Tuesday, March 24, 2009

12 weeks update



You know things are settling in nicely with our piggies when I can finally get clear close-ups. Yay!

Here's some notes from our week/wheek:

Co-Attachment
Twice this week I noticed Harmony waking up and wheeking in a wee panic that she didn't know where Kazula was. She gets up, runs wheeking to find her buddy, then calms right down. I think she's the most sentimental and bonded of the two. I also think she's strongly bonding with me. She seems to really enjoy it when I dote on her, talking and praising her. But we're still on a hands-off basis, all talk and no touch. But if I was a G.P. Whisperer/psychic, I'd say I'm certain she wants to be petted but is just overcoming her skittish instinct.

Sexual Maturing
It's confirmed: along with the low purrs and circling around each other, I saw Kazula do the hip sway which indicates maturation. Welcome to the door or womanhood, piggies. Please note that it will be beyond difficult to ever find a good man in your cage. This first occurs in females at 2 months old, so I may have missed the first cycle or two.

Eating Styles
Kazula likes to hand feed, hoard a pile of food, and then eat.
Harmony takes one item at a time, gobbles it up, and then gets more.
If Kazula wanders off from her stockpile, Harmony helps herself.
It kind of works out since Harmony is much plumper than skinny Kazula.

Trust
When I was cleaning the cage this week, for the first time I blocked off the top of the ramp so the piggies would stay up top while I cleaned down below. This seemed to startle Harmony. Both were curious about the blocked door, but Harmony seemed skittish from it: a little less trusting of me for a few minutes afterwards. She also seemed a little jumpier the rest of the day. I'm not sure if that's what caused it or it was coincidental, but it does seem that while they love having existing and familiar things in the cage changed up each day for variety, they are very vary of entirely new things or changes. If I change too much at once, they stick to one area of the cage, near the food for a day or so.

Toy
We tried hanging a play toy with a bell on it and romaine attached. Kazula first ran away, as she always does, and then continued to investigate, gaining a little more courage with each sniff. I have video of this which I'll put up. I hope to compare it to future footage of them playing with the toy (so optimistic!). Eventually she did nibble some of the romaine off but the movement of the toy seemed too much. Harmony would have no part of this new adventure. I took it down. I'm sure in the future some time they will be ready for such silliness but not yet. Small steps. Their happiest play time is still cage cleaning time: they love to sniff around my hands and run and popcorn. Id' popcorn too if someone was cleaning my house for me every day!

New Idea for a Simple Cozy
I found some fleece children's winter hats at the thrift store. By adding a similar sized embroidery hoop near the opening, it creates a nice cozy house that stays open. It's a good compromise between snuggling and hiding. We'll see what the girls think....

Update: It took about a week for the piggies to play with these hats. I eventually removed the hoops and now sometimes they run under them and then fling them up (fun).

Think Before You Buy
Snack Shack: edible hut for small pets. If you read the ingredients listed on the packaging, you will learn that this item is made from sawdust and honey. Now, clearly those two items are not on any credible list of a guinea pigs dietary needs. It was a kind gift, but it's now out of the cage.

Handling
We've started trying to touch the piggies a little bit. The occasional touch here and there. They certainly like to approach my hand on the bottom of the cage but tend to flee if I move it toward them. I know most pigs don't like to be picked up but some don't mind the holding and petting. It's just the transportation that's the issue. We'll be patient and just keep trying.

Food
This week's surprise hit is green pepper. Kazula in particular gobbles it up. Each pig is also very fond of apple. I give tiny bits from my finger tips to build trust with this special treat (it's high in sugar so can't be given too often).

I feel like they eat a lot of hay and produce. I'm curious if this will slow down when they're done growing. Sometimes the volume of hay bobbled up is really amazing.

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