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Leaving GPs in their run all day

(26 Posts)
MsPepsi Mon 18-May-15 20:01:16

My plan was to ease the gps so they get used to the grass etc, but the ultimate plan would be for them to spend ample time outdoors, for example when I go out for the day, when I'm at work. I've read someone that they have to be supervised at all times outdoors. Do you agree with this? My garden is extremely secure and the run is solid with roof. I have solid hideys and solid roof. If they were to be supervised the whole time I'd never be able to go anywhere!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 18-May-15 20:50:14

I sometimes leave mine to get the DC from school ( 30 minutes max, mainly because I find it really difficult to catch them in their run) but I wouldn't feel happy leaving them all day if I wasn;t there.

Rabbits are supposed to have unlimited access to runs but they are made of much tougher stuff than guineas and their runs need to be dig proof.
The risk with piggies is if something either digs it's way in (have you seen photos of the horrific damage a fox can do sad ) .
Or sits there to torment them (like NDN cats)
They can't sit on wet grass (and I don;t think mine would have the sense to put themselves somewhere dry)

And they shouldn't really have unlimited grass- if they gorge they can get bloat especially when they're not used to it.

There's always the risk too that they might get pinched sad

At the end of the day, you need to weigh up the pros and cons.

All the Boarding places I've read about don't leave animals unattended or out overnight (but then they're looking after someone elses piggies so they need to be extra cautious)

sanfairyanne Mon 18-May-15 21:15:49

mine are practically feral all summer and run loose in the garden with access to their cage. no foxes though. cats like watching them but they never hurt them and they dont frighten the gpigs either. i have read online of cats attacking piggies though. imo in a decent, solid run they would be fine if dogs and foxes are not around

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 18-May-15 21:26:06

grin @ "feral guineas"

Try to catch me and lose a finger.............grrrrrrrr

sanfairyanne Mon 18-May-15 21:40:20


they are well cheeky! run just out of reach

at night they all troop into their cage for carrots though
haha i win grin

Starlightbright1 Mon 18-May-15 21:48:09

My G.pig has time in the run most days when grass is dry..It isn't unusual for me to chase a cat off who is sat watchng him..

His other g.pig would eat every blade of grass in run area( now passed away) , this one wouldn't.

I think you need to think about access, water, shade. and dry patches..I put a hidey tunnel in mine so he has somewhere to hide if he wants to.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 18-May-15 21:56:37

There are some brilliant set ups on "Runaround" (mainly for rabbits to give them the most natural environment but safely)
You could adapt some ideas from there?
The tunnels are ££ but they can connect to a hutch (or shed)

I've looked on eBay but never found any second hand ones.

We have a fox family that lives on the garages. I've even come face-to-face with one on top of our Pighouse (cheeky beggars shock ) I don't trust them an inch

FernieB Mon 18-May-15 22:45:46

I don't leave mine out unless I'm around but then I'm probably a bit over protectiveblush. I'd be worried about cats/magpies staring at them.

tyto Mon 18-May-15 22:49:38

Do magpies attack them?

sanfairyanne Mon 18-May-15 23:02:11

mine have never been attacked by magpies, and there are a lot of the evil bastards around. it is a risk though. an enclosed run should be good enough protection from birds though. it's foxes that are the danger

thedevilinside Mon 18-May-15 23:42:14

Mine are feral too, they occasionally waddle out to nibble grass, but most of the time remain in the shed. They have been outside for 3 years (in summer) and never been attacked

tadpole39 Tue 19-May-15 07:52:13

The tadpigs are out all day in an eglu, the shelter is stuffed with hay and they have the ex tended run. I am in and out, mostly in! And the dog has a dog flap so races into the garden if he sees something he considers dodgy! They sleep indoors though.

Partyringer Tue 19-May-15 09:49:35

I thought this was about grandparents.blush

As you were, ladies!

FernieB Tue 19-May-15 11:19:51

Just to clarify, my pigs have never been attacked by magpies but we have a couple that are quite curious about them and sidle up to the run. As my Scruffypig is not particularly blessed with brains, he does tend to go right up to the bars of the run to chat to any visitor and he has had a near miss with an inquisitive beak.

Tadpole - curious to know what your dog considers dodgy? My previous house rabbit thumped like mad for cats, hedgehogs and dragonflies but not for foxes or weasels. Currentbun thumps for owls (not funny when he does this in the middle of the night), heavy rain and strong winds but not for cats. My GPs vary - Scruffypig regards any creature as his new best friend and Gingerpig is scared of all them (but he's still a baby).

longjane Tue 19-May-15 11:35:18

I thought about post was about Drs.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 19-May-15 11:39:14

I thought it was about grandparents.

tadpole39 Tue 19-May-15 11:53:02

Hi fernie, dog only tolerates his own cats in his garden, we are in london so not too much rural life! We do have foxes but don't see them in the garden, oddly enough mostly trotting along the road. I do feel the eglu is quite safe, I have heavy stones holding down the skirt but like your pigs, mine will come and touch noses with the dog and cats daft debuggers!

dietcokeandwine Tue 19-May-15 17:09:19

I wouldn't leave mine out for long periods if we were out. I'll leave them for up to a couple of hours (so for example on Saturday they went into their runs about 1.30, DH and the DC and I were going out for a walk around 3. Seemed a shame to bring the pigs in as it was such a lovely afternoon, so we left them in their runs till about 4.45 when we got back.

If we were going to be any longer than that though I would probably have brought them in before we left.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 19-May-15 18:06:45

One of my boars (GP2) used to attract magpies . He was glossy and jet black and used to squeeze himself between the wooden house and the bars (so they could get him) hmm He didn't seem to see the sense in moving.

I thought at first it was the chrome of the bars thy were after.

NDN elderly cat got attacked ny magpies. sad

dontstopmenow Tue 19-May-15 20:40:17

My piggies got attacked by magpies twice - once was my fault, they were just in an enclosed run with no top - my dd was on the trampoline right next to them though so I thought they would be safe - no so! The second time I had a canvas top on the run and the magpies came to the side of the run and the stupid pigs sat right next to them. They both lost a lot of fur but thankfully the only damage was a little cut on one foot.

Pispcina Tue 19-May-15 20:50:56

I think they would be fine if you have a hutch that's attached to or within a run.

I would leave mine (when we had them) for a few hours in the run (which had a covered bit for rain) but not all day, like 9-5. The thing is, if it does rain, they don't always have the common sense to go undercover and so they can get soaking wet and you'd need to dry them off.

Also various other things can happen.

We have possibly the world's stupidest rabbit (one of a pair) and he's had a few narrow escapes - escaping from the run, jumping up onto/into a different run and not being able to get back out (never anticipated it - my fault!) and once, pulling down a cloth I'd left to dry on the side of the run, climbing through a hole he had chewed in it, and twisting round and round so it was tight round his neck and he could hardly breathe.

Luckily ds went out and found him before any harm was done, but it would have been awful if we were out sad

I know that's rabbits but I would still hesitate about leaving a piggy out for too long.

Pispcina Tue 19-May-15 20:52:35

Meant to say, we have a walk in run and it's covered so it's mainly dry. The buns have constant access to it, shared with the hens, and it's only 10ft square but on a crappy day when we're not in the garden, it's better than nothing.

Could you convert a little playhouse or shed for them perhaps?

ImBrian Tue 19-May-15 20:54:30

Mine go out for an hour or so but only when I'm in the house. I worry in case it rains and they're stuck on wet grass or don't go into shelter. Either that it it gets too hot and they cook don't go in the shade.

Mine aren't friendly enough yet to be free range, they'd leg it as soon as I tried to catch them.

FernieB Thu 21-May-15 18:54:29

Had a magpie lurking round the run today eyeing up the boys. Just as I was about to go and shoo him off, Gingerpig charged across the run towards him and scared him away! I think Gingerpig has a napoleon complexconfused

millimat Wed 27-May-15 14:48:47

When I'm around ours can go in and out of the run, but they have a hutch attached to it that they tend to be in and out of.
DD wouldn't let them stay out all day without supervision!

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