Cavy/Human Communication

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Leanne_and _Alan

Post   » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:22 am

Stewie will wheek for food when she think's it's feeding time or when someone makes a noise with a bag and then Chuck(rip 15/06/05) would start as well even though he didn't know what was going on.We used to keep then in the sitting room next to the kitchen and when someone was making a cup of tea they would start wheeking really load when they heard the spoon hitting the cup.I think it was because they knew you had to get the milk from the fridge,where the good stuff was kept.

We got a new guinea pig on sunday and we are slowly introducing her (Milly) to stewie.I put some hay from Stewie's cage into Milly's and she just wouldn't stop wheeking.We put them together this morning and they were chatting away like two old friend's.

Stewie is nearly 4 and Milly is only around 2 months.


Post   » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:33 pm

The other day, Sullivan and Gilbert had eaten all of their lettuce, but the empty bowls were still in the cage. Sully saw me come down the stairs. He ran over to his bowl, looked at the bowl, made eye contact with me, looked back at the bowl, looked at me, back at the bowl, clearly trying to draw my attention to the empty bowl...then he ran a lap around the cage. He then went back to the bowl with enthusiasm. When he saw it was still empty, he looked really dejected, then looked up at me, back at his empty bowl, up at me, back at his empty bowl...

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Post   » Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:39 am

Well. I HOPE you got the MESSAGE. All we are hearing from you is how hard poor Sully tried to get through.

We never found out if you caught on.

I trust you are trainable, no? Finally the light went on and you brought vegs instead of leaving poor Sully in despair?

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Post   » Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:38 pm

The piggie I had several years ago used eye contact to confirm that I was ready to catch her... She would sit next to me, and if she got eye contact with me she would just jump straight up in the air towards me, counting on me to catch her! (She always wanted to sit high up with her head under my chin)
Needless to say, there were a few times I wouldn't think about that, and just make eye contact, and the next thing I knew I had a trusting pig in mid-air...

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We miss our sweet Oreo

Post   » Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:00 pm

We're relatively new owners and our pigs are young as well. The oldest, Oreo, was a school class pet. We began taking her home every night and returning her to school the next day because we couldn't stand the idea of her being left alone from 4 pm every day until 7:30 am the next morning. Once school ended for the year, she moved in permanently. She's about one year old and greets whomever is awake first in the morning with a very demanding, insistent wheek. I've been giving her carrots as a breakfast treat for awhile and now she simply demands them. She's our queen bee and conducts herself very regally, only condescending to be petted or held when SHE feels like it. She mothers our littles one, but maintains her distance from our adolescent (she mothered him, too until he got to be about 3 months old then went on the attack...we tried to wait it out, but it got too violent). She's gotten rather plump these past few months, but still manages to rise above the floor when she plays...we hate to laugh at her, but she looks so darned funny when she does that.

Nutmeg, the 41/2 month old hyperactive boar also wheeks for treats. When he's in a mood to be petted (which is more often than not), he'll run to the side of the cage and wait patiently for it. When he's feeling skittish, he runs into his tube and just watches. He's a very loud purrer and definitely shows his appreciation. He also popcorns so hard (in his cage) that he literally bounces off the walls. We give him lots of floor time so he can pop without hinderment.

Our new addition, Pandabear, is about 8-9 weeks old (we think) and is still undergoing his transition. He does purr ever so quietly when he's rubbed on his rump. I've heard him squeak once in the past week but he generally just stares at us. He's starting to recognize treats and will rush over for a piece of strawberry. Generally, however, he's still very shy. We don't know if this will be his temperament or whether it's due to the newness of the situation. He's very adventuresome and during floortime will run the perimeter of the room, checking out everything...but quietly.

I cannot imagine our lives without these wonderful creatures. All 3 are very content sitting in our laps (getting cuddling with lots of affection, kisses, and appreciative looks. Since my children are getting older (11 and 17), it's wonderful to have something small, warm, and cuddly to hold and love (not that I don't love my kids, but they're beyond the small, warm, and cuddly stage :-))

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Post   » Sat Jul 30, 2005 4:11 pm

I'm glad you retired Oreo from the classroom; public service can get tiring for these little ones.

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Post   » Mon Aug 15, 2005 12:58 pm

hmmm... wondering if anyone has thoughts on this. My two boys - Jack & Charlie - don't make any noise at all. they never Wheek and communicate to each other with little noises as they pass each other around their cage. they come running as soon as they see me to see if they are getting treats. which they usually are. i'm a sucker for their cute faces. but they don't wheek, or squeal. they bump noses and head butt the other on the rear when they want him to move.. they really and truly could win a prize for the quietest gp's on earth.

and i've had them checked... they are healthy. :)


Post   » Mon Aug 15, 2005 1:09 pm

My brother who is 22 often visits us on the the weekends from college. He'll cup one of the pigs in his hands, hold it up with his nose and say, "Do you remember uncle Jon? Nibble my nose if you do." Funny thing is, they do give his nose a nibble if he visits within 3 weeks. Any longer than a month and sometimes Marble will be upset and leave a dent on his nose.

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Post   » Mon Aug 15, 2005 1:28 pm

That is SO cute Tammy! Jack will lick my nose. When he comes out for snuggles and sleepies... he'll lay with his face to mine and occasionally feels very affectionate and licks my nose. he's the big suck of the pair. :)

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For Rocky

Post   » Wed Aug 17, 2005 9:36 pm

Rocky and I communicated well this morning. I needed a urine sample from him to take to the vet. So I set him in a plastic bin/box and wouldn't let him leave until he peed. I kept telling him I needed him to pee and that he couldn't leave until he did. After a while of being calm he suddenly started scrambling out of the box again. He was very insistent this time, so I picked him up and sure enough there was the pee I'd been asking for.

The conversation went something like this (with the appropriate censoring):
Me: Where are you going?
Rocky: Look in the bleeping box, lady! I've bleeped myself and now I'm soggy and I want back in my bleep cozy cuddle!

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Post   » Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:17 pm

A few years ago I tried the "mental communication" with your pet thing with one of my first pair. (was reading about pet telepaths on a website) Sitting in a dark, quiet room, letting my mind remain blank and receptive, being one with the chirping pig on my chest.

Suddenly I became aware of a strong emotion from her - the word "gratitude" just popped into my brain. It was very weird. Gave me goosebumps. I am normally so NOT New Agey. And I've never before told anyone about this.

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Post   » Sat Sep 24, 2005 8:08 am

Bonnie has 3 distinct wheeks:

1 - Is that food I hear being made?
3 - Where did you go?

The third one I find quite distressing. She has never been alone. Every time I took Bracken out the cage she would wander round wheeking until Bracken was returned. Now I'm witnessing it a couple of times a day since I lost Bracken. Bracken slept in the cozy, Bonnie slept in the pigloo. Now, when she wanders out the pigloo into her cozy, she starts her sorrowful wheeking, as if it is realization dawning that she has gone. Maybe I'm just reading too much into it.

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Post   » Sat Sep 24, 2005 8:23 am

Some guinea pigs sorely miss their cagemates. I weighed my Snowflake daily for a while to make sure she was still eating and alright when Nina died.


Post   » Thu Nov 03, 2005 7:12 pm

Lil Joe was very communicative and very distinct. He had one tone when he would talk to me, just jibber jabber, usually he wanted me to pick him up and cuddle. A slightly louder tone when he heard me rustle a bag, because that meant veggies and lunch. If his water bottle ran out he would bang it a few times and let out a loud weet. This loud weet was a I want it now tone either water or dinner, if not feed dinner by 10pm I would definitely get this scream.

When I left my apt. he would let out two soft weets. When music was playing every now and then he would sing a long if he liked the song or if he heard me singing. He would also sing to me when I would come dancing over to the cages. When we cuddled he would almost per like a cat. He loved his cuddle and his bath because he knew that a good rubbing and cuddle was soon to follow. Both my pigs will make a kissing sound when ever I get around the cage, but Hoss almost looks like he is blowing me kisses when he makes that smooching sound.

I would say that he definitely could get me to understand what he was saying and I am sure he knew what I was saying.

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amy m guinea

Post   » Sat Nov 05, 2005 9:06 pm

My boar, Nevy, never wheeked but had his way of telling me when I was late with dinner (5 minutes late was out of line)! He would clank his two ceramic food bowls together sharply and turn his cardboard tube up on end. In other words, he would make a mess of his cage! He was terribly spoiled.

A friend watched him when I was out of town, and she told me he would angrily clank the food bowls, flip the tube, and rip down his hay rack when she was late with dinner. (She wasn't a cavy slave and didn't understand her duties very well). Sometimes he would somehow get the small food bowl into the big one (I never saw him do this).

I thought it was interesting how he would take action that made noise and a mess, but he wouldn't wheek. He would chirp happily when I held him, but never wheeked for food, which was unusual!


Post   » Thu Dec 29, 2005 10:44 pm

Rosie will wheek for food when she think's it's feeding time or when someone makes a noise with a bag. It will start out softly, but then if she doesn't think I am getting it fast enough, the pitch gets higher and higher. When I have her out to play she will make little soft squeeks while she is running around and while I brush her. (she has long hair, so I brush her daily).

She also gives strong headbutts when I pet her on the head, what's that mean?


Post   » Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:54 am

I walk into the room and ask " Who wants begaables" (baby talk), and they freak out. Ella starts popcorning and flipping her pigloo around, Reece use to attatch himself to his hanging birdtoy and swing like Tarzan, and only when I had veggies. Tusk let them make all the noise as he waited paitentely.

Reece, (rest his little soul), use to sit on my sons shoulder while he played video games like he was in on the action, he would sleep on my son and get in my sons face and hold a conversation, well he seemed to be anyways, and sometimes you'd hear Tusk chime in as if Reece was bitching about Tusk, and Tusk was denying it.

Bear did not take long to know when it was veggie time, but he got all worked up to only eat lettuce and pellets, hes not sure about the cilantro. But he knows how to boss Tusk around. Bear has a little of Reece in him so Tusk feels at home with him.

My pigs are partial free range, they are in their huge cages at nite, but when I get off work and go into the room to let them out, the boys are attached to the door and fall out when I open it. They grab on with their teeth, and I pull down the door , and they hold on till I open it then take off to do their thing. Like letting kids out for recess.

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Perpetual Pig Slave

Post   » Mon Jan 30, 2006 12:17 am

Chaos and Tao wheek a little when they hear me come into the room. More insistently when they hear the plastic bag crinkle.
What really drives them nuts is when I am taking out the garbage..<prolonged plastic bag sounds and NO FOOD...WHEEK WHEEK WHEEEEK>
Chaos is a little bolder and will put her paws up on the coroplast and beg.

Chaos also lets me know when she wants lap time to end by crawling up my chest and head butting my chin.


Post   » Sun Feb 12, 2006 5:17 pm

I wish I had seen this thread sooner, as I'm thoroughly enjoying it. You all have such great stories about your relationship with your pigs!

I have had 11 pigs in the course of my lifetime, and there was definitely one I was closest to out of all of them. We had a relationship much like RavenShade and Max. Othello was a little baby when I got him, and from the first moment I held him we just "clicked." I had picked up one of his siblings first but when I put him in my hand, he just sat still and stared intently at me. "Take ME home," he seemed to say.

I was going through a difficult time in my life when he moved in, and I can honestly say, he truly became my best friend. He always knew when I was feeling sad or worried (a lot those days) and would sit on my lap for hours, flattening out as I petted him and going to sleep. One night in particular I remember so well; I cried for an hour straight and he let me hold his little paw.

I would put him in a shoebox lined with a towel and take him places (I strapped the shoebox in with a seatbelt), putting him in my pocket when we got there. His favorite place to visit was the pet store where we got supplies - he would talk to the "prisoners" there! (I got him from a 4-H kid at the county fair)

One day he was running around my room while I was snacking on a Brown Sugar Cinnamon PopTart. Othello suddenly started rooting under my butt and I realized I was sitting on a tiny piece of PopTart. From then on I began training him with PopTart crumbs! (I know, not the healthiest treat, but let me tell you he was nuts about them). He learned to race up our 14 stairs - he could beat me - and pick up a pencil in his teeth like a little weight-lifter. He was so smart!

Othello lived in my upstairs bedroom, and when I would come in the house downstairs all the way at the back door, if he heard my voice he'd start wheeking. No one else prompted that reaction.

Othy was a solid black with black eyes, and no pig has ever had a shinier coat (I think from being handled so much). He was a sleek, speedy little perpetual motion machine.

I wish this story had a happy ending, but I will relate it to you just the same because it further illustrates the level of our communication.

I decided to return to college in a far-away state. I knew I would be in a dorm, plus I had to fly out, so there was no way I could take Othy with me. I left my younger brothers in charge of him and after MANY tears, went off in January without my best pal. While I was away the first semester I got regular reports from my mom and brothers that he was doing fine. I missed him TERRIBLY and vowed that when I went home for Spring Break I was bringing him back with me come hell or high water.

When I stepped in our door and saw him for the first time in three months, I got a horrible shock. He had somehow morphed into an almost-unrecognizable blimp of a pig - he was so fat he looked pregnant. When I picked him up his breathing was labored, and he could hardly walk. My family did not understand my hysterical reaction, having just brought him to the vet for a toenail trim, they said the vet had not noticed anything wrong. I knew much better and said we were going to be at the vet's as soon as they opened the next day.

I sat up late into the night with my boy's head propped on my thigh, which seemed to help his breathing. Suddenly, at about 2:00 a.m., Othello leapt to his feet, ran to the end of the couch, fell on his back, convulsed several times, and stopped breathing. I tried to give him mouth-to-nose resuscitation, to no avail.

I have always believed Othello waited for me to come home before he died. Perhaps it was just a tragic coincidence, but I am so glad I was with him. My family was truly shocked and disbelieving.

For many years I blamed his death on my brothers and family, for apparently overfeeding him and not playing with him enough. Fortunately, when I related this tale to my current (absolutely wonderful) pig vet, he shed some more light on the subject. Dr. P. thinks Othello developed congestive heart failure, which would account for the weight gain (actually fluid) and breathing difficulty. My family was much relieved to hear this.

However, one must ask... Why did he not develop syptoms until AFTER I left him? Why did he die just when I returned? I still think I know the answer - my faithful, loving pig died of a broken heart.

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For Rocky

Post   » Sun Feb 12, 2006 7:40 pm

InkysMom - such a sweet story. Sounds like you and Othello had a wonderful relationship. As for why he didn't develop symptoms until after you left, stress could certainly trigger illness in some pigs. I'm glad you were with him to say goodbye.

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