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Thread: New pigs aren't interested in floortime

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    Cavy Newbie ChicoAndAmigo's Avatar
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    New pigs aren't interested in floortime

    tl;dr new pigs don't do much during floor time, but are active in their cage. What can I do?

    So I've only had my guys since Thursday. I bought everything they needed beforehand, including a large playpen for floor time. I have a cat and dog, along with tons of wires due to multiple aquariums so letting them roam a room isn't possible. I let them settle the first day, and then put them in their playpen with hides (from the cage), food and water. They moved around a bit, ate, and then went to sleep. They will investigate if I hold out my hand to them or have food. I've tried this a couple times since then and they don't really do a whole lot of exploring. I bought some toys and gave them a toilet paper tube and they aren't super interested. I have sat next to the pen, inside the pen, and keep the pen close while playing video games. I don't think the other animals in the house are scaring them - my dog is blind and doesn't know they are around. My cat is still scared and watches from afar. I've left them in there for maybe an hour and then put them back in their prison.

    Once they go back in their cage, they are back to moving around and exploring. However the cage I got which is 48in x 23in just doesn't have as much room as I thought it would. So letting them remain in there to have fun isn't ideal. In the future I'll probably double the size of that cage, but as I started a new job that won't be for a bit.

    My ideal plan is to let them roam their playpen before and after work. So around 6 to 8 hours of floor time. On days I don't work, they would be out much longer, while I am home. The dog and cat aren't allowed to be around the pigs. I also take the time they are out of the cage to clean up poop/pee.

    I'm guessing they probably just have to get used to it. They came from a home where they were neglected, so this concept of roaming around and being safe might be foreign to them. Of course I just want them to be happy and have fun, which I'm not too sure is happening while in the playpen. How can I help them get used to the playpen so they can explore and have fun like they do in their cage?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: New pigs aren't interested in floortime

    Floor time was a massive fail at my house. My pigs were terrified.

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: New pigs aren't interested in floortime

    I would keep trying with the floor time, and maybe drape some fabric over a few corners so they feel safe. They’re still getting used to their new home.

    My Lacey likes floor time. I have grids linked together with plastic zip ties that I set up in a long oval shape. Sometimes I take 4 or 5 hideys and place them along the grids like a tunnel. I toss pieces of veggies all around so she has to forage, and she walks through her hideys forward and back to make sure she remembers all the escape routes.

    Sometimes I set up a maze made of boxes and she finds her way to the hay pile. Here’s a video of the maze.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B-Lc0RHB...d=nlgsg5vr271p
    Last edited by ItsaZoo; 07-05-20 at 11:10 pm.

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    Cavy Newbie ChicoAndAmigo's Avatar
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    Re: New pigs aren't interested in floortime

    I'll keep at it. Maybe not push it both before and after work to start. Maybe just after work. I'm off the next couple days so I'll experiment with different stuff in the playpen.

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    Cavy Slave SSLee's Avatar
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    Re: New pigs aren't interested in floortime

    None of my piggies enjoy floor time. Just like @Kelsie's piggies, mine would just run to a hidey and sit or switch to another hidey. I also stopped as it was too much work to set up and take down, only to have them sit in hideys. All mine were around 1 year old when I adopted them, so they might not have had floor time previously.

    I hope yours will acclimate and have fun at floor time. I've always enjoyed watching and feeling envious of YouTube videos, where piggies are running around exploring during floor time.

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    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
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    Re: New pigs aren't interested in floortime

    My boars have never gotten floor time, but the reason for this is different. I incorporated a pen for them into their cage, so they've always had tons of space. Their cage is 2 x 4 C&C, but the attached pen is another 4 x 5 C&C. They literally take up half my living room, but I don't care.

    They have fleece out in their pen, and a couple of strategically placed cardboard boxes and cozies. All of my boys loved it, but I have to say that Leo and Simon use the pen the least.

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    Cavy Slave MaiaBex's Avatar
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    Re: New pigs aren't interested in floortime

    My two enjoy floor time, but to different degrees. Abby loves it and has from the very beginning. She runs around exploring the "floor time only" stuff, then takes a break, and then starts all over again. Tannim likes it for a span, but then he just lounges around until I put him back in the cage. And it took him a while to get used to floor time -- the first several times he just hid.

    So it really does depend on the personality of the pig. Some love floor time. Some are okay with it but take a little longer to get used to it. And some just prefer their cages. Time will tell how yours are. And it sounds like you're doing fine with them. Good luck!

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    Cavy Newbie ChicoAndAmigo's Avatar
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    Re: New pigs aren't interested in floortime

    Well. I took Chico, the friendly one, out to do his eye drops today. I let him crawl out of the towel and onto the floor afterward. He walked a couple feet and turned around and went to the open door of the cage (which is too high for him to get into without me). I feel bad that they are so uncertain about being free of the cage. Maybe I'll just buy a bigger one. He made it pretty clear he rather be in his cage.

    Sent from my SM-J737T using Tapatalk

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: New pigs aren't interested in floortime

    Right now they just want to stay safe. My guinea pig is used to changing surroundings because I put her in a larger cage during the day and I move her hideys and hay to a different spot each day so she has to explore. And I scatter veggies around and put them in treat balls so she has to forage.

    When guinea pigs are in new surroundings, they memorize pathways forward and back so they can hide quickly from danger. They'll go where they know it's safe, so moving things around is good mental stimulation.

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    Cavy Slave Candalalala's Avatar
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    Re: New pigs aren't interested in floortime

    I noticed my piggies enjoy floor time if I'm out there with them. Otherwise they stay in their hideys. I also got one of those treat balls and one of my piggies loves to push it around. I only do floortime during cage cleaning though. I put them in the same spot, with the same hideys and the same blankets to help them feel safe.

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    Cavy Slave LittleSqueakers's Avatar
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    Re: New pigs aren't interested in floortime

    Floortime works a little bit differently at my house. I have always had 2 areas set up specifically for pigs: the "pigpen", which is their actual cage that I built and have raised up off the floor, and a "floorpen" which is simply a cotton-backed vinyl tarp that I throw down to cover the carpet and then open up a ring of grids that I have ziptied together accordion-style on top of it. The pigpen has always been located in my bedroom; it's where the pigs sleep at night and where they stay on days when I have to work my 12-hr shifts. On days when I have a short shift or a day off, I will move them into the floorpen, which I currently keep set up in the living room, although it used to be on floor of my bedroom. I rotate toys and hideys and re-arrange the setup in both cages routinely to keep the pigs stimulated. I feel like having the floorpen in the living room rather than in my bedroom (as it used to be) is an advantage, as these days I spend most of my time on my days off in the living room and in the adjacent kitchen, so I can be with the pigs as I go about my daily activities. Between having the two separate environments of substantial size to explore, I think I'm adequately meeting their need for stimulation and opportunity to exercise.

    Of the 4 pigs I've previously owned, only the two I raised from pups really took to "free-range floortime", in which I closed doors to rooms I didn't want them go into and plugged up all the holes they could hide in with cardboard, and opened the gate to the floorpen and let them come and go and wander about the house as they pleased. Tribble in particular was a very adventurous pig, and would regularly leave the floorpen to explore on his own without any prompting on my part. Some nights I would sit at my desk doing homework and hear him charge through the house, sounding like a herd of tiny buffalo all on his own and just having a grand ol' time. He was also excellent at returning to the floorpen to use the bathroom, and the only time he would potty out in the house is if he found an sheltered area that he liked and decided to "make his own." (Shortly thereafter, this area would be blocked from his access, much to his eternal frustration).

    The two pigs I adopted as adults learned about floortime through Tribble, but they never did gain the same confidence at leaving the floorpen to explore the house at large. I had to coax them out into the house with lettuce.

    My current pair are still adolescents, and haven't yet earned my trust to allow them to free-range in the house, but maybe someday... In the meantime, we all enjoy watching TV, working on the computer, listening to music, doing laundry and watching me cook on my off days.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: New pigs aren't interested in floortime

    I loved your description of floortime and your house. I was right there hearing Tribble run through the house. My cage sit alongside my desk in my home office (often known as the piggy room) and the boys just love running zoomies with banging into things.....and each other.

    When I had cavies about 30 years ago, my then husband and I used to allow them to free range and would often chase them. Down on hands and knees, we would chase them through the living room and into the uncarpeted dining room where they would run full-speed and slide about the last foot just in time to avoid banging into the wall. Then they would turn around and tear off back to the starting point. I don't know who had the most fun.......the girls or us.

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    Moderator CavyMama's Avatar
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    Re: New pigs aren't interested in floortime

    In some cases, the area for floor time is too big and the pigs feel vulnerable. Maybe decrease the space by adding definitive "walls" around the space. Make sure there are covered areas in the floor time area and things to keep them entertained. They aren't going to play if there is nothing to play with. It would be like kids on a playground with no toys or equipment.

    Also, you've only had them a short time. Most pigs are nervous at first. They are prey animals always but can feel relaxed an willing to explore once they feel more familiar with their environment.

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