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Small pets

Just got some g pigs yesterday & have a few questions

13 replies

Moshlingmummy · 06/06/2012 17:51

Hi we got 2 male gps yesterday, both 6 weeks. At the moment they are in an old hutch given to us by a friend, will measure later but don't think it will be big enough for long. They are in a run in the garden at the moment and seem fine but are very hard to catch!

Can you recommend any hutches and are they happier as indoor or outdoor pets? (we have 2 cats, so need to be in closed hutch)

Dc (6 and 4 ) are very excited, we locked the cats out of the lounge ths morning and we had them in there for a while.

OP posts:
QueenBonkeyMollocks · 06/06/2012 18:16

I think it largely depends on personal preference.

I have two indoor boars. They are only in the cage at night time and in a huge playpen in the day. Obviously if you have a cat you would need to make sure its out the way if the piggies come out to play or that they are compleatly secure.

I get much much more out of them being indoors than I ever personally would with them outdoors. They are always on a lap, its very easy to spot if somethings wrong, and they are incredibly tolerant of the loud noises of being in the living room and having a 4yo stomping about. will ignore the fact that if you twitch you foot close to them silently, they freak out Hmm

The only downside is that every time I open the fridge Little pig squeals like there is no tommorrow Grin

If they are outdoor then you will need to make sure that they are warm and sheltered in the cold. Do you have a shed? Will their hutch be big enough if they can't go out in the run during bad weather, that they will have plenty of room?
And obviously that they get plenty of attention and cuddles!

silver73 · 06/06/2012 18:17

Welcome to the wonderful world of GPs. I think it is better to keep GPs indoors and have an outdoor run for when it is warm as long as you can protect them from the cats.

If the hutch is old it may be a good idea to wash it out with white vinegar and water to make sure there are no microbes in there. I don't think you can use any domestic cleaning products safely.

This site is wonderful along with GP lynx if you are worried about your GPs. They are not hardy but if they are ill and get to a GP savvy vet quickly they can do very well.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 06/06/2012 18:42

GPs are fabulous little animals.
With most animals, and with boars in particular, the bigger the cage,the better.
GP cages (C&C cages) recommend 7.5 sq foot minimum ; 10.5 sq foot preferred.
C&C cages seem popular on Super Furry Animals- I haven't got one- but from the website you can customise them to suit.
Baby GP can climb ramps as they are agile but older ones might struggle, so a multi-level cage might have alot of wasted space.
Ours have a shallow wide carpeted ramp and the cope well with that.

If I had new baby GPs I'd be inclined to keep them indoors for now, give them limited grazing time in a secure pen.. Mine were a year old when we got them so were out in their pighouse until mid November, then came in at night, out during the day.

Boars do need space, especially when they go through their terrible teens- a few hidey boxes to escape to.We have a 7'x4' outdoor run, I have to send DD into the cage to catch them-even big boars can be uncatchable when they want to be Grin.

Hopefully the cats will learn to be meh and just sit and watch them, but yes, make sure they are 100% safe.

Lots of feeding, bedding threads on here for you to persuse.
Stick with their currant diet for now, any changes (like if you've bought different pellets) introduce gradually by mixing in.

Envy baby pigs. I'm off to clean my pooh merchants haybox. The amount of waste by-product (or Pooh Nests as DD calls them) has to be seen to be believed.!

silver73 · 06/06/2012 19:26

70 - lol love the pooh nests. One of ours we call Poolie as she never stops.

carrotsandcelery · 06/06/2012 19:35

We have both indoor and outdoor accomodation for our gps. We keep them in a large cage inside in the Winter and then gradually put them outside in the Spring/Summer depending on the weather.

If they are outside all Winter they get ignored as noone wants to hang around outside or in the garage in the cold and dark after school.

Inside they are constantly pestered loved by the dcs and their friends.

I love the "wheeking" when I open the fridge Grin

As for being tricky to pick up, they may just stay that way. They are highly strung little things and with young children around they will take a while to get used to the noises etc. If you can get time with them once the dcs are asleep offering them titbits by hand etc they will gradually learn to come to you.

Mine Ours line up at the edge of the cage when I go to feed them now, apart from the boy who hovers in a corner and knows his place.

Moshlingmummy · 06/06/2012 20:35

I think I would like them indoors really :) Will look into those cages. Our cats are old but one of them is a hunter, loves squirrels and rabbits so going to have to be very vigilant with gps.

We are currently turning our Dining room into a family room / playroom so I'm thinking gps could potentially live in there and door can be kept closed. Although I will still have a closed cage as can't trust the kids to always shut a door.

OP posts:
Meglet · 06/06/2012 20:43

Personally I think they are better off inside at night and on very cold days. Then have a big run with an attached, cosy, secure hutch so they can be outside nearly all year round in the daytime.

I liked having mine in the house as I could chat to them and let them have a run around when the kids were out of the way. As long as it wasn't freezing they always had time outside for a snuffle and to nibble the grass. In hot weather they'd be out there from breakfast until almost midnight when I went to bed.

I miss having piggies, having a break after nearly 30 years and I won't get any more until we get a bigger house in the next couple of years.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 06/06/2012 21:30

Atthistime of year it's nice for them to be outside (though 2 weeks ago I did worry about them frying Shock )

Ours have a wooden raised plinth playhouse to live in. DH altered one of the windows (they are 15"x15" ) and put a double layer of re-inforced fencing mesh plus a layer of fly-screen inside.When I take the window out, it's secure but airey. (Window goes back at night). There's a double door- inside a half wood/half wire screen with flymesh.Then a wooden solid door with a bolt) They have a hay filled box inside to scoff and keep them happy.

But in winter overnight their water bowl froze a few times- no way would I leave my hogs out in winter overnight. They were well protected during the day and this stopped them getting bored and arsey.

They are sweet in the house but you do feel you are being watched especially if like mine they are in the kitchen/dining room.
We see ours first thing to give them breakfast and a quick check.Then I put them out if I'm home. After work they come in for a 45-60 minute cuddle. (While I clean the pig house)Then DD and I go to the Pighouse to chat to them and give them supper.

Meglet · 06/06/2012 21:34

I just remembered. On hot days I used to give them big slices of chilled watermelon to eat in their garden run to cool them down. That would keep them happy for ages.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 06/06/2012 22:20

Mine love watermelon meglet - I take the seeds out and leave the skins on (they don't eat the skins)

And GP2 carries strawberries off into the haybox like a little dog with a bone Grin

Have to keep a close eye on their fruit consumption though- GP2 does tend to get soft poohs if he eats too much.

QueenBonkeyMollocks · 06/06/2012 22:25

My two hate strawberries Shock, in fact, thinking about it, they aren't keen on much fruit apart from apple.

Big pig is a hoarder. He trots off with whatever in his mouth, drops it under his shelf, then trots back to get some more. He is alone in his side when he does this Grin

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 06/06/2012 22:33

Pop him on the couch there Queen.

Big Pig are you worried that Little Pig (who sounds like he's shaping up to be a right little demon) is going to steal your food or
Are you just stashing food away for a midnight snack because you are too lazy to walk all that way to the food dish?

(He's got possession anxiety or lazy buggeritus intense fixation on 'his' house)

That's GP1 theory even though I know your Big Pig has got his own space.
Disclaimer : GP1 is not a qualified Pet Therapist Wink

carrotsandcelery · 06/06/2012 23:39

Ours are like the dogs and know my every move and what it might mean. They are in a kitchen, diner, family room, which is where we spend most of our time. It is time for supper so I know that if, now, I got up and even walked vaguely close to the kitchen end then they will all start wheeking for Scotland Grin

Mine love melons. They eat the skins of Galia and Honeydew melons so we keep ours if we are having it too and they go mad for them.

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