Heated Housing

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Hi

A friend of mine is thinking about getting a couple of GPs. She’s been doing her research and is getting varied advice about the need for GPs to have a heated hutch/shed in the winter. If it is absolutly necessary I doubt she’ll be able to arrange it. However, she can bring them into an unheated shed in the winter months. She lives in Buckinhamshire, so it doesn't get too cold in winter.

I’m a bunny person myself so can’t help much – however, I wondered if anyone here has thoughts/experience in this area to share.

All comments welcome.

Many thanks

Liz
 

Niki

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Hi Liz
My piggies are all outside in a sort of shed, which isn't heated. However there are no draughts & they have plenty of hay in their pigloos to bed in with soft cut straw to run around on.
At night i cover the fronts of their hutches up with woollen curtains & they were all fine last winter :)
 

Jane

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I'm not sure, so don't take my word for it, but this is what I think..

Of course, if it's freezing outside then the guinea pigs are better off in the shed where it's warmer, because even without heating it's still warmer than the cold outside. Get her to stand in the shed (with no heating) when it's cold, if she's cold, then it would probably be better to have heating in there, if she's okay, then generally the piggies should be too. Also, you could advise her putting more bedding and hay in when it's cold. Oh, and the shed shouldn't have any draughts.

Erm, someone will know loads more about this than me but I just thought I'd say what I thought.. :)
 
B

Beaney

My shed isn't heated but I do have covers for the hutch and provide loads of hay - I remove all soiled bedding daily and top up with fresh hay so it is always nice and dry. For when it is freezing cold I use a couple of snugglesafe heat pads. These are a good alternative if you can't run electricity out to a shed because you can heat them in the microwave and they stay warm for hours...
 

michellemuffin

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mine do have heated sheds but i think as long as a few rules are followed they should be alright
no droughts I believe droughts are the worst for killing GPs
lots of thick paper to stop under the hutch draughts and plenty of dry hay pigloos are perfect as are cuddle cups maybe towels to snuggle under as well, always make sure the bedding is bone dry other wise it would be like sleeping on ice if it gets very cold , and the heated pads sound good as well, vet bed is a good option but they need to be kept dry,
if the shed has windows I always cover mine with bubble wrap to stop droughts, even though mines heated,
 
K

karenrgpr

:) I'm nextdoor in Berkshire and it does get cold ;) I have a maximum minimum thermometer in my heated shed so I can tell just how cold.
Soon the heating will go on and none of my People will be rehomed to unheated sheds- I never rehome to outside (garden)homes anyway because of the damp at this time of year. This year in particular has been bad for Fungal problems, living outside only exaggerate the risk.

A lot of my pigs do go to unheated sheds, but not after the heating has gone on. Just my thoughts. ;)www.readingguineapigrescue.co.uk ...is our site :)
 
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Plink

Hi

Thanks for all of your feedback and tips on this - I will pass it all on and she can take it from there.

Thanks again

Liz :)
 
A

Andrea

As already mentioned, its draughts that are the killer. As long as you have a well built, solid shed, with NO draughts, then your piggies will be fine. Don't forget, they are Mammals after all and can maintain their own body temperature to a certain degree. You just need to make sure they have lots of good quality dry bedding.

I am about to move mine into a brick outhouse. I will have cold blooded animals in there too, such as reptiles, so I will provide a panel heater to bring the ambient temperature up to about normal room temperature - 20 degrees c. Obviously they all have heat mats and lights too.

So a panel heater on a thermostat could be an option, just to get rid of the chill. They are really cheap to run, between 1 and 3 pence an hour....not like oil radiators.
 
C

chinakit

Guinea pigs don't need heat in winter, as they cope with cold really well. However they must be kept dry and out of drafts and given plenty of warm hay as bedding.

In my own experience, guineas suffer much more in very hot weather than in the cold.
 
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Andrea

That is true, they do seem to cope less in summer. I won't be providing heat as such, it will only be "heated" to room temperature, so its neither cold not warm.....not for the piggies sake as such, but for my reptiles and other cold blooded monsters I have!
 

daftscotslass

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In my experience the (literal) killer is temperature fluctuations, not necessarily the cold. If you keep your pigs in an unheated outbuilding they cannot come inside for cuddles (in my experience). I learned the hard way many years ago that this can seriously compromise their immune system meaning that they become very susceptible to infection.
 
S

sgprescue

Andrea said:
I haven't actually bought one yet, but I think I will get this one...

http://www.airandwatercentre.com/store/SEURLF/ASP/SFS/CID.39/PID.420/SFE/productdetails.htm
That one looks quite good. I need to get a new heater for one of my sheds as my old one packed in. I had a ceramic heater before but it kept getting bits of hay and dust stuck in it which messed it up ::) I had thought about getting a radiator to put in there, we have one in the 18ft shed and it gets nice and warm in there.
 

michellemuffin

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janice-arc

This is the type of heater I have in my shed, it is only a low powered heater which uses very little power which is ok for use as a back ground heater. http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Main_Index/Heating_Index/Tubular_Heaters/index.html

It uses about the same heat as a couple of 60 watt light bulbs unlike the normal convection heaters or radiators which often use at least 10 times or more of the amount of power. For obvious reasons it does not give out excessive heat to make the shed hot, the aim of it is to take the chill off the shed. I have mine on a plug in thermostat which means that it cuts in when the temperature goes below a certain temperature and turns off when it is above a certain temperature. You can buy a mesh protector which stops hay falling on to it.
 
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Andrea

I didn't think of those tubular heaters, they are the kind of thing I need actually. Thanks for that.
 
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