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New Guinea Pig Mom - Need Advice!

thelittlespoon

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Hello!

Just picked up two baby girls (sisters) from our Humane Society. They will be a month old on June 17th. They have been with us for 24 hours. Nice large CC cage is set up with all the goods and they are settling in.

I have done A LOT of research, reading, and watching videos on YouTube prior to picking them up. The advice I am seeking is how to approach such young pups. It is part of the reason I got them. I had the hope that if we got them so very young we would stand a decent chance of being a able forge a trusting relationship early on. The runt of the two (Peanut) is more slightly more brave, trusting, and although not thrilled to be held does not seem to object too much. Her sister, Poppy, is the one I am more concerned about. I have held her 4-5 times in attempt to get her "used to me" but nearly every time I pet her she does her low angry purr with each stroke. I try to avoid her back side and sometimes she still expresses her discontent. My biggest question and particularly with attention to the fact they are so very young is: Should I keep trying to handle her? Either of them? I understand fully they are NOT cats or dogs and do not necessarily adore lap time, being held or getting pets however I want to know if I should push it and "get her used to me" or somewhat resign to the fact she is inherently not a type of piggy that likes being held/handled. I feel this is a very precarious time in their young lives and I want to make the right choices so I can enrich their lives best and not cause them constant stress. I understand this can take days, weeks or months but I wonder which direction to take. Thank you for all your help and time in reading this! Anecdotes welcome!


(Peanut & Poppy) IMG_4038.jpg
 

Seven7

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Welcome. Your girls are super cute.

When I brought home my boy Finn, I waited and allowed him to come to me. I did keep on feeding him herbs and veggies. I did the same thing with Lara, my friend's unwanted piggy. I waited until they were ready to keep me as a friend.
They both come to me when they need attention from me so I pick them up and play with them. They will show their love for you soon, so I wouldn't rush.
 

artcasper

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Gosh they are so small and gorgeous 😍
There are lots of guides on here if you look at the top of the page for new owners.... patience is the key!
 

Caris

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I got my girls when they were 6 weeks old (I've got a pair of boys, too, but they were much older), and I've found them to be much friendlier, much quicker. I don't know whether this is because they're much younger, or whether it's their personality. Ava runs up the to the cage and practically climbs on me whenever I come say hi, and they were wheeking whenever I entered the room from week number 1 (it took the boys 3 months to start wheeking).

But!

I wouldn't try and handle them for the first two weeks. I know it's tempting to cuddle them from day one, but I'd use the first week just to let them settle in. If you can, cover their cage with a blanket, and slowly uncover each side day by day so they get used to their environment without being completely overwhelmed. It's like giving them a giant hidey so they can get used to their new home, the smells and noises, without fear that they giant creature is going to come and eat them.

I'd also just start by talking to them, letting them get used to your presence, the sound of your voice, so that they'd don't associate you with only coming to pick them up. I've always used poo picking as a way to help get them used to me. I leave them in the cage and just ignore them and get on with poo picking, and if they want to interact with me they can. And both sets of mine did after the first couple of times, because guinea pigs are surprisingly curious creatures and apparently old hay is much, much tastier, and why am I putting it in the dustpan, and hang on while we climb in the dust pan and try to eat it!

It's all about letting them do what they want on their own terms, and finding what works for them. Every guinea pig is different. I've found my girls aren't as food orientated as my boys (my boys will do tricks for food, because feed me now), but they're a lot more inquisitive and interested in what I'm doing.

It's all about giving them time. Patience is, unfortunately, the key.

Your girls are gorgeous.
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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They’re under a month old? That’s very young to be away from mum, I was under the impression that girls normally stay with their mum until 5 weeks (could be wrong?).

I would say leave them to settle in for a week and just talk to them, offer them food and give them some time to adjust as they’re really young and new :)

There are some fab guides on the bonding section about how to get them used to you and for settling in so it might be worth a read up to help you bond with your beautiful new babies! :)
 

Julie M

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Aww they're very cute.

Surprisingly the cuddliest piggie I've ever had was a senior guinea pig I adopted when he was put into the rescue centre aged 5+ with his friend. I sadly only had Mojito for 6 weeks but I had Mango 10 months. He was one of the cuddliest piggies I ever knew.
 

Roxy_Piggy_Mom

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They. Are. Adorable :luv: They seem so small to be going to a new home already, so be gentle with them.
As many of the more experienced piggy owners will say: patience is key! If it's only been 24h they will still be confused, frightened and getting used to their new home and new smells. Unfortunately at the moment you probably just seem like a big predator who keeps picking them up and frightening them... But I promise if you give them time, treats and lots of understanding love it will be worth it. But for now, I'd say just let them have a bit of time to themselves in their lovely new cage to adjust. I had my boy for 6 months before he trusted me enough to want to run up to me for cuddles whenever he saw me. Now he's a big softie that just loves being loved. I highly recommend you read the guides on this forum. They are so helpful! Good luck with your adorable little furballs :D
 

thelittlespoon

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Thank you all for your thoughtful responses! I too felt they were so tiny and young to be going home but the mother had apparently weaned them and had been adopted out a few days prior. They are eating well and do spend a lot time out of their hides unless the big scary shadow comes close to the cage haha. I look forward to raising these lovely girls and am grateful for a community of fellow guinea pig parents to chat with :)
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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Thank you all for your thoughtful responses! I too felt they were so tiny and young to be going home but the mother had apparently weaned them and had been adopted out a few days prior. They are eating well and do spend a lot time out of their hides unless the big scary shadow comes close to the cage haha. I look forward to raising these lovely girls and am grateful for a community of fellow guinea pig parents to chat with :)
Well they’ve obviously landed on their paws to be coming home with you! It sounds like they have a wonderful new mummy :)

Haha big scary shadow is exactly right! One of my girls is blind in one eye and “the shadow” instils fear into her, even though “the shadow” still talks to her softly, feeds her and has been loving and caring for her for almost 3 years 🙄😂
 
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