Housing too small...

Lazw

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Hello everyone,

I have 2 lovely piggies, milly who is 3 and bramble who is 8 months. They usually live outside in a huge 6ft x 2ft double storey ryedale hutch which is insulated, and has a custom cover on it too. I have 4 snugglesafe which I also put in overnight, however the night time temperature has been dropping to 14c inside the hutch with all the above measures, so they've moved back indoors for the winter where they'll be much warmer until next April time when they can go back in their big hutch.

The problem is, they're currently having to live in a small pets at home indoor cage as we have no space or option for them to be given more room. It has been a struggle to convince my partner to have them back indoors and this is the compromise we've come to. My question is, how much will this reduction in space be affecting them? They seem pretty happy to be indoors, very chatty and very interested in what we're doing around the house! I just feel bad that they've gone from loads of space to something which is clearly far too small 😔. But I want them to be warm, which they are inside the house.

When it's warm enough, I will put them outside in their big hutch during the day for more room, then bring them back in at night, to avoid temperature shock we have bought a 3ft tubular heater to install in the hutch too to keep them warm during the day.

Does this sound OK to you guys? I love my piggies to bits and I want them as happy as can be! I'd have them indoors all year round if it was up to me but my partner is absolutely not up for this.

Thanks in advance for any advice,

Laura
 

Piggies&buns

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What size is their indoor cage? If it is below 120cm x 60cm - the minimum size needed for two sows - then it doesn’t even meet RSPCA welfare standards and will be unsuitable. Lack of space can cause issues within a relationship when they can’t get away from each other (Particularly as you’ve got a teenager in there).

Now you’ve brought them in, they really shouldn’t go back outside in the day time. Is the heater able to keep the hutch at exactly the same temperature as in your house? It’s not only that, it’s the exposure to damp and wind of being outside and then moving back in which causes health problems as well as being too cold.
 

Lazw

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Thanks for responding so quickly! The cage is exactly that size you mentioned above I've just measured it, it just looks so tiny compared to what they've come from.

They're doing OK in there at the moment, there are 2 bedding areas which each of them has claimed as their own and they seem to be getting on as they were before. I'm hoping to install the heater in the next couple of weeks so I hope to be able to switch it on and see how warm it keeps the hutch..... In the summer I bought loft insulation and foil bubble insulation and installed it between the roof rafters on both floors of the hutch, and it really has made a difference. It does stay warm. I also ordered the hutch with full winter shutters which I've insulated too so when they're on, and the cover is zipped up there's no chance of any drafts in there. I'll see whether I can keep the hutch to temperature once the heater is in and take it from there I think! Just an extra note actually, we don't heat our house so it's only 15-16c indoors where they are now, however that's stable and doesn't drop too much overnight.
 

Piggies&buns

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Their indoor cage is fine size wise then so its not a problem (unless they decide it’s too small!)
Sounds like a plan with your hutch, but do just be careful. Once they been brought indoors at this time of year, putting them back out and then back in can cause problems, as I said, it’s not just the temperature to consider.
The Ryedale hutches are very well made and 14 degrees isn’t too bad really.
 

Claire W

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If the indoor cage is 120cm by 60cm they should be fine as that’s the recommended minimum sized cage for two sows. Just make sure they have plenty of floor time if you’re worried
 

Lazw

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Their indoor cage is fine size wise then so its not a problem (unless they decide it’s too small!)
Sounds like a plan with your hutch, but do just be careful. Once they been brought indoors at this time of year, putting them back out and then back in can cause problems, as I said, it’s not just the temperature to consider.
The Ryedale hutches are very well made and 14 degrees isn’t too bad really.
Thank you so much for this. I do feel better about having them back indoors even if in this smaller cage. OK I think I will just leave them in now that they've come in for the winter, I don't want to make them poorly with the temperature and humidity changes. They don't seem particularly bothered either way bless them, it just means I can't open the fridge now without harassment 😂
 

Lazw

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If the indoor cage is 120cm by 60cm they should be fine as that’s the recommended minimum sized cage for two sows. Just make sure they have plenty of floor time if you’re worried
Thank you for your reply! This has made me feel a little better about their current set up, it just looks small compared to their hutch!
 

Piggies&buns

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Thank you so much for this. I do feel better about having them back indoors even if in this smaller cage. OK I think I will just leave them in now that they've come in for the winter, I don't want to make them poorly with the temperature and humidity changes. They don't seem particularly bothered either way bless them, it just means I can't open the fridge now without harassment 😂
They learn so quickly about the fridge! Mine live in my shed but also come in if it gets too cold or too hot in summer and it only took them about 48 hours to learn to yell at me as soon as I stood up!
 

Lazw

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They learn so quickly about the fridge! Mine live in my shed but also come in if it gets too cold or too hot in summer and it only took them about 48 hours to learn to yell at me as soon as I stood up!
😂 How do they know what the fridge means?! My youngest one has never heard the fridge door before but she was screaming at me every time i opened it within a couple of days of moving inside!
 
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