Cage, Playpen, Floor Time - Help!

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Emily1005

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I'm so confused about what to do with my guinea pigs regarding cage, playpen, floor time and at night. We bought our GPs about 3 weeks ago.

So at the moment they're in a 120 cage, which I've placed inside a playpen (see photo). During the day the cage is open so they can leap in and out and get some exercise - although they only seem to want to run around first thing in the morning and at 8pm-9pm at night. I've been closing the cage when I go to bed, but I'm wondering if this is the right thing to do...Should they have access to the playpen at all times, seeing as they seem to be night owls?

I've been doing an hour of "floor time" in the hallway at about 10am while I work upstairs, and again at 4pm when my daughter is home from school (we both sit on the floor in the hopes the guinea pigs will get used to us). The floor time is going pretty badly as both GPs are TERRIFIED and just hide under their bridge/in tunnels. Zero exercise actually happens.

Additionally, I have not been able to pick either of them up as every time I approach they hide. I have to get them inside a tunnel and then carry the tunnel from cage to hallway. Can't imagine a time when either GP will want to be stroked or sit on my lap!

I want my GPs to be happy, so any advice would be much appreciated!

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GPcrazy

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If there are no other animals in the house, and therefore nothing that could potentially hurt them while you sleep, I would leave the cage open permanently so they can access the playpen whenever.

If you have cats or dogs though then I'd say continue to close them up at night.

Ive had my guinea pigs 4 months and still can't pick them up out there cage with my hands, so dont feel bad about still using a tunnel after only having them 3 weeks. Because they are prey animals, they tend to always be scared of hands coming down from above to swoop them away.

Regarding floor time, only now after 4 months is one of mine getting braver about lap time. The other is terrified during lap time (ironically it's the brave boss who's terrified of laptime and the under pig who's more tolerant of it). I think sitting nice and still in the floor time run is a good way of letting them get used to you.

Cavies tend to be most active during dawn and dusk, so if they're tending to sleep more than run during floor time try shifting the evening time to 6pm. Might help, might not.
 

TheCavySlave

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Calm down. You're doing fine, the above post covered everything, but to add, the playpen should give them plenty of exercise, and leaving the cage open always is great. If you do have animals or small children, a cover for the pen may be possible. Best of luck!
 

Emily1005

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Thanks so much for replying. Very reassuring. Think I've just been doing too much Googling and reading conflicting information. Will try to chill out! Haha
 

VickiA

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I agree with the other replies you've had. You are doing a great job and your girls are obviously settling in well. Lovely set up and if you can leave it like that all day then I would do so. They have plenty of room to explore and run around. Lucky piggies.
 

Flamestriker

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Thanks so much for replying. Very reassuring. Think I've just been doing too much Googling and reading conflicting information. Will try to chill out! Haha
Believe it or not, I realised this problem early on regarding conflicting info and I simply stick to this forum and GPM for information. Many members on this site are very experienced, and everyone are nice people. They understand the stress the piggies can create for us, or the joyful moments when something goes right, and no one minds talking about piggy poos and finding that one little item that makes our lives as piggy slaves just a bit easier.
 
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