Guinea pigs won’t come out of their hutch.

MiloAndJake

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
54
Reaction score
28
Points
195
Location
Uk
I just got my 2 baby guinea pigs on Tuesday, they’re said to be about 8 weeks old. They have seemed to of settled into their outdoor hutch really well and all however they will not come out into their run through the day to play on the grass. I have attatched their run onto their hutch so they can walk out into it but they just won’t. I’ve tried picking them up and put them into their run but soon as i put them down they run straight back in.. i’ve also tried shutting the hutch doors but all they do then is bite the bars and go crazy trying to get back in and i felt bad so i opened it back up as they seemed scared to be out. They’re quite jumpy as any sudden movement they see or any noise they’ll run to hide and not too sure why, as when i pick them up they’re quite content and will fall asleep on my lap. Just not sure what the issue is. Any help and advice would be appreciated as i really want them to come out into their run so they aren’t just sittin around all day in a corner.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
67,902
Reaction score
35,518
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
I just got my 2 baby guinea pigs on Tuesday, they’re said to be about 8 weeks old. They have seemed to of settled into their outdoor hutch really well and all however they will not come out into their run through the day to play on the grass. I have attatched their run onto their hutch so they can walk out into it but they just won’t. I’ve tried picking them up and put them into their run but soon as i put them down they run straight back in.. i’ve also tried shutting the hutch doors but all they do then is bite the bars and go crazy trying to get back in and i felt bad so i opened it back up as they seemed scared to be out. They’re quite jumpy as any sudden movement they see or any noise they’ll run to hide and not too sure why, as when i pick them up they’re quite content and will fall asleep on my lap. Just not sure what the issue is. Any help and advice would be appreciated as i really want them to come out into their run so they aren’t just sittin around all day in a corner.
Hi!

Please be careful with putting small indoors piggies from a heated shop outside into an unprotected hutch, especially during cold nights and hot days. Guinea pigs have to be treated like tender plants; they are much less hardy than rabbits - and even those should not be left outside in full sun or in the frost. They can die from heat stroke, so you need to make provisions for hot days and the winter months. Always close the ramp during the night to prevent rats or mice getting at your piggies and prevent cold drafts from causing illness or even killing (we had a frost killed because the flap was accidentally left open).
Cold Weather Care For Guinea Pigs
Hot Weather Management And Heat Strokes

Give your piggies time to settle and get their bearings. They are prey animals and need to have a safe base; they will come out when they feel safe and comfortable in their new cage. Please respect their instincts. Give your girls several safe places from which to explore the new ground from - log tunnels and cardboard boxes should be fine. Please never close off their retreat and access to hay/safety/dry ground!
Feeding Grass And Preparing Your Piggies For Lawn Time

We have more helpful information for new owners on a wide range of subjects from settling in and making friends, picking up and handling safely to understanding behaviour and learning what is normal and not, plus care, diet and housing information via this link here: Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
 

Swissgreys

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 15, 2016
Messages
6,100
Reaction score
11,839
Points
1,965
Location
Zürich, Switzerland
Hello ad Welcome to the Forum.
:wel:

To be honest your piggies behaviour sounds totaly normal - they are young and in a new situation, so it is natural for them to be nervous.
Most piggies will rarely venture into large open spaces by choice, so have you tried to make the run area more appealing?
It might help if you were able to cover pat of the run with an old blanket or towel so they don't feel so exposed.
You could also add tunnels and a few cardboard boxes with doors cut out, so they can hop from box to box.
If you were able to post a picture of your set up I am sure lots of people will have good suggestions.
A photo of your piggies would be nice too - we all love piggy pics.
 

MiloAndJake

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
54
Reaction score
28
Points
195
Location
Uk
Hi!

Please be careful with putting small indoors piggies from a heated shop outside into an unprotected hutch, especially during cold nights and hot days. Guinea pigs have to be treated like tender plants; they are much less hardy than rabbits - and even those should not be left outside in full sun or in the frost. They can die from heat stroke, so you need to make provisions for hot days and the winter months. Always close the ramp during the night to prevent rats or mice getting at your piggies and prevent cold drafts from causing illness or even killing (we had a frost killed because the flap was accidentally left open).
Cold Weather Care For Guinea Pigs
Hot Weather Management And Heat Strokes

Give your piggies time to settle and get their bearings. They are prey animals and need to have a safe base; they will come out when they feel safe and comfortable in their new cage. Please respect their instincts. Give your girls several safe places from which to explore the new ground from - log tunnels and cardboard boxes should be fine. Please never close off their retreat and access to hay/safety/dry ground!
Feeding Grass And Preparing Your Piggies For Lawn Time

We have more helpful information for new owners on a wide range of subjects from settling in and making friends, picking up and handling safely to understanding behaviour and learning what is normal and not, plus care, diet and housing information via this link here: Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
Hi!

Please be careful with putting small indoors piggies from a heated shop outside into an unprotected hutch, especially during cold nights and hot days. Guinea pigs have to be treated like tender plants; they are much less hardy than rabbits - and even those should not be left outside in full sun or in the frost. They can die from heat stroke, so you need to make provisions for hot days and the winter months. Always close the ramp during the night to prevent rats or mice getting at your piggies and prevent cold drafts from causing illness or even killing (we had a frost killed because the flap was accidentally left open).
Cold Weather Care For Guinea Pigs
Hot Weather Management And Heat Strokes

Give your piggies time to settle and get their bearings. They are prey animals and need to have a safe base; they will come out when they feel safe and comfortable in their new cage. Please respect their instincts. Give your girls several safe places from which to explore the new ground from - log tunnels and cardboard boxes should be fine. Please never close off their retreat and access to hay/safety/dry ground!
Feeding Grass And Preparing Your Piggies For Lawn Time

We have more helpful information for new owners on a wide range of subjects from settling in and making friends, picking up and handling safely to understanding behaviour and learning what is normal and not, plus care, diet and housing information via this link here: Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
Hi thanks for the advice.
Hello ad Welcome to the Forum.
:wel:

To be honest your piggies behaviour sounds totaly normal - they are young and in a new situation, so it is natural for them to be nervous.
Most piggies will rarely venture into large open spaces by choice, so have you tried to make the run area more appealing?
It might help if you were able to cover pat of the run with an old blanket or towel so they don't feel so exposed.
You could also add tunnels and a few cardboard boxes with doors cut out, so they can hop from box to box.
If you were able to post a picture of your set up I am sure lots of people will have good suggestions.
A photo of your piggies would be nice too - we all love piggy pics.
This is a picture of their set up so they have an igloo to hide in when they come out and i also put a blanket over the top of the run for them but they still just want to be back in the hutch but i think they need to get used to their surroundings first to be honest.
 

Attachments

Merab's Slave

Forum Buddy
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
16,378
Reaction score
16,866
Points
2,075
Location
Wirral, UK
Hello and welcome to the forum.
I can’t add to the advice given.
My indoor piggies flatly refused to go outside.
I had a run with a hidey and they stayed in the hidey all the time.
Now I just pick grass for them which I have learnt is what slaves are for.

Please post pics of the piggies for us to see.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
67,902
Reaction score
35,518
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Hi thanks for the advice.

This is a picture of their set up so they have an igloo to hide in when they come out and i also put a blanket over the top of the run for them but they still just want to be back in the hutch but i think they need to get used to their surroundings first to be honest.
Guinea pigs are instinctively afraid to be out in the open; no piggy will use your run voluntarily because it is totally exposed to ground and aerial predators. It is also NOT safe at all; cats, dogs, foxes, rats, small predators and birds of prey can all easily get in, I am very sorry to say! A dog attack can be over in a matter of second, as I know from a childhood experience when a neighbours' dog managed to wiggle through their badly maintained fence, break into a supposedly safe run and kill our guinea pigs before anybody could react to the ruckus and get to it. :(

The run needs a safe, firm cover and higher sides (not just some plastic netting that any cat, dog or fox can get through without problems) and also double shade for hot days - the same goes for the hutch in hot weather so it doesn't become a death trap. You also need to make sure that no animal can burrow underneath the sides; they should be fixed to the ground.

Guinea have sharp eyesight only for about two feet. For wider distances they only react to quick movements. One poky little igloo at the far end is not something that will register. They need cover about every foot apart to get them out.
Please also be aware that the plastic igloo is like an oven in full sun.
 
Last edited:

MiloAndJake

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
54
Reaction score
28
Points
195
Location
Uk
Hello and welcome to the forum.
I can’t add to the advice given.
My indoor piggies flatly refused to go outside.
I had a run with a hidey and they stayed in the hidey all the time.
Now I just pick grass for them which I have learnt is what slaves are for.

Please post pics of the piggies for us to see.
Yeah i just pick grass for them at the moment and place it in their hutch as they just don’t like being out unless they’re cuddled on my lap. Heres a few pictures of my piggies.
 

Attachments

MiloAndJake

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
54
Reaction score
28
Points
195
Location
Uk
Guinea pigs are instinctively afraid to be out in the open; no piggy will use your run voluntarily because it is totally exposed to ground and aerial predators. It is also NOT safe at all; cats, dogs, foxes, rats, small predators and birds of prey can all easily get in, I am very sorry to say! A dog attack can be over in a matter of second, as I know from a childhood experience when a neighbours' dog managed to wiggle through their badly maintained fence, break into a supposedly safe run and kill our guinea pigs before anybody could react to the ruckus and get to it. :(

The run needs a safe, firm cover and higher sides (not just some plastic netting that any cat, dog or fox can get through without problems) and also double shade - the same goes for the hutch in hot weather so it doesn't become a death trap. You also need to make sure that no animal can burrow underneath the sides; they should be fixed to the ground.

Guinea have sharp eyesight only for about two feet. For wider distances they only react to quick movements. One poky little igloo at the far end is not something that will register. They need cover about every foot apart to get them out.
Please also be aware that the plastic igloo is like an oven in full sun.
Thanks for the advice, the run was only temporary my dad made it out of wood but we are only using it temporary until we get round to buying a proper one from the pet store but looks as though they ain’t going to use the one we made. I’m also thinking of bringing my piggies indoors when i can afford to buy a suitable cage for them as all the advice given has made me very paranoid they’re either gona get too cold outside through the night or too hot through the day when summer comes.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
67,902
Reaction score
35,518
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Thanks for the advice, the run was only temporary my dad made it out of wood but we are only using it temporary until we get round to buying a proper one from the pet store but looks as though they ain’t going to use the one we made. I’m also thinking of bringing my piggies indoors when i can afford to buy a suitable cage for them as all the advice given has made me very paranoid they’re either gona get too cold outside through the night or too hot through the day when summer comes.
Have a look at our indoors C&C grid cages, which are very popular with our members or zooplus for traditional cages; you can buy a much larger cage online for what you have to pay in the shop.
Cage Size Guide

All About C & C Grid Cages Around The World
Member Gallery: C&C cages/homemade cages

Sourcing Conventional Cages And Hutches


Indoors is defintely much safer for guinea pigs and you get much more interaction with them! We have got some piggy whispering tips in our new owners guide collection.

My husband has made me a couple of new foldable runs with chicken wire when this second-hand one from a kind neighbour gave up the ghost. If your dad is a DIY man, he can perhaps recycle the wood from the current run for one?
I love them - you can put them up in just a few minutes and fold them away when no longer needed.

I use plastic netting plus a fleece blanket for double shade but I make sure that my guinea pigs are only on the lawn when I am around as we are abutting to open land with seagulls, small birds of prey and have several cats coming into the garden at various times. It is not secure on the ground to leave the piggies unsupervised for the day, but it is ideal for shorter outings whenever you are around and much cheaper than buying a new panel run if your dad can recycle stuff.
IMG_7101.JPG
 
Last edited:
Top