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Teeth Chattering - Fast And Slow

HeatherW

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I've read that fast teeth chattering is meant aggressively, but is that always the case? Could it sometimes be meant defensively if a pig is feeling a little unsure or nervous?

When I feed my piggies their fresh fruit and veg, Jasmine has occasionally approached the bars of the cage chattering her teeth quickly. However, it's never been prolonged and she's always done this with her head outstretched, slowly taking small steps towards the place where I'm about to place the salad and stopped once the food has been placed in the cage. Jasmine has always done this on the top floor of the C&C cage (she's never chuttered at me anywhere else in the cage), so could it be that she's expecting food after she's heard the rustle of the salad bag, but isn't sure that's what's about to happen? For a small animal, I guess I'm the human equivalent of Godzilla looming over them! I always talk to them as I come in through the door, so they hopefully recognise my voice a bit better too.

Jasmine is a very gentle, confident and placid piggy who's quite happy to be picked up (most of the time!), be stroked/massaged and sit on your lap. Her first reaction when she's startled is to freeze rather than run away, but she's never agressive - not to me or her baby and companion, Pickle. So, I'm just intrigued as to whether fast teeth chattering could mean a bit of insecurity rather than aggression? Or is there something I've overlooked?

On a separate note, what does a slow chewing mean exactly? When Jasmine's been sat on my lap, she's occasionally put her nose in the air like she's smelled or heard something I haven't and made a slow chewing motion.
 

Wiebke

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I've read that fast teeth chattering is meant aggressively, but is that always the case? Could it sometimes be meant defensively if a pig is feeling a little unsure or nervous?

When I feed my piggies their fresh fruit and veg, Jasmine has occasionally approached the bars of the cage chattering her teeth quickly. However, it's never been prolonged and she's always done this with her head outstretched, slowly taking small steps towards the place where I'm about to place the salad and stopped once the food has been placed in the cage. Jasmine has always done this on the top floor of the C&C cage (she's never chuttered at me anywhere else in the cage), so could it be that she's expecting food after she's heard the rustle of the salad bag, but isn't sure that's what's about to happen? For a small animal, I guess I'm the human equivalent of Godzilla looming over them! I always talk to them as I come in through the door, so they hopefully recognise my voice a bit better too.

Jasmine is a very gentle, confident and placid piggy who's quite happy to be picked up (most of the time!), be stroked/massaged and sit on your lap. Her first reaction when she's startled is to freeze rather than run away, but she's never agressive - not to me or her baby and companion, Pickle. So, I'm just intrigued as to whether fast teeth chattering could mean a bit of insecurity rather than aggression? Or is there something I've overlooked?

On a separate note, what does a slow chewing mean exactly? When Jasmine's been sat on my lap, she's occasionally put her nose in the air like she's smelled or heard something I haven't and made a slow chewing motion.
Teeth chattering can mean a lot; there is a range of it with somewhat different meanings.

Mild teeth chattering is usually just an expression of dislike/displeasure in the strength of "I really do not like that!"
Like many supposedly aggressive behaviours, heavy teeth chattering is also more of a warning/defence behaviour.
I've had sow bondings where the disputed and rather evenly matched dominance was entirely decided in rounds of teeth chattering with mutual assurance in between that they wanted to be friends when the chips were down.
A lot of piggies will teeth chatter at first when meeting others; it is a typical fear-aggressive behaviour when a piggy is feeling insecure and out of its depth.
Intense teeth chattering with the hairs standing on end is the strongest of them all and means total rejection of the other piggy, especially if it comes on the back on a hostile encounter/tussle.
You may find our bonding and social behaviours guide interesting: Bonding: Illustrated Dominance Behaviours And Dynamics

As to your other question, piggies have much stronger sense of hearing (especially in the higher ranges which go further up than humans'), sense of smell and taste. They have double the number of taste buds and a multiple of that of cats.
Guinea Pig Facts - A Short Overview
 

HeatherW

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Thank you! It sounds like my interpretation is on the right track then. :)
 

HeatherW

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Or ready to stop being fussed and go back in the cage. :) At least, I think that's what Jasmine was trying to tell me this evening. She leaves my lap, climbs up onto my shoulder and starts poking her face into mine and under my chin where I'm very ticklish! It doesn't help that she's very floofy either. :D

IMG_20180220_220957.jpg
 

Dindypig

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Or ready to stop being fussed and go back in the cage. :) At least, I think that's what Jasmine was trying to tell me this evening. She leaves my lap, climbs up onto my shoulder and starts poking her face into mine and under my chin where I'm very ticklish! It doesn't help that she's very floofy either. :D
I've noticed this too. If I ignore it, I get pee'd on. So now I always watch to see if they have a wee when I put them back.
 

kyliebowers

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One of my pigs chatters if I take too long to feed him veggies :P
 
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