I went down to the Pighouse to get the guinea-pigs scissors to cut some grass for breakfast. They heard me open the door so we wheeking like mad. I could picture GP1 flapping his little ears with disgust that he was having to wait for his breakfast.
I was thinking (as I scouted round for naice grass) - for such vunerable animals; can't kick out, can't climb much, can't burrow, can't scratch,can't really turn quickly enough to bite or lunge; surely it's NOT an advantage to be so noisy?
The squeaking, wheeking, rumbling, purring. All noises that would attract the attention of the hunter.
Or have they evolved these noises to make themselves attractive to soppy owners. Bit like Tribbles (Star Trek: Trouble With Tribbles) Mr Spock deduced that they made noises to endear themselves to humans. (But then the buggers ate all the pies grain)
In the wild are they mute? Apart from the "What's your problem"? "Your FACE" type arguments that boars indulge in.
70 - I think they are completely mute in the wild. My theory is that the domestic GP developed these noises as a training tool to encourage their normally sane human pets to open fridge doors as required, or get down on their hands and knees at ungodly hours to cut fresh grass for them
70 Current Bun is appealing your verdict. He would like to point out that he has never yet seen a pig manage to open or close a sliding door, however, he manages to do this most evenings (think he has OCD as unless the door is opened a certain amount he adjusts it). He would also like to point out that pigs are easily tricked - all he has to do is thump and they run for cover. Also, they aren't observant - if there is a cat in the garden and he's not around to thump, they don't notice, even if said cat is sitting right next to their run staring at them.
Guineas don't have to open doors because they have owners and (in your pigs' case) Current Buns to do the work for them
They run because it's "every pig for themselves" (Self Preservation). They don't want to wait to know what the Thump is.
The pigs are clever enough to know that the run is there to protect them while they get on with the important issues like eating grass. My little boy (the black Abby) sleeps on the grass while his brother stands guard. That's a guinea who has it sussed.
Case thrown out of court Current Bun. The Guinea-Lawyers will send their invoice.
They must've started out wild (many years ago) but they would have been rangey and scrawney, smooth coated and brown.
DD watches those videos of farmed GPs in South America. Huge indoor pens (bit like barn chickens) where someone comes in and pours grain into their troughs. They all surge forward and ...well survival of the fittest
They've been bred into all these different fancy colours and coats, the original guinea has been lost. Which explains why they are so fragile now in the damp UK weather and people say "Oh isn't it -20C in Peru"?
Maybe but it's dry cold. And those guineas aren't domesticated guinea-pigs.
Hold that thought - yesterday Current Bun went out on his lead in the garden. He had a nice long stretch of grass to run/binkie on and could go as fast as he likes. What does he do? He sits down and cleans his ear, over and over until it's time to go in. Only then does he decide to have a hop and he hopped in and out of the legs of the garden furniture so his lead was tangled and he had to be untied
Meanwhile his piggie brothers have spent the afternoon in their run sensibly mowing the lawn. Scruffypig did end up nose to nose with a cat (through the bars of his run) and was completely oblivious to the hungry look on the cat's face and the raised paw about to try and swipe him.
If I wanted an intelligent pet, I should have got a chimp!
Maybe rats would have been the furry of choice when we're looking for clever pets
I put my FurBabies out today. In their run they had: a wicker hedgehog house a large shallow box open at both ends a plastic tunnwl 3 hay tunnels a narrow cardboard tunnel a fleece draped and pegged over the top for shade.
So lots to entertain and give them shade. GP2 is black and small. So a high surface area to body mass ratio. And fur.
Does he shade himself? No he doesn't. He sits in full sun , taunting the magpies.