My feed

to access all these features

Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about the health of your pet, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.

Small pets

How do I know if they are happy?

13 replies

treedelivery · 15/10/2012 20:53

I have got 2 girl piggies about 3/4 months old, we have had them 2 weeks and also a new bunny, about the same age and we have had that a week.

We have bought the biggest cages we could and they are living in the dumping playroom, where they get at least an hour, more like 2-3 hrs every day just mooching about free.

I am home a fair bit, although I work, and dd is home educated so we spend a bit of time in there every day.

How do I know if they are ok with their lot in life? I try to give them treats every day (an apple, pepper, greens, bannana and carrots have proved big hits so far).

It's a bit unerving though, the cat purrs and flounces as the mood takes him. These are much more tricky to read.

So how do happy bunnies and happy piggies show us they are happy?

OP posts:
RandomMess · 15/10/2012 20:55

bunnies and piggies aren't a good mix together, do you cage them seperately?

piggies let you htey are happy with their squeaks

They have distress calls
contented squeaks
the rumblings
other noises too

If you are patient they should be very happy to sit on your lap and be stroked.

Littlemisspoorly · 15/10/2012 21:00

Agree with bunnies and piggies needing to be seperated. Animals tend to let you know they're happy and healthy by eating well and looking good. Enjoy.

treedelivery · 15/10/2012 21:01

The bunny is in a huge cage on the floor and the piggies are in a big cage on a higher level - so they can't see each other but can hear each other. They squabble if I let them out together so I've stopped doing that.

The piggies never shut up!! I love them. They are grumpy with each other but seem a bit happer since we got them seperate beds. I think they might be establishing who is boss.

As the the calls, squeaks and chatters - I can't make head nor tale of it. They won't let us stroke them unless we catch them (v. tricky) but will eat from our hands and seem to enjoy a stroke once settled.

OP posts:
MummifiedBonkeyMollocks · 15/10/2012 22:59

Genrally piggies don't like to be caught.
One of mine will sit there whilst you get him, the other I have to chase round the cage/floor with my hands, but they both love snuggles!

Tbh if they have company, the right diet, water, enough space and love then your doing a good job! :)

Littlemisspoorly · 16/10/2012 19:52

I'm jealous. I LOVE piggies XXXXXX

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 16/10/2012 20:20

No idea about bunnies (never kept rabbits) but WRT guinea-pigs:
food (lots, they are greedy )
shelter- they are prey animals so like to hide
company (ie another guinea) but 'get out space' if they want it

lots of little tunnels, boxes, hay to burrow in, and snuffle in. (my GP2 makes an adorable little grunty hog noise when there's nice hay on offer). When they have deep fresh hay, they dive in, making tunnels and following each other.

If you can let them have floor space without the rabbit, make them a 'guinea-village' of empty boxes (cut 2 doors so that one can't trap the other).

I love the noises they make Grin.
And my GP1 shrieks like he's being skinned when we lift him. GP2 runs round like an extra from a Benny Hill sketch. Doesn't mean they don't like being picked up and cuddled Wink

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 16/10/2012 20:24

Go onto Google for Guinea-Pig noises.
There's loads of them that explain what the noises mean and how they sound .It's fun to watch the GPs reactions when they hear a strange guinea-pig Smile

treedelivery · 17/10/2012 15:23

YouTube guinea-pig noises. Who knew?

Thank you, I'm feeling a bit better as I was worried that the general noise they make when we catch them meant they hated us. Glad it is a natural thing.

Now they have started to argue big style. They seem a bit happier now they have seperate beds, but there is a lot of teeth chattering going on. I hope it passes when they sort out their pecking order. When they are free range, they follow each other about pushing each others bum and climbing on top of each other and generally being annoying. It's like having argumentative toddlers! I hope they won't need seperate cages. I'll need an extension.

At last. A use for build-a-bear boxes. We'll make a city for them.

Thank you for the advice.

OP posts:
FernieB · 17/10/2012 17:23

Bunny will binky (leap about) if happy and excited. Will also groom you sometimes (involves licking and nibbling you - this may hurt but they mean it lovingly). IME Buns ignore toys you buy for them but love a bit of newspaper/magazine/scrap paper they can rip up (they make excellent shredders). I give mine (and my pigs) the inside of kitchen rolls to play with and chew and old boxes to run through and chew. Last bunny I had played football - she'd roll the ball around with her nose.

Generally, if the bun's happy, she'll be eating and pooping normally. If you can stick to a routine with her, she'll be really happy and start to get excited when she knows it's feeding time. Also please get her spayed - for her health and your sanity.

Enjoy them - as you get to know them, you'll know if they're happy or not.

treedelivery · 17/10/2012 20:25

Thanks FernieB and everyone. Bunny is currently free range in the playroom zoo and is leaping about, so that's a great sign then. I was worried it was a sign of anxiety! He has a kitchen roll inner with chard stuck down it and half a bannana. Naturally he is eating the corner of the rug Hmm

I have taken 70's advice and heaped loads of hay into their cage. I think it's a bit small Sad but hopefully a hideaway, a small box cardboard box with a hole in, a tube and inches of hay mean they can fool about. They also have chard and green stuck in various spots and half a bannana and the skin and an apple.

Do you think that will do? I'm anxious to do well by them.

Family visit to the vets next pay day for all the jabs/checks/etc required. I'm hoping it's a one off expense. OUr cat never costs us anything and he looks major pissed off at the moment. Bless him.

OP posts:
FernieB · 18/10/2012 13:14

Our previous rabbit was with us for nearly 6 years and she didn't cost us much vet-wise. She had one operation on her teeth, a visit when she hurt her leg and then a couple towards the end when she was ill. Rabbits do need to keep up to date with their jabs and will need boosters from time to time. They also should be neutered. Females have high likelihood of getting cancer if not spayed and males will start scent marking everywhere and their urine is brown and very smelly. We had out boy neutered last year shortly after we got him (he was 6 months old) and it was less than £50 for the operation. There were no complications. It's supposed to calm them down a bit as well, although our boy clearly didn't read that bit!

Our pigs only go to the Vet once a year for a health check. I clip their claws at home - involves lots of parsley bribes and the occasional sacrifice of a finger for fluffy pig to chew on. Fluffy pig has black claws so I have to shine a torch on them to see where to snip.

Sounds like your zoo is settling in nicely - if Bunny is eating the rug, he sounds happy and normal!

treedelivery · 18/10/2012 20:56

That's great info thank you. I love bunny, he's bopping about our sitting room whilst the terrified cat watches him. Guineas are in playroom hurtling about.

Poor bun has been in all day and was so pleased to be free he nearly did cartwheels. Off cage cleaning when my dinner goes down.

Is a full change every 2 days Ott?

None of them like chard. Can't blame them.

OP posts:
70isaLimitNotaTarget · 18/10/2012 22:47

Cage cleaning is a daily event with our pigs ('cos they are manky) and they are outside at the moment.

When they come in for winter they'll have catlitter (I found wooden pellets that are suitable for rodents) topped with newspaper with hay on top. Daily clean will be change paper+hay and scoop out the clumpy litter (oooh the glamour) Grin

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.