My piggies are outdoors this summer

User avatar

Post   » Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:43 pm

My piggies have discovered the great joys of outdoor living. Previously, I'd put them out for a few hours at a time, but now they are housed out there as long as the weather cooperates. They go between a secure cage and an open play area.

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?

User avatar

Post   » Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:37 pm

A racoon will eat your guinea pigs. So will an opossum. They can show up during the day (not to mention hawks and dogs). Do not leave them outside unattended!!!

User avatar

Post   » Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:48 pm

I must admit, I'm pretty surprised by this.

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.

User avatar

Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:00 am

I'm shocked you would even post such an outrageous thing on this board when you know perfectly well outdoors is no place for your pigs.

User avatar

Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:18 am

The boy's only response to this thread, I can't believe some one with common sense would do that, let alone post about it on guinealynx, keep me updated on the hellfire.

Skol Pigs!

Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:22 am

Yes, don't leave them out there unattended. You would never be able to forgive yourself if something bad happened. :(

User avatar

Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:20 am

I hadn't realized that this would be so inflammatory. Lisam, this is worlds away from those 100 pigs left to roam free outside that you rescued. Not even close. But I realize many of you have seen piggies left outdoors in deplorable conditions, so I understand that people may be touchy on the subject.

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.

Let Sleeping Pigs Lie

Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:28 am

After the recent, devastating experiences (Bethie's Sid and Truffles, and Kristina's Willie, to name two) I just don't think I'd ever feel comfortable having my pets outside. There are so many factors out of my control, you know?

User avatar
Supporting my GL Habit

Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:12 am

I can certainly identify with letting them outside while the weather is beautiful, giving them some fresh air, free-range grazing and probably cooler temps than in the house.

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.

User avatar

Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:17 am

My opinion?

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.

User avatar

Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:29 am

Please only have them out there while you and your family can spend time with them.

So much can happen in just a few seconds...

User avatar
Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:56 am

Unfortunately, other critters enjoy your pigs being outside, too. I'd bring them in when you can't be out there. We lost a litter to a neighbor's dog, to heat stroke (doesn't take much) and my mother once lost pigs to wild rats. I don't think the raccoons are there to admire your guinea pigs.

User avatar
Still supporting in 2014

Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:24 am

Oh, do please abort the experiment. If you are not right there with them, they are not safe. I was in the kitchen where I 'watched' the piggies and the kids were out playing when Dudley attacked and killed Sid and Truffle. You'd be surprised at how much of your kitchen work is not looking outside. It only took seconds.

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.

User avatar

Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:27 am

Have you not read the account of the guinea pig carried off by the hawk? This was in CA. The hawk dropped it and it was rescued (gps roaming free in someone's backyard is an attractant).

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!

4 the Good of all Pigs

Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:27 am

Bring 'em in. This is a tragedy waiting to happen.


Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:00 am

I would be afraid to leave them outside unattended. Even though you can see them from the house it's sort of like letting a toddler play outside by themselves and watch them from the window. When you turn your back for just a moment something terrible could happen that you couldn't predict.

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.

User avatar
Supporter in '12

Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:03 am

I can't even describe how fast a tragedy can happen.

Please, do not leave them outside!

User avatar

Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:37 am

My neighbor has wild bunnies in his yard, hawks and sometimes foxes. He will occasionally find a rabbit carcass.

User avatar
For all Wonkys & Winkys

Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:08 am

When it's hot during the day, you bring them in, then at night when it cools down, you put them out for the night.

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?

User avatar

Post   » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:35 am

Lisam, this is worlds away from those 100 pigs left to roam free outside that you rescued.

I wasn't talking about that case, but about the first surrender I received as a rescue. The pigs were kept in a huge outdoor cage at a rental home somewhere in Puyallup.

Post Reply
47 posts