Guineas Pigs soon, scared of mice

Lawmonkey

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Hi all
We are getting 2 guinea pigs in about 6-8 weeks time. We have been researching lots but am unsure of a few things. My first worry is that I just read their food and hay can attract mice, Will airtight containers stop this?
Also we are now debating if they should be indoor. Original plan was outdoors and in winter they can be in the summer house. A few people we spoke to assumed they were in the house so we started looking into it and I’m quite tempted by this and getting them a run on the grass for daytime.
As I say mice and some posts I read mentioned rats give me the fear and the thought of getting them once I get my piggies has freaked me out!
Any help greatly appreciated thanks xx
 

Honey and Blossom

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Hi, :wel:

I've never had outdoor Guinea Pigs so I can't say anything about that but Indoor Piggies hay do not attract mice or rats. If you are thinking about having them indoors then I recommend a big cage and on warm days to buy them a run to play in. If you want outdoor Gps then I'm sure airtight containers will stop mice going in them but maybe just store the hay indoors and refill it throughout the day. If you need any help with Indoor Gps then please reply to this with any questions. Good luck and enjoy them because they are such nice pets! ♥
 

Piggies&buns

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Welcome to the forum

Rats and mice are a possibility when keeping pets outdoors. You need to make sure their food is kept in well sealed containers.
Food left in the hutch - they shouldnt be left with food in the hutch for extended periods - any veg and pellets should be eaten fairly quickly and if any is being left for extended periods, then you would want to look into whether they are being overfed. Hay is the only food they need constant access to but won’t attract pests.

I keep mine outside - piggies in the shed and rabbits outside. I’ve had outdoor rabbits for 30 years and never had an issue with rats but I have seen an occasional mouse in the garden. Never had a problem with them getting in the shed or hutches though.
Rats are a concern and can endanger piggies so you need to make sure hutches are secure with fine gauge mesh - rats can fit through small gaps.
 

Lawmonkey

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Aw thanks so much for your reply. I’m more for indoor now that I have looked into it. I would be able to have them out for a snuggle and a play once my little ones in bed! Do you use fleecy blankets in the bottom of your cage? I take it people still out newspaper underneath this? My husband is more keen on the indoor as he feels it’s cruel for them to be outside but I think the fresh air is good for them so the plan was to get a run with the secure hidey bit so they can be out on nice days. I’ve only ever had a rabbit or hamsters but we had these in my school and seem a much friendlier pet when you have children.
I can’t wait to get them but having work done in house and garden so wouldn’t want them to be scared with the noise so as soon as it’s finished we will get them. Xx
 

Piggies&buns

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You need something more absorbent under fleece such as puppy pads which will draw urine down and allow the fleece to stay dry. Newspaper wont do that as it will just stay soggy for longer which will mean the fleece won’t dry properly.

This is our fleece guide which gives full details
A Detailed Guide For Fleece Bedding
 

Honey and Blossom

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Aw thanks so much for your reply. I’m more for indoor now that I have looked into it. I would be able to have them out for a snuggle and a play once my little ones in bed! Do you use fleecy blankets in the bottom of your cage? I take it people still out newspaper underneath this? My husband is more keen on the indoor as he feels it’s cruel for them to be outside but I think the fresh air is good for them so the plan was to get a run with the secure hidey bit so they can be out on nice days. I’ve only ever had a rabbit or hamsters but we had these in my school and seem a much friendlier pet when you have children.
I can’t wait to get them but having work done in house and garden so wouldn’t want them to be scared with the noise so as soon as it’s finished we will get them. Xx
Hi, so to answer your questions. I would recommend puppy training pads at the bottom as they are more absorbent. For the top layer I have meadow hay but a fleece is also a good option.
 

Lawmonkey

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Excellent thank you, if this is how we are going to go I will need to look more into it. Want to do the right thing for them and want them to be happy. Xx
 

Free Ranger

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Mine are indoor - in the kitchen by the back door. They go out in nice weather - I pick grass for them to have inside at other times. We use all types of bedding! Louise side view.jpg We use the standard plastic tray-bottom cages but I cut holes into the sides so they can come in and out of a larger enclosed area. I use 'bedding' inside the trays (back-2-nature absorbent base topped with hay in the bedroom areas, plain newspaper sheets where the food bowls are). I have two pairs of neighbours and they started spending much more time at the bar area together so I switched from old faithful ikea mats to fleece over puppy pads and then got the sewing machine out and made fleece/'zorb'/fleece sandwiches that wick the pee really well. This arrangement suits our space.
box of fluff.jpg I think you see more of their personalities when they're around all the time and I get a lot of pleasure interacting with mine - especially being in the kitchen area as they get very excited when anything is being chopped! Flora can't wait and runs in to see what she'll be getting, gentle George stays in his box - he knows I'll always bring him his treat, the other pair have to wait their turn but that's down to Zara being such a stroppy mare. The one in the pics is Louise who has charmed hubs with her floofiness so we end up with a lot of pics of her... as he has the camera!
 

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Hi and welcome

If you want to keep guinea pigs outdoors, you have to also take into consideration the extremes of weather and have somewhere inside where you take them during storm, cold snaps and hot weather. Any of these can turn a hutch into a death trap. Climate change unfortunately means that any weather is becoming more extreme and will continue doing so in years to come. A hutch or run in the shade, for instance, as some members have sadly learned, is not necessarily a hutch or run out of a strong sun heated breeze. :(
Guinea pigs are not very good with dealing with huge temperature jumps from one day to the other and between hot days and cold nights. They are also not frost hardy.
Hot Weather Management, Heat Strokes and Fly Strike
Cold Weather Care For Guinea Pigs

If you are worried about rats and mice (mice can get through anything you can push a pencil through, by the way), please also consider whether your hutch is safe from foxes, cats, dogs or anything of the weasel family and human predators. Guinea pig are prey animals and can die from fright. Make sure that your lawn is dog pee free.
If you can, please consider a well insulated shed rather than a hutch; it is also much easier to interact with your piggies in the winter month and you are not out in the cold and rain to feed and clean. you will always have much more interaction with indoors piggies, though. We have quite large number of members whose hutch piggies stayed on indoors after the first winter...

As to diet, piggies only need 1 tablespoon of pellets per piggy per day and ca. 50g of preferably green and leafy veg, which can be eaten in one or two servings in one go, so nothing is left to attract vermin. Unlimited hay is the mainstay of the diet (the silica in hay and grass are what the chewing back teeth have evolved against and breaking down the grass/hay fibre in two runs through the gut is what the digestive system is laid out for). Veg and pellets take the role of wild forage used to supplement the diet with additional minerals, trace elements and vitamins. Water should be fresh and cool but neither frozen or boiling hot.
Please take the time to read up on our diet: Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets

Please consider adopting rather than buying guinea pigs; you can neatly avoid all the usual pitfalls that await the unwary and get a lot more support and peace of mind for a little extra effort. Ayr's Guinea Pig Rescue will rehome across the wider Glasgow area and even further. It is the only Scottish rescue on our carefully vetted, recommended good welfare standard rescues list.
Rescue Locator
New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites

You may find the information in our Wannabe and New Owners collections very helpful:
Are Guinea Pigs For Me? - Wannabe Owners' Helpful Information
Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides

It is great that you are doing your research beforehand! We are here to help you will all the large and small questions to make sure that when you get your piggies, you have as smooth a start as possible.
 

Lawmonkey

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Thanks for the responses, free ranger absolutely gorgeous! I can’t stop looking at photos of them just now wondering what mine will be like!
Thanks for all the info wiebke. I think they will be indoors I feel they will get much more time and attention that way. We had spoken about using the summer house but I just feel I want them here with me. My biggest concern was getting mice in the house if we kept them indoors. I was on reading and saw a thread and it freaked me out. Wasn’t even something I had thought of.
I have been looking daily on those rescue sites but as of yet no luck. Keeping my fingers crossed as we still have time.
 

Siikibam

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Contact rescues near and far so that you’re on several waiting lists. Good luck 🙂
 

Wiebke

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Thanks for the responses, free ranger absolutely gorgeous! I can’t stop looking at photos of them just now wondering what mine will be like!
Thanks for all the info wiebke. I think they will be indoors I feel they will get much more time and attention that way. We had spoken about using the summer house but I just feel I want them here with me. My biggest concern was getting mice in the house if we kept them indoors. I was on reading and saw a thread and it freaked me out. Wasn’t even something I had thought of.
I have been looking daily on those rescue sites but as of yet no luck. Keeping my fingers crossed as we still have time.
Guinea pigs won't attract mice inside a house. Some people can have a mice problem because of the way their house is built/maintained but they do not have it because of guinea pigs. The majority of the forum members have indoors piggies. Considering that we have been going for 15 years and literally thousands of members and tens of thousands of piggies have passed through here, you won't find masses of threads about mice in a house when you use the search option. Those threads are generally about whether a mice problem will affect guinea pigs and not the other way round. It's not something I would worry. I've never had a mice problem because of my piggies; and I have quite a few and have had piggies for a fair amount time. ;)

Ayr's GPR have lots of piggies in rescue but not all are yet available for adoption, so it is well worth contacting them and having a word with them. There are usually quite a few more piggies in the pipeline than on adoption pages.
Please keep in mind that anybody can call themselves a rescue and/or a breeder (and any shade in between) in this country without license or supervision; and the results can be accordingly. Our rescue locator lists all the carefully vetted rescues which we can guarantee for that you and any guinea pigs are in safe hands at all stages of the rescuing/rehoming process. We are very much promoting rescue adoption but we want it to be a good and especially a safe experience. The listed rescues are by far the safest place to get piggies from and not be at risk of the usual problem that plague sadly far too many new owners. :)
@Julie M is a volunteer for Ayr's rescue; I have linked her into this thread for you. Because of the pandemic safety restrictions, most rescues have waiting lists.
 

Julie M

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(here is the link to our pre adoption form on the website)
ADOPTION PROCESS



Hi, Guinea pigs are great pets. I cant add any extra to the great advice given above. We do have lots of piggies in at the moment but are somewhat restricted with rehoming until the travel restrictions lift hopefully on the 26th. We are however keeping people with completed forms on a rehoming list. So we can get people in for an appointment to meet their new family members when legally allowed to do so. Don't panic though as we do have lots of lovely piggies in about 80 at the last count. And more people wanting to surrender usually a few a week at the moment so you never know who we will have available. Thank you for considering adoption it makes a real difference to these little souls.
 

Lawmonkey

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Thank you so much for your responses. That is horrific I will never understand why people get pets without thinking it through. We both have rescued pets in the past and to be honest are suckers for a wee abandoned baby. It is such a horrific thing to do to animals.
We were just out getting more supplies today and I just posted as there was one poor wee guinea pig left all alone and my heart went out to it 😭 I could never leave one behind. Been worrying about what will happen to it and if it will bond okay when the next lot come in. I really hope it finds a partner in crime.
 

Julie M

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Thank you so much for your responses. That is horrific I will never understand why people get pets without thinking it through. We both have rescued pets in the past and to be honest are suckers for a wee abandoned baby. It is such a horrific thing to do to animals.
We were just out getting more supplies today and I just posted as there was one poor wee guinea pig left all alone and my heart went out to it 😭 I could never leave one behind. Been worrying about what will happen to it and if it will bond okay when the next lot come in. I really hope it finds a partner in crime.
Poor little one. We had another 2 piggies surrendered today. 😬 The lady just messaged this morning and wanted to bring them this morning. They never even told us their names. 😭
 

Lawmonkey

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You must be such a kind and patient person I would find it hard not to say something 🙈 At least they are better with you xx
 

Julie M

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You must be such a kind and patient person I would find it hard not to say something 🙈 At least they are better with you xx
Its kind of sad but you get used to it and become thick skinned. Its the only way to be able to cope.
 

Wiebke

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You must be such a kind and patient person I would find it hard not to say something 🙈 At least they are better with you xx
The problem comes when animals keep coming in but nobody adopts because there is only so much space and only so many volunteers. Most rescues and especially the RSPCA for rescue referrals via police or vets are currently bursting from their seams.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has meant a record number of piggies being dumped but adopting out has had had to be on hold because of lockdown conditions. While the piggies in rescue are safe, they are kind of cage blocking if there is no flow; and the bottle neck is very much the rehoming.
By adopting from a rescue, you are not only helping your adoptees but you are actually making space for two more piggies in need of a safe future and access to expert care and vet care. ;)

Quite a few of my own current adoptees are stuck in rescue piggies or piggies with social issues that needed an expert home, or have come to help make space at the rescue for a large emergency intake. But instead of fixating on youngsters, perhaps you may want to consider an adult pair that is used to human interaction to ease you into life with piggies? They are often overlooked, too, but make wonderful instand pets and really appreciate a loving home.
 

Julie M

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The problem comes when animals keep coming in but nobody adopts because there is only so much space and only so many volunteers. Most rescues and especially the RSPCA for rescue referrals via police or vets are currently bursting from their seams.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has meant a record number of piggies being dumped but adopting out has had had to be on hold because of lockdown conditions. While the piggies in rescue are safe, they are kind of cage blocking if there is no flow; and the bottle neck is very much the rehoming.
By adopting from a rescue, you are not only helping your adoptees but you are actually making space for two more piggies in need of a safe future and access to expert care and vet care. ;)

Quite a few of my own current adoptees are stuck in rescue piggies or piggies with social issues that needed an expert home, or have come to help make space at the rescue for a large emergency intake. But instead of fixating on youngsters, perhaps you may want to consider an adult pair that is used to human interaction to ease you into life with piggies? They are often overlooked, too, but make wonderful instand pets and really appreciate a loving home.
I wish more people would consider these well loved "been there, done that got the t shirt“ piggies. The people who do listen and adopt them under our recommendations are delighted with their new family members. Most piggies actually in the centre at the moment are 2 years old and younger. most surprisingly being surrendered at the moment are between 9 months to a year. 🤔 #lockdownpiggies
 

Free Ranger

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I've had a range of ages but most have been mature at 3+ and the slightly slower pace of life suits me fine. Flora, a year younger at 2, positively gallops round! The older pig is so grateful for any attention and loves you for bringing them little veggie treats. The only pig I got 'new' was Snowflake from PaH but she'd apparently been alone in the back room for a while as a 'left-over': when they get in new batches of babies they don't mix them. I don't know how old she was but she wasn't a baby. She had no signs of illness - she was a pink-eyed white so maybe that was the 'issue'? I loved her for 5 wonderful years 💕
 
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