Why do guinea pigs burrow and make hay nests?

Happy Saturday efurryone. Today’s post is something a little bit different. Whee have been asked on twitter a furry good question; Why do guinea pigs burrow in their hay and make nests?


Being the 21st Century pigs whee are whee immediately googled it to give a precise answer. Surprisingly, whee could find nothing specifically answering the question. So I, Basil B. Pig, have decided to investigate and give you my thoughts on the matter.

The first thing you should remember is that us piggies are prey animals. That means it’s important to hide and camouflage ourselves. In the wild guinea pigs are a colour called agouti which blends in very well. Mummy used to struggle to spot Nutty when he was in the garden as he somehow seemed to vanish against greens and browns.

So whee hide to protect ourselves from predators. Whenever there is a loud unexpected noise in the house whee will dash to our pigloos and hide under the hay. It’s instinct.

Another thing, probably more relating to domesticated pigs, is it keeps us warm. Whee are far more likely to burrow and make hay nest when it’s cold so Mummy gives us extra hay to hide in.

Hay is 75% of our diet so it is furry impawtent to our physical and emotional well being.

Whee hope this has answered your question twitter person and if anyone else has any idea why piggies might burrow and make nests in hay whee would love to hear it.

Where do you go when you want to be safe and/or warm?



About hutchagoodlife

Tales and adventures from the hutches of British blogging guinea pigs!

Posted on November 16, 2013, in Piggy Blogs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 47 Comments.

  1. Well boys, your Mummy’s explanation of why you burrow is excellent and I’m sure it’s exactly the answer…..it’s snuggly, safe, and you’re surrounded by a food supply too when you hunker down in the hay. Where do I go when I want to feel safe? My Mom’s lap!!!!!

    Kitty Hugs and Happy Saturday, Sammy

  2. Sounds like the right answer there guys..the doggies circle and circle in the garden scrath up the mulch and make nests..they do it on their beds with their blankets too..i believe with larger animals its about temperature control..in the hottest part of the day the Red Kangaroo digs and lies in dirt..the soil being cooler and then licks the furs on his arm to dilate blood vessels and cool down..animals are very smart I think you do it for comfort,safety and a sense of security 🙂 hugs Fozziemum xx

  3. Excellent explanation there Basil. My place is behind the sofa and I hide there when the boom booms go off.
    Have a super Saturday.
    Best wishes Molly

  4. That’s ver important to have a safe place and a hay cave is perfect for that, no matter if you are 21st century pigs. Even humans act like cave dwellers and they live in 21st century too LOL

  5. We go in bed with Them. Piggies would be squished so I wouldn’t try it.

    • Hmmm whee do like cuddling the hoomans first thing in the morning in their duvets but Mummy says there is no poop allowed in hooman beds so whee don’t really go there. No poop in bed? Craziness!


  6. Well I am a hooman but I head for under my blankie. Yes I am a 62 year old woman with a blankie!
    Hay smells so very good too Basil!

  7. Pawesome explanation! We Mals burrow and make nests in snow and dirt to make good napping places! Wooooowooooooo!

  8. Because having an edible bed ensures that no unnecessary strenuous activity — like walking across the cage to the food bowl — will be required.

    Wentworth Wigglewhiskers

  9. I hide in the bath 🙂 ideally full of hot water and bubbles

  10. Now that sounds like a good answer to me too and MollySue and Annabelle love their hay.
    In the winter they mainly eat timothy and some alfalfa.
    In the spring, summer and most fo the fall we are able to get grass hays from the local farmers in big bunny bags full and they love that too.

  11. Well, I just thinks you piggies are just smart as all get out!! You make a warm snuggle cave outta your foodables??? BRILLIANT!! Wish I would have thought of that!!
    Hmmm, how do I make a kibble-cave???
    Ruby ♥

  12. Pigloos hehe ^_^ my hamster caves used to be so warm, you could feel the heat radiating from it with your hand! And hii Amy! I tried to make a post with the prehistoric internet I have here, I hope it’s a bit okay!

  13. grrrrreeeaattt! what great information! And as prey, you are unfortunately even lower on the prey chain than cats and we seem to be pretty low…sigh…and I personally hide under my tent on my bed I let Mom and Dad share with me…if really scared…straight to UTB!

  14. I used to volunteer at a rabbit and guinea pig rescue. The rescue didn’t have the money for igloos, but every guinea pig got a box, and they LOVED it. So much so that we rarely saw the guinea pig, just a moving box. The box would walk over to the food, engulf it, there would be chewing noises, and then the box would walk away and the bowl would be empty.

    I think it’s just a guinea pig thing. 🙂

  15. I love the explanation. But why do I snuggle under the covers? Do you think I was a piggy in a past life? I do love my veggies…

  16. Thanks for explaining things, Basil. I love your new header!

  17. 😉 ‘Pigloo’; now DAT is a cute werd fer yer nestz…..yer nest lookz so cozy Basil….
    As a furry Kitteh me doez not burrow butt me doez go hide in da cupboard up high when scaredy kat. If me iz just all sad n pouty me snugglez in me pedestal bed…or me goez under coverz wif Mum in her bed…
    Lub Nylablue xxx

  18. I make blanket nests when I want to get cozy or hide. I may not blend in, but I sure do sink in deep so no one can see me! 😉

  19. Very wise and true! Hay is so very important for your guys!!

  20. Henry – Wash basket, Oscar his bed tunnel and Archie mum’s lap 🙂

  21. We go to PaPa’s lap or Mommie’s arms when we want to be safe and warm!

    XxOo Squeaks and Stevieeee

  22. Mom’s lap is a good place to stay safe and warm. Some of us will go under the covers at night when we are sleeping with our humans. We are glad we don’t have to sleep in our food like you do. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  23. Just love Guinea pigs. We’ve had so many sweet ones, through the years. Lovely post.

Squeak to us!!!

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