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Guinea Pig moms???

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

My daughter adopted an "oops" piggie from a pet store a month ago (store missexed, sow became pregnant. They are not allowed in her company to sell these babies, but must put them up for adoption) Chibi is part albino (pink eyes, though bicolor white and tan piggie), and is, supposedly, 12 weeks old.

We adopted a second baby sow, to keep the first company. She was the product of a pet shop missexing (sold a sow that was actually a boar). We went to the parents house to get the piggie. These people loved their pigs, but were misled by the petstore they got them from. They were secure that they had two females, until one of the females became visibly pregnant.

The daddy was, without a doubt, the biggest guinea pig I have ever seen. My husband called him PigZilla. Honestly, he was as big as a full-sized rabbit.

We get her home and the 2 month old baby (Giggle) is as big as the four month old (Chibi). My daughter bought Chibi from PetCo (and yes, she knew better). It's possible that Chibi was a runt. She was the last one left, and my daughter felt sorry for her.

From the moment they were introduced, Chibi started bringing food to Giggle. We introduced them in a large "playpen". Chibi took a baby carrot in the pen, and when Giggle showed an interest in it, Chibe dropped it in front of her and got another carrot for herself.

Not unsurprisingly, Giggle hides the most in the cage (it's 2 X 4 feet with a second story) and when their salad is brought (we give them separate bowls) Giggle has been reluctant to come out of her dark corner, and Chibi has brought her the first lettuce leaves, the best strawberry, etc.

I guess I'm asking if Giggle has made Chibi subordinate, or if Chibi is just acting maternal toward feeding Giggle. No one we know with experience with piggies has seen this behavior before.

I should probably add that I suspect that Chibi is at least partially blind. Giggle looks to see where we've put the salad bowls; Chibi seems to smell her way to them (she stands tall on all four legs and swings her head back and forth, sniffing.) Chibi will occasionally knock into the ramp to the second story (though she has no trouble getting up) and will touch the sides of the cage to get back to her hidy hole.

So, has anyone seen a potentially blind or partially blind, young piggy, helping out a younger but healthy piggy?
post #2 of 5
That helping behaviour sounds so cute! Unfortunately I know nothing about guinea pigs, so can't help you there...
post #3 of 5
I have to agree, adorable! I don't know what's going on either, though. I've only had single pigs. I know that's not ideal.. but I won't hijack the thread rambling on about the circumstances.

I didn't think such a thing as a half-albino was possible, though? Aren't animals either albino or not? I'm just curious. I know they can have red eyes without being albino. My Sienna has red eyes.
post #4 of 5
http://www.guinealynx.com is such a good and informative site. I LOVE piggies and grew up with them. my guinea pig had babies and one of them we named Turbo was all white and had red eyes too. he was for sure an albino guinea pig. he was blind and our almost 12 year old black lab mix made sure he was never running into anything and Turbo lived until he was 6 years old! That does sound adorable though, they are easy to work with - just make sure the special needs piggie isn't running into things and such.
post #5 of 5
Hmm, I've never had experience with a blind guinea pig, but guinea pigs do have a social hierarchy. This doesn't sound like dominance related behavior though (that usually involves a lot of rumblestrutting and scent marking). It does sound like your one piggie is being maternal to the other. I had a female who had three babies, I saw her nudge one toward the food pellets when it wanted to nurse.

Your two sound very sweet.
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