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Advice Please On Housing And Exercise...

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MrsZone

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Hello,

I am looking into getting two guinea pigs (will be outdoors in a hutch).

The hutch I am looking at is on ebay : http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RABBIT-HUTCH-GUINEA-PIG-HUTCHES-RUN-RUNS-LARGE-2-TIER-DOUBLE-DECKER-FERRET-CAGE-/151427594060?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&var=&hash=item2341c9b74c (the larger one) is that suitable?

I am thinking of getting a separate run but what should I do in winter when it is very cold? Are they ok to come out of the hutch to play in a run outside?
I have a utility room which I could also bring them into for exercise/play in winter but I have read you shouldn't bring them into the house (where it is warmer) and then take them back out again (does this include if you have the heating off?).

Thank You!
 

Maisy and Poppy

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Have you looked at this hutch and run combo :http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4FT-LARGE-DOUBLE-RABBIT-HUTCH-GUINEA-PIG-RUN-DELUXE-PET-HUTCHES-CAGE-PETS-/261111767078?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&var=&hash=item3ccb796026 ?
The larger one would be suitable but levels do not count as extra floor space and 120cm long is absolute minimum.

@The Hutch Man makes hutches and the pets @ home rose hutch is brill and a bit longer ( 150cm long roughly! ) Oh the rose hutch is 2 story!

I wouldn't put piggys outside in runs in winter as the grass will be cold and wet and might be windy. I think frozen grass can be harmful if eaten.
You can get indoor playpens or floor time so bringing them inside for pen time would be ideal. I think they would be fine if you brought them in with heating switched off.

Could you keep them inside in a 2 x4 c and c or larger ? : http://www.candcguineapigcages.co.uk/product/standard-2-x-4-grid-cage/
It is a lot better keeping piggys inside and c and c cages are cheap and brill unlike grotty, overpriced ferplast ( over £100 for a 140cm long cage! )

If you keep piggys outside in winter you will need : a hutch cover, microwaveable snuggle safe heat pad, possibly cage in shed or garage ( without car as fumes are dangerous ), heating, insulation ... It is a lot easier to keep piggy inside.

Hope this helps!:)
 

PistachioPiggy

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Hey, the hutch looks great as long as you don't get the smaller ones but I would suggest housing indoors if you can. Here are a few reasons why
  • during winter (and if your in the uk most of the time) it gets very cold. Now you could get a cover to stop it being so cold, but then the hutch will have bad ventilation
  • during summer it can get very very hot and your guinea pigs could get heatstroke
  • It is quite open to predators, and if your guinea pigs sees one (such as a fox) it can shock them so much that they die.
  • Most guinea pigs that are left outside often get less attention (not that I'm suggesting you most give it enough attention) its just when its freezing cold somtimes you may think "oh I just cant be bothered to do playtime today"
  • Again with weather, its an uncontrollable thing if you were to house them indoors you could control the temperature with a heater or air conditioning.
  • They are usually harder to tame when housed outdoors

There are many people who do house them in sheds. which provides a lot of shelter and warmth. Good luck with the new pigs. ((HUGS)) AND:wel: to the forums aswell
 

A&T

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Welcome to the forum :D

If it has a run at the bottom it can be a bit better also if you dont want to leave them in run all day they have the choice to go into the run if they want, or not.
Amber stays in during the winter, but I know its not always ideal and some people wont want them inside. I know people insulate the hutch during winter and put covers over them etc, and give them heat pads, and lots and lots of blankets too so they can snuggle inside them.
Amber is inside during winter in a 100 but shes a single guinea pig, so its not so bad, and she gets lots of floor time in a inside run. In the summer I tend to either put her on the grass in a run with shaded spots or put her in the hutch, bringing her inside at night.
 

Trikoemela

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Are you sure you want to keep them outside? You will miss all the enjoyment of having them near you during the day but still have the work of cleaning and feeding them... Not a good balance! All the work and little fun!
 

A&T

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Wiebke

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You know a lot!
Thanks! I have been around guinea pigs for a fair few years (or is that decades?) now... ;)

@MrsZone : Please also consider that you should be able to bring your guinea pigs under shelter during the winter months and keep them out of full sun during a heat wave. heat strokes can kill guinea pigs as much as drafts, dampness and huge daily temperature swings.
 

MrsZone

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Are you sure you want to keep them outside? You will miss all the enjoyment of having them near you during the day but still have the work of cleaning and feeding them... Not a good balance! All the work and little fun!
I would love to keep them inside but unfortunately our landlord won't allow us to keep any pets indoors (although I will bring them in for exercise/laptime in the utility room or kitchen during winter).

@MrsZone : Please also consider that you should be able to bring your guinea pigs under shelter during the winter months and keep them out of full sun during a heat wave. heat strokes can kill guinea pigs as much as drafts, dampness and huge daily temperature swings.
Thank you for your advice, I am still looking at hutches and am taking it all into consideration. I am enjoying reading up and learning all I can before we "go for it". I have previously owned mice and hamsters but guinea pigs are a whole new thing :D
 

Maisy and Poppy

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I would love to keep them inside but unfortunately our landlord won't allow us to keep any pets indoors (although I will bring them in for exercise/laptime in the utility room or kitchen during winter).

@MrsZone : Please also consider that you should be able to bring your guinea pigs under shelter during the winter months and keep them out of full sun during a heat wave. heat strokes can kill guinea pigs as much as drafts, dampness and huge daily temperature swings.
Thank you for your advice, I am still looking at hutches and am taking it all into consideration. I am enjoying reading up and learning all I can before we "go for it". I have previously owned mice and hamsters but guinea pigs are a whole new thing :D[/QUOTE]
You have the same situation as me. Our landlord had a bad experience with mice so she hates rodents so my piggys are outside. But we are moving house soon so piggys will be inside!:)
 

MrsZone

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I have found someone local that is selling a 6ft single chartwell hutch, only thing is the divider is missing that separates the bed & living area... they say it would be easy to make one (lol, I have NO diy skills). How important is the divider? I guess it makes the "bed" area feel more enclosed and keeps the heat in?
 

Claire W

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When I had outdoor piggies, the divider broke in one of my hutches so what we did was made a wooden box that was slightly smaller than the end of the 'bed' area of the hutch. We then made a doorway leading in to the box so the piggies still had a sheltered bedding area that allowed them warmth and shelter :)

Personally I much prefer hutch and runs to be separate as the hutches with a run that sits on grass underneath is wasted space in the colder months as piggies can not go on cold, wet grass or even in to a run during really cold / wet weather.
 
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Sara412

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My boys are in cages in an insulated shed so nice and snug in winter - to 2 sides of the shed we have added secure enclosed garden runs 5' x 5' with hatches direct into the shed, so they can run in and out . We have also made a stable door, which has a net screen so if we have a hot summer they have fresh air . I don't have a problem of not spending floor time with them whatever the weather as I just shut the shed door on any rain etc and they have the whole of the shed floor space to play and interact with me.
 
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