 even more skittish.

I've got them in a large indoor cage, I've put a box in but the second they hear the door open they disappear, I feel it's cruel to remove the box as they obviously want to hide.

They won't eat in front of me, they just sit frozen to the spot or hide. I've read all the advice on here and have tried sitting by the cage quietly speaking to them, but they sense/hear me and stay hidden.

When I have them out, they won't eat anything, they just sit looking petrified.

Am I being impatient? What else should I try?

Please help, I hate that they are so scared of me.:0
 
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Sorry, another question, I bought them a 15kg bag of Justgrass today, how much of this should they get a day?
 

flips

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You could try draping a towel over the top of the cage or even just over half. I have found that this makes piggies feel much more secure.
It can take a long time for your pigs to feel comfortable around you and even then they will still stampede at odd things, lol.
Be patient. Keep talking to them and spending time around them... it will happen. :)
 

Hanwombat

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Thats perfectly normal, honestly. They're only young and as you say you've only just brought them inside, its a whole new world for them to see. Def keep their hiding box in there as they would be worse without it and need their comfort zone. Dont worry though, once they get used to hearing all the new sounds and get used to them they won't run away when they hear footsteps coming towards them.

Keep doing what your doing and it will pay off, believe me :)

I'd personally only give them a tiny amount of justgrass as they're young and probs say once or twice a week - people may think different.
 
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Awww thanks guys. I have draped a fleece over half the cage....thank you for that suggestion. They must hear the dogs although the dogs have no access to them. I feel like I am being cruel to them when all I want to do is love them, they just are so, so scared.:...

I will keep just going with the softly softly approach, should I stop picking them up?
 

Freela

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Just to give you hope: one of my pigs, Sundae, was the most skittish guinea pig ever when we first got her. I don't think we even SAW her for about two weeks... we had to chase her around the cage to pick her up, and she would not come out of the pigloo for anything for weeks! We kept handling her, and going about our daily business with her... we've now had her for about six months and she is such a people lover! She begs for food constantly, and she 'talks' to us continually. And never runs and hides, even in spite of the three noisy kids who are constantly running up to her. Just keep it up- it will improve!
 

Wiebke

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I leave the room with very skittish piggies until they have got used to my presence and place food very close to where they are, so they will eat.

If they are as bad as this, I mostly leave them to themselves, apart from following my daily routine with all the food and poop control rituals, so the newbies can get their bearings first but also get a sense of what is "normal" - it would be helpful if you had food call or food rustle; that is usually the first thing piggies learn! Hopefully, you will see a change in a couple of days or so, and then you can slowly start bonding.

Be patient and very gentle and encouraging in your voice and very deliberate in your movements. Talk as soon as you get into the room. A predator that makes noises is not hunting. Don't loom over the cages if you can avoid it and rather hunker down, so you are not as large. Behave casually, looking at the piggies sideways rather than staring at them.

If you need to move them, try to shoo the piggies into a shoebox with one side cut out, but the lid on (or another small container like an upturned pigloo) and a rag in the bottom. Place it in a corner. That way, you do not need to hunt them down and handle them, as picking up is cutting too close to their prey animal instincts.

I also cover the cages with a towel to give nervous customers a feeling of "safety" and "protection".

My worst ever piggy by far was Taffy, who basically ived under the fleece for the first two weeks and who would only come out in the middle of the night. But even she is a happy pet now!

This is what I used to for Llewelyn:


This another possiblity:
 
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It's such a relief to read your posts, I will try the various things you all say. I've got a log house and a piglu in the indoor cage, so when they bolt they can 'go' in somewhere else.

Can I ask a question?

I notice that lots of use fleece and vet bed - does it not get constantly soiled?
 
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No keep picking then up the more you do the better they get to no you. They will also get used to you going to feed them, they will soon be coming to the bars to greet you it just takes time.
 

piggyme234

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Glad you are happier that people have answered about the skittishness. With regards to the fleece, yes my fleece gets dirty. I shake it into the compost bin, brush it with a dustpan brush and bung it in the washing machine.
 

Wiebke

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I couldn't have my Tribe without fleece. I pick up the poo and hay twice daily and change the whole thing every two days. Before I put the fleeces in the washing machine, I empty them in the bin, shake them out very carefully, pick out all the big bits of hay and use a cheap duvet cover to wash them in.

It is still a lot less messy and much cheaper than megazorb (didn't like the smell of it in the living room) and I have less rubbish (just the hay trays and toilet corners).

Make sure that you never overload the machine or your fleece will come out all stinky because too much wather is absorbed by the fleece and not enough left for the wash - which is the mistake some people have made.
 
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