Normal everyday behaviour

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Guinea Slave

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Hi All

I am new to the forum and its great to see so many guinea fans and I've learnt a lot already!

I have four guineas at the moment, 3 girls and a boy, they vary in ages from 18 months to nearly 6, all are very different in temperaments and one would definitely like to be a human! 2 are adopted from a rescue centre and one was rescued from an unhappy home.

They are kept in a heated shed in a C&C Cage which is about 22 square feet and want for absolutely nothing and are absolutely adored by me and my husband x) They come into the house 4-5 times a week in an indoor cage for 3-4 hours at a time and they are handled every day. They come around with us to my parents for Sunday dinner where they have their own indoor cage and provide the evening entertainment after dinner :(|) (my parents equally adore them so they get to have their weekly cuddle of the guineas!)

However, I sometimes just muse about how I can make them happier. They have hay to burrow in, lots of igloos, stuffed toilet rolls with hay, things to climb up and over but whenever I sneak in to see them they are usually just sitting in their favourite spot either sleeping or daydreaming.

Now I am not saying they are unhappy and they are certainly extremely healthy BUT I do wonder what they would be like in the wild. Would they sit for hours just dreaming, sleeping or would they be more active?

I have bought toys for them which they completely ignore to the point of being insulted! I have stuffed socks with hay for them to play with - ignored. They have tunnels to go through, they have paper bags to chew, eat, wreck (which they do like).

I know its silly and I am probably trying to impart my human feelings on them but just wondering what other people's herds do? I want to ensure that they are as happy as possible and as close to what would be natural to them as you can in a false environment.

Just interested in your views?
 

Wiebke

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Adult guinea pigs eat and sleep and eat and sleep a LOT!

You could try and hide little treats like dried herbs in different places to entice them out or make them work to get at food. Or swish different fruit juice round a little plate for them to investigate. But once piggies are about a year old and have lots of space at all times, they don't popcorn as much anymore - unless it is running up for food! Have you tried a heap of ratty towels to burrow in?

For more toy ideas look up this thread:
http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=43520
 

Suzygpr

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When I pop off can I come back as one of your piggies please?!

Have you tried a mirror? Some totally ignore it, others can sit and gaze at the adorable creature in front of them.

Suzy x
 

Guinea Slave

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When I pop off can I come back as one of your piggies please?!
That made me laugh!

I did have a look at the toys section I'll keep trying things. I did try a tower of towels and one (who has sadly gone over the rainbow bridge recently) loved it, she'd spend hours making tunnels and sleeping in her 'nest'. The others ignored it and frankly thought it was boring :)p (they are quite opinionated!)

I do sprinkle herbs in and amongst the hay and they burrow through it, keeps them amused for a while and at feed time they do a lot of running around and wheeking and some popcorning. Its just the in between times I worry about. Alhtough from the posts so far, sounds like they are completely normal...maybe I should take a leaf out of their book...I feel a yawn coming along now actually zzz

Thanks for the comments ! x
 

Guinea Slave

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Oh yes, sorry the mirror, good idea will get one at the weekend (non glass of course) I suspect at least one will spend all day in front of it, she does think she is gorgeous and who am I to argue! rolleyes
 

PopcornPigs

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My Terry hated seeing himself in the mirror! He teeth chattered verrry loudly. silly boy didn't realise it was his reflection!
But generally my piggies do just eat .. sleep... eat .. sleep, try and get my attention, cuddle, run around, eat, sleep....
 

flips

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Hello. :)p Sounds like you have a great set up.

My piggies love paper bags stuffed with hay and piles of cut up fleece to burrow in. The latest favourite is a towel or piece of fleece thrown over some chubes- they love to run underneath/ through this- Minx spent half an hour under there today and every few minutes the towel popcorned. :))

I think the main thing is keep it interesting. Every time I do a poop scoop I change a hidey or move things. The girls explore the whole cage all over again. Once they've checked it all out they go back to sleeping though. :(|) I also have several different types of hay/ dried grass to sprinkle over their normal bedding hay as it encourages them to forage, which they love..... sniff, sniff, sniff.... nose, nose, nose.... nom, nom ,nom. :(|)
 

Guinea Slave

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Hello. :)p Sounds like you have a great set up.

Thank you :))

Minx spent half an hour under there today and every few minutes the towel popcorned. :))
This is hysterical, how cute!

Thanks for the ideas everyone they are excellent, I love the idea of the tubes under towels, am off to trial that now!

They do have every type of hay you can imagine (five in the last count) and I do mix it up a bit and you are right, they love rummaging through this but only at feed time, as you say, as soon as they have finished its back to sleeping and pooping zzz

I do have one of those balls that you stuff with dried grass and hang on the side, if you have never tried it do....they quickly work out that if they whiz it around then the dried grass comes out, they all worked out very quickly how to put their paws on it and whiz it round, that does cause a lot of amusement but at the moment they have decided that they do not like this particular bag of dried grass.....spoilt or what!

Has anyone tried one of those balls that you put dried food in, they apparently have to push it around on the ground to get the food out, not tried it yet, interested if anyone has?

Thank you everyone, keep it coming!
 

TwoPiggies

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I had one of the balls that you put their nuggets in. The piggies nudged it a few times and when it got stuck they lost interest. My mums rabbits now have it :)
 

Sarah from Chucklebunnies

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MY piggies are in the conservatory and they like to 'truck'. They'll get up from their bedroom, go for a wander, nom a bit of hay, then wander back and lie down again. I found that if I put something for them to wander around, making a kind of path for them to follow, then they truck much more and get more exercise as a result. The only drawback with this is if you create a good hidey space then they settle down in it and pee and poo there. So open plan but things for them to go around works. I've got a stool, a garden ornament like a chinese lion and shoes to circle at the moment. It's piggie fun but a trap for any people!
 
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