Auckland Cavy Care
We have had to guinea pigs adopt us. They just hang around in our backyard. We've tried to find their owners, to no avail. We've built them a little house which has hay in it and we just let them roam around freely. They mainly eat our grass but we also give them pellets too. They had babies (2) which also hung around in our backyard, but we haven't seen them for ages. Are we doing the right thing by just letting them roam around freely, or should we try and catch them? They seem happy, but no idea if they have lice or anything. They now let us get quite close to them and squeak away at us (which I assume/hope that is them talking to us). Are we doing what's right by them?
on 6 Jun 2018
We would suggest to catch the guineas, for a few reasons.
The first would be to get them vet checked, especially for parasites such as mites, lice, protozoa and coccidia which are all common in outdoor guineas.
The next reason would be to check their genders, as if they are each of a different sex we would highly recommend to de-sex one.
And thirdly is so you can get them into a safe area as most likely the two babies were hunted and killed off by a cat, dog, rat, ferret, stoat, hawk ect depending on where you live. This is also important as guinea pigs need protection, not only from predators but also from the elements as they do not do well when faced with high or low temperatures, in summer they often get fly blown, or pass away from heat stroke; and in winter outdoor guinea pigs that are not provided a warm safe area often pass away due to the cold and untreated illness (such as URIs) that are caused by the weather.
Guineas are really not animals to be left to fend for themselves, so if you are able to catch them and get them vet checked, then housed in a safe outdoor (or even better would be indoor) enclosure that would be the best thing for them.
We suggest chicken coops as outdoor cages as most hutches sold for guinea pigs are far to small in size.
Best of luck, please don't hesitate to contact us.
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