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Indoor to outdoor

New_guinea_mum

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#1
My two boars are 6 months old. They live indoors and have access to a run an hour or so per day.

Eventually I would like them to live outside with access to a bigger run on the lawn whenever they feel like it.

Is it possible to convert them to the outdoors?
 

Betsy

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#2
Yes it is possible but they should not spend a night outside until it is at least 15 °C. You need to adjust them slowly to living outside. When it gets to 15°C during the day put them out in a run (but not on grass as the ground won't be dry enough) and bring them in when the temperature goes below 15°C. This helps to acclimatise them. Give them plenty of things to hide in with 2 exits and make sure you cover the run with an old blanket. Don't be surprised if the run for cover at the slightest noise or hide away for the first few days or so as this is a new and scary environment for them. They will soon get used to it.

When the nights start to draw in in August (if you are in the UK) this is when piggies start to grow their nice thick undercoat to help keep them warm in the colder months. (You will find they moult ALOT) If you wish to leave them outside for winter, it is best that they go in a shed or garage (No car in garage) have an insulating cover and a thermal waterproof cover on the hutch, fleece hideys, fleece snuggle tubes, snugglesafes and LOTS AND LOTS of hay.
 

New_guinea_mum

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#3
Hi Betsy, thank you.
Yes I’m in the UK. Moving to a new house soon that has garage and shed (no cars)
I’m looking at a hutch with run from pets at home that you can get a thermal cover for.
Once I start to put them out gradually over summer and they’re acclimatised..... once the temp drops again is it safe to leave them out with all the extra bedding and covers?
I’m just worried if they have to come back indoors again I kind of go back to square one?
 

Betsy

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#4
The hutches with the run underneath are not a good idea. I had one and needed to change it after a year. The one I had (from P@H) had open sides and I had to winterproof it with waterproof ply either side to stop the drafts and put a false floor on it so that my piggies didn't get cold from underneath. It was starting to rot from being in touch with the ground and the cheap mdf panel at the back was starting to go soft. It is much better to get a proper hutch and attach separate run to it if possible. In the end I bought this Chartwell Double Hutches as I have 5 piggies and mine were used to a ramp. If yours aren't you'd be better off getting a single level hutch like this Chartwell Single Hutches. They are more expensive than the P@H ones but also much better quality. You can also get the covers for the hutch from the same website. The Customer Service is very helpful too .

In answer to your question is it safe to leave them out once they are acclimatised? Yes it is. Mine are outside all year (I have no outbuildings I can use). As long as you don't bring them inside for more than 10 mins (with no heating on) when it gets really cold (they are not good with going from a cold environment to a hot and then back to a cold one again) they will be fine. I give mine cuddle time outside now and they haven't been in for a while. I do their weekly checks and weigh them outside too.
 
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