Why do Guinea Pigs Popcorn?

Have You Seen Your Guinea Pig Popcorning?

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 guinea pig 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.

what does it mean when your guinea pig jumps What is Guinea Pig Popcorning?

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 this guinea pig behaviour called popcorning.

 What does it Mean when a Guinea Pig popcorns?

Don’t be worried if you suddenly notice your piggies exhibiting this behavior.  It’s very common in babies, but adult guinea pigs 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 pop corning guinea pig



How can you encourage your guinea 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 hay


—  Give a daily supply of fresh vegetables.  This will ensure that your guinea 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 your 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 pop corning?  Sit back and enjoy, safe in the knowledge that your pigs are happy and content with their life.

popcorn guinea pig jumping

Till next time – love those piggies…


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Jacki has shared her life with small pets and other animals for, well – pretty much forever! Always keen to absorb as much knowledge as possible about animal care, Jacki enjoys sharing her years of experience with like-minded people, and helping to ensure that pets and animals everywhere are healthy, happy and bring as much joy as possible to their owners.