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Hi I was wondering if anyone could give me a bit of friendly advice, my daughter's guinea pigs have always lived outside since June when she had them and now it's starting to get colder I was wondering what I could use to insulate the cage a bit more.
The only problem is that because the hutch is a weird shape (a castle) I can't find a hutch hugger to fit :{.
My boys are outside but have a normal hutch which came with a cover and both cages are behind my garage in a corner sandwiched between the hedge and fence so there's very minimal wind (if any) and they are protected by rain from a huge gazebo.
I spoke to my vet earlier after reading some coments on here about guinea pigs shouldn't be outside at all and after explaining their housing situation she said they'd be fine so long as they have huge amounts of bedding (which they do anyway) she also said to change the hay to straw as they won't eat it then so they'll be constantly warm but to have loads of hay to eat in there.
They all have hidy tubes, hidy houses, loads of hay and shavings and like I said they are pretty much well covered but after reading that previous thread I did feel a little bit guilty for having them outside:( so I wondered if there was anything I could buy to make it even warmer.
Would appreciate any help
 

flips

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Great that you're thinking ahead. There's some good suggestions on this thread. Clare W has a good outdoor set up and some people have adapted outside covers with thermal foil. I would think that you could make your own version of a hutch hugger with tarpaulin as the outer layer. :)

http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=54309

I'm not sure about using straw as I have always been told that there is a greater risk of eye poke injuries. I think I would prefer to use lots of hay and top it up perhaps twice a day.
 
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Little Piggles

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I'd be tempted to keep with they hay. It's alot softer than straw and they can bury themselves underneath to make a cosy nest. Straw is very thick and hard, plus there is also a possibilty of damage to the eyes with hay-poke injuries on the sharp strands. They will flatten if and eat some of it, but if you fluff it up and top up any that has been scoffed they should be okay ;)

Our pigs live outdoors too and we've made our own hutch snuggle with this kinda stuff here (although we got ours from B&Q and it was only about £7 per roll) we stuck it together with duck tape and pinned it to the outside of hutch with drawing pins. I intend to cover the front of the hutch with bubble wrap too (leaving a small gap for ventilation). We do have a Hutch Hugger (the waterproof cover) over the top too, but you could also use a tarpaulin :) We also cover our hutch with two blankets overnight too.

Snugglesafe heat pads are fab too! Pop them in the microwave for 6 mins and they stay toasty for hours :)
 
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Claire W

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Hello and welcome :) Yes, my girlies live outdoors all year round and as much as I would love to house them indoors, it just isn't practical :(

Anyway, I have 4 girls living in a 6ft by 2ft hutch and it is insulated with the silver stuff that Flips (Sharon) has already posted. I also provide my girls with fleece cosies and beds that have kindly been made by Pollie (Threelittlepigs), snugglesafe heat pads, plenty of fresh hay daily, domes filled with fresh hay and a fleece blanket that covers the front of their hutch at night.

DSCF1265.jpg
 
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Thanks for that:(|)
I can't find a cover to fit the hutch cos of the shape but looking at your pic I think I might be able to get some waterproof material and sew it together.
A local pet shop sell little furry beds similar to a dogs bed so what I was thinking is that a could cut a thick box down to size for the bedroom compartment and put a furry bed in and fill it full with hay so they're a bit more snuggly.
Also get some thick fleeces to cover the hutch front and sides and then put the waterproof over the top.
What are your thoughts on straw? I've been told not to use it (and someone mentioned it on here too) but the vet I spoke to said to use it cos it's thicker and warmer.
Also where are these heat pads from and how do you use them (I sound really thick lol) are they a bit like the wheaties you can buy?
Thanks for your help x
 

daleksarah

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the heat pads can be brought from pets at home and they are the same principal as wheaties.
straw is too rough for piggies and theres not much price difference between hay and straw so id stick to hay and put lots in
you can get beds in places like poundland and home bargains-home bargains have a good triangle one for only £4
 
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Hi I'm back after a busy day, I've borrow a few ideas from off here and I'm quite please with my result.
I've nicked a thick box from my mums and cut it to the size of my boys bedroom compartment and cut a hole in the end so they can go straight in it.
I've bought a cheap small furry dogs bed from wilkos and strengthened it with strong cardboard and then covered it with a smaller furry bed and then filled it with hay so they should be warmer now.
Also I've bought a dog fleece and it can be folded 4 times to cover the draughty bits.
IMG]http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj314/bek27/Guinea-pigs/001.jpg[/IMG]
The boys hutch
002-1.jpg

The furry bed
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The bedroom
IMG]http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj314/bek27/Guinea-pigs/004.jpg[/IMG]
The boys having a sniff at new bed
005.jpg

The warm fleece
I really hope that this will help keep them warmer and I'm off to get their heat pads soon.
 
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This is the one I'm gonna have problems with
006.jpg

Firstly I've blocked the stairs off but it shows plastic (the wood is coming tomorrow)
009.jpg

The hutch looks a lot smaller in the pic but honestly it's not, I'm thinking that I'll but 2 box houses and beds in (like the boys pic) one at each end and fill the middle with hay.
010.jpg

I've bought some dogs waterproof towl things to go around the sides and back of the hutch and I'm gonna get some of that insulation stuff or maybe foam? any opinions.
Then very nicely ask my mum to machine sew some tarpaulin together to make the whole shape of the hutch and then attatch a clear shower curtain so they can see out.
I've also bought a bright pink thick fleece to cover over it under the tarpaulin.
The cage looks wet and damp because I'd just disinfected it (my girls are inside for the night)
 

Gracie01

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I have always kept my piggies outside. I had three hutches made by a local shed company (i was so impressed by his own rabbits hutch, that i wanted the same for my piggies), and a pets at home hutch.

I use the sheets that you use what builders use (www.breathablegroundsheets.co.uk) They are massive so i can cover the whole hutch with them. They have little holes on the corners so they can be tied to the legs of the hutches.

I top up all the piggies hay twice a day (and agree with the not using straw for the poking thing).
 
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Wow that is an interesting shaped hutch....very cute thought love the names on the door.

Your ideas sound great. My pigs are indoors so don't have much advice than what you have been given. There was a link on here the other day for the sale of heat pads.....ah ha found it http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=56589&highlight=heat+pads

So good to hear people making all the neccessary adjustments for their pigs going in to winter :)
 
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My mum bought it for my little girl back in june ready for her 2 girls arriving, it's a lovely hutch but it cost a fortune and it's not very practical but my youngest loves her princess stuff and pink is her favourite colour.
The names are helium balloon stickers available from craft and cake decorating shops (around 15p each).
The furry beds to go inside this hutch are even white & pink so hopefully the piggies don't mind everything pink lol
 
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Thanks flipp, my brother's just been down to see me and he says that he has a fitted green house cover (you know the waterproof plastic ones that go over a metal frame) that I can have, it just needs extending a little with some tarpaulin or groundsheet material and then I need to get some insulation under it.
My brother says that thick foam should work really well so I'll try some of that and where I live there is a market stall that sells it dirt cheap.
I can't say that it'll look good but if it keeps them warm and toastie then I don't suppose it really matters.
 
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Well I've had quite a productive day today lol, I've been to wickes and bought that foil stuff and got the funniest stare off the lad helping me when he found out why I wanted it (he was quite amused) but his lady colleague kept guinea pigs (inside though) and insisted he give me as much help as possible.
Although I must say he was lovely and advised me to put two layers of the foil on for extra warm and even found me some water resistant carpet tape to attatch it with (it does come with little sticker pads but he said the tape was better).
so I went home and got to work, put two layers on each with the double sided tape so when it gets warmer I can take a layer off, then I pinned a layer of waterproof dog towls to the hutch and the a big thick fleecy blanket all the way round.
All I've got left to do is to make a cover for the hutch to help with any damp or wetness.
I even had enough foil insulation left to do the boys hutch aswell so that was a bonus (they'll be really toastie now).
I've also had an idea about the gazebo that's over the top of the hutches put my materials won't be available till thursday :(, I'm just wanting it to be finished.
I'm gonna upload some pics as soon as it's done so it'll probably friday afternoon now.
Speaking of hutches though I went to my brothers this morning and the caviery he has built is amazing it's totally preditor proof, watherproof and just absolutely amazing (he's so clever).
He had two hutches in there housing his boys with all their girls roaming the floor, now he's built 3 huge wall cages (and he's getting a baby boy texel) and taken one of the floor hutches out.
He really has done an amazing job and I'm kinda jealous cos it's so lovely for his piggies.
 

flips

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Sounds like you've been very busy today. Your guinea pigs will really appreicate your efforts and you'll feel much happier about their safety when it gets really cold. Excellent work. :)
 
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Thanks xx
Just hoping that it works and keeps them all snuggly, the hutch cover is proving to be a pain though, but I have seen a seller on ebay making any size hutch cover you require from £35 so I'll give them an email and see what they say.
 
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