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Moving guinea pigs outside. Advice needed.

(5 Posts)
mrsgpig Fri 19-Jun-15 18:30:57

Hi, glad to have found this board as badly need some advice. We have taken on two guinea pigs, female and about 16 months old.

They belonged to an elderly lady and have always lived indoors. We currently have them in a run in our spare room and they have enough room to run around but I'd love to get them spending some of the day outside.

We have a big garden so plenty of room. However they have never been outside and are terrified outdoors. We put their run outside for a test run and they wouldn't walk on the grass (although they did nibble it) and they were too scared to come out of their little house.

I think we would still have them inside overnight but any tips/ideas advice about getting them used to being outdoors and what equipment we would need.


70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 19-Jun-15 18:53:35

thanks for taking on two piggies that needed a home.
They are prey animals so anything new or unfamiliar will ftighten the bejeesus out of them because in the real world, that's how they stop being lunch.

For their run, give them hidey boxes and a dark cover (tablecloth or sheet) pegged over part of it to make it cave like.

They can't have buttercups,daisies,bulb plants,ivy,foxgloves,yew, limit clover but they can eat it.

Move the run every couple of days to fresh grass (and they'll leave neatly packaged garden fertiliser in their wake)

Limit their grazing to 30-60 minutes to begin with then build up (or they can get bloat where their bellies become full of gas and turgid)
Loose droppings with too much grass

Protect from rain, draughts, direct sun (heatstroke can kill a guinea very rapidly) and damp.

You can cut some grass for them if you want to win friends grin , for indoors if they can't go outside.

Our three (two sows and our new boar) are sometimes out late , they are much more active when it gets to dusk, you'd think they'd hide but they like to prowl around.

Are either of your pigs red eyed or white? They are more sun sensitive (my Himalayan sow gets very judgey in bright light, like she'll turn to dust or something)

She used to run into the bars of the run when she first went out hmm but given time, they get their bearings.

Just make sure the run is predator proof and your new girls will have a whole summer of good grazing to come. Enjoy them.

mrsgpig Fri 19-Jun-15 19:12:56

Thanks for the advice. We were glad to take them on. They are really sweet and friendly. They chatter away to us and go wild when they hear food is on it's way. We've been feeding them grass. Their previous owner was happy to forage for them but wasn't agile enough to move them outdoors or have to round them up to catch.

They have been well treated although not used to being handled. We haven't really tried to pick them up as they are happy to come and chatter to us but don't seem to want to be held.

Having a look online ours seem to be abyssinians. One brown and white, one black, brown and white. Both dark eyed.

Their claws are a little long. Will a vet do that for us? We need to get them checked out anyway and I think I'd like to see a professional do it before I try it.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 19-Jun-15 19:26:38

YY a vet or a guinea-pig rescue (they will often cut pig nails for a couple of pounds) then buy some good sharp claw cutters. I got some like scissors with a round space in the blades so they're like a guillotine. They need to be sharp so the nail doesn't get crushed.

Long nails will have quite a long quick so they will need frequent cutting to shrink it back. If the claw is pink, you can see the quick clearly, black claws , you're looking for the opaque bit, there's a sort of ridge at the edge.

It's an awkward job, they pull their legs back and my GP bites (but my DD is holding her so I don't mind grin )

Get the vet / Rescue to cut them first then arm yourself with clippers and cornflour (styptic). I caught GP5 claw a bit near last time , not bleeding but she was judgey .

WRT handling, wrap them in a towel first to give them security (and they pee until you read the signs) . Catching them - we corall ours into a box or tunnel, much less stressful than grabbing which just scares them.

They are lovely chatty little things, greedy as heck , which you can use to your advantage !

MsPepsi Fri 19-Jun-15 20:09:59

Congrats on your new piggies. I rescued mine. They are 2.5 and been in rescue since babies. They were kept in an outbuilding and not been on grass/outside. They went straight in to a hutch outside with two scratch and Newton covers (the thermal one and waterproof). I let them adjust to being outside etc for about 4 days. Two weeks later once they had got used to their surroundings they went outside. Within a few days they worked out the benefits of grass!!

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