|Written by Richard|
|Tuesday, 19 June 2007|
It is very unfair to keep guinea pigs on their own. We are very sociable animals, and do not cope with isolation well. It is best to keep at least two guinea pigs together, but unless you want lots of babies (see breeding), it is always preferable to have only males or females in the same hutch. Even then, males may fight and you do have to be careful. By the way, males will definitely fight if they know there is a female nearby, so it is recommended to have just the one sex in one home.
We will live with rabbits, although not everyone thinks this is a good idea. Rabbits are very powerful and can hurt guinea pigs quite easily. However, introduced carefully, it is quite possible for rabbits and guinea pigs to get along well (it is still important that all the animals are the same sex). Having said that, guinea pigs are quite capable of giving a rabbit a nasty bite as well. One thing about rabbits is that they are very protective and will keep dangerous cats from attacking the pigs. Our friend Big Bun has already put one of the cats in hospital with a very nasty bite on the tail.
To introduce a new animal to the hutch is quite easy. Simply stroke the existing animals so their scent is on your hands, and then stroke the new animal. Do this a few times so the new boy is covered in scent before introducing the animals. Try to give the animals plenty of room at first – perhaps on the lawn on floor, so that if there are problems, they can get away from one another. Pigs are territorial and can get upset with outsiders, although once part of the family, there will be few major fights.
Like many animals, guinea pigs have pecking orders and will scrap to establish themselves in the hutch. In our hutch, Piggy is the boss, although Basil is the clever one.
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 June 2007 )|
|< Prev||Next >|