New Cavy mom - need some advice

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Coco-Pepe Mom

Post   » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:43 pm

I am sure many of these topics have been covered in the past, but sifting through all the threads was endless...

I recently adopted 2 females from the local animal shelter. They are a bonded pair and approx. 1 year old. Does anyone have advice for me on how to earn their trust and allow me to handle them? They were very scared - the shelter wanted them in a home without children - assuming they were mishandled at their first home.

I assume it will just take time and not forcing them to be touched/handled until they have settled in a bit. One of them, Coco, is more inquisitive and allows me to pet her on the head, back, long as I don't make a move like I may pick her up. She happily squeaks away while I pet her.The other one, Pepe, is the very shy one. She will run and hide if I walk past their enclosure. She will take hay and other food from my hand, but only from the safety of her hideout or blanket tent she has made. They both wheek very loudly when I get out the salad! :)

Thanks in advance for the advice!
New Guinea Pig Mom

P.S. I have a lot of experience with other small animals...but guineas are a bit different! So excited to make their forever home a happy one.

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Post   » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:42 pm

Offer bits of food. I'd be tempted to pick them up and put them in your lap with a tasty treat. They will come to trust you.


Post   » Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:30 am

You can minimize the trauma of being picked up by getting them to go into a tube or box and then picking that up with them in it. Then when they are on your lap (use a lap pad of some kind -- they might pee on you until they learn better), give them treats and talk to them softly and reassuringly. Ours still don't like being picked up but love being held.

If yours have been mishandled by children, they will be extra scared of being picked up. Just be careful and give lots of treats. The way to a guinea pig's heart is through its stomach!


Post   » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:39 pm

I would try hand feeding while talking to them so they get used to your voice and hands. I would start with something long like romaine lettuce then gradually offering shorter veggies and treats. This will let them start bonding with you while making them feel safe. Every time you handle them, I would offer them veggies or a treat so they associate you with good things like food.

Coco-Pepe Mom

Post   » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:21 am

Thank you for the advice - the girls are coming out of their shells, a little bit every day. Coco is a total food nut and just wants fresh veggies every time I walk thru the great room! Pepe comes out and takes food from our hands, but still will not allow us to pet her. I have tried floor time in the kitchen a couple of times, but they are very nervous about the large space - yesterday they would not come out of the pet carrier to explore at all. I got Coco to come out finally and into my lap by crinkling a lettuce wrapper! I am going to sew a couple of covered beds to get them into and try more lap time to get them comfortable. I am very quickly falling in love with my two darlings.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:45 pm

Cut the bottom out of some cardboard boxes, and doors in the ends, to use as tunnels when you have floor time. You can place bits of fruit/veggies in between to lure them out.

Also, they don't like slick floors, so it may help to put a large blanket or towels down to give them some traction.

Coco-Pepe Mom

Post   » Tue Jul 11, 2017 3:37 pm

Thank you bpatters for the suggestion on the boxes...this last time I tried floor time, I had a nice big sheet on the floor for them. Maybe I will try a more fluffy fleece-like blanket next time. I also had cardboard boxes with doors, etc., and lots of hidey-places...but maybe they were too spread out. I will work on placement next time! :)

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