February 2, 2011 at 3:14 pm #254372
My “piggy palace” is nearly complete, I have contacted a local breeder and I have picked a lovely male pair out to be my living “lawn mowers”.
My plan is to have the guinea pigs cage around the veg garden, to shift around so I don’t have to mow the lawns so much! Plus (after double checking they’re not bad for the pigs) I’ll give them some of my garden extras that the chooks and worms aren’t eating and hopefully the manure will be another source of fertiliser/ organic matter for the garden.
I’m also hoping to be able to make an extra run, that I can place in the finished veg garden so they can chomp down the weeds.
I was reading an article where an onion grower had “free range” guinea pigs amongst their onions to keep the weeds down… very neat idea!! (except the neighbours dogs will stop me from doing this!)
Does anyone else use guinea pigs in a similar way?February 2, 2011 at 3:18 pm #489646bluesnipMember
I know a lady that raves about her guinea pigs, she has about 20 odd and they aren’t caged, just free ranging on her property, they don’t tend to stray far and I’m pretty sure she has cats too, they all get along fine! She manages to grow veggies too, no idea how, maybe the piggies just like the lawn better?? Hard to imagine…I can ask her if you have any specific questions about them…February 2, 2011 at 3:45 pm #489647
Omigod!! That’d be so cute, I’d love to have free ranging guinea pigs! I could have them free range around the veg garden, since it has a rabbit proof fence around it… but I’d be scared I’d never get them back into the cage!
I’d like to know if they actually eat onions, leaks, spring onions and garlic… I know they’re bad for the guinea pigs, but a lot of animals won’t eat something that is bad for them unless they’re desperate.
I’m sort of thinking of in the future separating my “root veg” bed to be onion family only and letting the pigs in a fenced off area to eat down the weeds in between the onions etc…. but only if they don’t poison themselves by eating onions!February 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm #489648recyclingdivaMember
love piggies , havnt got any at moment as have lots a rabbits but when i did have them often the boys would free range my backyard. so cute but had to b careful of the boys chasing each other being a bit territorial. and trying to catch them could b a whole family affair as they were so quick n would hide under the girls cages and scoot real quick to get away from us.February 2, 2011 at 6:47 pm #489649dry_dip_stickMember
No, not guinea pigs used in that way, but quail. I love my quail.February 2, 2011 at 8:16 pm #489650murphyslawMember
Humbug is trying to get rid of some baby guinea pigs atm. Very cute, and she is not so far from you. I got some more chooks from her last week and I saw them then.
Love to see how your experiment goes.February 2, 2011 at 8:55 pm #489651
I’ve gotten onto a local breeder, she’s only 20mins away and have picked out a nice male pair. Otherwise I would contact Humbug. Thanks for letting me know Murphyslaw 🙂
It might take me a while to work up the courage to let them out, but I’ll update my log with their progress with the weeds in the onion bed.February 2, 2011 at 9:12 pm #489652treacleMember
They generally don’t eat anything bad for them, never onions or aliums.
I found they don’t like anything white as well.
If you let them out either wait till they know & love you or be insanly sure that the fence is secure.
Oh & beware of heat stroke & currawongs, give them hiding places that won’t turn into ovens.February 2, 2011 at 9:18 pm #489653
Yep… What I’ll do is make another cage with no bottom and attach it to their normal cage. It’ll be pegged to the ground and very secure!! With neighbours dogs I won’t be letting them totally out!!February 2, 2011 at 9:49 pm #489654HummerKeymaster
Fozzie post=303631 wrote: I’ve gotten onto a local breeder, she’s only 20mins away and have picked out a nice male pair. Otherwise I would contact Humbug. Thanks for letting me know Murphyslaw 🙂
It might take me a while to work up the courage to let them out, but I’ll update my log with their progress with the weeds in the onion bed.
They are very cute and are only about 4 weeks old. Not sure of the sex yet, I haven’t looked.
There is a pic in my photo Araucana Gypsy album, they are only 24 hours old in that though.
Will try and post it here.February 2, 2011 at 11:20 pm #489655starrubyMember
They’re so gorgeous humbugFebruary 3, 2011 at 12:17 am #489656GiannaMember
If you’re worried about the neighbours’ dogs getting them, what about foxes? A fox is smart enough to pull the pegs out, tip the cage and get the piggies.
The hot sun will kill them.
They WILL eat your vegies too. 🙂
I have 5 of them but they don’t stay out on the grass. They live in secure cages on the porch. Each year I read of the many deaths due to heat stroke (on guinea pig forums). People are usually unaware that they are so delicate when placed in the hot sun. The metal cages that are popularly sold by pet stores are death traps. 🙁February 3, 2011 at 12:29 am #489657HummerKeymaster
When it is really hot, I put frozen bottles of water in with them.. they lay up against it 🙂
They are never left in the sun.. always under a big shady tree.February 3, 2011 at 1:03 am #489658
Gianna, I can totally understand your concerns.
This property has lots of really good, mature shady trees, one of which is partially over the veg garden, which will be the area that the cage will be for most of summer, for these heat waves, just a short push into a paddock, where there are two massive ash trees… No sun gets through the leaves, this is where they’ll be… Covered with shade cloth also.
I have thought long and hard about the dogs, there are plenty of rabbits around and the local dogs are hunters. The houseyard in a few weeks will be fox/ dog proof (with electric standoffs for good measure!), so little chance of them being disturbed by the dogs. I’ll also install an electric standoff around the cage to attach to the electrified wire so that in the paddock the dogs won’t be able to pester them.
If I do an extension to their cage to go in some of veg garden such as the onions they’ll only be in it during the day, when the weather isn’t hot and only when I’m at home.
The cage itself is homemade for the reason you mentioned, plus they are way too small!! Mine is made from a hardwood frame, has heavy duty mesh around it, marine ply for their “house”, there is corrugated iron on the top, but it has a layer of marine ply underneath to insulate the boxed in area.
I’m also looking at an inside run for the super hot days. However, our house has gotten hotter inside than out lately.. I prefer to sit in the shade under the trees than be inside.
Oh… And I’ll be putting frozen bottles in the cage too on the hot days in the morning and my OH will put another in later on in the day.
I have had guinea pigs when I was a kid… I sure wasn’t as strict as what I’m planning to be with my plan of attack for hot days. I didn’t lose any to foxes or to heat stress. I’m hoping that I should be ok!!
ETA, sorry for the long post!! I just wanted to clarify everything. I’m a member of one of the bigger cavy forums, so I have plenty of good info available that I’ve been reading over the last few months 🙂February 3, 2011 at 1:05 am #489659GiannaMember
LOL Humbug. 🙂 I have a half freezer full of those flat coolers that you put in an Esky to keep drinks cold. They are perfect. I cover each with a tea towel and the pigs lie on them to cool their tummies and feet. I’ve also used 2 litre juice bottles because they are flat and the right height for them to hop onto and they last for ages before melting. If they’re in the shade, have good air flow and their ice bottles along with cool water, they can manage quite nicely. 🙂
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