guinea pig not agree to exit from the cage

Yoav

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Hay,
I have two guinea pigs.
They have been with me for a year and a half.
They're just in a cage all the time, I can not get them to come out, and I'm really sad ... they live two years in a small cage.
Every time I try to take them out, I have to take them out by hand (and they try to escape) and at the end when I take them out, they just run under some object and do not move, then I take pity on them and put them back in the cage.
Does anyone have an idea what to do? It does not seem right to me ...
 

Piggies&buns

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To them, their cage is their safe space and anything outside of that is scary.

Are you trying to get them to free roam or do you have a safe playpen for them to play in?
They dont like big open spaces, so if you have a playpen, then ensure you cover the cage with a sheet or blanket so they feel more secure. If free roaming, use lots of tunnels and hides so they dont feel exposed and can feel safe moving from one to the other.

Guinea Pigs dont usually like being picked up, so use a carrier to herd them into and then release them from the carrier into the playpen/playarea (this method works very well and is very useful to carrying out your weekly weight checks - herd them into the carrier one at a time and then weigh them).

When you say small cage - what size do you mean? They need to be in a cage a minimum of 120x60cm.

How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pigs Safely
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Yoav

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I let them walk around on my porch (where the cage is also located). The cage is about 150 cm by 70 cm. I do not have a baby carrier or anything I can lift them ...
 

Piggies&buns

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I let them walk around on my porch (where the cage is also located). The cage is about 150 cm by 70 cm. I do not have a baby carrier or anything I can lift them ...

As long as the area is safe and they cannot escape and run away.

That's a good sized cage, so it isnt considered small at all and is a lovely space for them to get some exercise in.

You dont need a baby carrier - a cardboard box will do
 

Yoav

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OK thank you.
How long or so let them go around at first? Should you give them fruits and vegetables outside? (They are very fond of).
Is it okay that they were in a cage for two years? It did not hurt them too much?
 

Piggies&buns

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Only let them out for as long as they are comfortable to be out and as long as you are there to supervise them. As I said, ensure you have lots of hides and boxes out so they can feel safe. You can build the time up as they become more comfortable with it.

You can offer them food outside of the cage. Best to ensure they have large piles of hay at all times, even when outside of the cage if they are going to be out playing for a long time (they need access to hay constantly). Dont forget fruit should not be fed often due to the sugars.

Its good to let them have some exercise outside of the cage, but if they aren't confident enough to do it, then all you can do is encourage them and build up their outside time at their pace. As I said, 150x70cm is the recommended size for two piggies so they do have enough space inside the cage to run and play.
 

Yoav

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I hardly give them hay ...
Hay here is very expensive, once every few months I buy them a pound of alfalfa.
I buy them a food mixture, which also contains hay (see photo).
By the way, I sell a kit for raising grass for cats under my house. Is it also recommended for a guinea pigs?עגכעגכעכג.png
 

Piggies&buns

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Yes, I do now recall you having issues with getting hay and I do feel for you being in a difficult position with it. They do really need big piles of grass hay constantly available to them as it is their main food source - its essential for healthy gut function and for good dental health. They need the abrasive action of hay or fresh grass to keep the teeth wearing down properly to prevent dental problems. You can give them fresh grass as long as it is clean. You must however ensure you build it up slowly in their diet as too much grass on an unprepared tummy can cause digestive problems.
They should not eat alfalfa - it isnt suitable for Guinea Pigs as it isnt a grass hay.
The food in the picture isnt the best thing to feed them, but I appreciate it is probably difficult for you to get anything else.

Feeding Grass And Preparing Your Piggies For Lawn Time
 
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Pawz

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You can try what I do with timid small furries. Hold something super tasty between your pinched fingers (piece of romaine lettuce for example) and don’t let it go. Sit still like a stature with your arm in the cage, start quite far in right in front of where they hide. Let them eat it, don’t try and do anything else just stay still.

After a few days of this getting progressively less arm in the cage and having them inch out more and more to get the treat they will start to get used to you. At that point you can dare to very carefully touch their head while they are nibbling from your hand, if they run just let it happen and they’ll come back. Don’t go chasing them around the cage with your hand trying to pet them.

It’ll take time but you’ll eventually win their trust and they will start to associate you with yummy things rather than view you as a gigantic predator that might swoop down and eat them at any moment.

Another trick is if you let them out in a large enclosed space like a run or your porch….lay still on the floor and just let them come sniff and explore you, or sit with them when they are out but again don’t try to touch them. Just let them slowly get used to you without any sudden moves 🙂.

I did this most recently with our rabbit who was 100% not familiar with human contact and was a super skittish panic ball on arrival. After a week she was a completely different animal, she can be petted and picked up with minimal fuss and will even come to the front of her pen for a nose scratch if she sees you passing her room. She’s a little more wary when free roaming still but she’s getting there. The first time I put my food filled fingers in her cage I sat there for over 45mins before she came and started to eat, now she can’t wait for me to even get my hand in!
 

Yoav

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Thank you all!
I'll take a picture tomorrow of the grass, and pls say me if is it OK
 

Free Ranger

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When you are letting them roam around the larger area be very aware that they can suddenly bolt and some of them can really jump (although they don't land well). If the roaming area is not enclosed there is a risk of a piggy suddenly panicking and leaping from the porch so please try and make it secure! Some of mine have been real explorers but some are just happy to hide and will only move between one hiding place and another!

We have heard so many sad stories on here of people who are taking pigs back to the cage and piggy will suddenly wriggle and jump silly distances like 1 or 2 metres to try and get to the cage faster. They cannot judge distance well and of course this height is very bad - the piggies get seriously injured and often die. Sometimes even a little fall off a guinea pig ramp can cause sprains or breaks to legs. I'm not trying to frighten you - there is just sometimes an assumption that animals know their own limits but it is different with prey animals like piggies than for the predator animals (like a cat for instance). Prey animals just react in a blind panic - it's down to us to keep them safe. Good luck trying to find hay or grass for them 🤞
 

Yoav

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I did not quite understand what you mean ...
My balcony is very secure (surrounded by a wall two meters high)
But what is meant by jumping? I can not prevent him from jumping inside the balcony ... The balcony is completely clean, there is no object in it. But I can not control him if he jumps on the floor ...
When you are letting them roam around the larger area be very aware that they can suddenly bolt and some of them can really jump (although they don't land well). If the roaming area is not enclosed there is a risk of a piggy suddenly panicking and leaping from the porch so please try and make it secure! Some of mine have been real explorers but some are just happy to hide and will only move between one hiding place and another!

We have heard so many sad stories on here of people who are taking pigs back to the cage and piggy will suddenly wriggle and jump silly distances like 1 or 2 metres to try and get to the cage faster. They cannot judge distance well and of course this height is very bad - the piggies get seriously injured and often die. Sometimes even a little fall off a guinea pig ramp can cause sprains or breaks to legs. I'm not trying to frighten you - there is just sometimes an assumption that animals know their own limits but it is different with prey animals like piggies than for the predator animals (like a cat for instance). Prey animals just react in a blind panic - it's down to us to keep them safe. Good luck trying to find hay or grass for them 🤞
 

Piggies&buns

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I did not quite understand what you mean ...
My balcony is very secure (surrounded by a wall two meters high)
But what is meant by jumping? I can not prevent him from jumping inside the balcony ... The balcony is completely clean, there is no object in it. But I can not control him if he jumps on the floor ...

That's fine - the wall is high enough to prevent a jump to escape. Jumping within the balcony area is absolutely fine as they cannot get over a 2m wall.

Do ensure you put hides in the balcony area though as they will not want to wander around an empty space.
 

Free Ranger

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My balcony is very secure (surrounded by a wall two meters high)
Oh please excuse me - it is my mistake. It was the use of the word 'porch' in the earlier message. In the UK we think of a porch as a small covered area at ground level by the front door, like this posh example:
porch uk.jpg... but in the USA a 'porch' is a bigger open space, more like this: porch us.jpg
So I was imagining piggies trying to jump from a high wooden deck and running for the bushes! If they just jump around on the floor that's a good thing 😄
 

Yoav

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:D:D
Thank u very much, everyone!
 
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