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BristolBabe94

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Hey people! I'm new to this. I have a question that I can't seem to find any answers on!

What on earth is unlocking our guinea pigs hutch when we've gone to sleep at night? I am waking up and finding the door open each morning, luckily no vanished pigs! The locks are on the outside and are made of metal that you can pull up and down. There's also wooden twist locks. And the hutch is off the ground so what is big enough and smart enough to do this? Maybe a fox or a cat? I don't know!We've had to break wooden pegs in half to wedge in the locks so it'll make it a bit more difficult to unlock, it seems to be working but I'm still very confused and concerned on what and how this has happened?!

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Emma.
 

Jesse's pigs

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I can't tell you what's been opening your hutch - that sounds very scary and potentially dangerous for your piggies- but have you thought of getting cctv? That way you'd catch the assailant in the act and be able to pick the best solution. :)
 

Tiamolly123

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The other thing is to put a combination lock on there. Are you on good terms with your neighbors & their kids.
CCTV isn't expensive put that up as well, then you can show it to the police.
 

Julie M

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Yikes that's scary. I would bring them inside if it was possible and it was me.

CCTV is a good idea. Or signs to say that you've got cctv (if it's a person doing it then they may be put off.)
 

BristolBabe94

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Thank you guys for your replies! I have thought about bringing them inside. And also an outdoor camera. I'm on great terms with neighbours haha! My heart says its an animal of some sort.. I was thinking of putting barbed wire on top of the hutch? And maybe consider buying a camera.. thoughts?
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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I would put on new locks that you could attach a padlock to, and get a camera to see what was doing it! Sounds scary! I put new locks on my piggies hutch myself because they were rubbish.
 

BristolBabe94

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I also have another piggy problem! One of the pigs (I have 3) has always been underweight. He's about 4 years old. The vet told me to start feeding him sachet food, which you have to mix with water and its supposed to help them gain. We've done this for about a year! He also has normal pellet food. Started mixing it in with ground up carrot, apple, veg etc so its a little more tasty. He's a very good piggy and will let you handle him and will literally eat anything. The thing is- he's still not gaining weight! He's losing weight and is a very unhealthy weight as we weigh him everyday. We have took him to the vet again tonight. I should find out soon. But any thoughts or advice you can give?

Thanks,

Emma.
 
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Dear Emma, about the hutch: is it happening every night? if so, you could sit down and... wait! :box:
About the underweight piggie: is he really underweight? I also have a young underweight piggie, but the situation is different: she eats a lot, she is gaining weight and she is healthy, although I can feel her bones when I pick her up.
In your shoes I would go to an expert vet, a really expert one, though. When the diseases are rare and weird, it is necessary. In UK you have a certain Simon Maddock (?) which is famous also among italian vets. I would go there for a consultation... which for sure would be the ultimate one.
 

BristolBabe94

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Hey there!

Yes the hutch problem is happening nearly every night recently! It's never happened before. It obviously happens when we all go to bed and its night! But I have wedged wooden pegs for now in between all of the locks and it seems to be working. Still very annoying as I have no idea what is going on! I am from the UK. I am usually a piggy expert! But this has never happened to me before. Nor has an underweight pig! He is in the vets overnight for now, they think it may be his teeth. Even though he had them cut down about 2 weeks ago! They didn't put him under anaesthetic though, so the vet I saw today said that could have been a problem as one of the teeth have overgrown. But the vet also said that if under anaesthetic he could pass due to his weight and how small he is, that is why he wasn't put under before. So basically, it's life or death. Either let him starve, or let him go through anaesthetic. I chose the anaesthetic hoping he makes it. FINGERS CROSSED!
 
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DM030819

@BristolBabe94 Teeth issues aren't always fixed in one go. Quite often they need multiple sessions to slowly get the teeth working in the right direction again.

If he's losing weight from not being able to eat you will need to aggressively hand feed him. Ask the vet for some 1ml syringes and a few packets of recovery food. You can also try pellets watered down into a paste, most pigs prefer that. It is vital that he has food travelling through his digestive system otherwise it will shut down and he will die. The vet can show you how to hand feed if necessary, and check the handfeeding guide on the forum.

In regards to the hutch, you need to padlock it at the very least. I've seen what foxes can do and it's not pretty. Even if they are unharmed the pigs can get scared from the visit.
 

ToastandBeans

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That's weird. Like others said out cctv up or wait. Put a padlock on it if you can. Not sure what to do about this sorry :blink:
 

Mother Hubbard

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Hope it's ok to tag but I'm sure @Mother Hubbard had this problem?
Hey there,
Sorry for the delay, I was off line yesterday.
So I had the same problem, coming home to find the latches were unlocked completely but no scratches around the locks. I was loathed to put padlocks on the hutches a) because that's a lot of padlocks for me (8 off) and b) why the hell should I.

So I had some idea's about what might be happening but wouldn't prove it. I think in your case if it was an animal you would see scratches on the woodwork and also why would the piggies still be inside. So for me it sounds human, and by the fact you've put pegs in is an indication to someone that you are taking action.

Of course it could be that you have a magpie bird that is attracted to the shiny metal and is tugging at it, it's not as daft as it sounds.

My advice, get CCTV on it. You can buy inexpensive versions. This is what I see during the day.
IMG_0001.JPG
I have since moved the camera so it points the other way and I also have one for my front door.
check out Arlo Netgear. That one isn't mega cheap but it was the one that worked for me. Uploads to the cloud, keeps it for 7 days, you can download the file, talk into the camera, is on motion detection and records for 10seconds a piece. You can also zoom.
There are much cheaper options, check out amazon for some good deals on them. Most of them have an app for your phone too.

Mine also has night vision.
1494014408947.jpg
You can also watch it live.

Hope that helps.
 
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