Moving pigs from indoors to outdoors?

Qualcast&Flymo

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Hi all, looking for a bit of advice please!

Up to now, our piggies have always lived indoors in a centrally heated room, with grass time outside only when the weather has been very dry and warm enough. At the moment, we are trying to sell our house so the piggies are staying with the pet nanny who also looks after them when we're on holiday. They are fine there, and her rate is pretty reasonable (£42 per week), but they have been there 2 months now ( = £390) and there is no end in sight as we haven't found a buyer yet. I don't like the thought of leaving them for months with someone else, and spending all that money, so we wondered whether the solution might be to move them to an outside home for the time being.
Naturally I don't want to endanger their health or safety, so I wanted to check, will they be okay if they move to an outside hutch, given that they have been indoors up to now? (At the pet nanny's they are in their C&C on the floor of the 'garage' rather than properly indoors).
I'm thinking that for the 3 of them I would need a 6ft hutch, possibly the Chartwell which I believe a few other folks have, unless anyone can recommend a good hutch that is cheaper. I could put it at the back of the house against the house wall, but that is south facing so not sure if it might get too hot in the afternoon when it is sunny? Alternatively it could go at the side, against the east facing wall or against the fence, west facing so some afternoon sun but not direct. I would appreciate any advice from those with experience as to what would be best!
I don't really want the piggies to have to live outside but the spare downstairs bedroom where they used to reside wasn't exactly a selling point when they were in it! :blink:
 

Lady Kelly

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I do recommend the chartwell hutches in terms of value for money. They aren't the best hutches I have seen but the price is much more reasonable/affordable and I've had mine for years now with no problems. Personally I would opt for out of direct sunlight to minimise risk of heatstroke but with the chartwell hutches you can get the hutch hugger and hutch snug (something like that) which is an insulating layer under a weatherproof layer, this should also protect them from higher temperatures too. You can also get ice pods which go in the freezer to help keep them cool on the hottest days. I have one but generally use partially filled old pop bottles frozen and a slate to help take away the body heat. In the past 6 years of keeping pigs outdoors I have only had one mild case of heatstroke (Peter went a bit wobbly for 24 hours) and that was the year before I purchased the insulating cover. Last year was a scorcher and we had no problems.
 

Qualcast&Flymo

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Thanks, @Lady Kelly . I had a look and I could get the Chartwell for £230 (single) or £320 (double) with the hugger and snuggle from Scratch&Newton - just can't decide whether it's worth having the extra level. I then have to decide what to use as liner/bedding as fleeece isn't the best outside! (too many decisions...)

Do you think the pigs would be okay moving from inside to living outside, especially as it will be rather cooler outside at night than what they have been used to inside? I've always avoided putting them out on the lawn when the temperature was less than 18 degrees, lest they catch a chill, and outside temperatures will be more variable too that what they are used to.
 

The3LittlePigs

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Try introducing slowly, providing you're in the UK they should be fine this time of year. Definitely get the two covers, both to protect the hutch and the piggies. If you're wanting a cheaper option, I believe they do an 8ft single, which should be plenty of room for a trio, and this should turn out cheaper as the covers for the doubles are more expensive than for the singles.
 

The3LittlePigs

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My bad, I can't seem to find the 8ft I was thinking of, I think I might have been thinking of a different brand. The 6ft double seems like the best choice to me if you're interested in chartwell, they are brilliant hutches. There are definitely bigger out there, but none as far as I've seen that you can get covers for.
 

Lady Kelly

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Thanks, @Lady Kelly . I had a look and I could get the Chartwell for £230 (single) or £320 (double) with the hugger and snuggle from Scratch&Newton - just can't decide whether it's worth having the extra level. I then have to decide what to use as liner/bedding as fleeece isn't the best outside! (too many decisions...)

Do you think the pigs would be okay moving from inside to living outside, especially as it will be rather cooler outside at night than what they have been used to inside? I've always avoided putting them out on the lawn when the temperature was less than 18 degrees, lest they catch a chill, and outside temperatures will be more variable too that what they are used to.
To be honest the double needs work to be useable. The ramp when I brought mine was plywood I believe and slippy. We added a side to the ramp and carpet which gives them the ability to zoom up and down it. You do lose some space with the double though for 3 piggies it should be more than enough still and I find it makes me feel less guilty when I can't give them grass time or free roam indoors. The temperature isn't too bad at the moment and as they have been in the garage rather than house they should be ok. If you have them you could pop a snugglesafe or two in overnight to be sure while they adjust. Plenty of hay in the bedding area will give them lots of insulation too.

I find the chartwell good because it's off the ground, this means they aren't as exposed as going in a run and aren't just picking up the freezing cold of the ground. If you are able to introduce them gradually that would be ideal but as they are at the pet nanny's at the moment I get that might not be possible and bringing them in to the house would be counterproductive.

Bedding wise I have aubiose. It's around £10 for a 20kg bag which lasts me around 2 months for the 6ft double storey as you only get rid of the soiled/wet bits. I sweep the clean stuff to one side, clean the floor and then sweep it back and top it up
 

Qualcast&Flymo

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Looking at the description of the Chartwell, it would appear that the makers have taken on board some user comments, as it says the ramps are now ridged and have a side safety panel. So if I did go for the double I shouldn't need to do more to make the ramp safe.
Hopefully also, being presently in the garage would act as a gradual introduction to cooler temperatures. I can get some snugglesafes too, no problem.
 

5StarPigs

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That is perfectly fine. Just curious, would the pigs live at the petsitters outside or at your house outside? I would also reccomend the Chartwell hutches. For protecting your piggies from the elements, i would reccomend getting a snugglesafe off of Amazon. A snugglesafe is a small heat pad with a fleece cover that you can microwave for a few minutes and slip the cover on to put in the hutch when it gets cold. Many peoples piggies enjoy laying on these when it is cold. For when it gets hot, i would reccomend getting a Kaytee Chin Chiller off of Amazon also. A Kaytee Chin Chiller is a small granite slab that you slip in a freezer for a bit and put in the hutch when it gets hot. Many peoples piggies also love these. I would also reccomend when it is cold to have many fleece hideys, cuddle cups, and tunnels in the hutch. When it is hot i would not reccomend any plastic hideys in the hutch as these heat up quickly, i would go for wood. For maximum saftey of your pigs, i would reccomend closing off the hutch run (if the chartwell hutch you are getting has one) so they can not accsess the run at night. Like some people also reccomended, i would go for paper based bedding in the hutch as this will help them keep warm.
 

Lady Kelly

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Looking at the description of the Chartwell, it would appear that the makers have taken on board some user comments, as it says the ramps are now ridged and have a side safety panel. So if I did go for the double I shouldn't need to do more to make the ramp safe.
Hopefully also, being presently in the garage would act as a gradual introduction to cooler temperatures. I can get some snugglesafes too, no problem.
Oh thats excellent! I got mine around 5 years ago. Good to see a company listening to and acting on feedback
 

Qualcast&Flymo

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That is perfectly fine. Just curious, would the pigs live at the petsitters outside or at your house outside? I would also reccomend the Chartwell hutches. For protecting your piggies from the elements, i would reccomend getting a snugglesafe off of Amazon. A snugglesafe is a small heat pad with a fleece cover that you can microwave for a few minutes and slip the cover on to put in the hutch when it gets cold. Many peoples piggies enjoy laying on these when it is cold. For when it gets hot, i would reccomend getting a Kaytee Chin Chiller off of Amazon also. A Kaytee Chin Chiller is a small granite slab that you slip in a freezer for a bit and put in the hutch when it gets hot. Many peoples piggies also love these. I would also reccomend when it is cold to have many fleece hideys, cuddle cups, and tunnels in the hutch. When it is hot i would not reccomend any plastic hideys in the hutch as these heat up quickly, i would go for wood. For maximum saftey of your pigs, i would reccomend closing off the hutch run (if the chartwell hutch you are getting has one) so they can not accsess the run at night. Like some people also reccomended, i would go for paper based bedding in the hutch as this will help them keep warm.
The pigs would be outside at mine, until either we have a buyer or decide to give up trying. That should be before winter either way, we have to be moved by next spring or not at all. The Chartwell hutch doesn't have an attached run; whichever we go for, I probably wouldn't get one with an attached run as it will be on patio slabs or block paving, when it is warm enough I would continue putting them in their current run on the lawn.

I notice that P@H sell a double hutch, 194cm wide, the 'Maple Manor', which has good reviews. Wonder if any members have that one?
 

Minnieandpebbs

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To be honest the double needs work to be useable. The ramp when I brought mine was plywood I believe and slippy. We added a side to the ramp and carpet which gives them the ability to zoom up and down it. You do lose some space with the double though for 3 piggies it should be more than enough still and I find it makes me feel less guilty when I can't give them grass time or free roam indoors. The temperature isn't too bad at the moment and as they have been in the garage rather than house they should be ok. If you have them you could pop a snugglesafe or two in overnight to be sure while they adjust. Plenty of hay in the bedding area will give them lots of insulation too.

I find the chartwell good because it's off the ground, this means they aren't as exposed as going in a run and aren't just picking up the freezing cold of the ground. If you are able to introduce them gradually that would be ideal but as they are at the pet nanny's at the moment I get that might not be possible and bringing them in to the house would be counterproductive.

Bedding wise I have aubiose. It's around £10 for a 20kg bag which lasts me around 2 months for the 6ft double storey as you only get rid of the soiled/wet bits. I sweep the clean stuff to one side, clean the floor and then sweep it back and top it up
Looking at the description of the Chartwell, it would appear that the makers have taken on board some user comments, as it says the ramps are now ridged and have a side safety panel. So if I did go for the double I shouldn't need to do more to make the ramp safe.
Hopefully also, being presently in the garage would act as a gradual introduction to cooler temperatures. I can get some snugglesafes too, no problem.
Yes I bought a Chartwell for my 2 piggies last year and there were grooves up the ramp and there were also sides to it. I still had to put a sheet of fleece to help them get up as it was still quite slippery for them but they do seem to have updated it from the old design which is good to see!
 
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