The Pet Project – Part 11 – Hideys
We’ve had our pair of guinea pigs for just over three months now, and there’s a lot more problem-solving in caring for them compared to hamsters. It’s not just dietary or that the maintenance of their enclosures is a lot more, well, involved (i.e. a lot more poop!) – but their feeding and habitat habits too.
One particular challenge has been trying to find the right hiding place – or ‘hidey’ – for our two boars. Piggies in the wild are prey animals, and their confidence levels need to be built up slowly in order for them to finally attain some degree of comfort around humans. The difficulties we face though is that our piggies also like to:
Pee and poop inside their hidey
Chew their hidey
Drag their feeding bowls into the hidey
Over the last couple months, we’ve bought seven hiding places for the two piggies, and trying them out to see what works best. Here’re the notes!
Five of the seven laid out on the balcony. There’re still two more which I haven’t introduced to the enclosure yet: a tunnel made out of timothy hay, and also a soft large fleece hidey.
Hagen Living World TreeHouse Real Wood Logs (M): can fit my both boars, and they like chewing on the logs – and the logs are dense enough too that they’ll last for long while before the piggies can do any real damage with their teeth. However, dried poop gets stuck to the logs, which necessitates washing – which in turn led to fungus growth. A fellow piggie enthusiast commented that a good bake in the oven should be sufficient to prevent fungi growth and that any remaining water content gets evaporated too.
Hagen Living World Snap-Inn (M): can also fit both boars, and easily extendable to make for very large hideys. Plastic and washable, and you can see the chew marks around the circumference of the entrance. But poop also easily gets stuck at each wall cavity because of the jagged base, and the dried poop is very hard to scrub off – even with tooth brushes.
Fleece tunnels that were hand-made by a Carousel seller: washable and comfy for the boars, but gets soiled very quickly. Washing every two days or so is a must.
Kaytee Igloo Hideaway (L): my most recent hidey acquisition and from Amazon from the Black Friday sales. Poop doesn’t get stuck to the base, easy to wash, and very light so the piggies can rearrange to their hearts’ content. The L can only fit one boar comfortably though as two is a bit of a squeeze. What I’m currently using now. I bought this for a very low USD5 and enjoyed Amazon’s free international shipping too, but the most recent changes to the online store’s shipping policy has now driven the price of the item right up to USD24 with shipping. Gaahhh.
Hagen Living World TreeHouse Real Wood Cabin (L): quite large and very roomy even for two boars. They enjoy chewing on it too on the fairly soft wood – you can see the window cavity from the boars chewing in just one week – and even also sunbathing (?!) on cabin’s roof. However, like the TreeHouse Real Wood Logs, dried poop easily gets stuck to the base, which necessitates scrubbing and the subsequent effects of water on wood.
It’s still quite a learning experience, observing the two guinea pigs’ behavior and how they adapt to changing environments. I’ll do also a next post on their feeding bowls – which was another problem we encountered and finally solved, somewhat LOL.