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2-year-old Rescue Cavy Hates Floor Time

DaveyCavy

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Hello folks! First-time poster, long-time lurker. :)

I adopted Davey, a 2-year-old unaltered Peruvian boar, from my local shelter about 2 months ago. He's settled in reasonably well (he just got a new 2x3 C&C cage) and he has a perfectly clean bill of health from the vet. I want to find a friend for him eventually, but I'm told it might be difficult to find a good match since he's a somewhat older male, so I'm holding off until he settles into his surroundings a bit more.

The problem is that Davey is not at all a fan of floor time, and every time I deposit him in his play pen, he immediately lets out the most pitiful serenade of sad little wheeks, all the while clawing desperately at the wall of the playpen closest to his cage. He even hops onto his hind legs and peers longingly at his home. I let him run around in distress for a little while, hoping he'll at least get a bit of exercise, but after about 10 minutes the wheeks inevitably turn into shrieks. It breaks my heart and so I return him to his cage, where he seems quite happy again.

He eats and drinks with gusto when veggies or hay are provided (he doesn't seem to fancy pellets much), but the vast majority of the time he just dozes in his hidey. This seems terribly healthy to me, and I worry he'll grow depressed or unhealthy.

Thank you so much for your comments and advice!
 

Tiamolly123

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He definately needs a friend ASAP. Do you provide lots of hidies & tunnels in the run. I think because he hasn't got a friend the run seems alien to him, he hasn't got another piggy to show him how to show him what to do.See if you can get a piggy date from a rescue, so as long as you get a rescue piggy from them Don't put him in the run in the meantime, it serves no purpose but to upset him. If you can't get a date for your lad maybe a baby would have a success. There maybe be people who disagree with me, but I think maybe he needs someones company.
 

Swissgreys

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Welcome to the Forum
:wel:

Your boy sounds gorgeous, and also like he has fallen on his feet with you!

If he is already 2 years old it may take him a while to get used to his new life, and this may be the first time he has ever had access to a reasonable amount of space.
Your floor time area should offer lots of exciting things to explore to encourage him to move around, while always feeling he can safely pop back into a tunnel or hidey if he needs to.

Old cardboard boxes with doors cut into them are good for this.
When my lot were new to floor time I also scattered their fresh veg all around the pen to encourage them to move around a bit.
A large paper bag stuffed with hay is also usually appreciated too.
I always put a large fleece blanket on the floor of the pen so they has some grip, but this also made clean up easier for me, as there was always hay and food everywhere.
I also used to cover at least half of the pen with a 'roof' by hanging a blanket over the top to make them feel less exposed.
It may take a while, but I am sure he will get there in the end.

Of course in the long run a friend will certainly help him feel braver, and just because he is older does not mean he will be harder to bond.
At the end of the day it comes down to personality of the piggies involved.
A good rescue should be able to help with this, but depending on where you are located this isn't always possible.

The one thing to bear in mind is that the minimum recommended cage size for 2 boars is a 5 x 2 C&C, so you would need to consider how you could accommodate this.
Good luck - I am sure he will come around eventually.
 

DaveyCavy

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He definately needs a friend ASAP. Do you provide lots of hidies & tunnels in the run. I think because he hasn't got a friend the run seems alien to him, he hasn't got another piggy to show him how to show him what to do.See if you can get a piggy date from a rescue, so as long as you get a rescue piggy from them Don't put him in the run in the meantime, it serves no purpose but to upset him. If you can't get a date for your lad maybe a baby would have a success. There maybe be people who disagree with me, but I think maybe he needs someones company.
Thank you so much for your input! I'll definitely redouble my efforts to find him a friend. :)
 

DaveyCavy

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Welcome to the Forum
:wel:

Your boy sounds gorgeous, and also like he has fallen on his feet with you!

If he is already 2 years old it may take him a while to get used to his new life, and this may be the first time he has ever had access to a reasonable amount of space.
Your floor time area should offer lots of exciting things to explore to encourage him to move around, while always feeling he can safely pop back into a tunnel or hidey if he needs to.

Old cardboard boxes with doors cut into them are good for this.
When my lot were new to floor time I also scattered their fresh veg all around the pen to encourage them to move around a bit.
A large paper bag stuffed with hay is also usually appreciated too.
I always put a large fleece blanket on the floor of the pen so they has some grip, but this also made clean up easier for me, as there was always hay and food everywhere.
I also used to cover at least half of the pen with a 'roof' by hanging a blanket over the top to make them feel less exposed.
It may take a while, but I am sure he will get there in the end.

Of course in the long run a friend will certainly help him feel braver, and just because he is older does not mean he will be harder to bond.
At the end of the day it comes down to personality of the piggies involved.
A good rescue should be able to help with this, but depending on where you are located this isn't always possible.

The one thing to bear in mind is that the minimum recommended cage size for 2 boars is a 5 x 2 C&C, so you would need to consider how you could accommodate this.
Good luck - I am sure he will come around eventually.
I so appreciate your reply, and your kind, encouraging words. :) I love your advice for making floor time more interactive and fun: I'll definitely try adding a "roof" of sorts and a fleecey floor, as well as more fresh veggies and makeshift hideys. I am lucky to live in a large city, so hopefully finding him a compatible friend at the rescue won't be too difficult. The cage size requirement for two boars might be a bit tricky for me (I live in a teensy, tiny studio apartment - currently Davey's house takes up more room than my bed! ;)), but we'll make it work! I am a very smitten new cavy mom, so I'm willing to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to ensure happy, healthy piggies. :D

Thanks so much again for your input, and all the best.
 

sport_billy

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Hello :) Welcome to the forum to you and Davey, sounds like he has landed on his paws with you :)

Agree with lots of hideys for floor time, that will help him feel more secure, but slow steps whit him as he sound very wary and the prey instinct is strong. He has good space for one piggy in his cage at moment so don't be too worried about floor time , i'd be returning him to his cage too in your situation.

Be lovely to see a photo of him and lovely that you have stepped out of the shadows lurker :) Don't be a stranger on the forum anymore :)

Could you add your location to your profile as it helps us tailor any advice if ever needed to your geographical location

Welcome again
Lee
 

DaveyCavy

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Hello :) Welcome to the forum to you and Davey, sounds like he has landed on his paws with you :)

Agree with lots of hideys for floor time, that will help him feel more secure, but slow steps whit him as he sound very wary and the prey instinct is strong. He has good space for one piggy in his cage at moment so don't be too worried about floor time , i'd be returning him to his cage too in your situation.

Be lovely to see a photo of him and lovely that you have stepped out of the shadows lurker :) Don't be a stranger on the forum anymore :)

Could you add your location to your profile as it helps us tailor any advice if ever needed to your geographical location

Welcome again
Lee
Thank you so much for your warm welcome, Lee! Great advice about adding my location to my profile, and I'm very grateful for your reassurance that I'm not doing the wrong thing by returning him to his cage when he gets upset.

Always happy to share photos of my adorable little piggy! :D I've attached a few. He came from the shelter with a Santa hat... Not quite sure why, but it suits him well. ;) He's also proven to be an excellent helper while I do my language homework.

Davey-Urdu.jpg

Davey1.png

Davey2.png
 

sport_billy

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What a sweetie! He is really cute! :) love his colouring.

One very quick thing you may not know, clothes are really bad for piggies, I can't tell if that is just drapped on him or not if it is secured with a band.
Hats on the head are fine for photo shoots etc... As they would soon get shook off if they get annoyed with it, but if the date is fastened to him in any way it's a bad idea as they have delicate spines and can easily be damaged.
Please don't think I am passing judgement or criticising - just want to make sure you are aware as you sound like such a caring owner I know you'd not want to do anything to put him at risk of injury. Looking at the photo it just looks like a hat with a cape on the end that isn't fastened in anyway to Davey so nothing to worry about if that is the case.

Hope to see lots more photos of him on the forum :)
 

Betsy

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Welcome to our friendly forum. I love your piggy.:love::love: He looks like me on a bad hair day!:lol!:
 

Reenie

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Lovely wee boy! Just a thought - do you have space under your bed or any of your furniture? You could build a cage that goes underneath, which would give you more space, and double as a 'hidey' for piggies. I built a small cage under a high table in my living room for my piggies to use during floor time, you could maybe do something similar to save on space.

DSC_0226.JPG
 
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