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Piggy outside run - have I done everything right?

(11 Posts)
Snoopytwist Mon 03-Jun-13 13:50:10

Our 2 pigs live in a C&C cage in the house, on fleece with a hayloft. Husband has just finished crafting them a massive outdoor run, and I have put them in there, together with their 'bedbox" to hide in, water, their hayrack and a bit of cucumber. Half is in the shade and half is in the sun.
I have put them in there and they are hiding, big time sad. I know I need to be patient but I can't help worrying that they are unhappy. Any tips anyone? (I will bring them in as soon as the temp begins to drop, as they will not sleep in their run)

fufflebum Mon 03-Jun-13 14:05:39

Our pigs did exactly the same. Over the last few weeks I have put them outside for a couple of hours at a time with a large flower pot/strawberry pot to hide in and that seems to have encouraged them to come out and gorge on grass. I also put some water out too.

Like you I initially put a bedbox outside and they never came out at all!

Good luck.

guineapiglet Mon 03-Jun-13 15:59:03

Your lucky guineas being able to get out and about (supposedly!) to enjoy the freedom and luxury of grass. Give them time, is this the first time out for them? They will need to get familiar with smells, sound, different environment - you have done all that you can, now it is up to them!!! When we had a bigger garden, we would put them in the run, and sit out chatting so they could hear us, call them, get them interested in life outside the bed box! - Guineas are verrrrrrrrrrrrrry greedy, so it won't be long before the call of the grass gets them. Igloos are helpful, kind of staged along the run, so they have different places to hide start with two and then reduce to one as they get more confident. They still have their prey instinct so are convinced a big predator is going to swoop down on them - it is really a matter of confidence and familiarity - lots of practice and then you wont be able to stop them! smile

guineapiglet Mon 03-Jun-13 16:00:35

PS Forgot to ask how old they are? Babies will naturally be a bit shier, but can be trained to be wonderful lawnmowers...

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 03-Jun-13 18:23:44

Can you buy some tunnels? My lardy boars love their tunnels- hay covered cardboardy ones and a Kermit-the-Frog-Green plastic tunnel.

The unleash their inner Thomas the Tank Engine.
(Though I think GP1 fancies himself as bossy Gordon while GP2 is irritating little James. Too much time spent with DS toys in his early years blush )

Snoopytwist Mon 03-Jun-13 20:42:11

Thanks for your advice everyone - the piggies are about 8 months old now but yes, it was their first time out today. They seemed very relieved to get back into their inside home and are slightly skittish this evening which is unusual for them now.

I will get some more tunnels and hideys to help them venture out of their hiding place - we live very near a beach, so I guess the screech of seagulls is probably making this a lot harder for them! Poor little things! Will keep on with it - a little every day and look for signs of enjoyment!

dietcokeandwine Mon 03-Jun-13 21:44:46

Agree with the suggestion of tunnels, and perhaps a couple of additional hideys to encourage them to come out and explore a bit. Plastic pigloos are good for outdoor runs, or just a cardboard box with a guinea-sized hole or two cut into the sides.

If it's any consolation, our two boars were very scaredy when first put out on the grass, and just hid. Now (they are 18m) they are so chilled and confident in their run that they bounce all over the place and often don't even bother to go into the pigloos for a nap. Our tricoloured pig was sprawled out in the sunshine this afternoon, fast asleep, absolutely nowhere near any kind of hidey. Would never have believed that this time last year!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 03-Jun-13 22:02:58

My little black Abby boar was sqished (his choice) between the run and the wooden box. I thought he was (whisper it- gone) he looked really floppy shock
I rushed in to get a blanket to shade that part of the run. By the time I arranged it he was pootling round the grass, happy as Larry.
Blardy hog.
Now that's laid back .

Snoopytwist Tue 04-Jun-13 10:53:01

They're out! I put them out this morning and I put the run where I can watch them from the window - they're both out of the hidey, munching grass and chasing each other through the tunnel! Little sods have been having me on! Not quite venturing out of the shade, but I think they'll brave it soon. Relief! smile

fufflebum Tue 04-Jun-13 13:23:45

Glad they are out and about.

Watch out for too much spring grass though I would ration them to a couple of hours out and gradually increase.

The local rescue place advised this as the spring grass is very rich apparently and can make them feel bloated (!!!!)

Snoopytwist Tue 04-Jun-13 21:14:22

Thanks Fluffle - will do!

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