Free Range for Guinea Pigs

Even the largest and most beautiful enclosure will eventually become boring. Therefore, allow your guinea pigs at least one hour a day, but better still, to run around in the apartment or in the garden. Here you can read what you should consider when designing a free range for guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs need regular exercise. They need to be able to move and let off steam to stay happy: guinea pigs that get plenty of variety and exercise are much more alert, curious, and open-minded than those that only know a (possibly small) cage. You will have much more fun with “happy” animals than with anxious and under-challenged guinea pigs.

Proper design of free-range for guinea pigs

A free-range for guinea pigs should meet the following basic criteria:

  • It should be big enough.
  • He should be safe.
  • It should provide employment for the guinea pigs.
  • Ideally, it should be accessible at all times.

It is best if your guinea pigs can decide for themselves if and when they want to leave their enclosure and explore the run. In this way, you avoid that the rodents have to be caught under stress and react anxiously to you. Of course, this is only possible if the enclosure is on the ground or can be connected to the run by flat ramps.

Free-range for guinea pigs indoors and outdoors

Free-range for guinea pigs is possible and important both in the apartment and outside.

Free-range for guinea pigs in the apartment

Choose a separate area in the apartment that you can use as a space for your guinea pigs to run around. For demarcation, you can, for example, use commercially available “free-range enclosures” made of several grid elements. It is also possible to turn an entire room into a “guinea pig room”. But then you should make sure that the room is rodent-proof, i.e. no power cables or poisonous plants can be chewed on.

Since guinea pigs aren’t usually fully housebroken, you can cover the floor with old bedsheets and covers. The sheets can be washed regularly at 60 °C. You can also set up plastic floor trays with litter at popular toilet corners (e.g. under a shelter).

Free-range for guinea pigs outside

Guinea pigs also need access to the outside area next to their coop. After all, keeping them outside is also perfect, because then the guinea pigs can run around in the grass and perceive natural environmental stimuli.

When freewheeling outside, you should consider the following things:

  • Part of the enclosure must always be in the shade.
  • The run must protect the guinea pigs from predators.

A useful activity for guinea pigs in free-range

Not only the guinea pig enclosure itself should be varied. The freewheel must also offer them employment. You can let your imagination run wild when designing the spout:

  • To make your guinea pigs feel comfortable and safe, it is best to set up various hiding places (wooden houses, cork tubes, willow bridges, cardboard boxes, etc.).
  • Houses and boxes with flat roofs are often used as vantage points.
  • In addition, various climbing options such as halved tree trunks, ramps, roots, bridges, and large stones are suitable.
  • Fabric hammocks, which you can make yourself from an old kitchen towel, for example, are very popular. Such a hammock should be at least 45 x 30 cm and placed about 20 cm above the ground. Safety pins, clothespins, or ribbons can be used for attachment.
  • Cloth snugglers are popular with some guinea pigs. Such tunnels have a length of about 30 cm and a diameter of about 15 cm.
  • Nibble toys should not be missing. It is best to use unsprayed branches of apple, hazelnut, and pear trees, as well as willow, currant, and blueberry bushes.

The main thing is that your guinea pigs are kept in an animal-friendly environment and cannot injure themselves.

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