If the "purring" is low-pitched and more like a rumble, then it's not purring. Rumbling usually is done in trying to establish dominance with another guinea pig, or by males who are asking females if they are "in the mood." Are you sure she's actually female? There are pictures to compare on this forum too. Turn her over and check to make sure. If she is really a year old, then if she's really a male you should be able to tell fairly easily, as males have a testicle sac that can drag along the ground.
I've never had a guinea pig rumble at ME to establish dominance, but maybe if yours has only been alone its whole life, maybe she is. In any case, if you can, she will do better with another guinea pig as a friend. But do make triple sure they are the same sex. Otherwise you'll have babies.
The hay we give her is the stuff we grow and give to our horses. I just go pull a bunch off of the round bale in the feeder when I'm out doing chores. It's mostly Timothy, some alfalfa but I remove the alfalfa before I give it to her.
She will eat the hay if I hold out on her veggies. But then I have to listen to the WEEK WEEK WEEK evertime she sees me. It's cute until it wakes up the baby. At first I was under the understanding that they need fresh veggies at all times. I have since learned that is not the case. So we have cut down her veg substantially (less than a cup a day) to see if that was the hay issue. But that was only a few days ago.
I got the vet to check gender when we had her in. He and the vet tech agreed Female. I have never seen testicles but I will maybe check tomorrow. I agree it isn't really purring, more rumbling. She kind of walks slowly around her cage while doing it. Then continues on making happy chittering noises.
The plan is to eventually get her a friend when one who needs a home becomes available but I kind of want to get the care of this one down pat before acquiring a new one. But that is the eventual goal once the learning curve has evened out. And yes same sex is a must. I DO NOT want guinea pig babies, as cute as they may be.
If she is actually clicking her teeth together, that means she's mad. I knew someone once who had had a lone guinea pig that had been by itself its whole life (when he was a kid years ago) and he said that pig rumbled and clicked its teeth a lot -- and was so mean it got ignored. Made me cry, because the pig was obviously miserable and trying to communicate that it needed company. Hopefully that is not what your pig is doing.
The WHEEKing you hear means she wants treats or food and/or is very excited. Do you hold her? Guinea pigs are social animals and they need companionship. Until you get another guinea pig, that means she needs human company. We have six guinea pigs (we had unexpected babies) and we will hold them while we watch TV. Guinea pigs usually have to pee about every 20 minutes, so be aware of that when you hold her. Mine have learned to "hold" it while being held, but we use a fleece lap pad that is OK for them to pee on, and they will eventually pee on it when we watch hour-long shows with them, lol.
Is she outside? She should not be outside. There are too many threats to a pig that is kept outside. Plus it gets too hot and too cold. Poke around on this site and you can get some ideas on how to make your cage a great indoor place for her.
So I just took her out to "cuddle" and run about and she clearly is trying to show dominance towards me. Rumble-strutting, pushing my hand with her mouth, head flicking, standing up on her back legs. I put her grumpy self back in her cage and went to put her chewing logs back in and she rumble-strutted over to me and then stood up and pushed my hand. I then blocked her with the other log and she ran over to her veg bowl and grabbed it with her teeth and flung it about 4 inches. This was about 15 minutes ago and she has been rumbling in her cage on and off ever since. I think I even heard some sneezing or chattering. I'm no where near her, like 20 feet away. Who exactly is she trying to dominate?
If she's behaving like this with no companion what is she going to do with another guinea pig? Tear it to shreds?
The chittering in the last post I was referring to was the happy little investigatory squeak. But since I tried to interact with her tonight she's mostly just made grumpy sounds. i will look into some diy entertainment for her. I want her to have a better life than what she had.
I am so glad she is with you. I bet she is thrilled to have more space, good food, and no poop on her feet!
Do read the guide thoroughly. It can answer lots of your questions.
It takes patience, gentleness and persistence, but you can probably eventually help her realize you are a good person. The key to a guinea pig's heart is through its stomach, so if she gets special treats like fresh veggies when you hold her, she will eventually come to associate you with good things. As long as she isn't trying to bite you, I'd persist with taking her out every day for a cuddle and yummy treat.
When you pick her up, scoop her up from below rather than have The Hand descend upon her from above. That's too much like an eagle or a hawk and it scares her. We had four guinea pigs (now it's three) who were born to us -- so all they've ever known is love and affection and associate terrific things with being held -- and none of them like to be caught. It triggers their prey instinct and they run and hide or try to evade. But once they are in our laps or against our chests they are fine and really enjoy being petted. We have found that letting them run into a small box or tube and then picking them up in that makes it easier on them.
Guinea pigs have poor eyesight and learn to recognize you by your scent, voice, and even footsteps. So talk to her in soothing tones as much as you can, let her get a good whiff of you, and of course make sure to always have a yummy treat ready that she only gets when she's with you, and she will probably eventually get calmer around you.
I'm not sure what to say about the rumble-strutting to you. I've never had a guinea pig do that to a human before. My pigs (I have six all together now) do it plenty with each other, but never to me. Maybe someone else here can address that.
I do know that when it's between my pigs, they play the game "who can reach the highest with their nose." The higher the nose, the more dominant the pig. I've had some of them fall over backwards a couple of times trying to outdo each other in that, lol. Sometimes when one pig is rumble-strutting the others just ignore him/her, which is basically allowing the rumbler to "win."
As Lynx said, do read the guides here. They help a lot.
In the meantime Peppas dominance/aggression seems to be getting worse. She "bit" me last night. When I say bit I mean she displayed several domineering body traits before giving me a warning shot - like pushing her teeth against my hand. It's not like she's afraid. She runs out to greet every time you walk by her cage or come to visit but it's always followed by rumblestrutting. She will walk around her cage slowly while rumbling then come over to you to investigate what you have for her, if nothing she will do her rumbling lap again. She very seldom hides when you approach. Last night all I did was put some fresh hay in and was sifting through it to remove the thick alfalfa stalks. She of course came running up to my hand immediately started rumbling then nudging, chattering, then bam teeth were felt on hand. Out of instinct I forcefully shoved her away. She got spooked and ran in her hut but came back out less than a minute later and was then very personable. Very little rumbling no chattering, only a few head flicks. I read that discipline shouldn't be used, it was kind of a quick instinct on my part and maybe I shouldn't have done it.
Today she is back to her grumpy self. I have tried to somewhat train her. She kind of has to work for her beloved veggies. If she wants a lettuce leaf or whatever she must let me gently touch her head for a second or two with no complaints. It seems to work a bit. If she starts rumbling or getting shovey I take my lettuce and walk away and return in 5 minutes. Is this kind of an acceptable form of training or is it a fruitless effort. I do see a difference after the first lettuce piece.
Also, we are actively looking for a roommate for her but wouldn't you know it, None of the shelters in a 300 km radius have any piggies at the moment. I hope something will work soon as we cannot have a pet of any sort that bites in our house with two small kids. I really want to make a better life for her but I'm running out of ideas here.
Ps - we got her some new "toys". A little grass hut, a wood tunnel, and some little wood ball things.
She fits some of the symptoms of ovarian cysts , mostly the moodiness. She has no hair loss on her sides but her hips and shoulders lack any fatty padding while her tummy is plump.
She is eating more hay now that she knows she won't be getting unlimited veg like before.
As a side note to all of this, she shows considerably less aggression to my son who can pick her up without so much as a squeak. Maybe she's just not a fan of me. Hopefully a buddy will help her.
Another question. Do your pigs sort of nibble on your fingers? She nibbles on my sons a lot. Never with rumbling or chattering and he giggles when she does it so it obviously isn't painful. I told him not to let her do that but now I'm wondering if it's maybe ok? Perhaps they're just bonding?
Do NOT let her nibble, even if it "tickles," to show affection. Teach her to lick instead. It feels way nicer on your finger and will still elicit a "giggle" response from your son, I'm sure. One of ours is a nibbler, and after two years she is finally learning to lick like the others do. It is too easy for them to forget and nibble a bit too hard, then you run the risk of your son dropping her out of reflex and she could be seriously hurt, break bones, etc.
When Sugar (she's our nibbler) nibbles, I pull my finger away momentarily, then give it back to her. Sometimes this means doing this repeatedly in quick succession. She is finally learning that if she licks my finger instead, I don't pull it away. All the other piggies learned this within a couple of months. For her it has been about 2 and a half years, lol.
Nibbling can be done for several different reasons. Sometimes it's just a curiosity thing, to see what something is. Sometimes it's to show affection (as in Sugar's case) -- which needs to be re-directed to licking. Sometimes it's to tell whoever is holding them that they need to pee or for some other reason needs to be put down -- they are ready to go back in the cage or are just done with being held. When my piggies who are not nibblers do nibble, it means they are ready to be put down for some reason and I respect that and put them down.