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Ramp Problems!

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RJade

Junior Guinea Pig
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Hi!
Two days ago I bought three male guinea pigs from a breeder and I've put them in the two tier hutch. i left them in there for about 20 minutes and watched them, I'm unsure if they were just being skittish due to travel and a new environment, but they just kept dropping down the gap not walking round to go down the ramp.
I've shut off the ramp for now as I didn't want them to hurt themselves as they're so little!
Do you think I should keep it closed until they're a little bigger or open it and see how they get on?
I'd appreaciate any advice, my previous guinea pigs only had a one level hutch and I'm unsure what to do!
Thank you! :)
 
There's four possible things I can think of here:
- Some piggies will learn to climb, some might never like it (they're not natural climbers)
- Ensure the ramp has sides to create a safer path and stop pigs falling off the sides
- Make sure the ramp isn't too steep (raise the bottom if it is)
- Check that the ramp has enough grip, pigs generally avoid areas where they can't get traction. I use log rolls but there are other ideas like fleece covering
 
One of my guineas will only use the ramp with the tunnel on it.
 
My 2 love zooming up and down their ramp.
However i was worried about them falling down the gap, so i added some wood round the sides of the hole like a bannister. That way they can only reach the ramp at the top and not drop down the gap. I also covered half the gap with another piece of wood so it was smaller.
 
The easiest option would to be to attach a tunnel to the ramp. If you butt the tunnel right up to the top of the ramp they will not be able to fall down it. Most piggies are scared of ramps so I've always found this is the best thing to do, and always recommend to customers who rehome from us to do the same. If not I would suggest putting a side to the ramp, pitting carpet on the ramp and either half covering the hole or making a side around the ramp hole apart from the entrance and exit. It may be worth popping them downstairs with lots of videos. They better learn how to go up safely than down. Also they will have more floor space to play whilst learning. Certainly would not encourage locking 3 little boys on one floor (unless it's a 6 ft hutch) until they are bigger. They grow quickly. I've seen them start to become antagonistic to one another from as young as 3 months old. so limited space could be the deciding factor between a happy trio or a fall out :tu:
 
Thank you! I'll definitely try your suggestions! :) I don't want to keep them on one floor as I want them to be able to have as much space as they like! I just really don't want them to get hurt when they tumble.
Since it's only been a full 48 hours in the hutch they're still settling in so I'll uncover the ramp and see how they get on with the suggestions you've all made :)
 
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