Mar 19th 2020 Back to latest news
Guinea pig handling is one of our most popular hands-on animal experiences at the farm. The children love to meet our furry little friends and the guinea pigs get to enjoy lots of stroking and cuddles. Each day, a team of courageous cavies enter the handling area to take part in the meet and hold sessions which take place three times a day.
In between sitting on the children’s laps, they nap in the wood shavings. Or munch on the delicious fresh hay that our Animal Barn team scatter around their pen. The hay provides them with essential fibre. They also get treated to a lunchtime delivery of special guinea pig food and the occasional hazel branch to help keep their teeth healthy!
At the end of the day they line up to ‘clock-out’ and head home in their super cute ‘follow the leader’ style to join their friends in the main enclosure. A tasty dinner of fresh-cut grass and vegetables is served for them, followed by another top up of hay! Have you ever seen a guinea pig ‘popcorn’?
The experience of handling a guinea pig at Farmer Palmer’s is a great way to introduce young children to animals. They quickly learn how to be gentle with the cute little creature sat on their lap. You can really see their confidence growing as they learn from the team how to handle them.
Owning a guinea pig offers children the opportunity to re-create their Farmer Palmer’s experience at home. It teaches them responsibility, animal husbandry, welfare and a lot about the circle of life. A guinea pig’s lifespan is generally 2-6 years and you will need to consider all of these points when choosing any pet for a child. The baby guinea pigs we sell at Farmer Palmer’s are usually pure breed and will have had some handling by the team. This can make them more suitable for young children than those from other pet sellers. Because they may not have had the chance to handle them as pups.
Baby guinea pigs are available to buy from our Animal Barn at various times throughout the year. Please ask one of the team on your next visit or alternatively, call 01202 622 022. We usually offer a discount if you buy a pair. Because guinea pigs are super social and they like to live with a friend. If you have any concerns about introducing a new individual to your existing piggies just ask the team. They are very experienced in this and can advise you on the best way to introduce your new pet.
When you buy a guinea pig from Farmer Palmer’s we’ll provide you with a temporary box to take him/her home in. We also provide a small bag of food for the first few days. You will need to mix this food in with the food you buy, in gentle ratios. This is to ensure the change over in diet doesn’t upset their little tummies. We also supply you with a care guide and offer an after-care service. You can get in touch with any concerns or questions you have about your guinea pig and our Animal Barn team will advise you with the best of their knowledge.
For 2 guinea pigs – minimum cage size approx 36” x 24” x 18” (91x61x46cm) with a dry, draft-free private sleeping or hiding area. Guinea pigs cannot jump so provide ramps if floor levels vary inside the cage.
Place the cage in a cool, quiet area. Never place it in drafts, direct sunlight, or near radiators, also, position the cage away from the threatening gaze of cats, dogs, and other predators, and away from loud or constant noises (for example television, computers, fridge’s, etc).
The cage must be weatherproof, draft-free, and raised off the ground. It must also be sturdy enough to be fox/cat predator-proof. During winter it’s best to move the cage to a shed or garage but remember car exhaust fumes will kill your guinea pig.
Cover the floor of your cage with a thick layer of wood shavings (not sawdust or newspaper) and provide plenty of fresh hay for bedding (and munching) in the sleeping area. (Don’t use a straw, as this may irritate eyes).
“Not a theme park but a wonderful family day out at a lovely Farm!”W Beth
"Good place for the family lots to see and do. Clean and staff helpful. Could spend a day there with the kids and have a great time. Would recommend to everyone."Regular visitor
"An absolutely lovely farm, with the most perfect helpful, knowledgeable staff. We had an amazing day."Regular visitor
Allergy Awareness "We come and visit you every week and I was so pleased to see the "no food" notice up in the soft play areas. My son is anaphylaxis to dairy and peanuts. Thank you for raising awareness and helping my son to not be at risk!"Allergy Awareness
"The imagination and creativity with the play areas is just perfect. Today we fed the lambs and it was such a special moment, I've always wanted to do it and loved it!"Local Visitor
"The passes are fantastic value for money and whenever we come to Farmer Palmer's my children never want to leave. Staff are always very friendly and helpful."Annual Pass Holder
"Even when it's pouring down, FP is a great place to come. Plenty to do under shelter and who doesn't love to put their wellies on and splash in muddy puddles! And for the mums and dads, the cake is amazing :)"Regular visitor
"A rare treat, a full day out and change!"Value for money!
"We keep coming back with our grandchildren"Grandparent’s view
"We are big fans!! My little boy wakes up most mornings asking if he can go to Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park!!"Winning testimonial
"It was amazing. From organisation to the staff, who were fantastic, we were very pleased"Team Farmer Palmer Fan
"Great family day out. Highly recommended!"Holiday visitor to Dorset
"I can't recommend this wonderful place enough. It's an amazing little piece of paradise in Dorset."Lissie Marshall