First floor time - terrified babies!

CinnamonSmokey121

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Hi,

I've put my babies out for their first floor time today and they're both terrified and frozen.

I've put homely items from their cage in there with hay and water and some bits of pepper, one is hiding under the hay and one is just frozen where I put her!

I know it'll take time for them to get used to it, but should I delay doing it again until they're more confident? What age should they start floor time? Worried I've upset them now 😩😭
 

JunePiggies19

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I'd wait until they are settled in their cage/permanent home before introducing floor time. I used hideys, pegged up a towel to give them shelter and put a bit of veg (as well as hay and water) out for them. It took my guinea pigs a while to get used to floor time, but they did eventually! It worked best for me to do a little bit often rather than big chunks out of the cage sporadically. I would also try and get them out when there isn't much background noise. Hope this helped, good luck! :)
 

CinnamonSmokey121

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I'd wait until they are settled in their cage/permanent home before introducing floor time. I used hideys, pegged up a towel to give them shelter and put a bit of veg (as well as hay and water) out for them. It took my guinea pigs a while to get used to floor time, but they did eventually! It worked best for me to do a little bit often rather than big chunks out of the cage sporadically. I would also try and get them out when there isn't much background noise. Hope this helped, good luck! :)
OK thank you, do you think I should put them back now straight away or give them a hour or so to see if they settle?
 

JunePiggies19

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OK thank you, do you think I should put them back now straight away or give them a hour or so to see if they settle?
Sorry I didn't see your post! At first I left mine out for about half an hour at a time, if they seem distressed though put them back.
 

Wiebke

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Hi,

I've put my babies out for their first floor time today and they're both terrified and frozen.

I've put homely items from their cage in there with hay and water and some bits of pepper, one is hiding under the hay and one is just frozen where I put her!

I know it'll take time for them to get used to it, but should I delay doing it again until they're more confident? What age should they start floor time? Worried I've upset them now 😩😭
Hi!

Please give them time to settle into their cage and become confident in their new home first. A run is simply more potentially hostile country for them when they are not ready for it yet.

Guinea pigs don't have good eyesight, so you need to dot lots of hideys (cardboard boxes or tunnels etc.) at about 1 foot distance from each other, so they can use them as safe bases for any further explorations. Cover the top of the run with a sheet to provide an extra feeling of security. As prey animals that have evolved to live in dense undergrowth, guinea pigs are strongly wired to perceive strange open spaces as dangerous because of their potential exposure to arial as well as larger ground predators, and to avoid them until they have learned to feel secure. Don't expect a lot to happen during the first few sessions and keep at a distance.

As much as you want to see your piggies gamboling out and about, it is important that you slowly build up confidence and trust first. This takes time as trust is a tender plant that needs to make deep roots first before it can grow up. Don't push it at the start; you will reap the benefits later on by making progress more quickly then.

Here is more information on settling in aspects: Settling In And Making Friends With Guinea Pigs - A Guide
 
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