"The Big Girls"
LADY- Lady is a 2 year old feisty Peruvian (long haired) who is most definitely the most respected member of the cage. She is tiny for an adult- only a little over a pound. She eats a lot and is not malnourished, she is just a small piggie! You'd never be able to tell though because of her long hair. Lady prefers interacting with her mom and dad by talking to them in the cage and getting treats. She is indifferent to pets. She loves exploring everywhere when she is taken out. She would jump from any height- she has no fear of exploring! Lady was the first member of our herd.
WINNIE- Winnie is a 2 year old Abysinnian who had received the nickname "Scaredy pig" because she looks constantly terrified of everything. Her face is all black- even her mouth- so the focus of her face are these bug out eyes. Winnie has got alot of "junk in the trunk" and she is very good at moving those hips when rumblestrutting around the cage. She is not afraid of her cagemates necessarily, she just bounces between letting them push her around and being somewhat in charge. She adores her sister Lady, as they were the two original pigs of the group. She will sit on your lap or by your side as long as there are not too many loud noises or sudden movements. She loves being scratched on her back.
MAYBELLINE- Maybelline is a 1 and a half year old American with a big ol' dulap under her chin. She likes to sit on top of the pigloo and veg out with her double chin in full display. She has something she does when she is picked up that mom and dad have taken to calling "Rocket Pig". She tightens her muscles up and stretches her legs straight down like she's trying to rocket into the air! No other pig does this here. What a weird girl. Maybelline also has a benign eye tumor she was born with that gives her a tuft of fur on one eye that looks like extra eyelashes. Hence her name. She enjoys sitting with you on the bed and getting her chin scratched. She is a very easygoing girl!
PAULINE- Pauline is pretty new to the group of Big Girls. She is probably 9 months old and is getting chubbier and longer all the time. She is a very nice pig who likes being pet and hanging out but beware! Pauline is the only biter here. She bit mom on the lip day one when mom was giving her a smooch! Pauline was separated from her big girl friends at first (as is suggested for new pigs) but mom and dad put her in an upper loft of the cage the big girls were in. The ramp was removed, but Pauline found a way of hopping down into the cage multiple times! Pauline just wanted to meet her new friends and she really enjoys living with them now.
I'm tired so I'll write the rest later. Thanks :)
Here are some more introductions:
THE LITTLE GIRLS:
GISA: Gisa (Pronounced gee-sah) is the alpha pig of this group. She came to us with her two siblings, Gertie and Donny. I haven't yet been able to fully get to know Gisa because she is very skittish. I do hold her, but in my experience, guinea pigs become more calm as they get older. She is about 5 months old. She is a satin coat American, I believe. She is all black with a few brown stripes and one brown paw. We call that her "peanut butter paw."
GERTIE: Gertie is Gisa's sister, and she is also very skittish. She is the same age as well. She is named Gertie because her fur patterning is inconsistent and fuzzy, giving her a well worn look which reminded me of a little old lady for some reason. She is white and brown. She actually does like to cuddle once you get her out of the cage. Both Gertie and Gisa's coats are so soft.
PENNY: Penny came to us from a friend of ours we met at a pet store while she was getting a guinea pig with her two children. They had a very big boxer, which I was unaware of at the time she got the pig, and it did not know how to interact with the guinea pig. I didn't think this would be a problem if they were able to keep them adequately separated, but apparently the dog got in where Penny was multiple times and they decided it wasn't in her best interest to continue living there, so they gave her to me. She is so cute and sweet. My friend's daughter took very good care of her and well-socialized her from the beginning. She loves to hang out and cuddle, and she is very quirky. Whenever I go out into the living room, she is always standing up in a goofy way. She seems to like standing up on her haunches and lightly putting her paws on the floor. She also popcorns every single time I give them hay. She LOVES when you talk to her while you feed her and will popcorn even more! She is a very happy little piggy. She is a 6 month old Abysinnian ridgeback with different shades of brown and a white butt.
THE SOLO PIGS*:
WYATT: Wyatt is my "big boy!" I try not to play favorites when it comes to my pigs, but I love Wyatt's personality so much. We got Wyatt when my friend was getting Penny, but Wyatt was a rescue, not a pet store pig. We went in to get something for the pigs, and there was this huge adult boar in a tiny pet store cage. We had been talking to our friend about what she needed to get for her pig, when a pet store employee came over and said "I heard you have experience with pigs. Did you want this one?" She gestured to Wyatt. "He was dropped off here, but we don't have the space to care for such a large pig. We typically don't take surrenders for that reason." I asked to hold him, and he was so big and chubby in my arms. He is the perfect lap pig. He just sits with you for an hour or more and gives you licks and love bites when you have your hand up by him. He is an Abysinnian, and I think he is quite large, but I don't know his exact weight (Shame on me, I know). He is many different colors, with a white stripe on his nose that I rub, and a golden fluffy tummy. I don't know his age, but I get the feeling he is a lot older than my other pigs- possibly 4.
DONNY- Donny is Gisa and Gertie's brother. I was told I was getting all girls, but alas, there was Donny. He is completely black (with a little brown on his tummy) and has satin smooth fur. He is the loudest guinea pig I have. He loves to scream and make "bubble" noises. To me, that is when a pig wheeks really fast and it sounds like cartoon bubble sounds. He is high-energy and very skittish when trying to be picked up. He is too energetic to have yet spent a lot of time cuddling. He has a very sweet looking face that I'm very fond of.
LOLA- Lola's personality is the female equivalent to Wyatt's. She is a lap pig who gives licks and love bites. The only difference is that she will constantly talk to you while she is out. She makes that quieter pig sound that pigs only seem to make to humans, but not other pigs. (Maybe you all know to what I am referring?) She is an American pig with yellow, brown and white patches. Lola is also the only pig who seems to actively enjoy toys. She loves apple wood sticks. She is an adult, but her age is unknown. She could be around the age of Lady and Winnie, or about 2 years old.
*The current plan is to introduce Wyatt and Donny, and to get Lola a pal or introduce her to the little girls group. They are not going to be solo forever, because that is not a happy life for a pig!
And that's all my pigs! They all live with a foot or so of each other and really seem to enjoy being in a room with so many of them. Wyatt and the big girls' cages are right next to each other, and Wyatt really enjoys watching them.
Stories to come! I'm planning to write them in first person in the perspective of the pig I'm telling about. :)
The pigs are doing pretty well! Some things I have noticed:
Wyatt popcorns when I clean his cage. It doesn't even matter if I'm actually sweeping things up on the fleece or if I just move the broom back and force on the fleece. He popcorns like crazy! He just loves me being in there and talking to him, and he knows when I'm cleaning, I do that! I also give him a lot of kisses because he'll stand up and I can just bend over and give him a little smooch!
Wyatt and Lola are both lickers/chewers. When you are holding either of them, they will lick you and gently chew your fingers. It doesn't hurt. When either of them want to go back as well, they pull at my fingers.
Donny is really starting to come out of his shell- both figuratively and literally! Haha, let me explain. He has a cardboard box in his cage that I cut a hole in and he loves to sit in there. I would never see him come out much in the first couple months of him being here (he was quite young though). Now he'll come up to me at the side of the cage! His little face is so cute. He is completely black for the most part but has a little grey "moustache" over his mouth. It makes him look adorable. He is still unsure and goes back and forth from his hide and the side of the cage. I think over time he will get more comfortable. He is SO loud. He has a very shrill voice and is constantly getting everyone else worked up for no reason at all.
The big girls have been very feisty lately. They can't seem to decide who is second in command. Lady is definitely the alpha based on her simply needing to raise her chin high and everyone will back away. But the other three can't figure out who's next! They never actually fight. They just rumblestrut everywhere and do that pig thing where one pig makes a sudden movement so they both freeze for a while and stay at each other until they get tired of it. It seems mostly in fun. I know the hierarchy is important, but I never have a pig have scars or cuts or anything, so I know it isn't violent. Pauline and Maybelline don't like having to share the top of the big pigloo (it has a soft cover on it, so it is very comfy). Maybelline used to be the only one who would hang out up there, but now Pauline is fully grown and able to stand up for herself. I have seen her up there much more than Maybelline now ;). I think I will get a hammock or little lofted bed for the cage. There definitely isn't enough for pigs with such big personalities!
We've decided not to get another pig. We are going to instead take Penny from the group of 3 little girls and put her with Lola in their brand new cage (coming very soon!). Of course, there will be a formal introduction prior to that. I didn't want to separate the two sisters who have literally been together their entire lives. I think Penny and Lola's personalities will work well together. Penny is very sweet and cuddly and so is Lola. It will be interesting to see who chooses to be in charge, but it will be great for Lola to get a change of pace since she has been a solo pig for basically her whole life (we've only had her a little while though).
Donny and Wyatt will have their formal introduction very soon as well. They are getting a larger cage to share as they are two males. It will be interesting to see what happens here. It is my first time introducing males. I never had male piggies until this year, but what a joy they are! They are incredibly talkative and devoted.
I can't think of much else right now-- there will be much more to say as new introductions are made. Much of the same goes on every day. Oh! I have always bought chew toys for my pigs like apple wood sticks and wooden chews and it seemed like they were never interested in them. They all still have them just in case, and use them occasionally. But the little girls had a wooden toy in their cage for a while and seemed like they never played with it. Well, last week I heard a noise in the living room. I always go check to make sure nothing has gone wrong with a cage or there is a fight, etc. But this was such a weird noise! It was a rhythmic thud that would happen every few seconds. Well, I peeked around the corner, and Gisa was hitting their wooden toy against the pigloo over and over. She loved the sound it made. She kept doing it for a while, and I have heard it a couple more times. I have never had that happen with a pig! Have you?
What toys do your pigs like? I switch the wooden toys around between the boys and girls and the boys love when they get a new toy that smells like the girls. Not sure if that's a common method.
Can someone tell me what the best way to get pictures on here is? I've never been much of a forum goer.
Here's the instagram link of a collage photo of my pigs though:
Donny is getting older and bigger, and even though he is all black for the most part, you can see his expressions based on his little grey "moustache". For a long time, I didn't have a desk set up in the living room where my pigs are, and I was always doing homework and everything out of the bedroom. I finally got the desk set up a couple days ago, and it is right next to Donny's cage. He is actually in between my desk and my boyfriend's desk. He loves being so close to me, and I will set his food down in a place where he can easily see me while he is eating. He is so vocal and I will sometimes hear him make a little "brp" sound, and I will look over and say "yes, Donny?" and he'll get so hyped and start popcorning everywhere. I love his flappy "puppy" ears. I have some pigs with ears that stick up a little bit more and some with ears that hang down much lower- which I call puppy ears. His move when I talk to him and he's curious. It is adorable. Right now, he is slowly closing his eyes while curled up in a little ball to take a nap.
Donny is a lot more hesitant of my boyfriend, so I'm trying to get him used to him. I asked Josef to give him his lettuce yesterday to try and get him to connect with Josef. Josef held the piece of romaine in, and Donny would come up to it, open his little mouth, and get spooked and take a lap around his cage until he got back to the lettuce again, then he would do this whole cycle over again. He did it four or five times and Josef finally just set it down in the cage. I couldn't help but giggle because Donny is just so quirky.
We've realized the benefits to having Donny so close to us, so we have decided to replace his cage with a 2X4 or 2X5 and put our older male pig Wyatt in with him and keep the cage in between us so we can interact with them. It seems like male pigs require a lot more social interaction from owners. My females like me talking to them, but they might get bored and walk away or get crabby with me. Male pigs seem so excited to see you and are much more expressive. I'm making this comparsion after having 9 female pigs and having some of them for two years. And I'm talking about in-cage intereaction. Many of my pigs are social and cuddly outside of the cage, but want to be left to their own devices in their cage, which I am cool with. It's their safe space. But both my male pigs want to constantly be included in what's going on in the living room. very cute.