Space issues - options...

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hallie2985

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My guinea pigs currently live in this cage in the kitchen. I bought the cage back in August when Sweet William and Rose came to live with us - previously I'd had a single story cage of the same size for Sooty and Sweep, but obviously needed additional space for two new piggies.

The set-up worked really well; rather than ramping the levels together I treated it as two separate cages, with Sooty and Sweep living on the ground floor and Rosie and Wills on the top.

Unfortunately, I've now hit a bit of a problem. Wills, bless his heart, has now passed away, and I've recently acquired Bumble, the leanest meanest guinea pig in town (no, she's gorgeous really, but she doesn't get on with Rose). I therefore have a dilemma (as posted before: in a nutshell, I don't have enough cage space for all four guinea pigs because they can't play nicely!

The thing is, I can't get a bigger cage - I live with my parents, and there simply isn't room. A 3 story cage is also out, for the same reason.

So, I was wondering about the possibility of getting a Guinea Pig Shed. As my big girls have always lived indoors, I was thinking about possibly getting a shed with heating/lighting that could double up as extra space for myself. There's no way the girls are going outside unless they can have heating - it wouldn't be fair.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Is it wrong to move indoor guinea pigs to an outdoor environment, even if it will benefit them in terms of space, and if I plan to mimic their current environment in terms of temperature? What about socialisation - the girls are always chatting to people as they walk past; will they miss this if they are moved out of the main house?

This is just an potential thing at the moment, but it's something I would like to explore. Any advice/comments would be most welcome!

:)
H
 

AudioHeart

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Helloo
My two boars used to live indoors in a small ferplast 100 cage, however this didn’t work for me firstly it was too small and secondly i had too many toys so i bought myself a shed!

Set Up Costs
Now my shed isn’t insulated but the hutch is, as we are moving in the summer. : ) The shed cost us: £100 and the floor tiles £25 to line the full shed and hutch with self adhesive tiles which are spongy soft and not absorbent and keeps the shed from rotting. However i’d suggest if its a long term option purchasing a better quality shed, and of course insulating it which i think depending on size would be around £50 to do so. Look on tescos/B+Q/ focus or your local shed company and research costs before hand.

Space
The shed is AMAZING for space, mine have free range of the floor so they can get 6 ft by 4 ft of floor space to run around in as well as a 5 x 2 ft hutch to snuggle up in. I usually go and sit in with them, and during the summer I'm always pottering around so i see them alot. The house is quieter without them though. Their is so much space for toys, playtime and of course stocking their food, hay etc.

Cleaning:
Cleaning takes me around half an hour to do in the shed, I put my hutch on bricks so i had more space to get under the hutch to clean. The floor is a quick bursh, scoop, squirt with disinfectant and scrub and its done. The boys are kept on vetbed in the hutch so thats simple to whip off and replace. So i find it a very easy lifestyle too keep them in the shed.

Lighting:
I have a solar panelled light in the shed and a window which keeps it bright and airy.

My shed set up:
Peek-a-boop.jpg

Summer when i first got the shed:
DSCF6333.jpg
 

hallie2985

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Thanks for that - really helpful!

I've just realised a potential problem - foxes prowl around my garden. If the shed is padlocked presumably the piggies will be safe?

I'm a bit neurotic when it comes to my girls - I'm sorry!
 

AudioHeart

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Mine padlocked three times at night one at the top, one in the middle and one on the bottom...i also put a huge concrete slab block thing over the door entrance so nothing can push it aside ...we get fox's too you see :))
 
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Thank you so much for all of the info on your shed AudioHeart.

We are in the process of finding a shed for our two girlies. I've found a 6 x 4 at B&Q which is the one we are going to go for i think. They are currently living in a two storey 4x2 (ish) hutch in our garage, which will be going inside the shed just like yours.

We are thinking of going to a local flooring shop and buying some left over vinyl to put on the floor, and also put some up the edges to prevent them chewing the shed. This will make it easy to clean too.

I cant wait for them to go in it and have access to so much space 24/7. They will love it. I also cant wait to go crazy at PAH and buy them lots of toys... there isnt much room for many toys in the hutch they are in now.

Anyway thanks again.... may need to ask you for some advice in the coming weeks!

Emma x
 
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Oh and just a quick question.... how often do you find it needs cleaning out?

Emma x
 

AudioHeart

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Thank you so much for all of the info on your shed AudioHeart.

We are in the process of finding a shed for our two girlies. I've found a 6 x 4 at B&Q which is the one we are going to go for i think. They are currently living in a two storey 4x2 (ish) hutch in our garage, which will be going inside the shed just like yours.

We are thinking of going to a local flooring shop and buying some left over vinyl to put on the floor, and also put some up the edges to prevent them chewing the shed. This will make it easy to clean too.

I cant wait for them to go in it and have access to so much space 24/7. They will love it. I also cant wait to go crazy at PAH and buy them lots of toys... there isnt much room for many toys in the hutch they are in now.

Anyway thanks again.... may need to ask you for some advice in the coming weeks!

Emma x


Oooo that sounds fabulous B+Q also do those floor tiles, value range...pack of six for 3.50 i think...i bought six packs for our shed :)) I'd really recommend purchasing any kind of floor tiles they are sooo helpful and easy to clean. I clean mine out once a week, the boys usually do their loo buisness under the hutch so i bought a cheap dust pan and brush, to sweep underneath whenever i go into the shed. :)

If you go to your local super market you can get free cardboard boxes which can double up as storage and a hidey for the girls. You could stack them ontop of your hutch to make room. Although you'll soon find that the shed isnt big enough :p hehe have fun shopping zooplus have some deals on piggie toys atm cant wait for pigtures of the shed!
 
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Brilliant- thank you so much :)

Just had a quick look on the B&Q website and i think i have found the tiles you have. Might get pink and blue so they can have a patterned floor :))

We buy our dog food from Zooplus so that will be handy, we can order stuff together then. Hadnt realised they stock small animal stuff rolleyes

I will get photos once they are in their new home, can't wait :)

Emma x
 

AudioHeart

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Brilliant- thank you so much :)

Just had a quick look on the B&Q website and i think i have found the tiles you have. Might get pink and blue so they can have a patterned floor :))

We buy our dog food from Zooplus so that will be handy, we can order stuff together then. Hadnt realised they stock small animal stuff rolleyes

I will get photos once they are in their new home, can't wait :)

Emma x

Ooo blue they never had blue when i kitted out the shed, thats why the boys got pink :P hehe! Yeah they have some lovely small animal stuff in stock and good value too :)

Cant wait for pictures!
 

hallie2985

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Okay, something's got to give - Rose and Bumble clearly don't get on and Rose is too aggressive to live with Sooty and Sweep. I am now looking into sheds and other options.

I'm looking at getting an electrician to cable through electricity, but if that works out too expensive then I am considering using a camping heater. Only thing is, then tend to be paraffin, gas or oil. If I go down this route then I would be looking at only having the heater on when I am with the piggies - do you think this will be okay?
 
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My 2 girls lived in a hutch outside then they came inside for a brief spell as the hutch had some work done to it and my pigging clan grew it wasn't practical to keep them all in hutches under a gazebo outside so I bought a big shed and now they all live in there in hutches and I leave the hutch door undone so they can go in to their attatched runs when they feel like it.
I always lock the shed door and at night I shut the hutch doors aswell so my piggies are safe.
I do have one piggy in the house who still recovering from recently being poorly but hopefully she can re-join the piggy crew later on.
 
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Our piggies live in their cages in a shed in the autumn/winter and stay snug and dry, even without any extra insulation. All we have is felt on the roof to keep it waterproof. We also have a proper window in there to let light in.

As long as they stay outside during spring/summer, then they grow a winter coat in the autumn, which helps them as well. They have their igloos and plenty of hay in their indoor bits. They live outside in their runs 24/7 in the warmer weather, and they absolutely love this.

If our cages were directly outside in winter then we'd have to cover them, but for some reason the shed keeps them amazingly warm, even when it is -8c or whatever, like it was over Christmas time.
 
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