What exactly is a Cuy?
For those that do not know, basically, they are a larger breed of guinea pig. Some will also have extra toes. Please visit the Cuy Data page to learn more about their size and identifying.
Cuy behaviors in being afraid and skittish are also twice as great as a guinea pigs. They will need even more time and reassurances to win their trust. Where every guinea pig I have ever seen will eat their veggies without much of a second thought, my 2 cuy will not eat if I am near their cage. I have been told that most will not either.
Some of the things I've been doing to help gain their trust more quickly:
- Sheet over their cage. For the first couple days I let it drape over the sides, but after three days I started pinning it up so only the top was covered and could see in the sides. And since jumping is a issue with cuy, I used a wire shelf over part of the cage where most likey to jump.
- Holding them while inside a house they feel safe in. Having enough houses can be expensive, even for me, so I've been holding them every other day after cage cleaning so I have a fresh clean house they can go into for snuggle time. My girls are preferring either pumpkin or jar houses, but I"ve heard a couple others like the sleep & snack or the big pockets.
- Jumping really is a issue now for us since I put our rope lighting up, particularly at cleaning time and when afraid. Having a sheet over the top and cleaning half of a side at a time greatly helps if you keep them in the cage while cleaning.
- Food, easily doubles. Veggies are tripling for us and haven't reached the point yet when there are left over snacks after any of the 2-3 veggie feeding a day. Both my girls are in separate cages so I know exactly how much they are eating. Pellets are doubled to 1/2 cup per day per cuy. Hay is also proportional.
- Strength. Luna only recently decided to enlighten me of the fuller scale. I'm going to stress again of holding them while in a pocket or house. Weather it's just my girls are sly and cunning or all cuy are, remains to be seen, but don't say I didn't mention it. Think strength of chinchilla or dwarf rabbit with sleek & stealth of cat.
- Eye sight and depth perception I've been noticing are better. Again, the rope lighting clued me in to this. I can't really say how much better, but it is noticeable in how far Beatriz looks up for things. I suppose this one falls into hard to explain how I know, but I do and understand the behaviors. They are more aware of everything and not just what more pertains to them or their wants.
- Now that it's been 2 months, I've finally heard some wheeking! Gosh, I didn't think I would ever hear it out of them. Beatriz is very quiet and Luna works her level up there. It took them a bit longer, but alas, this is one thing that we can all appreciate that does not differ between guinea pigs and cuys.