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Leaving guinea pigs in run if you're out

(15 Posts)
Twigletpiglet Mon 10-Mar-14 19:59:08

I'm hoping to get some guinea pigs in a few weeks and am getting the hutch etc sorted out. I know the advice is not to leave them out in a run if you're out. The run we have is fairly large but not hugely sturdy, it's made of mesh/wire and wood but I wouldn't want to leave piggies in it if I wasn't around. However, now I'm worried about if I'm out all day, which happens a few times a week. They wouldn't get any grass time or maybe only an hour.

The smaller ark runs, with a wooden shelter attached, look pretty sturdy. Would it be alright to leave piggies in that if I was out, for a couple of hours? They're not huge so I wouldn't want them as the main run but was thinking it might be good if I was out so that at least they'd get some grass and a bit of exercise. As there's a wooden bit with a floor they could go on that if it they were cold. What do you think?

FernieB Mon 10-Mar-14 20:14:28

I would never leave mine out if I'm not around. If I'm out all day then they get a bit of grass time in the evening if it's still warm otherwise I join the mad brigade of guinea mums who go out at the crack of dawn with scissors and a bowl and cut them some grass whilst praying the neighbours don't see wink

EvansOvalPiesYumYum Mon 10-Mar-14 20:19:57

We have rabbits, and I leave them in the run if I'm out. (It is a home-made sturdy one). Is there a difference between piggies and bunnies as to whether they're left out? Our rabbits have plenty of toys to play with and hiding places if they're scared of anything (they usually they rush to greet the cats, so not bothered by them)

Maybe depends on how sturdy and predator/proof your run is, I'm guessing

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 10-Mar-14 20:24:50

There's a photograph on a Rescue Website of a hutch that a fox got into. It's shredded shock
There are some nasty big gits brutes out there.

I keep harping on blush but my GP2 body was dug up from underneath three large soil filled plant pots. He was about 18" deep (it was July , we could only dig so far) he was in a zipped up bag (which saved him being ripped apart) . They dug him up twice.

Though it's upsetting to have this happen it's made me even more resolved that they won't get near my two pigs.(who aren't stinky and in a state of decomposition)

We have a rabbit run (metal) but there's no base. We peg it down with tent pegs. I don't leave mine alone just in case the foxes dig under.

TBH, guinea-pigs don't excercise much in their run. They do a Popcorn then they lard about eating. They could easily make do with an hour if you can't give them more run time.
Rabbits need unlimited access to their space, GPs not so much.

Who are these mad people with scissors and bowls then Fernie wink . Lowering the tone of the neighbourhood and making house prices plummet

MojitoMomonga Mon 10-Mar-14 20:26:58

Ours have the freedom of the garden whenever we are in but they don't stay out when we are out.
I don't give them grass to eat in the winter, should I? They have hay, normal food and either carrots, bananas, banana skins or apples.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 10-Mar-14 20:45:04

Hay is dried grass anyway but they love some grass in winter if you can find any (let the chill come off it , I leave it at room temperature for a while)

Mine get very ery excited when they get some winter grass and dandelions, Bless Them grin

dietcokeandwine Mon 10-Mar-14 21:08:16

We have a very sturdy fox proof run for our guineas, however I won't leave them out in it if we're going to be away from the house for longer than an hour or so.

What I do do though is leave them out for the fifteen minutes it takes me to do the school run, or for the half hour it takes to pop to the local shops, etc. I'm a SAHM so I'm always around most of the day, I wouldn't leave the pigs out if I was at work all day.

Twigletpiglet Mon 10-Mar-14 21:24:37

Dietcoke - what kind of run do you have? That's the other thing, if I could safely leave them for half an hour or so while I did the school run then it would mean their overall outside time would be a lot more without me having to keep catching them and letting them out again. I suppose even when I'm at home I would often be inside and might not look out at them for half an hour. I imagine a sustained fox attack would take quite a while and I haven't seen foxes in our garden apart from very occasionally first thing in the morning. Cats would be more of a worry as there are quite a few around but they don't dig do they.

guineapiglet Mon 10-Mar-14 21:31:47

a lot depends on the run, we had a massive rectangular one which I ditched when I saw cats sitting on it one day. we ended up with a massive triangular one with house attached and many igloos inside for hiding purposes...ha! the blessed cats had nowhere to sit and torment. ego us would be good but v expensive. wouldn't leave them longer than an hour and always wired up doors, locks etc. we had good neighbours who were happy to check on them regularly. their hutch was in a shed with stable door, so we could leave them to lounge around in the shed in their hay bale if we went out for the day. I wouldn't want to have left them for a day unattended or checked, predators are everywhere, and they are like houdinis when it comes to sneaking out through little gaps! grin

guineapiglet Mon 10-Mar-14 21:32:28

eglus not ego us

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 10-Mar-14 21:40:41

When GP3 was a tiny piglet, DH put some chicken wire round the lower 12" of the rabbit run so he couldn't squeeze throughthe bars, I don't think there was any danger though, but bearing in mind that a mouse can fit through a hole the size of a pencil end.....

Now his leg would have to be greased uo to fit through the bars grin
I found a wodge of paper that I'd blocked a tiny gap at the side of the haybox, just in case he tried to experiment by putting his head in . Not needed now wink

We have a couple of cats in the neighbourhood and they aren't a bother.
Magpies OTOH, loved our little black boar, and he used to lie up against the bars, silly piggie,

Twigletpiglet Mon 10-Mar-14 21:45:22

I'm thinking about a run in the garage too (it's got a window) for if the weather's too damp for going on the grass. But I wouldn't want to use that on a warm day as it could get pretty hot in there.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 10-Mar-14 21:56:27

Our pigs have had to make emergency camp in the garage (once when they had a leak in the Pighouse, once when the NDN tree was damaged in the storms and there was a branch hanging too near the Pighouse.
We put loads of cardboard on a waterproof ( tarpaulin, , plastic tablecover , whatever was available as the floor is concrete) + a couple of bags of hay and their boxes. They loved it but they were nightmares to catch,

In winter we set up a guinea soft play with tunnels and boxes inside the rabbit run in the garage. grin

dietcokeandwine Tue 11-Mar-14 22:10:35

twiglet we have a large heavy-duty run with a wood frame and thick wire mesh. It's about 4ftx6ft, has a roof constructed of the same wood and wire mesh, and the door is secured with a padlock. It's also bloody heavy (takes two adults to move it) so, aside from the 'foxes would dig under it' concern it is I think about as predator proof as we can get...I will see if I can find a link to it for you.

dietcokeandwine Tue 11-Mar-14 22:22:25

Can't find the exact one but ours is a bit like this

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