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Free Range Guinea Pig Attempt.

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Free Range Guinea Pig Attempt.

Post Number:#1  Unread postby GBov » Wed May 23, 2018 9:21 am


So I had this guinea pig, scrawny and a biter so I finally got fed up with it, built it a large shelter out of styrofoam (It is REALLY hot in Florida already) and turned it loose. After, of course, introducing it to the yard dog so he would know not to hurt it.

Dude did not hurt it but he SHREADED the shelter, it looks like a blizzard hit the yard, the entire 4 ft by 4 ft by 6 inch thick piece is in pieces scattered across the yard. :evil: It looked like each time he went past the shelter he heard something, dug it out, found it was the g-pig and left it, only to do it again the next time.

So I rebuilt the shelter, only this time using wood and "reminded" the dog that this was something we protect, not demolish!

I think you can see where this is going....

Yep, in the morning it was totally demolished (g-pig still fine) and even the planks of wood were chewed up and dragged about.

By this time I was well cross! So I rebuilt the shelter out of concrete blocks!!!

A bespoke guinea pig bunker. :lol: And the dog spent 5 nights tied up to it as an additional reminder that we protect this thing, not dig it out and destroy its house.

The shelter is fine and has been for many days now but the Guinea Pig? It hardly ever goes in it now :roll:

How far do guinea pigs usually roam? I know someone had done them free range but I cant remember who it was. :oops: Sorry!

This little thing takes his short little legs all over the yard. :shock: I even found him one day around the back of the house, on the far side of the chicken's pen. So far the veg have been alright, well, other than the carrots. They have been a right royal treat for him. :lol:

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Re: Free Range Guinea Pig Attempt.

Post Number:#2  Unread postby akane » Wed May 23, 2018 2:41 pm


Several acres if they have the cover and food sources to visit. They'll establish their favorite locations about 10-100' apart and periodically sprint between them through the day back to what they have determined is the safest home base for longer rests. Ours even recognized the chainlink they could pass through kept away dogs from other yards and it remained a border to their territory by choice. Anything within the fence or nearby shelter was fair game if they felt they were somewhat hidden. The deck, around the pool, under the swingset, in the firewood pile, along the tall weeds next to the shed, back to the low pine trees planted on the property line, around to the carnation bushes, and to an area just outside the fence with very thick evergreen hedges that nothing could really find them in. Then back to the deck and do it again the next day. :lol:

Aside from just using live plants they prefer low wood structures for hiding shelters and only use concrete blocks as temporary stops most of the time. If you can protect some weather resistant wood with the concrete blocks to prevent dog damage and make it only about as high as the back of the guinea pigs from the ground they often prefer that. I found covering wood pallets so the top blocks more weather are about the right size and height to entice guinea pigs to use them as home base. I know some have just let them have access to the buildings they stack hay on top of pallets in and the guinea pigs will shelter under the hay while slowly eating the bottom bales. The problem becomes catching them then.
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Re: Free Range Guinea Pig Attempt.

Post Number:#3  Unread postby GBov » Wed May 23, 2018 2:51 pm


YES! I was right you had done it Akane but with my memory I didn't want to say. :oops: :lol:

Right, so they are little wanderers then. How sad then that they live such little lives usually.

The blocks are spaced out and covered with wood but right now he is living behind the cat carrier in the corner where the porch meets the dining room wall. No real shelter at all but he has been there for two days now.

So, to do this properly - it only started due to his being not worth killin' - I will border off the veg and get him some companions. There is one area where it will be instant death if they stray into it, zipline dog will kill anything, of any size and guinea pigs would be a super treat - but the rest of the yard is safe enough. The fence is double run and yard dog (Dude) keeps out the bears and things so other than hawks, they should be safe enough.

Lovely idea with the pallet, will get a few and cut them down into more manageable sizes. As the yard is only 80 ft by 100 ft, space is a premium. But free-range gpigs should pull their weight and OMG how funny is this one loose!!!

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Re: Free Range Guinea Pig Attempt.

Post Number:#4  Unread postby akane » Wed May 23, 2018 2:59 pm


In the wild all they do is wander, eat, wander, eat.... You don't need a weed whacker around every structure in your yard with them loose. They'll use anything to blend against, squeeze between, or duck under while eating.
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Re: Free Range Guinea Pig Attempt.

Post Number:#5  Unread postby GBov » Thu May 31, 2018 12:43 pm


It is amazing how well a BRIGHT brindle can hide in the GREEN grass! :shock: And the calls he makes are very hard to trace to the source.

Other than the carrot massacre I am really enjoying him, which makes a change as he was once the most hated thing here. He even has stopped biting!

Am going to put an add on CL and see if anyone wants to trade some gpigs for young hens.

__________ Thu May 24, 2018 11:38 am __________

Some interest in my hens for guinea pigs add, keeping my fingers crossed it is actual interest instead of CL time waster.

__________ Thu May 31, 2018 12:43 pm __________

Just time wasters so far with trading gpigs for hens. Shame because Squeaky really needs a friend.

He has taught us all a trick, he comes when called and we go fetch him a carrot. Aren't we clever pets? :lol:

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Re: Free Range Guinea Pig Attempt.

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Deer Heart » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:02 pm


o_O My very first pet ever was a gpig - and his name was, you guessed it, Squeaky. Quite the stroll down memory lane...
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Re: Free Range Guinea Pig Attempt.

Post Number:#7  Unread postby olafthebunny » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:01 am


Thats funny and frustrating! Before rabbits my family had had guinea pigs. we were given 3 girls and one boy for free, and they were quite fun! Ours never really moved :lol: They just sat in the yard when we cleaned their cages and hardly adventured. It was easy though I guess, since we didn't have to chase after any loose piggies!
Now I just have two bunnies and one loves to hopp out of the play pen and I have to chase him all over the yard. :lol: :? :roll:
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Re: Free Range Guinea Pig Attempt.

Post Number:#8  Unread postby GBov » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:47 pm


The time wasters never did come good on trading gpigs for hens.

And Squeaky has gone to the great beyond. Zipline dog got loose and ate him. My dog is smart enough to tell the difference between guinea pigs and rats but for Zipline? He was a technicolor rat with no tail.

One failed try at free-range guinea pigs. :(

Will see how our trial goes before/if we try again.

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Re: Free Range Guinea Pig Attempt.

Post Number:#9  Unread postby akane » Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:59 am


Some dogs will have issues realizing an outdoor rodent (or other small animal) is still claimed by humans even if they realize it indoors or while you are holding them. It helps if you have contained colonies with a controlled door to take the dog in so they realize running on the ground still means human controlled and not wild prey. I do let my dogs hunt rodents, rabbits, and even chase cats if they are loose outdoors so it takes extra care to define what belongs to us outside instead of in buildings.
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Re: Free Range Guinea Pig Attempt.

Post Number:#10  Unread postby GBov » Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:01 am


Most dogs yes but not Zipline, she would have killed it with me watching, yelling her off and then waited for punishment, she thinks the crime is worth the time. :roll: :lol: She belongs to my Mum and I await with great eagerness the time she is returned to her.

The most frustrating bit about her is she is the dominant dog of the two so my dog follows where she leads, even to killing things he is trained to protect. When she is contained he is fantastic but when she gets loose, he joins in her killing things.

At least I finally taught her not to kill chickens, for a terrier mix killing machine, that is a good job, well done.

It's a bit sad not to be greeted by whistles and squeaks in the yard though. :(

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Re: Free Range Guinea Pig Attempt.

Post Number:#11  Unread postby akane » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:54 pm


My husband's shiba is the only one I gave up making progress with and is kept from killing everything in sight by serious threats of death. Plus my akita is the dominant one who protects everything. Her threats of death are entirely real, unlike mine, so only clueless dogs risk that. :lol: Weirdo northern working dog mix possible wolf hybrid is not really out to kill things but she's a very enthusiastic bulldozer who doesn't realize nothing is as durable as her. She is learning to pick up dropped inanimate objects without them going crunch in those steel jaws but living things are not supposed to go in her mouth. Her solution is to set 60lbs of weight on it to make it stay in place. Regardless of whether it weighs a few dozen lbs or a few ounces. :roll:
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