New Pups, Bonding, Food, and Behaviour.

Ryan.w

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Intro
First i'd like to state I owned my first guinea pigs for 7 years before they passed away a few months ago. However i had these guys when i was a lot younger and did things my way rather than doing lots of research. I'll break this post down into segments about my questions.

1) Early Handling
I've recently adopted two very young piggies, they just came home yesterday. I've hand fed them, but otherwise have left them alone physically and given them space. When bonding with my previous guinea pigs i used a more direct approach. Within a few hours of bringing them home i made them sit on my lap. I figured making the pups sit with me early on would teach them i'm OK and safe.

I've heard from two sides what to do- give them space and let them very gradually trust you as this will develop the strongest bond, but I've also been told to handle them immediately so they get used to it early on. What do you guys think? is there a correct approach here?

2) Behaviour
One of the pups is energetic and adventurous, she's always the first to leave the hidey and explore her new home. She does laps around the cage and goes ballistic around her food bowl. Sometimes the shy one joins in, but she often stays inside and hides. Is this a bad sign or just her personality?

Earlier i lifted their hidey to check if they were ok, they had been inside for an hour or so. They freaked and ran around crazily. I put it back and they returned, however they haven't come out again and it's been several hours. Are they just very wary? A bit anxious now? There is fresh food and water for them outside.

3) Food For Pups
I never really researched this the first time around, and to be honest i can't remember what i fed my first pigs early on it's been so long. Can they eat cucumber, carrot and other veggies like adults? If so how frequently? Should each veggie be introduced over time e.g a new one each week?
I've been told to only fill their food bowl once a day with hay, and I've also been told to give them a constant supple, what is best? I'm also supplying them with a bowl of some type of seed mix each day. It was given to me when i picked them up.


Sorry about all the writing, i'm just very keen to do as best a job i can here at raising them and i want to be certain in what i do. Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

sport_billy

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Hello!

We always start off after a few days by trying to hand feed a few veggy treats in the cage by offering some nice veggies to the new piggy when they are in their hidey, hopefully they will take it off you as you hold it in for them... after a while try offering it a little further from the hidey so they edge out and take it from you.
Food is the best way to bribe, use food when you get round to lap times also. Start lap time for a short amount of time at first and build up. We started off we laptimes for 1 minute with new piggies then pop them back, slowly increasing the time. They will soon associate you with food and good things but at first it takes a while to gain their trust.

That hiding is normal, they are just getting used to their surroundings, younger piggies are very easily spooked, pop a little veg into their house, you notice it will get ate!

With food

Hay should be unlimited and available all times, not just omnce a day it is the most important part of a piggie diet.

As for veggies, smaller portions than adult as they are smaller but they can eat all the same veg adults. Twice a day morning and tea time

hen you say seed mix? Do you mean seeds? If so that is a no, please get some guinea pig dry food pellets and give them a bowl a day
 

Wiebke

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Intro
First i'd like to state I owned my first guinea pigs for 7 years before they passed away a few months ago. However i had these guys when i was a lot younger and did things my way rather than doing lots of research. I'll break this post down into segments about my questions.

1) Early Handling
I've recently adopted two very young piggies, they just came home yesterday. I've hand fed them, but otherwise have left them alone physically and given them space. When bonding with my previous guinea pigs i used a more direct approach. Within a few hours of bringing them home i made them sit on my lap. I figured making the pups sit with me early on would teach them i'm OK and safe.

I've heard from two sides what to do- give them space and let them very gradually trust you as this will develop the strongest bond, but I've also been told to handle them immediately so they get used to it early on. What do you guys think? is there a correct approach here?

2) Behaviour
One of the pups is energetic and adventurous, she's always the first to leave the hidey and explore her new home. She does laps around the cage and goes ballistic around her food bowl. Sometimes the shy one joins in, but she often stays inside and hides. Is this a bad sign or just her personality?

Earlier i lifted their hidey to check if they were ok, they had been inside for an hour or so. They freaked and ran around crazily. I put it back and they returned, however they haven't come out again and it's been several hours. Are they just very wary? A bit anxious now? There is fresh food and water for them outside.

3) Food For Pups
I never really researched this the first time around, and to be honest i can't remember what i fed my first pigs early on it's been so long. Can they eat cucumber, carrot and other veggies like adults? If so how frequently? Should each veggie be introduced over time e.g a new one each week?
I've been told to only fill their food bowl once a day with hay, and I've also been told to give them a constant supple, what is best? I'm also supplying them with a bowl of some type of seed mix each day. It was given to me when i picked them up.


Sorry about all the writing, i'm just very keen to do as best a job i can here at raising them and i want to be certain in what i do. Thanks in advance for any advice!

Hi and welcome

It is normal for new piggies to not come out. Please place a towel or sheet over the cage and leave them be.
This link here explains how arrival in a pet home looks for young pet shop/breeder babies: Arrival in a home from the perspective of pet shop guinea pigs

You may find the settling and making friends tips via this link below helpful; avoiding predatory bahaviours and making friends with by using social interactive guinea pig behaviours will help you to encourage trust sooner.
It is up to you how you want to shape the relationship; whether you want to make it a human-centric one or one that respects your piggies' prey animal instincts and social behaviours. The two different way of tackling the issue accordingly. personally, I prefer the latter the more I understand about complex guinea pig social behaviour and their personalities; and love to interact more than just cuddling on the sofa with them.
Settling In And Making Friends With Guinea Pigs - A Guide

You will always a bolshier and a more timid piggy.
You can find information on a wide range of behaviours via this link here: Behaviour, Bonding & Bereavement Guides

It has become very much a fad that there needs to baby food for every species; and one that producers exploit very happily. Any extra amounts are in effect tiny; already covered to a large extent by a good balanced general hay based diet and can easily be covered by feeding 2 tablespoons of pellets per piggy per day instead of just one. The more hay and the less high sugar/fat veg and fruit your piggies eat, the better their general health and longevity. Most people are not aware that grass and hay are actually high in vitamin C.
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets
Weight - Monitoring and Management

You may find more information on a wide range of topics we get the most questions and concerns about from new owners via this link here. The full information can be accessed by the guide shortcut on the top bar but you are always welcome to ask any questions you may have along the way in our care sections.
Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
 

Ryan.w

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
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Messages
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Australia
Hello!

We always start off after a few days by trying to hand feed a few veggy treats in the cage by offering some nice veggies to the new piggy when they are in their hidey, hopefully they will take it off you as you hold it in for them... after a while try offering it a little further from the hidey so they edge out and take it from you.
Food is the best way to bribe, use food when you get round to lap times also. Start lap time for a short amount of time at first and build up. We started off we laptimes for 1 minute with new piggies then pop them back, slowly increasing the time. They will soon associate you with food and good things but at first it takes a while to gain their trust.

That hiding is normal, they are just getting used to their surroundings, younger piggies are very easily spooked, pop a little veg into their house, you notice it will get ate!

With food

Hay should be unlimited and available all times, not just omnce a day it is the most important part of a piggie diet.

As for veggies, smaller portions than adult as they are smaller but they can eat all the same veg adults. Twice a day morning and tea time

hen you say seed mix? Do you mean seeds? If so that is a no, please get some guinea pig dry food pellets and give them a bowl a day
Thank you for all the info! I'll see if I can upload a photo. I was skeptical about the mix too but they insisted on it.
 

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Ryan.w

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
May 25, 2019
Messages
12
Reaction score
4
Points
90
Location
Australia
Hi and welcome

It is normal for new piggies to not come out. Please place a towel or sheet over the cage and leave them be.
This link here explains how arrival in a pet home looks for young pet shop/breeder babies: Arrival in a home from the perspective of pet shop guinea pigs

You may find the settling and making friends tips via this link below helpful; avoiding predatory bahaviours and making friends with by using social interactive guinea pig behaviours will help you to encourage trust sooner.
It is up to you how you want to shape the relationship; whether you want to make it a human-centric one or one that respects your piggies' prey animal instincts and social behaviours. The two different way of tackling the issue accordingly. personally, I prefer the latter the more I understand about complex guinea pig social behaviour and their personalities; and love to interact more than just cuddling on the sofa with them.
Settling In And Making Friends With Guinea Pigs - A Guide

You will always a bolshier and a more timid piggy.
You can find information on a wide range of behaviours via this link here: Behaviour, Bonding & Bereavement Guides

It has become very much a fad that there needs to baby food for every species; and one that producers exploit very happily. Any extra amounts are in effect tiny; already covered to a large extent by a good balanced general hay based diet and can easily be covered by feeding 2 tablespoons of pellets per piggy per day instead of just one. The more hay and the less high sugar/fat veg and fruit your piggies eat, the better their general health and longevity. Most people are not aware that grass and hay are actually high in vitamin C.
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets
Weight - Monitoring and Management

You may find more information on a wide range of topics we get the most questions and concerns about from new owners via this link here. The full information can be accessed by the guide shortcut on the top bar but you are always welcome to ask any questions you may have along the way in our care sections.
Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
Thank you for all this information it has been very helpful!
 

Wiebke

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Thank you for all the info! I'll see if I can upload a photo. I was skeptical about the mix too but they insisted on it.

Please do not use it as anything else but as a very occasional treat - rabbits and guinea pigs have different nutritional needs in the first place (most noticeably in terms of vitamin C but also with respect of other different vitamin needs), so a shared dry mix is never going to be ideal.
Dry mixes/mueslis lead to selective feeding which has now been scientifically proven to be detrimental for rabbit health and there is no reason to assume that the same won't hold for guinea pigs.
Pellets Or Muesli / Dry Mix?
Guinea Pigs And Rabbits - Why Not
Nugget Comparison Chart
 
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