Can Guinea Pigs Learn?

Brocolli takes Vitamin CImage courtesy of Jessica Torres

Broccoli learned to like Vitamin C in a syringe

Back when I first got Buffy, our Texel guinea pig, she didn’t seem to know what’s good to eat. Eating hay seemed to come naturally to her, but other vegetables she just wasn’t sure what to make of. I would put pieces of carrots in front of her, and she just seemed confused. “What is that? Is that edible”, her face seemed to be saying. Our other guinea pigs, Lola and Annie, would both gobble up carrots with alacrity. Buffy quickly caught on, and now carrots are one of her favorite foods.

Our newest guinea pig, Broccoli, didn’t seem like much of a learner at first. He has a cage right next to the girls so he can see what they do. He didn’t seem to like to eat carrots at first, just like Buffy, but I assumed he would learn to like them from watching the girls. He didn’t. At best, he’ll nibble on carrots curiously before quickly deciding they are not for him. However, he did recently demonstrate his capacity to learn by watching as well. On my blog, Cavy Savvy, I recently posted about how Lola and Buffy are big fans of getting liquid vitamin C in a syringe, but Broccoli just never cared for having a syringe shoved in his face. In the post, I showed how he loved vitamin C in tablet form, and I expected that’s how we would give him vitamin C from that point on. However, since then, I’ve tried using the syringe again, and he gobbles it up just as enthusiastically as Lola and Buffy do. I can only assume the change in attitude came from watching Lola and Buffy each night reacting to the vitamin C syringe like kids ripping open their Christmas presents.

I suppose you can lead a piggy to carrots, but you can’t make them eat them. Broccoli is certainly capable of learning from others, and of making up his own mind about what he likes.

Come check out my blog: it’s and we’re currently having a free guinea pig shaped soap giveaway. Hurry, the contest ends tomorrow!

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Jessica, Writer, Cavy Savvy

Jessica is the proud owner of a herd of 3 adorable yet mischievous guinea pigs: Lola, Buffy, and Broccoli. They regularly blog about their adventures on Cavy Savvy: A Guinea Pig Blog.

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December 2011
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