I know gps don't tolerate heat well, but how hot is too hot for comfort?
Raccoons (eeek!) have suddenly appeared in our yard for three straight nights. Obviously my cinderellas have got to be back in the secure enclosure by sunset, but I'm not sure how scared I should be. Do you think a raccoon would come after a piggy, or just go for the food?
Anyone else house their piggies outdoors?
I think it's always a dangerous idea to leave guinea pigs outside unless, as Lynx says, they are supervised at all times.
I received several rescues one time because the person kept them outside and rats, raccoons, possums, cats, and you name it started hanging around, and the landlord said they had to go.
Okay, backtracking with more details, in my own defense. Of course I know outdoors is no place for a piggy to live FULL TIME. I am paying close attention to the thermometer and watching over them. We humans practically living outdoors, lately, ourselves. We're right there. When we're inside, the whole living area/kitchen overlooks their play area. I admit I'm not there every minute.
They have a 22 grid area on the lawn. The lawn is not treated at all. It has no moss in it. I keep making them hay houses, with tunnels inside them made from pipe. They have lots of hidey places. We keep our chairs positioned around the pen, like it was guinea pig theater. In the evening, after kids are in bed, I have been going out there with veggies, and holding them for lap time, two at a time. These are not unhappy, unloved piggies.
They still have their cage inside, for days like we've been having with temps in the high 90s. Today they were out in the morning, then up to their c&c cage, and then I put them out for the night, because it's cooler outside now. In the morning, they'll get to go out in the pen again. I just wanted to make sure I was moving them inside soon enough. At about waht temp would they become uncomfortable? It's actually about 10 degrees cooler where they are, shaded by the bamboo.
The raccoon thing is throwing me for a loop, as we've never had them in the backyard. And yet, we've had chickens for the last 5 years. You'd think that would have been an attraction. We used to have a dog next door, but she died last month. The raccoons are coming from that side, so maybe without the dog in their way, they've added us to their route. I watched them last night to see what they were interested in. They walked right between the piggy enclosure and the chickens, and seemed to be checking out the scraps I'd thrown to the chickens. And so I wondered whether I needed to abort the whole outdoor experiment, or whether it was a matter of getting the piggies in plenty early.
- Supporting my GL Habit
The only time I had ever left my pigs outside for an extended period of time was in a sturdy hutch. It was built of wood and chicken wire, and had a lid that was latched on, so they were surrounded on five sides. I then staked the cage to the ground, so it could not be tipped over. I realized, even then, the cage was not animal proof, but I realized it would seriously slow down stray cats or a small dog, and frustrate hawks. The neighborhood I lived in had only one dog, and he was too old to wander.
I can't imagine leaving pigs in an open top cage. When you first said they were in a pen, I imagined the one like I just described. You're lucky none of them we're picked off by a hawk. I remember at least one such tragic story on this board, let alone several stories of neighbor dogs that wrecked havoc.
As for temps - my pigs start getting seriously blobby at about 84F. But it depends on the pig as to when they feel the heat. I had a heart pig that couldn't deal with temperatures over 74F. Shade is definitely a must. Pigs can start feeling the heat as low as 66F if they're in the sun.
Abort the outdoor experiment!
Imagine how you'd feel if something got them. And you just never know. There are so many animals lurking around, especially at night.
Keep your setup but only bring them out occasionally when the weather's good and the family can be outside with them.
- Thanks for the Memories
- Still supporting in 2014
Max and Toby go out to graze, but only when someone is right there at their run. No turning your back on them. They are your babies and you need to think of them as babies; dependant on you for care and protection. You would never leave an infant out on their own, so don't leave your fur babies out either.
As for nighttime, raccoons are very crafty and persistant. I don't think you can raccoon-proof a hutch.
Subsequent sightings of this hawk had it eating guinea pigs that were successfully caught.
Ditto on the secure environment if you are not going to be right with your guinea pig every moment it is outside!
I believe you love your gp's very much. Just remember they are totally defenseless. At least chickens can peck!
Leaving the piggies outside may attract a lot of wild animals that you didn't realize you had in your area until it's too late. I live in town but I've seen a hawk a couple of times swoop down in front of me trying to get a squirrel in our front yard.
- For all Wonkys & Winkys
You say that when they are outside, you are watching them all the time.
Dont you sleep?
Honestly, do you think that all the wild animals that live around our homes, go to bed when we do?
I can't understand how you would take such a risk with the lives of your pigs. What's wrong with you?