Taming Your Pet
Guinea pigs make good pets for children over the age of six. Most become tame and loving pets who enjoy being cuddled. On first arriving home, your pet will appreciate being left alone for a day to adjust to the new environment. Although new guinea pigs may not like to be picked up at first and will race around the cage to avoid it, a little bribery with some enticing veggies and some patience will help get them used to your company. They are easily startled so use a quiet voice and slow movements to help keep them calm and a towel while holding them to avoid accidents. When lifting and carrying your guinea pig, be sure to support the entire body with two hands. Guinea pigs are easily injured if dropped, and may nip or bite if not properly handled. Small children should be supervised when holding a guinea pig and should NOT be allowed to pick one up from out of the cage or carry it around.
Sometimes our guinea pigs seem mysterious to us. Find here a small collection of notes on behaviors like chirping. More notes will be added as time permits.
- Chloe Complaining
- Link to Bonnie's guinea pig sound clips
- Forum Post What are guinea pigs really like? What kind of pet do they make?
You may hear a few people say they've heard their guinea pigs "chirp". Not all guinea pigs will make this noise and some guinea pig owners have never heard it. Others have a special pig who chirps frequently. It is said to be a very bird-like chirp and can vary in frequency (faster or slower). Chirping guinea pigs may look like they are in a trance.
Play this clip for your guinea pig(s) and observe his/her reaction:
Each reaction is different but most commonly guinea pigs will stand stock still and listen ("all the pigs froze" "all of the pigs in the room perked up and sat still listening" "everyone shut up, raised heads, and stared at the computer" "All the pigs ran into their huts, stuck their heads out and just froze and listened to it two times" "...stopped dead in their tracks, and started looking around for the noise"). A few pigs are unmoved ("indifferent" "He didn't care").
- Why? People have proposed various reasons for this unusual behavior. An upset or startled guinea pig may chirp. Some guinea pigs reportedly chirp "for the hell of it", "all the time, for no reason!" Others claim their pigs are in season. Most of Nina's chirps result from being severely startled. She has also been "inspired" to chirp if I play this clip a few times. Swannie posted, "We reckon the chirping is some kind of communication with the Mother Ship." This may be as good a guess as any.
- When? Pigs will chirp any time of day -- from 4 o'clock in the morning to any hour at all. Nina seems to do all her chirping during the daylight hours.
Young guinea pigs will often break out in a joyous bouquet of romps and jumps, prompting some owners to wonder if their pets are experiencing seizures. The hind legs are thrown skyward and the little pigs jump crazily about. As your pig gets older, the jumps and hops will lessen but an old pig can still give an unexpected twitch if it feels like it.
Kara took a video of Poppy popcorning that Ken converted for viewing. You will love these twitchy babies! While some pigs may throw themselves even higher, this will give you a good idea of what popcorning is. Please right click on the link and select save target to download this windows media video to your computer and view at your leisure. The video length is 3 minutes and 32 seconds (there is no audio).
Chloe is Whittibo's new little guinea pig. Petting her elicits two noises -- the first one, a worried squeaking, the second a burr of displeasure. The displeasure may be the result of petting all the way down to the tail bone. WindeSpirit has read that the pitch at the end of the unhappy burr goes up a little. "When the purring of enjoyment happens, the purring pitch lowers." If you have Quick Time, click on the .mov file below.