View Full Version : Strange sounds, the sky, the grass, what is freaking them out?

05-01-08, 06:17 pm
When I take my piggies to my boyfriends house for the weekend and they go into their outdoor grass run, they spend most of the time huddled together in fear. We have spent hours trying to figure it out and attempted to solve the problem with various solutions from changing the location from all grass to half grass half bricks (which they are used to). We have tried covering half the run so they feel more secure and can't see the sky. (They are used to a covered, closed in patio). When we put in a hidey box, they don't come out at all, even when its totally on the bricks so they have to come out to get to the grass.

Could it possibly be the different noises? At my house there are very distant traffic sounds and fairly quiet chirpy type birds, but lots of barking dogs. My boyfriend lives close to a main highway and the traffic is loud and constant. He also seems to have louder squarky birds near him, but no dogs.

I have noticed the piggies seem very sensitive to unusual noises and will always 'freeze' when there is a 'different' sound from the ambient background noises. Could this be the problem? If so, will they ever get used to it? How long do you think it will take?

Could it possibly be anything else?

They are not used to running on grass and the first time I put them there at my house, they freaked out too and Ninja never got used to walking around my lawn with her harness and lead on, even when I quietly followed her around (not) as she sat huddled in a tall patch of weeds until I got bored.

Help please, any suggestions, my boyfriend is starting to think the piggies just hate his house :sick:

05-01-08, 06:27 pm
Don't use harnesses and leashes. It's very dangerous to pigs and could result in death if they bolt and hit the end of the leash.

They can take a long time to get used to outside. Guinea pigs are small prey animals and assume everything out there will eat them if they are visible. Put several houses on the grass so they can eat while hiding. Eating makes them feel safer. They will slowly (may take several days of putting them outside) eat their way farther and farther from their houses. More open houses are actually better like the logs instead of pigloos. They won't come out of pigloos because there is only one narrow open and they feel too exposed when they stick their head out. Houses will lots of open entrances will mean they can run back in faster and go out different spots so they will feel safer wandering out of them. Unless you put them outside a lot they will probably not enjoy sitting on the bricks out in the open where everything can see them.

If you are transporting them to another place it's an added stress. Especially if they never go outside at your house. It will take much longer for them to settle in. When my apartment flooded and I had to move my pigs to my mom's house it took 3 weeks before they'd wheek for food. They just hid. If possible try putting them outside at your house occasionally so they get used to outdoors without the added stress of travel and a new location. Then they will settle in faster when transported. Otherwise it's too many new things.

05-15-08, 08:00 pm
Quick Update:

It seems the main problem was light, yes..... too much sunshine at my boyfriends house. I found a great wikipedia article about the natural habitat of cavies, and it seems they don't like bright midday sun, prefering to hide under low shrubs and only coming out into the open during the early and late hours when dim lighting gives them more protection from large birds of prey and other predators.

So, I set up their new run under the patio, covered half of the top on the side closest to the sunny end put them all in and within a couple of minutes they were acting 'normal'.

Of course, now they don't have free access to that lovely green lawn (again), and we are back to picking grass and weeds and serving it to them like their own personal chef and waitress..... but what's new.

10-27-08, 01:07 pm
I like your userpic, by the way! I also have a Meepit cause they look so much like guinea pigs.
One thing I thought of that you could try is putting a cloth in their cage and then taking that with you when you go to your boyfriend's house. If they have something that smells like home, they might feel more secure outside.

Be sure to wash the cloth or use a different one when you put it back in their cage at home if there could be bugs on it. Sorry, I just had a bug infestation from my guinea pigs hay and I'm super paranoid now. XD