is this normal behavior for a baby guinea?

Post Reply

Post   » Fri May 04, 2018 2:20 am


My name is Caitlin and last month I got a baby skinny pig. I rescued him because he had ringworm and the people who had him were going to return him to the breeder because they didn’t want to deal with it. So I took him to the vet and got him nice and healthy and here we are. He’s almost 3 months old now and I know he’s made great strides in being more comfortable in his environment, but I just wanted to make sure that this is normal baby behavior.
What he does is every time my boyfriend or I try to pet him he jumps back and stares for a split second then comes back and licks our hands. Then if we try to let him agin he jumps again, licks and popcorns around like a crazy man!
He will willingly jump into his shark house to come out for playtime, but picking him up is a struggle and we feel like we’re torturing him because he squirms so much. Even if you hold him in a blanket or close to you in anyway he makes a noise like he’s nervous. I know guineas don’t like being picked up so that’s okay, but I just want to know if him being so hand shy with petting is normal or are we doing something wrong?

We always introduce our hands with fresh food like hay and veggies and never reach quickly. We always let him come to us and slowly extend a finger to try and make contact but it’s almost like a game to him. I honestly think he thinks it’s funny.
Anyway, sorry for the rant, but I really could use advice or reassurance that it’s just a baby thing :p

User avatar

Post   » Fri May 04, 2018 7:51 am

Every guinea pig is different so it's hard to know what is normal for him. Have you considered getting a same sex companion for him? I can say my guinea pigs were not happy being held but they tolerated it. It may take him more time to gain trust and calm down. Popcorning is good though.


Post   » Fri May 04, 2018 8:11 am

The licking may have to do with what your hand tastes like (either salty ir of whatever you ate). Guinea pigs can be skittish in general. Some don’t like to be touched. From my experience with baby pigs though they usually don’t like to be touched or handled. This is what I imagine them thinking “NO MOM! I have things I got to do!!!” :) they can be hyperactive little bundles of joy. It could also just be him trying to play. Especially if they don’t have a partner to keep them company

If this is a lone pig I highly recommend getting them a piggy partner. They do great in pair and at this age it’s crucial for them to have someone to play and be with them. I know people who didn’t and over time their playful baby aged, wouldn’t come out of hiding and when they tried to pair them up it seemed too late (they were grumps and wouldn’t bond with anyone). It might have just been their pigs personality but I can garuntee that everyon on this site would recommend getting a piggy partner if you don’t have one already (preferably one they can’t breed with)

When you pick them up keep in mind supporting all four feet will help keep them feeling calm and properly supported


Post   » Fri May 04, 2018 6:47 pm

I wanted to get him a same sex partner but my vet said not to because males fight. I don’t know if that’s her being overly cautious or if I should give it a try. Thank you so much for the responses :)


Post   » Fri May 04, 2018 7:13 pm

That’s not true. They aren’t like rabbits where they will fight. Males can do perfectly fine if you correctly go through the bonding process with them and give them adequate space. There is occasional sets that don’t work out but that’s usually not the case

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Fri May 04, 2018 7:41 pm

You've got an adolescent male, so find a good guinea pig rescue near you, if possible, and see if they'll do a "meet and greet" and let him pick out his own buddy. That's not a guarantee of success, but at least you won't waste time introducing them if they hate each other at first sight.

User avatar

Post   » Fri May 04, 2018 10:23 pm

You would also need a really large cage.

User avatar
Catie Cavy
Supporter 2011-2019

Post   » Sat May 05, 2018 9:05 am

I see you are in Los Angeles. There is an excellent guinea pig rescue in LA. They have "match making services." They also recently took in over 700 guinea pigs from a hoarding situation. I would contact them. I'm sure they could help you find a buddy.

User avatar
Supporter in 2018

Post   » Sun May 06, 2018 11:38 pm

His behavior sounds a lot like what I've seen in my youngest males. I second Catie Cavy's advice--they are great at matchmaking, but be prepared for things to go south, especially since you have an adolescent. The first pig I took to a rescue for matching was a 6 month old male, and so full of hormones that nothing worked. They advised us to try again in six months, which we did, and he had a buddy for life. Most recently, we had a year old male who was paired with a baby. They got along great until the baby was 3-4 months old and started trying to mount the older one all the time. They have since been permanently separated and are waiting to be matched with new buddies. It really has more to do with individual personalities than anything else.

Post Reply
9 posts • Page 1 of 1