help needed to understand Pets at Home's logic re guinea pigs/rabbits

(12 Posts)
ilovexmastime Mon 07-Oct-13 12:08:49

Hello, I'm new to this board, but I thought someone might be able to help me. I'm rather upset after visiting Pets at Home in order to buy a rescue pig or rabbit or both or better yet, all of them wink.

I should explain that at the moment I already have one male pig in a outdoor hutch with run (his male piggy companion died recently), another male pig running wild round the garden with his own massive hutch (his female rabbit companion died recently), and a male and a female rabbit wild in the garden - they live down a burrow they dug. I have two spare hutches.

Unfortunately I haven't been allowed to have any of the rescue animals though as they were all males. Apparently, having two males in separate hutches at opposite ends of the garden was not acceptable as they would get stressed knowing that the other male was there. (note that I wouldn't leave them alone for long, I would be on the lookout for female rescues).

I'm happy to accept not be allowed to rescue any of them if this really is the case, but I've been 'rescuing' rabbits and pigs from various friends whose kids had got bored on them for a few years now and while I know that the males can fight, I never realised that just being in the same garden could stress them out (my two pigs don't seem stressed at all by it and often go nosey-nosey through the wire of the run).

It's upset me a lot because of course all the rescue animals in the shop had their own sob stories pinned up next to them and now I can't help! The two rabbits they had said that they'd been in the shop for a long time. Surely they'd be better off with me?

Sorry this is so long, I just needed to vent really.

Don't they get stressed on the shop then with all the other males confused

ilovexmastime Mon 07-Oct-13 12:28:02

That did cross my mind, but only after I left the shop...

Our neighbour had 2 long haired male guinea pigs. I don't think she has them anymore, they may have been old. She rescued them when they got dumped at the vets where she works.

Anyway , the point is we had our elderly old boar who must have been able to smell them and he was not stressed and they looked very chilled from what I ever saw of them. They all free ranged in their respective gardens.

I think P@H is talking nonsense.

soaccidentprone Mon 07-Oct-13 14:50:06

We have 5 boars in 3 hutches, all within a couple of metres of each other.

They don't appear to be stressed (and how can you tell anyway?)

They sometimes squeak to each other.

We also have 2 female and 1 male rabbits in a hutch (they have all been 'done').

I suggest you go back and buy one of them, but don't tell them about the other piggies or rabbits in the area. You could get a friend or someone else to buy the other one for you.

ilovexmastime Mon 07-Oct-13 20:54:22

Well, I've spoken to a friend who works at pets at home and she said she doesn't know why I was told that. She's going to let me know when they get a female in. But I still feel sorry for the boys sad.

Thanks for reassuring me though.

It is madness and infuriating because as you know, these boys will wait and wait.
My DD gets really angry when she sees the size of the cages the Adoption Corner guineas are kept in.

Maybe they were returned because they were a failed boar/boar pair so they've been told to keep them as boar singles or boy/girl if they get neutered.

But there's a post on here where guineapiglets neighbour has taken a mature boar in but her two young boars are not happy with the situation.

nurseneedshelp Mon 07-Oct-13 21:54:44

I've only got girly pigs so can't help but I'm fascinated with you saying yours run free? Literally?
I'd be terrified in case they "disappeared" my rabbits have the run of the garden but they're bigger so it seems ok!

fiverabbits Tue 08-Oct-13 06:48:51

I REFUSE TO HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH PETS AT HOME AFTER ONE VISIT EIGHT YEARS AGO. I have had rabbits for 31 years in all combinations. At the moment I have 1 male who lives indoors because he is 9 yrs old having outlived his 3 wives who were all second homers, he came from Do it all, thank goodness they stopped selling animals, he has the run of the house and garden. 1 male who has the run of the garden, he used to live with his brother & sister until they died, looks out for the indoor rabbit. 1 male & 1 female are together, they are second homers have their own run and live indoors at night in a double hutch. 1 male, a second homer came from pets at home along with a foster male who we are looking after as owner has gone to uni, they are separate at the moment, have a run each in the garden and a hutch indoors at night. What is important is that they are all neutered. Would love them all to live together and run round the garden but we have some many hiding places for rabbits it would be a nightmare getting them put away at night and I couldn't leave them out. I also have 5 chickens so you can see my garden is for the animals.

Bonkerz Tue 08-Oct-13 06:58:07

Maybe it's good to remember its not pets at home its a particular person you speak to in a store! We have two male rabbits. Next to each other in separate cages. These were rescues from pets at home and my husband has worked for P@H for over 6 years now. I'd advise going to a different store. Unfortunately I've heard this lots and it appears to depend on a member if staffs interpretation if the guide book! Please don't tar all pets at home with the same brush. There are some fab staff who really genuinely care about pet welfare.

ilovexmastime Tue 08-Oct-13 11:28:23

Thanks everyone!

Bonkerz - sorry I didn't mean to, and like I said, one of my friends works there and she was equally confused by the response.

Nurseneedshelp - the guinea pig who is free in the garden is there by accident! The kids had him out of his run and must have forgotten to put him back and the next thing I knew, there he was running across the lawn! He hid under our largest hutch and I couldn't move it by myself (DH was away) so I had to leave him out overnight. Then in the morning, I looked out the window and saw him sat in the hutch with the lone female bunny, licking her face. So sweet! So I decided to leave him out. The garden was already bunny proof so it seems to be ok!

70 - you're right, it was heartbreaking to leave them there in those tiny spaces. I wonder if they're moved somewhere bigger at night? Would it kill them to provide a bigger space?

Fiverabbits - I'd love a house bunny! I don't think DH would like it though... he allergic to some of them.

We also have a very old Staffie dog who is friends with them all too. The ones running free don't exactly snuggle up to him but they're happy to have him sniff them - now they've worked out that he can't run! I love to sit in the garden in the evening and watch them all smile

YoniBottsBumgina Tue 08-Oct-13 11:32:35

Huh? We used to have males in cages on top of each other and they were never stressed. We used to put them all out in the runs together and they didn't fight, either (often tried to mount each other! confused)

When we did get fighting pairs we just made sure never to put those two out together, but they did not seem to be stressed by being kept near each other, as long as they couldn't see or come into contact with the other.

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