Why do guinea pigs popcorn?

 

 

No, we’re not suddenly suggesting that you feed your guinea pigs popcorn.  But did you know that this is the name for those funny little leaps into the air that guinea pigs do?

 

Popcorning!  A behavior so named because it resembles popcorn when it bursts during the cooking process.  And if you see your guinea pig doing this, then it’s definitely a sign that he’s happy and that all is well in his life.

 

If you’ve never seen it before, imagine a horse being let out of his stable on a frosty morning.  He’ll run, leap, twist and perhaps kick out his hind legs.  Well, imagine a guinea pig doing the same, and you’ll have a pretty accurate image of popcorning.

 

And don’t be worried if you suddenly notice your piggies exhibiting this behavior.  It’s very common in babies, but adults also popcorn, and you should be delighted if you see it because it’s living proof that your piggie is healthy and happy.

 

Below is a short video showing a piggie popcorning.

 

 

So, how can you encourage your pigs to popcorn?

 

Well, unfortunately you can’t teach them to do it, and even if they do it won’t be on command.  But there are quite a lot of things you can do to encourage it, and by doing so you’ll be following the best guinea pig owner practices as well.

 

–  Ensure that your piggies have constant supply to clean, fresh water

 

–  Feed good quality, ad-lib hay

 

–  Give a daily supply of fresh vegetables.  This will ensure that your pigs get enough vitamin C in their diet (which is essential as they can’t synthesize their own), plus they love veggies.  In fact, the anticipation of crunchy vegetables might bring on the odd display of excitement – including popcorning!  No-one could ever deny that out little furry friends are definitely on the greedy side…

 

–  Keep your piggie with company of his own kind.  Guinea pigs are herd animals, and keeping them alone is verging on the side of cruelty, although you might not think it.  Even if you interact and cuddle your guinea pig many times per day, he (or she) still needs company of his own kind.  And it doesn’t cost a lot more to keep two piggies, and they’ll both be so much happier for it.

 

–  Ensure that your pigs have a large enough hutch and enough time to exercise adequately on a daily basis.

 

–  Give you guinea pigs toys and plenty of things to chew on.  They also like ‘tunnels’ to run through, paper bags stuffed with hay to bury into and cardboard boxes to hide in.  Piggie toys don’t have to be expensive.  Use your imagination and you’ll be surprised at what you already have in the house that can be utilized to keep your pigs amused.

 

–  Make sure you carry out your guinea pigs daily health check.  That way you’ll be far more likely to catch any problem when it’s in the minor stage, rather than allowing it to worsen and become a major issue.

 

And if you see your guinea pigs popcorning?  Well, sit back and enjoy, safe in the knowledge that your pigs are happy and content with their life.

 

Till next time – love those piggies…

 

Oh!  And I almost forgot…  We’d love it if you’d help us in our mission to make the nation’s small pets the best kept in the world.  If you’ve enjoyed this blog then it’d be awesome if you could share it on Twitter or Facebook.  And if you fancy leaving a comment then we’d love to hear from you.

 

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