New Guinea Pigs Help!

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Wendy Tyler

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My MIL bought my girls two piggies for xmas. I had one as a child, and handled her all of the time, but I cannot remember how we got to to the stage where she let us handle her! These two just run away and hide, and the books that I have read suggest that you shouldn't just grab them. We haven't even managed to get them to eat from our hands. They don't like parsley which I thought was meant to be their favourite food, and I bought some thinking maybe they'd overcome their fear for a bit of parsley! They are getting more brave and don't hide every time we enter the room anymore, but they are still very timid.

Do I just corner one and pick it up? Any advise very welcome.
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome!

You may find these threads here helpful in building up trust with your new piggies. Please be aware that mass bred shop spiggies are prey animals that have virtually not had any friendly interaction with humans, so you need to start right from scratch. The best way to pick up your piggies once they have settled in is by training them to come into a pick-up coneyance of some sort, like a tunnel, a suitable cosy, an upturned hidey or even a lidded cardboard box with one small side cut off, which you place in a corner of the cage. But it will take some patience, so don't expect quick results!
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/how-do-i-settle-shy-new-guinea-pigs.36239/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk...stincts-and-speak-piggy-body-language.117031/

We have got lots of information at the top of our various Care sections which you might like to browse through as things have moved on massively in the last few years, but you are welcome to ask any questions you may have at any time. As we have members from all over the world, you can help us a lot by adding your country, state or (for the UK) your county/city, so we can always tailor our advice to your location straight away. You can do by clicking on your username on the top bar, then go to personal details and scroll down to location. This will also help to avoid misunderstandings when exchanging experiences. In the same section, you can also upload your avatar. That is the picture that appears with every post you make.
 

The Furry Godmother

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Welcome to the forum!

You should find the above information helpful, one of my piggies I can just pick up, the other I have to coax into a tunnel :')

Hope you find the forum useful ! Enjoy your piggies !
 

Freela

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Like Wiebke so rightly said, they are prey animals, have likely had minimal contact with humans so far, and have been through a lot of change in a short time by virtue of being brought into a new home, so being scared is perfectly normal at this point! It doesn't mean they won't be great pets in the end- one of my pigs, Sundae, was so terrified of us when we got her that she would only come out to eat at night for ages, but once she realized we were harmless and sometimes even had food, she became a really social and affectionate pet (and a huge moocher as well!)

My perspective has always been that pets won't get used to be held unless they are held regularly. So for me, once they had a few days to settle in, I would make sure to handle them every day for at least a short time. I would make sure it was quiet and calm around them so nothing would spook them. I would scoop them up using both hands (yes, they would run, but I've had enough little animals over the years that I am pretty good with the 'herd towards a corner and scoop' move. I know a lot of people have also used the cozy or box method, but I had mixed results with it with one of my other pets, who just learned to be nervous of boxes in general, so with the pigs I always did a quick 'herd and scoop.') Then would put them in a cozy or a blanket on my lap, perhaps even cozied down inside so they were completely covered. My experience was always that once they were on my lap, they calmed down pretty rapidly, even if they didn't like being 'captured' initially. I would also offer some food when they were on my knee (although weirdly enough, my pigs all were comfortable being patted before they were comfortable taking food from my hand or eating food on my lap.) I also would make sure to say hi to them every time I walked by so they would get used to the sound of my voice. The fact that they don't bolt the instant you enter the room is a good sign that they are getting accustomed to the sound of you coming and going and your voices and movements.

Give it some time... good friendships take time to grow and I'm sure they will be less skittish and much easier to handle soon, once they figure out that you mean them no harm!
 
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