Adapt a hutch, build a small house or donate?

ffalco

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Hello everyone, how are you all doing?

So, my situation is pretty specific. I have had two female guinea pigs for like 3-4 months now, and they've been kept in an indoor C&C cage this whole time. However, I've had some extreme issues with my landlord (I live in Australia), and I'm having to move. I'm moving somewhere that they cannot stay inside, so I was planning on giving them to adoption, but after I talked to the new landlord (lady?) about it she got really excited and wanted me to bring them and we'd keep them in the front/backyard. We're going to build a house for them outside, but I really need the help of somebody that has done that already.

I have a C&C grid set with a looot of spare square meshes, but their hole is quite big (a little smaller than an egg I guess). So the first thing is that I'm not sure if I could use this grid to isolate them from predators and stuff.
Our first guess would be to just lay the mesh grid in a spot with grass and build a wooden hut for them to stay (and cover the grass patch with something to keep the rain out), but I'm not sure if that's enough to keep everything out and I'm worrying about their safety. The good thing is that we already have the wood for the house, but the bad thing is that I never ever worked with wood in my life so if I really wanted to build it I'd need actual plans for a house.
My other option would be to buy an used guinea pig hutch and put the mesh in a bigger area around it, so when the weather is good I'd open their hutch and let them walk in the grass. The bad thing is that the hutch that I can afford will be quite small (2 floors but not big) and they tend to fight sometimes if they're in the same resting place, but I think I could make some adjustements on the hutch so they would be apart when they sleep. I would fill the interior walls of the hutch with fleece to help keep the hutch warm during the winter, and if needed we could bring them inside at night (just bring the whole hutch).

So, my question is: do you guys think any of the options are at last mildly appropriate (and if so, if you have any advice to keep them warm outside in the winter, I think it can get to around 2ºC here in Melbourne)? I really don't have money at all (international student with no job), so I can't make anything too expensive. I'd love to give them a big house to play at, but I really can't (maybe I can upgrade it once I get a job).
Maybe it's better to donate them to someone that can treat them better? What do you guys think?
 
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artcasper

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Aww it would a shame if you had to give them up as you clearly want them to have a good life BUT you need to make sure they will be safe and have enough room... I am sure there are some great set ups in the housing section on here.. Good luck!
 

Bill & Ted

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Would it be easier to look for a second hand hutch that is in good condition? At least that way you will know it’s safe for use outside? You could also make or find a run which they could use in the summer daytime perhaps? That’s if you have grass of course x Good luck! I’m sure there will be someone ‘good with wood” coming along soon to advise you how to do it, I’m hopeless x
 

5StarPigs

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Hello! I think your best bet would be to build one yourself that is proper sized, strong and stable. Building a proper sized hutch yourself, or a relative doing it would be a LOT cheaper than buying a proper sized one. All you need is some strong wire with a top on the run, i would reccomend taking away the run at night. Some strong wood, and a tarp to put over the hutch whenever it is searing hot and sunny. To protect them from the elements, their are things in many petstores called “chin chillers” they are small granite slabs that you can put in a freezer and slip it into a hutch when it gets hot so they can lay on it. You can find these on Amazon, in pet stores, or Chewy.com. For when it gets cold, there is a thing called a “snugglesafe” you can find this on Amazon. It is a microwavable heat pad with a fleece cover on top. You can microwave this for however long the directions say, slip on the cover and put it in the hutch whenever it gets cold. Also when it gets cold you can have many fleece cuddle cups, tunnels, and pouches in their cage. Please when it gets hot dont have any plastic hideys in their cage as these can heat up quickly, (go for wood).
 

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