One of our piggies is nipping us

Cand4Ts

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TL: DR- one of our juvenile female piggies is nipping us, not on the hand, she nipped my work clothes, my daughter's leg, not always while being held and we are wondering why.

And the long version 😂

We got our piggies in July, first time owners, 3 baby females all from the same local breeder. One of them, Sugar, has had to be treated twice for an abscess at the vets including being sedated, she has been handled loads and is the one who's most comfortable taking treats from us, she is also the first in when we feed them and seems to be wanting to be the dominant one. She is also the only one who nips. This week I was holding her and the most timid pig and she nipped my collar, the other pig and my sleeve so I put her back in the cage. But yesterday they were all on the floor together and she was going up to my daughter leg and nipping her (not painfully, it's not a bite, she is also their owner, I'm just here to pay for everything 😂)
We are just wondering why she might be doing this? Obviously we worry about her health now after all the vet trips and we want all our piggies to be happy. I have younger children who do say hello to the piggies but weren't there when these incidents happened and we do have a dog too, a Bichon who half the time seems petrified of them, but has tried to sniff them. They have a massive cage with loads of hiddies
 

Cand4Ts

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That was actually the first thing I read when I came here and I didn't feel like any of it really fit with what she is doing 🤔 I'll give it another read when I don't have a 1 year old climbing me as it's easy to miss things 😂
 

avafaghani

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TL: DR- one of our juvenile female piggies is nipping us, not on the hand, she nipped my work clothes, my daughter's leg, not always while being held and we are wondering why.

And the long version 😂

We got our piggies in July, first time owners, 3 baby females all from the same local breeder. One of them, Sugar, has had to be treated twice for an abscess at the vets including being sedated, she has been handled loads and is the one who's most comfortable taking treats from us, she is also the first in when we feed them and seems to be wanting to be the dominant one. She is also the only one who nips. This week I was holding her and the most timid pig and she nipped my collar, the other pig and my sleeve so I put her back in the cage. But yesterday they were all on the floor together and she was going up to my daughter leg and nipping her (not painfully, it's not a bite, she is also their owner, I'm just here to pay for everything 😂)
We are just wondering why she might be doing this? Obviously we worry about her health now after all the vet trips and we want all our piggies to be happy. I have younger children who do say hello to the piggies but weren't there when these incidents happened and we do have a dog too, a Bichon who half the time seems petrified of them, but has tried to sniff them. They have a massive cage with loads of hiddies
Is the nipping a sort of provoked singular bite? Or is it a few chews? All I can think based off of what you mentioned is that they're just trying to file their teeth. Does your guinea have some sort of chewable toy, wooden hut, etc in your cage to chew on? Their teeth grow and they have to file it down with hay, veggies, pellets, or whatever they can get their teeth on! It's also not abnormal at all for guineas to sniff and chew on items. As long as she doesn't seem in pain, angry, provoked, fur sticking up, etc. But is it a singular bite, or nibbling? Hope I could help! :)
 

Cand4Ts

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Is the nipping a sort of provoked singular bite? Or is it a few chews? All I can think based off of what you mentioned is that they're just trying to file their teeth. Does your guinea have some sort of chewable toy, wooden hut, etc in your cage to chew on? Their teeth grow and they have to file it down with hay, veggies, pellets, or whatever they can get their teeth on! It's also not abnormal at all for guineas to sniff and chew on items. As long as she doesn't seem in pain, angry, provoked, fur sticking up, etc. But is it a singular bite, or nibbling? Hope I could help! :)
Yes they have chew toys in there and a wooden hay castle, oh and some big cardboard tubes. However I was left in charge of them for a few days and I did forget to top up their hay 🤦‍♂️ they get pellets and a mix of veggies every day and she eats both. She doesn't seem angry when she does it, although she may have been trying to get her to move as her leg was acting as a boundary 🤔 it's a small nip, not a big bite and not to break skin, fur is all down. She's my daughter's favourite guinea pig so she gets loads of attention.
 

Siikibam

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She may just be exploring. Pellets should only be a tablespoon per pig each day. Hay always available and topped up. Veg just 50g/1 cup each pig a day.

PS we’d love to see your girls - pics and an intro thread. You’re also welcome to start a thread for them - post photos, videos and any updates. ☺
 

avafaghani

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Yes they have chew toys in there and a wooden hay castle, oh and some big cardboard tubes. However I was left in charge of them for a few days and I did forget to top up their hay 🤦‍♂️ they get pellets and a mix of veggies every day and she eats both. She doesn't seem angry when she does it, although she may have been trying to get her to move as her leg was acting as a boundary 🤔 it's a small nip, not a big bite and not to break skin, fur is all down. She's my daughter's favourite guinea pig so she gets loads of attention.
I would not be concerned! Some guineas are just a little more impatient than others, especially when they're young and adapting to this new way of living. I would be careful with dogs as I too have a dog and although he doesn't hurt my piggies they can pass stuff and of course you can never be 100% that they won't lash out but overall they seem great! My guinea Ginny pretty much outgrew nibbling on stuff other than her toys but my other piggy Maple has had a habit of chewing even on my hair her whole life as a comfort for some reason! They're funny like that. Just try not to let them eat anything they chew if it isn't safe besides toys, food, etc. And don't be afraid to pile on the hay! Endless amounts are always good :)
 

Cand4Ts

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I absolutely adore our dog, he's incredibly gentle and patient but I would never trust him around the pigs, not even to allow him to sniff them. He gets to look at their cage sometimes 🤣
I'll find some pictures of them to post an introduction thread 😊

I don't think they are having too many pellets, I'll check the weight when we next give them. My daughter told me off for forgetting the hay 🤦‍♂️ she usually gives loads to them.
 

VickiA

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Young piggies explore a lot with their mouths.
Tugging on clothes is an indication they would like to be put down/back in their cage or run.
Some piggies also use their teeth very gently to groom each other, and it could be if this is a gentle mouthing/nibbling that this is a sign of affection. I have 6 adult piggies. 2 of them will “groom” my arm/hand while I am cage tidying. It’s not painful but the first time you feel their breath in your skin and realise the teeth are there it can be a bit of a shock.
 

Piggies&buns

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:agr:

The piggies will tell you off if you forget the hay too! They’ll soon have you trained!
Pellets are the least important part of their diet and keeping them strictly limited to one tablespoon (Don’t go by the suggested serving sizes on the packaging - they suggest something like 30g of pellets per pig, but actually the recommended one tablespoon weighs more like 6-10g)
 

VickiA

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I’d be less worried about pellet quantity while they are young. If they were babies in July when you bought them they won’t have reached their full size yet. However, it’s good to train them from a young age to eat predominantly hay rather than pellets. Pellets are a bit like “fast food” for humans.
 

Cand4Ts

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I’d be less worried about pellet quantity while they are young. If they were babies in July when you bought them they won’t have reached their full size yet. However, it’s good to train them from a young age to eat predominantly hay rather than pellets. Pellets are a bit like “fast food” for humans.
I don't know exactly how old they were when we got them, I tried to guess going off weight but that's obviously very inaccurate. They came from a highly recommended local breeder but they did seem tiny 🥰 they've grown so much but we are always aware they are still nowhere near adults yet.
 

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TL: DR- one of our juvenile female piggies is nipping us, not on the hand, she nipped my work clothes, my daughter's leg, not always while being held and we are wondering why.

And the long version 😂

We got our piggies in July, first time owners, 3 baby females all from the same local breeder. One of them, Sugar, has had to be treated twice for an abscess at the vets including being sedated, she has been handled loads and is the one who's most comfortable taking treats from us, she is also the first in when we feed them and seems to be wanting to be the dominant one. She is also the only one who nips. This week I was holding her and the most timid pig and she nipped my collar, the other pig and my sleeve so I put her back in the cage. But yesterday they were all on the floor together and she was going up to my daughter leg and nipping her (not painfully, it's not a bite, she is also their owner, I'm just here to pay for everything 😂)
We are just wondering why she might be doing this? Obviously we worry about her health now after all the vet trips and we want all our piggies to be happy. I have younger children who do say hello to the piggies but weren't there when these incidents happened and we do have a dog too, a Bichon who half the time seems petrified of them, but has tried to sniff them. They have a massive cage with loads of hiddies
It can be a sign of her wanting to be put back in the cage?
Piggies will take what give them the results when it comes to attention seeking from another species.

You may find this guide here helpful: Who is the boss - your guinea pig or you?
 
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