how much space/floortime?

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Post   » Mon Mar 25, 2002 12:08 pm

I´ve researched guinea pig housing a bit and have found one site that recommends the minimum cage size be at least 7 sq. ft. It also says if you have a cage smaller than this, you need to give your pigs extra floor time. So my question is, if my pigs get plenty of floor time, are they okay in a smaller cage?

My cages are 19" x 30" with an upper ramp of about 19" x 6" (not even 6 sq. ft. since you can´t count the top ramp in the calculation). Each cage houses one pig. They have a run area of about 10´ x 10´ where I let them run between 20 mins and up to 2 hours a day, depending on how much time I have.

With this much floor time, are these cages still too small?

One more thing: After about 20 minutes of floor time, my two pigs seem to get bored and find a dark corner to sit, lounge or sleep. It´s frustrating since I want them to get their excersise during this time. So what´s the point of longer floor time, if they don´t use it for excersise?



Post   » Mon Mar 25, 2002 12:23 pm

I think the larger size cages, such as those on are definitely preferable to smaller cages plus floor time.

I used to have my pigs in smaller cages and let them out for a couple of hours a day, like you describe. Just like yours they would have an initial burst of activity, then sit and snooze in a puddle of pee inside a tunnel, paper bag or box for the rest of the time. However, after I built them a large cage, I found out that they take their exercise in bursts of activity throughout the day, interspersed with lengthy siestas! What a life, eh?

If you have absolutely no option but the smaller cages, it might be a good idea to give them a several shorter exercise periods rather than a long one of several hours.

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Post   » Mon Mar 25, 2002 12:35 pm

Thanks pigpal.

I work full time so my only option for giving them floor time is in the evenings.

I think you´re right, the larger cages make more sense since they can exercise on their own time, according to their own body clocks. I´ll research some more.


Post   » Tue Mar 26, 2002 3:44 am

Well, my current piggy is a free ranger and he gets to run in and out of his cage as and when he wants. I have provided a little plastic shelter at a corner and he likes going there for a snooze. The tile flooring is much cooler on hot and humid days.

I used to bring my old pigs out for floortime and let them run around in a secure and enclosed area for an hour daily. Throw in some toys and cardboard tubes and it´s like a little playground. I didn´t really give it much thought which ´hour´ is most appropriate. As long as they were awake, I´ll grab them and chuck them on the floor. Oh, it will help to pass around some veggy treats during floor time too.

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Post   » Tue Mar 26, 2002 10:33 am

genosen - hi, thanks for your reply. Yes, I´ve always got treats out at floor time, and I hide them in various places, making them stretch and reach for them.

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Post   » Tue Mar 26, 2002 5:25 pm

I have been giving my three boys that share a cage a bit more floor time latley and I think that is why my Clint has been behaving himself latley so I think I will continue an hour a day for them three and hopefully they will continue to get along while in the cage.

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Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Wed Mar 27, 2002 9:11 am

More floor time helped my mother´s sows get along so I´m not surprised.

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