The physical safety of your guinea pigs is crucial, especially when you live in suburban areas. Guinea pigs housed inside in a secured cage are less likely to attract a predator like a snake. However, an outside housed guinea pig could be at risk. But why and how do guinea pigs attract snakes?
No, guinea pigs do not attract snakes. However, the enclosure of your guinea pigs might make for a perfect shelter for snakes. Thus, some snakes might find their way to your guinea pig’s enclosure. If the enclosure is not protected well, then the snakes might hunt our guinea pigs as well.
Guinea pigs housed outside are at severe risk especially if they don’t have a sturdy hutch.
Snakes are obligate carnivores, and they can hunt and eat any small animals, including guinea pigs.
Larger snakes such as boas and ball python can easily swallow an adult guinea pig.
Rattlesnakes, Copperhead, and other venomous snakes also pose a severe threat to guinea pigs, primarily if they are housed outside.
If you want to accommodate your guinea pigs outside, then you must take additional measures to keep them safe from predators like snakes.
Although housing them outside is not recommended at all.
But if under any circumstances you are housing your guinea pigs in your yard or shed, then you must always ensure your guinea pig is safe and secure.
Do snakes eat guinea pigs?
Yes, snakes are carnivorous, and if they get an opportunity to hunt for your guinea pigs, then they will definitely eat your guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs housed in a hutch outside don’t have many ways to protect themselves.
They only defense they have is screaming for help and hiding in their Hideouts.
Thus, we must always ensure that there is no way for predators like guinea pigs to reach our guinea pigs.
How to keep guinea pigs safe from snakes?
Getting a sturdy wooden hutch for your guinea pig shall harden the first line of defense. Make sure you clean the surroundings and get rid of any hiding spaces for snakes around their hutch. Housing your guinea pigs inside is the best way to prevent any attacks from snakes.
Your guinea pigs enclosure is a major attractant for snakes as it can provide them with food, shelter, and water.
Snakes love cozy, moist, and warm places to hide and hunt. The damp and comfy bedding in our guinea pig hutch is a perfect spot for them to hide.
However, guinea pigs and snakes can never cohabit peacefully, and the snakes will undoubtedly try and much on your guinea pigs if they reach their hutch.
Guinea pigs make an easy meal for snakes, and thus it is crucial to provide a safe and secure environment for our guinea pigs.
The safety of our guinea pigs depends upon a few factors like:
- The type of snake found in your area
- Placement of your hutch
- The durability and security of your hutch
However, there are a few steps that we can take to ensure our guinea pigs are always safe from predators like snakes and foxes.
Consider keeping them indoors
Many people believe that they can house their guinea pigs outside as it is a natural environment for their piggies.
However, the reality is far from the truth.
Guinea pigs have been domesticated for an extended period now, and today’s guinea pigs don’t possess the survival skill to live outside and acclimate the changes.
However, if you have to keep your guinea pigs outside, then here are a few things you must remember:
- Floortime: Guinea pigs should only be allowed to get out of hutch during day time. They do need a lot of floortime to keep their body healthy, and daytime would be ideal for the same. As predators are less likely to come out during the day, you can let them out for a while. However, you should still be careful as cats and dogs are also a threat to your guinea pigs.
- Study hutch: If you need to house your guinea pigs outside, then make sure you provide them with a secure and sturdy hutch. A sturdy hutch is the first line of defense against predators.
- Placement of the hutch: Placement of your guinea pigs hutch is crucial for keeping the predators away. Snakes and other predators will not evade near our house. So, if you can place the hutch right beside our home, then it could help deter some snakes away.
If you want to leave your guinea pigs out on yard then you can use a playpen of some sort.
Snake proof your guinea pig cage
A wooden hutch made up of sturdy materials is the best form of protection against predators like snakes.
Cages and pens are meant for indoor use, and we cannot house our guinea pigs outside in those enclosures.
To keep our guinea pigs safe from predators, we need to house them in a sturdy wooden hutch.
Ensure that your guinea pigs have a wooden quarter for sleeping with a wooden study floor.
Also, ensure that the wire mesh used in the hutch is strong, and the gaps in between don’t exceed ½ inch by 1 inch.
Apart from that, you must also ensure that you raise the hutch above from the ground.
A hutch on the floor can provide easier access to snakes, which makes our guinea pigs more vulnerable.
Raising the hutch at least 2-3 feet above the ground by adding some legs and securing the floor with some wood can make a massive difference in the safety of your guinea pigs.
Placement of the hutch
Placement of the hutch plays a significant role in keeping your guinea pigs safe from predators as well as other natural factors like bad weather and heatwaves.
Make sure you place the hutch on a well-shaded area away from direct sunlight.
Rain and storm is also a significant problem we need to look out for.
I would recommend the northern wall of your house shall be the best spot to keep your guinea pig’s hutch against.
Place the hutch in such a way that direct sunlight and rain couldn’t reach to your guinea pigs.
While direct sunlight can lead to heatstroke and overheating in guinea pigs, rain can make their living environment damp, making them susceptible to respiratory illness and pneumonia.
Placing the hutch just beside your home has several advantages.
It keeps your guinea pigs safe from harsh weather condition, deters away predators and also it allows the guinea pigs to call you for help by screaming.
A hutch placed in the secluded corner of the yard could give predators more opportunity to hunt for your guinea pigs.
You should also consider adding some hideouts.
Tips to protect guinea pigs from snake
Here are a few other tips you should keep in mind while you are trying to protect your guinea pigs from the snake.
- Cover all opening in the hutch: You must always ensure that there is no big opening in the hutch. The wire mesh should also not have larger gaps in between. Make sure the enclosure is secured from all sides and top as well. Also, avoid open-top enclosures at all costs.
- Eliminate all hiding spots: Hiding spots like a pile of leaves, large bushes, and garbage bins could be the perfect spot for the snakes to take shelter. These snakes might not come out during the day time, but as soon as the sun goes down, they are out on a hunt, and having your guinea pigs housed nearby could attract the snakes towards them.
- Clean up any leftover food: Leftover food like snacks and vegetables can also attract snakes towards them. Keeping the cage clean is the best way to prevent any unwanted attention.
- Use a non-toxic snake deterrent: Applying a snake deterrent around the hutch could also help keep our guinea pigs safe from those snakes.
You can also brightly lit the area to keep predators away. A simple way to keep them away is the use of solar-powered lights around the yard.
What type of snake eat guinea pigs?
Snakes are carnivores, and the major part of their diet is meat, including guinea pigs and other small animals.
Most people believe that only poisonous snakes are dangerous as they kill their prey using venom.
However, this is far from reality. In fact, snake species, including boas, python, and more directly swallow their prey after constricting them in their grip.
According to National Geographic, there are incidents where snakes have swallowed prey that were 100% larger than themselves.
However, under ideal circumstances, snakes only attack and prey upon small animals like rodents, mammals, and other animals.
What the snake will eat will depend upon the size of the snake as well.
While larger snakes prey for big animals like deer, rabbits, etc.; Smaller species go after small mammals, including rats, guinea pigs, etc.
It is crucial to learn what snake species are endemic to your region. While some snakes could be dangerous for your guinea pigs, others don’t pose any threat to them.
List of dangerous snakes for guinea pigs
|Name of snake||Where they can be found||Diet|
|Rat Snake||-Native to Southeastern, Eastern and Mideastern state of America|
-Prefers warmer climate
-Can be Found in forests, woodlands, and yards
|-Small rodents including rats, squirrels, mice, chipmunks, etc.|
-Can also eat guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, etc.
|Brown Snake||-Native to Australia|
-Can be found in woodlands, scrublands, and savannah grasslands
-Also lives around watercourses and swampy areas
|-Reptiles like snails, salamander, beetles, frogs, etc.|
-Can also feed on mice and other small animals.
|Southern black racer||-Southeastern United States|
-Can be seen around forests, pinelands, open woodlands, grassy areas, brush, prairies, fields, scrub, and cypress strands.
|-Small rodents, moles, frogs, birds, small snakes, lizards, etc.|
|Garter snake||-North America|
-Can be found near forests, fields, and prairies
-Also seen around streams, wetlands, meadows, marshes, and ponds
|-Rodents and small animals including mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, squirrel, birds, etc.|
|Cape Gopher snake||-North america, Western Canada, Mexico and Southern and Western United States|
-Can live in woods and forests, deserts, rocky bluffs, prairies, agricultural fields, shrublands and thickets
|-Rats, mices, rabbits, squirrels, birds, moles, small snakes, etc.|
|King snake||-South eastern part of Canada and United states|
-Lives around forests, grasslands, suburbia, and rocky areas in fields and deserts
-Can also be found around swamps and riverbanks.
|-Rodents like mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, etc.|
|Rattlesnake||-From southwestern Canada to central Argentina|
-Can be found around open, rocky areas, prairies, marshes, deserts, and forests
|-Small rabbits, rats, mice, squirrels and other ground animals.|
|Burmese python||-Florida Everglades and Southeast Asia|
-Can be found around swamps,rivers, ponds, grasslands and jungles
|-Rats, rabbits, chicken, moles etc.|
-Large pythons may hunt pigs, goats, cows and other animals
Do guinea pigs kill snakes?
No, guinea pigs cannot kill snakes. Snakes are predators with some powerful hunting technique, and there is very little chance that our guinea pigs can stand against them.
However, there are some incidents reported in the community where guinea pigs were able to fight back and chase small snakes away.
In most cases, your guinea pigs will sense the presence of predators like snakes and will run for their life.
The best defense that guinea pigs have against snakes would be to camouflage with the environment or hide away in their hidings.
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