Cold Weather Care For Guinea Pigs

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Maisy and Poppy

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I would bring piggies in when at night it is 15 degrees or less and put them back out when the nights are 15 degrees or higher.:)!
 

Liz Roberts

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My girls have been indoors since I got them in September but we are planning to get an outside hutch/run so that they can go outside during the day. We are a bit worried about them getting cold and/or attacked by predators if we leave them outside at night.
 

parkdaleangela

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My girls have been indoors since I got them in September but we are planning to get an outside hutch/run so that they can go outside during the day. We are a bit worried about them getting cold and/or attacked by predators if we leave them outside at night.
We live on the rural fringes of the town so as well as two very curious cats next door, who visit all the time, we have the occasional fox. The crows are very interested in small furries as well. Our hutch is on the covered patio, just outside the living room so it's easy to keep an eye during the day. At night I cover the hutch with blankets and an old but waterproof PVC tablecloth. A solid child's chair keeps the front of the covers from flapping - even in the really high winds we had over night - and this has kept the piggies safe and any predators at bay. Even a fox would have to be pretty smart to get through all those layers and then undo the bolts on the hut doors !

I'm having to keep the girls inside the hutch all day - apart from cleaning and grooming sessions - because the grass is so wet and soggy that they'd catch a chill if put out at the moment. I don't think there's a lot of nutrition in grass at this time of year anyway ?
 

Liz Roberts

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I think I will leave them inside until Spring whenever that might be! I think my husband is going to make a run for them and they will come inside at night. We have a conservatory so they can live in there as long as it isn't too cold or too hot! He is going to make a double run as we now have two girls and two boys!
 

Mother Hubbard

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Well my last remaining piggies are coming in tonight, I have some work to do to get the utility resorted again, so I'll clean out the hutches so it's fresh & ready for when they make a return, whenever that will be. Currently 3 indoors and 3 outdoors. My outdoors have been fine, inundated with heat pads, but so not risking it this week.
 
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Planty

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Hi all - I'm a total piggy greenhorn and now a bit paranoid I'm not doing enough in the way of keeping them warm at night. Our piggies are in a hutch, in a shed. They have an upstairs, but currently don't venture up there (think I need to put some sort of non-slip type stuff on the ramp, but think that's another post). On the floor I have a layer of puppy pads, then newspaper, then (dust free) wood shaving stuff, then hay. Should I be covering the hutch with a blanket or something? Can they see OK if I do that (I wasn't kidding about the 'green-horn' bit)? What about these heat pad things? I don't have a microwave...sorry if I seem really stupid...
 

Wiebke

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It would be good if you gave the hutch some extra insulation, especially on frosty nights like they have been announced for next week, or - if you can't have microwaveable snuggelsafes - you could additionally pack a cardboard box with soft hay so your piggies can sneak in there for warmth and comfort.
 

BossHogg

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See if you can get an old winter quilt, I used to cover mine with a quilt when they were outdoors and then wrap the lot with a waterproof tarpaulin. You don't need to worry about the tarp as they're in a shed. ;)
 

Pebble

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Hi @Planty
I used to keep my pigs in a shed.

Puppy pads/newspaper/shavings/hay is fine.....(Lucky piggies!)

The most important thing is to make sure they have plenty of WARMTH: Outbuildings can get VERY cold during winter if you don;t routinely air them to allow warmer air in to circulate on good weather days. Once the temp in an outbuilding drops to 4deg C - unless you start airing it to allow warmer air in on good weather days, it will just contiunue to get colder with each cold weather day.

They will need extra hay (lots of it) to snuggle up in. It might help to put a small cardboard box inside the sleeping area stuffed with hay to provide extra insulation for them. On nights where the temp falls below 0deg - a snugglesafe pad can be a godsend for them....but you will need a microwave (some nice cheapy ones can be had at Tescos). Alternatively a cheap thermostatically-controlled oil-filled radiator (assuming you have an electrical supply in your shed) is also a good bet.
Old duvets draped around the back/top of the cage are great.

The second thing you need to be aware of is DAMP -
be it from condensation in the outbuilding, wee evaporating from the wet hay, too much waterproof covering around the whole of the cage preventing the wee evaporating properly- or lack of weatherproofing of the outbuilding.
Clean out all the hay a minimum of weekly (preferably twice weekly). Check for damp/condensation issues within the hutch and within the outbuilding. If you;re covering with a duvet then get this properly aired/dried on a regular monthly basis as otherwise it will continue collect condensation/damp and actually behave contra to its intended purpose.

Can;t think of anything else atm - but will update if i remember anything
HTH
x
 

Suze5202

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Two of my pigs spent last summer outdoors and then I got two more. But the hutch was too small and one of the new pigs I adopted had an UTI so wasn't fair to house them outside. I've bought a bigger hutch (a Bunny Business Grove and thermal cover) and have a 12ft outdoor run too. But when can I leave them outdoors all the time? It's quite nice during the day but I'm worried the nights are a little too chilly here in Lancashire.

They are currently in my living room but I need to get them out as soon as possible. Next winter they'll have the hutch in a new shed but I can't afford one just yet.

Sorry it's such a long post but I just want my pigs to be healthy and happy and I worry so much!
 

Maisy and Poppy

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Two of my pigs spent last summer outdoors and then I got two more. But the hutch was too small and one of the new pigs I adopted had an UTI so wasn't fair to house them outside. I've bought a bigger hutch (a Bunny Business Grove and thermal cover) and have a 12ft outdoor run too. But when can I leave them outdoors all the time? It's quite nice during the day but I'm worried the nights are a little too chilly here in Lancashire.

They are currently in my living room but I need to get them out as soon as possible. Next winter they'll have the hutch in a new shed but I can't afford one just yet.

Sorry it's such a long post but I just want my pigs to be healthy and happy and I worry so much!
Hi,
Most people say that when you can go outside without a coat and not feel cold then you can put your piggys outside and when the nights are above 15 degrees Celsius.
My piggys are outside in the bottom of a pets@home bluebell hutch. They have 2 snuggle safe heat pads, insulation, are kept in a garage, have a thermal cover, lots of hay and bubble wrap over the doors to keep out draughts. In an ideal world the piggys would be inside but the landlady hates rodent so cannot keep piggys indoors. :( But good news I am moving on Thursday so piggys will be inside at last in a 2 x 3 c and c with a 1 x 2 loft in a free range room! :)
Anyway,:btt: would you consider keeping your guineas in a heated shed in a c and c : http://www.candcguineapigcages.co.uk
They are brill, pop corning piggys and lots of room!
Hope this is useful!
 

Suze5202

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They're in a c&c at the moment, but it's not practical for outside. The snuggle pads for outside sound a good idea. Think I've managed to persuade OH they can stay indoors a little while longer, the dining table will have to wait!
 

GreyGirl

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Is bringing them in at night into a cat carrier type thing an option?
 

Maisy and Poppy

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My guinea pigs are in a garage in hutch with insulation and are most peoples piggies are.
In October to February your guinea pigs would prefer staying inside in a cage like 120cm long.
 

GreyGirl

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I don't have inside space big enough for permanent inside living, I'll have to find ways to make their hutch warmer. I can't remember how I did it fit my pigs I had when I was a teenager.
 

Tabybim

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Hi I have 4 piggies one of which is a skinny pig and I always drive myself crazy when the weather starts to turn. I keep all my pigs inthe house and all have their own wooden beds they can go into ,with fleecy blankets and extra hay but I still worry about my skinny, Godfrey he's 10 months old now and has a special heat pad I warm up in the microwave for him every 6 to 8 hours , including waking during the night to reheat it . Does any one know of any other good heat pads that stay warm for longer or any special bedding that will keep in the heat? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
 
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