Foxes can be a pain to deal with especially if you are housing your guinea pigs outside. These predators can be life-threatening for our guinea pigs and we must keep them away from them. So, today let’s learn more about how to protect guinea pigs from foxes.
The first line of defense for our guinea pigs will be a sturdy hutch with solid wood and secure bolts. The floor should be secured with flooring so that foxes cannot dig through. You can also use floodlights and natural fox repellent to keep them away from your guinea pigs.
Foxes are opportunistic predators, and they will not shy away if they get an opportunity to feed on your guinea pigs.
Even if the guinea pigs are secured inside their hutch, the presence of foxes nearby can stress them out a lot.
Thus, we need to make some security arrangements for our guinea pigs to make sure our guinea pigs are safe and secured in their enclosure.
In this article, we will discuss how to keep foxes away from guinea pigs as well as how secure our guinea pig’s hutch so that predators can’t harm them by any means.
Do foxes kill guinea pigs?
Yes, foxes are obligate carnivores that feed on any meat, including small mammals like guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs don’t have any defense, primarily when they are housed in a hutch.
They do have a keen sense of smell and hearing ability that can detect predators early on.
But the only way they can protect themselves is by hiding in their Hideouts or screaming for help.
Thus, we must make sure that the foxes cannot reach our guinea pigs, as it can be life-threatening for them.
How to keep foxes away from guinea pigs?
Housing your guinea pigs outside comes with the own set of challenges.
Along with harsh weather conditions, you must also consider protection from predators like foxes and raccoons, which are common in rural and urban areas as well.
The following tips can be followed to keep your guinea pig safe from foxes and other predators as well:
Consider keeping your guinea pig indoor
One of the most obvious and best ways to keep your guinea pig safe is to house them inside.
It doesn’t matter whether you live in a small apartment or a large villa, you can always manage some space inside if you try hard enough.
However, if housing inside is not an option for you, then moving them to a well-insulated shed would be the next best bet.
You must ensure the shed is a sturdy one and is well insulated to protect your guinea pigs from temperature fluctuations as well as the foxes.
A sturdy shed would add a layer of protection between your guinea pigs and predators.
The predators will also have a hard time locating your guinea pigs.
Use fox repellent
Fox are opportunistic predators, and using odor repellent won’t work on them.
Odor repellents can also harm our guinea pigs, and thus it should be avoided.
Apart from these, adding some high-frequency sound repellent works excellent, but it also causes stress in guinea pigs as some of the high-frequency sounds are audible to our guinea pigs as well.
So, after much research, I have found that one and only method that works great and doesn’t harm our guinea pigs is the motion-activated water sprinkler.
These sprinklers release a sudden burst of water that can catch the foxes off-guard and keep them away from your property.
Fox proof a hutch
One of the first and most crucial work will be to fox proof the hutch.
The foxes can’t reach our guinea pigs if the hutch is sturdy, and there is no major flaw in the placement and build quality.
There are a few things you must consider while getting the hutch prepared for your guinea pigs. These include:
- Use sturdy materials: Make sure the hutch is made up of good quality solid wood that is weather-resistant as well as sturdy enough to protect your guinea pigs from foxes and other predators. If you are making a DIY enclosure, then use durable materials and secure the joints well so that the enclosure can withstand these attacks.
- Cover all openings in the hutch: You must ensure there is no opening spot in the hutch. A small opening of fewer than 5 inches can also provide enough space for foxes to reach to your guinea pigs. Make sure the hutch is secured from the top and all sides as well. Also, avoid open-top enclosures at all costs.
- Secure the floor: Foxes can dig in through the ground into your guinea pigs enclosure. Thus, having a solid floor or adding a solid wooden bottom to the hutch is extremely crucial. You can also raise the bottom of your hutch by adding some legs. It gives extra protection from predators as well as weather.
- Eliminate hiding spots: Foxes can hide behind bushes and tall grass in your yard and sneak attack your guinea pigs hutch. Although the chances are your guinea pigs will detect them early on, but if not, they can scare your guinea pigs to death. Some guinea pigs suffer from cardiac arrest when in shock. So, be careful. Even if they can’t reach them, they can still harm our guinea pigs.
- Lock the hutch before night time: Foxes are smart enough to open simple locks. Consider them as a child, if your child can open the lock, then the foxes can also do the same. It is best to latch and lock the hutch before dusk. Also, use strong bolts that aren’t easy to open, just for added security.
- Remove uneaten vegetables and fruits: Foxes are also attracted to ripe fruits. So, if there is any uneaten food lying around the cage, get rid of it immediately. Only provide hay to your guinea pigs after dusk.
Place the hutch near your home
Placement of the hutch or enclosure also plays a vital role in preventing the attacks.
If your guinea pig enclosure is placed far away or in the secluded corner of the yard, then foxes feel more confident while closing in.
If the same is situated just beside your home, they are much likely to keep a distance from the same.
Also, your guinea pigs can scream for help if their hutch is nearby, else their cry may fall on deaf ears.
Make your yard unappealing for predators
There are lots of ways to make your yard unappealing for predators. Some of the the things to keep in your mind are:
- Store and keep away garbage is tightly sealed containers.
- Wash garbage bins periodically.
- Harvesting any ripe food from your garden(if any).
- Clearing any sort of cover like large bushes, brush piles, woodpiles, etc.
- Pruning the lawn and other bushes in your yard.
- Get rid of any stagnant water which may attract thirsty predators.
A simple way to keep the foxes away is the use of solar-powered lights around the yard.
Foxes try to stay away from lights, especially if they are continually turning on and off.
It would be great if you get the motion sensor one as it can scare away the foxes if, by any means, they were able to enter your yard.
A monthly checkup
Doing a monthly check-up around the hutch as well as the yard is essential to find any traces of predators.
If you see any borrowings or other marks, you might need to take extra steps to keep your guinea pigs safe.
Look for any flaws and fix them immediately.
Never leave your guinea pigs outside unsupervised
Guinea pigs need some floor time, and it is a good idea to provide them a run if they are housed outside.
However, it is not advisable to leave your guinea pigs unsupervised when they are playing in an open run or other open enclosures.
Any predators, including a dog, raccoons, hawks, etc. can attack them, and they will be defenseless under such circumstances.
Also, guinea pigs can fit into any small holes and gaps through the fences.
Thus, always make sure you have someone looking after them whenever they are outside.
Guinea pigs and foxes
Guinea pigs have sharp teeth and claws, but they cannot defend themselves from such a predator.
After all, they are prey animals, and the only defense they have is hiding and screaming for help.
On the other hand, foxes are cunning and sneaky, and they can attack our guinea pigs primarily if they are housed outside.
Thus, it would be an excellent choice to keep your guinea pigs indoors.
But if you have to keep them outdoor for any reason, then make sure you have prepared everything for them.
Get them a sturdy enclosure and have some predator repellent around your yard to keep such predators away from our lovely guinea pigs.