Advice For Future Owner

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DW22

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Hey, so I've been looking in to getting a pair of guinea pigs, I know the rough size hutch suggested, and was wondering if anyone had any specific hutch suggestions? The guineas would be kept outside, although we don't have a shed or anywhere they could go in the winter. Will this be a problem? We live in the UK, so it can get quite cold in the winter. Would a warm cover and blankets be good enough protection for them? Thanks for any advice you can give
 
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piggyfan

Hello and welcome to the forum. If you have outdoor piggies then they must have a heated shed they can be moved to in winter. A hutch is just not enough.
 

DW22

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Thanks guys! I've read on other sites that people often keep them outside all year long, but is this really advised against? Has anyone got any indoor cages or hutches that would be suitable for two guineas? I don't know if I can convince my mum to have them indoors, she is worried that they'd make a lot of noise, although I would prefer to have them indoors, it'd be easier to look after them indoors.
 
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piggyfan

The RSPCA advise guinea pigs to be moved inside as soon as it hits 15 degrees. There are many housing set ups suitable for inside. I have a c and c cage which can be made into any size so I love them as it gives pigs more space then a ready made cage.
 

Maddykins

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I'm surprised your mum is worried about noise, they're not super noisy. I mean, they can be when they think they are getting fed - they wheek really loudly (volume kind of depends on the individual pig, one of mine literally shrieks in excitement sometimes), but the rest of the time they don't make that much noise really.
 

Chief Guinea Pig

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Hi and welcome to the forum. @piggyfan is very right, I think you should really consider that before getting the guinea pigs.
 

DW22

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Hmmm, I'm going to try to convince her to house them indoors if outdoors isn't an option here. Would a slightly smaller two tier cage work the same as a 4x2 cage? If they were indoors they'd be able to be out of the cage lots, so exercise isn't a problem. I think my mum is mostly adverse to the idea because of the room it would take up.
 
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piggyfan

The minimum cage size is 120 cm by 60 cm. they would need two hours exercise time with that size cage.
 

Maisy and Poppy

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Good luck persuading your Mum! Maybe you could keep your piggies inside in Winter/Autumn and outside the rest of the time? Only keep piggies outside if you have to my landlord is scared of rodents!:( :td:If you keep them outside thermal hutch covers, snuggle safe heat pads, house insulation, heat lamps are all good. I you want any more info on cold weather care just start a conversation with me as I cannot list everything on here! This hutch looks good : http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4FT-LARGE...pplies_Small_Animals&var=&hash=item3ccb796026 Aubiose and Fitch are brill beddings:)!
 

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If your mum is worried about noise, you could compromise by rehoming a pair of adult guinea pigs from one of our recommended rescues. Guinea pigs are at their loudest during the frist few months of their lives when they are at the most vulnerable to predators. Rheoming from a rescue also means that you are only getting healthy, guaranteed not pregnant and carefully bonded piggies, so you can neatly avoid all the pitfalls that await the unwary. That way, you can enjoy having much more interaction with your guinea pigs to really build up a relationship and your mum can get her peace, too. The rescue can help you to find a suitable friendly pair. ;)
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/pages/guinea-pig-rescue-locator/
 

Maisy and Poppy

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If your mum is worried about noise, you could compromise by rehoming a pair of adult guinea pigs from one of our recommended rescues. Guinea pigs are at their loudest during the frist few months of their lives when they are at the most vulnerable to predators. Rheoming from a rescue also means that you are only getting healthy, guaranteed not pregnant and carefully bonded piggies, so you can neatly avoid all the pitfalls that await the unwary. That way, you can enjoy having much more interaction with your guinea pigs to really build up a relationship and your mum can get her peace, too. The rescue can help you to find a suitable friendly pair. ;)
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/pages/guinea-pig-rescue-locator/
Maybe you could compromise by keeping them inside when it is cold and outside when it is warmer. I am having same situ convincing my parents to keep piggies inside and in a bigger cage than ferplast 120!
 

PottyForPiggies

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I used to live in a rented property where I was not allowed to bring my guineas inside. I was careful, took all the precautions I could and kept them heated as best I could. But one night, during a particularly rainy and windy night, the rain cover I had put on blew off and soaked my girls' hutch and my long-haired girl got very ill, with a chest infection that has left her wheezy ever since. Now my guineas are indoors I would never go back. I am more aware of illnesses, get much more interaction time with them and know I think I know what it's truly like to own guineas :) x
 

DW22

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Thanks for all the advice guys, really helpful.

Hello and welcome to the forum. If you have outdoor piggies then they must have a heated shed they can be moved to in winter. A hutch is just not enough.
What do you mean by a heated shed? Buying a shed for the guineas in the winter months was something i was considering, but how would it need to be heated? Wouldn't making sure it's insulated be enough?

If your mum is worried about noise, you could compromise by rehoming a pair of adult guinea pigs from one of our recommended rescues. Guinea pigs are at their loudest during the frist few months of their lives when they are at the most vulnerable to predators. Rheoming from a rescue also means that you are only getting healthy, guaranteed not pregnant and carefully bonded piggies, so you can neatly avoid all the pitfalls that await the unwary. That way, you can enjoy having much more interaction with your guinea pigs to really build up a relationship and your mum can get her peace, too. The rescue can help you to find a suitable friendly pair. ;)
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/pages/guinea-pig-rescue-locator/
Thanks, this is something i may look into. What sort of age range are guinea pigs at rescues? My worry was that i'd end up with an old pair who i would then become attached to, even though they are in the ends of their lives.

If i did go for keeping the guinea pigs outside, in a shed of some form, if i wanted to see them of a night, would it be ok to bring them inside? Or would them then going back into the colder shed be possibly dangerous?
 

Wiebke

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Thanks for all the advice guys, really helpful.



What do you mean by a heated shed? Buying a shed for the guineas in the winter months was something i was considering, but how would it need to be heated? Wouldn't making sure it's insulated be enough?

Thanks, this is something i may look into. What sort of age range are guinea pigs at rescues? My worry was that i'd end up with an old pair who i would then become attached to, even though they are in the ends of their lives.

If i did go for keeping the guinea pigs outside, in a shed of some form, if i wanted to see them of a night, would it be ok to bring them inside? Or would them then going back into the colder shed be possibly dangerous?
Healthy guinea pigs have an average life expectancy of about 4-7 years; 5-6 years is the norm. You can look at any piggy that is over 12-15 months old, which means that you still have a lot of choice, as older guinea pigs in rescue are usually staying on as permanent rescue residents or are looking for an experienced home. ;)

Guinea pigs do best in a stable environment with little temperature fluctuation; they are not so good with massive temperature jumps, especially between warm days and cold nights. I would recommend to at least look at good insulation and using microwaveable snugglesafes for the cold days and nights.
 

Maisy and Poppy

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Thanks for all the advice guys, really helpful.



What do you mean by a heated shed? Buying a shed for the guineas in the winter months was something i was considering, but how would it need to be heated? Wouldn't making sure it's insulated be enough?



Thanks, this is something i may look into. What sort of age range are guinea pigs at rescues? My worry was that i'd end up with an old pair who i would then become attached to, even though they are in the ends of their lives.

If i did go for keeping the guinea pigs outside, in a shed of some form, if i wanted to see them of a night, would it be ok to bring them inside? Or would them then going back into the colder shed be possibly dangerous?
I think going inside to outside is dangerous!
 

Guinea Slave

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Regarding heating a shed, if you can run electricity to a shed then you simply need a small oil filled radiator. These are very efficient, incredibly cheap to run and very safe.

The other issue with outdoor piggies aside from the weather is the risk of predators. Foxes can be incredibly determined if they smell what they consider to be food (your guinea pigs!), other rodents and cats can also do a lot of damage. Having them outside can attract rodents as well as they will want the food, no one wants rats and mice in their garden. There have also been awful incidences of people letting guineas out or stealing them. They are just so much safer indoors or in a shed.

Plus they will be a lot more accessible indoors....you don't want to be going out in all weathers bringing mud into the house and getting freezing cold ;-). Finally, they will be a wonderful addition to your family, and you'll end up watching them more than the telly!

Hope there is enough there to convince your mum ;-)
 

Jennifer D

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I think until you can convince your mum that they live indoors or have an outside structure outside that will be warm enough for them, you should hold off on getting any guinea pigs. It would be safer for them, and hopefully you would be able to keep them inside.
 
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