The little guinea pigs we receive at Liberty Foundation – released from research establishments – come from a range of backgrounds. They are all individuals with their own histories, personalities and needs.
They are generally cheeky little ones who are quite young when they come to us and transition well to life outside the research establishment. They are ready for the next stage in their lives in the community and many have gone on to become treasured pets and companions.
For some, they have a more ‘wild’ existence where they are free to roam in herds, usually on farms where they have access to a pen (like a converted chook pen) or in some cases barns or enclosed orchards with a hutch etc.
We like to explore lots of different living arrangements that will suit the particular animals we have in care.
We often receive large groups of guinea pigs, up to 60 or more at a time, a mix of male and female. The girls are a bit easier to house in pairs or small groups and rehome to families wanting piggies as pets.
However, the boys can be a little more tricky. With hormones ablaze they can sometimes display aggression with each other. Of course, we have the option to desex guinea pigs which might increase options for rehoming, but given the numbers and some of the risks associated we don’t do this routinely.
That means the ideal solution for the boys is to have areas where they can live as a group or even pairs, with plenty of space. In our experience, if they have lots of space and different hiding places, they don’t show aggression or fight. They actually like each other’s company.
We have rehomed groups of boys on properties in NSW over the past few years very successfully. The last group we rehomed, a few weeks ago, went to a beautiful property at Mangrove Mountain where they live in a massive converted chook yard filled with hutches, hidey spaces, grass and plenty of shade.
Before these boys were rehomed, we had the opportunity to get them photographed professionally by Peter at Tame & Wild Studio in Sydney. We jumped at the chance, and here you can watch a short video of the boys’ day out getting their pictures taken.
Before we can find the ideal homes for our guinea pigs we need somewhere for them to live happily and safely. Up until now we have been using pens on other people’s properties and foster homes.
We would like to build our own home for guinea pigs. It might look something like this. A mansion where we can house up to 30 boys safely while they wait for permanent rehoming and start to acclimatise to a different way of life.
We started a fundraising appeal at the beginning of the month and we have nearly reached our target to raise the $1000 we need to build the guinea pig mansion. If you can help us at all, we’d be very grateful. You can donate to our fundraiser here.
Finally, we’d also like to put the call out to anyone who has a property with a small patch of level land where we could build this new guinea pig housing. We would only need a 4 x 3 metre space to erect the pen and would use it 3-4 times a year to house our guinea pigs which we would look after.
If you have any spare land or know someone who does, please call Paula on 0404 088 501. We are looking for places on the Central Coast of NSW and northern suburbs of Sydney.