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Hutch insulation

Discussion in 'Housing and Enrichment' started by Claire W, Sep 10, 2010.

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  1. Claire W

    Claire W Forum Donator 2013/14

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    Last year my girls had a scratch and newton hutch snuggle on their hutch over the winter. Since then, I have gone from 2 pigs to 4 so they now live in a much bigger hutch (6ft x 2ft x 2ft).

    I am starting to think of ways to insulate the hutch from the outside. It can not be too thick as it needs to fit underneath their waterproof rain cover but must be big enough to cover a 6ft hutch.

    I have been looking at loft insulation but I have no idea where to buy it from or which one to go for. I have noticed that there are different types. Glass mineral wool kind OR foil/bubble kind (both with aluminium foil over the top).

    I liked my hutch snuggle but have no idea what it was actually made from.

    Does anybody know which kind is best or anything else I can use as hutch insulation. I am so confused ?/
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  2. Becky92

    Becky92 New Member

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    bubble wrap works well :)p
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  3. piggie2love

    piggie2love New Member

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    Hi, sorry I can't help with your post. BUT I would like to just pick your brains.......

    You are obviosuly an expercienced piggie owner and keep them in a hutch outdoors, do your Piggies cope ok with the winter providing they have snuggle etc?

    I am really wanting to adopt some from a rescue but am really worrying about keeping them outdoors.

    Appreciate your views.

    Thanks, Kerri
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  4. Claire W

    Claire W Forum Donator 2013/14

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    No problem at all :) My girls have lived outdoors for 2 winters now and this will be the third (first time for my 2 newbies).

    Mine have been perfectly fine BUT it has taken work to make sure they are kept warm and it must be done properly.

    I layer the entire hutch floors with layers of newspaper followed by a layer of shavings and a layer of hay in the living area. In the sleeping area they have layers of newspaper followed by mountains of hay that they can snuggle in to. They also have fleecy cosies and beds to snuggle in to and I use snugglesafe microwavable heat pads [ame]http://www.amazon.co.uk/Snugglesafe-Microwaveable-Heat-Pad-Cover/dp/B001A36EUG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=garden&qid=1284115118&sr=8-1[/ame] Their hutch is placed in a well sheltered area of the garden and they have a waterproof rain cover that keeps them protected from the wind and rain.

    Last year, I fixed a thick fleece blanket over the wire mesh of the hutch over night to keep the chill out. [​IMG]

    I think that guinea pigs can live happily outdoors over the winter BUT it must be done properly. If I could, I would have them indoors over the winter but it just isn't practical for me due to lack of space and hubby being allergic. However, if the pigs really were suffering, I would bring them indoors in a make shaft cage or something but luckily, I haven't needed to yet.

    As I said in my post above, they had a scratch and newton hutch snuggle last year but it went to a new home along with the old hutch and they do not do one in the size I need.

    If you intend to keep your hutch outdoors over winter, the outside needs to be well insulated as well as things to keep the pigs nice and toasty inside.

    Also last year, my husbands friend made a wooden shelter that the guinea pigs hutch sat under to provide even more protection from the wind and rain.

    Please also be aware that a rescue will probably want to know what you intend to do with your guinea pigs over the winter months and some will not re home to a home where the guinea pigs have not had the time to adjust gradually to outdoor conditions. For example, my 2 newbies have been with me since March and the beginning of June so started off outside in the warmer weather meaning that they have had time to adjust to outdoor living before the colder weather hits.



    I hope that this helps :)
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
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  5. sarah e

    sarah e New Member

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    Hi Claire, I use the silver insulating bubble wrap. I got it from B & Q it looks pretty much the same as what they use for the Scratch and Newton ones. I stuck mine to the sides n roof with velcro, it seems to work well and doesn't let any drafts under it. It didn't take long to do. I bought my heavy duty velcro from ebay as it is so much cheaper than in the shops.
    #5
  6. Romily

    Romily Adult Guinea Pig

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    I would go for the silver insulation stuff from B&Q it is only £5 per roll.
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  7. flips

    flips Senior Guinea Pig

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    Claire, would you mind copying and pasting this into the winter care thread as I think your practice and experience is a really good example for people that are considering keeping guinea pigs outside over winter.
    http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=54309

    Thanks, Sharon. x
    #7
  8. Claire W

    Claire W Forum Donator 2013/14

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    No problem. I will do it now :)
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  9. toddletts

    toddletts New Member

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    I like the sound of the insultaion from B&Q, but can't quite work out what it is from the website. Do you know what it's called?

    Thanks.

    Sarah
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  10. MellyWelly

    MellyWelly Junior Guinea Pig

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    On the B&Q website there is some stuff called Space Blanket:
    "King-Size is a premium encapsulated glass mineral wool product. Extra wide for quicker installation, Space Blanket King-Size can be laid on top of existing insulation. The sleeved encapsulation is a part metallised polythene film that reflects heat and makes it extra easy and comfortable to install. Compression packed for less handling expanding when unrolled" It's just under £12.
    (But I wonder if it will be too thick once unrolled?)

    I saw some foil-type insulation rolls in Homebase last weekend – I think it was within the 'Plumbing' section.

    I'm going to investigate this further as I've just purchased a Hutch Hugger and intend to improvise the inner Hutch Snuggler with the foil insulation available from D.I.Y stores, blankets, carpet etc.

    The cold weather is starting to panic me, I'm getting my boys into the shed any day now!
    #10
  11. Lisa_Ann

    Lisa_Ann New Member

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    Posted this in the cold weather care thread too, hope you don't mind me posting again, still not sure which insulationto buy!

    I went into a large B&Q and the most appropriate I can find is this http://www.diy.com/diy/jsp/bq/nav.j...efview=lister&ts=1284465262799&isSearch=false

    It is a thermal foil very large 7.5m x 600mm and costs approx £17
    Quite thin though but would definitely fit under a hutch hugger.

    Someone mentioned they picked up a roll for £5, I couldn't find anything for that price and description.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2010
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  12. MellyWelly

    MellyWelly Junior Guinea Pig

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    Hey! I just found this on the Homebase webiste:
    Radiator Reflective Foil - 4m it's £5.99 (reduced from £7.99)
    http://www.homebase.co.uk/webapp/wc...0000701&langId=-1&searchTerms=foil insulation

    It looks pretty much like materrial used for Hutch Snuggle.
    What do you think? I might get some. x


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  13. Lisa_Ann

    Lisa_Ann New Member

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  14. MellyWelly

    MellyWelly Junior Guinea Pig

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    Therma wrap looks good, and slighty thicker... Looks like foil-wrapped bubble wrap. I think it would be fine for outdoor use (it says that there is zero water absorbtion - which is good), you'd definitely have to use a Hutch Hugger-type cover to protect the actual insulation though – as ClaireW has shown us in her photo. Also be careful with adhesives; use water-based ones! :)
    #14
  15. Claire W

    Claire W Forum Donator 2013/14

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    There's so many different types mallethead I stayed away from the glass mineral material as it looked really thick in the shop so wouldn't fit under my cover
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  16. slackalice2k

    slackalice2k Teenage Guinea Pig

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    Umm what about carpet underlay? Or old duvet's/ sleeping bags, though you'd still need a waterproof outer.

    Maybe see if you can get a cheap tent and make it fit. There must be loads of tent sales now it's the end of the season.
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  17. toddletts

    toddletts New Member

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    Any idea what I need to do to keep my piggies warm if they are kept in a shed? I have playsticks for their bed with vetbed underneath and hay on top, although they keep sitting on it and flattening it down. not sure it will keep them warm in the winter, though. What should they have for their bed?
    #17
  18. Claire W

    Claire W Forum Donator 2013/14

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    I use mountains of hay in their sleeping area and they also have cosie's, fleece beds and snugglesafe heat pads :)
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  19. toddletts

    toddletts New Member

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    Yey! Got some space blanket today in B&Q for two thirds of the normal price cos it was open slightly. :-) Gonna be happy little piggies.
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  20. MellyWelly

    MellyWelly Junior Guinea Pig

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    I have the same dilemma as you . . . My boys also flatten their hay down, I heap loads into their bedroom with the hope they'll snuggle underneath it, but no, they end up sitting on the top – can they be getting the benefits?
    When I get them into the shed, I'll be wrapping the hutch up with a duvet under a hutch snuggle which will also be insulated with some 'space blanket' – loads of hay in the bedroom. May invest in snugglesafe heatpads too.
    #20
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