Trying to Keep Piggies Warm During Winter - Worried - Questions

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PingandChipy

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Hi I know there is a thread about this but I wanted to hear some personal setup ideas. I'm freaking out because the heaters I have bought to keep my pigs warm in the winter keep shorting out. So it's back to the drawing board.

For ppl that have those tube heater lights where do you put them? Are they right inside the hutch? I'm worried about fires.

My pigs have been climatized as they have been outside for years but always with a heater in winter. Usually the shed stays about 10 degrees celcius with the heater.

I'm mostly worried about my older boar who is 5 years old. I do have a snuggle safe which I just started to use but when it goes cold won't he get chilled?

I'm going to stuff their hutches full of hay tonight as there will be no heat source. I'm so scared the cold will kill them. :(

Pls help. Does anyone not use a heat source at all? How do the pigs manage?

Apparently it's supposed to be a very cold winter this year. I live in Canada on the west coast so usually the lowest it goes is about -5 degrees celcius.

Thanks so much for any ideas.

Worried Pig Mom,

Lynn.
 

TwoPiggies

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Brrrrrr that is chilly.

My piggies are indoors so I am not sure how much use I am going to be.

I don't know anything about the heated lights.

A few ideas for the hutch though. You could try putting an cardboard box in their bedroom area with a small hole cut out for them to access it. You could line this with fleece or have one of those snuggle cups inside with lots of hay.
Have you insulated the hutch....with that silver stuff around the ouside (technical ha). You could put a towel over the front of the hutch at night to prevent drafts.

Hope this helps a bit :)
 

lauralucy

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last year mine were in the shed with a big double duvet over the front to keep the warmth in and lots of hay in the bedroom area they were fine it was nice and warm in there hutch the next morning :))
 
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sophiew (EAGPR)

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The safest heater for a shed / garage (where are yours?) is an oil filled radiator and they are cheap to run too. Get one with a thermostat then you can just ensure it stays above a certain temp.

Duvets or sleeping bags over the hutches help, as do boxes stuffed full with hay.

Snugglesafes are good and stay hot for 6 - 12 hours.

Sophie
x
 

Hanwombat

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Mine are outside and have a heavy carpet put over at night to stop the wind and rain coming in, they have a box full of hay and two double snuggle sacs, they always feel lovely and warm in their snuggle sacs in the morning when i put my hand in - but i still dont like them outside but i cant put them inside because the situation is difficult.
 

kayemerton

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It is interesting to hear what other people are doing as this will be my first Winter with my two boars who are also outside. I finally got my OH to clear the outhouse which was piled full of tools and make a space for their double hutch so they are under cover. They have a waterproof hutch cover anyway and have just made a little house out of cardboard until I get a wooden one made to go in their sleeping quarters which I have stuffed full of hay. Have also got pieces of fleece. They have always been out but this will be their first winter as they were only born in April so want to make sure they stay warm! The snugglesafe sound good. Does anyone else have pigges that don't have heaters on in their shed etc as this won't be possible for us? Not sure what piggies can tolerate as want to make sure they are happy little piggies! Also now that they are under cover I worry about them getting any sunlight. With the grass now being so wet what do you do for outdoor/sun time in winter or do they go without?
 

Rhubarb

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My boys all live in a shed which at the moment is under a car port. This makes it totally draft free. It doesn't really get so cold here but we have had -10 last year which WAS a surprise.

The boys were fine. The window was covered in an old blanket (which I've just put out this weekend). They had shredded paper hay and fleece baskets.

I have always found so long as the water bottles are not freezing up then they are ok. They must not get damp because then they will freeze.

I work on 'How do I feel? My feet are cold my nose is cold. Hat, gloves and woolly socks' The boys will want similar! Extra bedding and the hutches covered.

My do not live outside at any time of year, because (not just the fox problem here) they will be so miserble if they get wet.
 

Little Piggles

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This is my first winter with outdoor piggies. They lived indoors last winter as Pixel was only a baby, but we simply don't have space this time :(

Our hutch will be being moved into the shed at the weekend. The shed itself has old carpet on the floor (and I'm hoping to add some on the walls too) to try and retain a little heat. we have no power source to the shed, so a heater isn't really an option for us :(

The hutch is insulated with silver bubble-wrap around the outside like this.. http://www.thermawrap.co.uk/gp_wrap.html and a rain cover to protect against draughts. The rain cover has a built in clear front cover, but I have also added regular bubble wrap over the front too.

At night they share three snugglesafe pads and the front is covered with two fleece blankets.

They have lots of hay and hidey-boxes too .

Your little guy shouldn't get a chill once the snugglesafe cools. It comes with a fleecy cover, so is still pretty cosy to sit on, even if it's gone cold.
 

ThisLittlePiggie

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This post has been very helpful to me too as I will be unable to house mine indoors. I have already thought about getting some snuggle safes, and thermawrap loft insulation as this is much cheaper than those hutch snuggle things from scratch and newton. hadn't thought of bubble wrap and we certainly have a lot of that around having just moved! also got plenty of fleece blankets.
I feel a lot happier knowing there are other people who also winter outdoors..... I always used to winter mine in an outbuilding as a teenager but after reading many posts on here was begining to worry about them being outside.
 

Debbie32

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My Guineas are in the shed now and have been for a few weeks now. I have carpetted the floor, my other half insulated it with 50mm insylation panels and silver bubble stuff on the ceiling. I have also put a rug at the back of the hutches and they have 2 duvets (though only 1 over the front) and the other on top to keep warmth in. They also have heat pads that are microwaved but not just yet. Now i do truely sound paranoid about them but couldnt think of them being cold! Also the 3 hutches are now stacked so heat between them all should help! Please feel for my long suffering other half! :-)
 

PingandChipy

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Thank you so much everyone for all your responses. It's so hard not to worry!

I have sort of worked out what I will do. I have 2 hutches, one houses my old boar, Chipy, who lives alone. And the other one houses 2 sows and one neutered boy. Chipy, since he's old and alone, now has a ceramic heat lamp set up in his enclosed side of the hutch. It has a thermostat attached to it and set to 10 degrees celcius. I had to make sure the hay didn't catch fire so I had to move it out and hang a hay rack on the side. So he'll be fine and can go inside to stay cozy.

My other 3, live in a similar hutch, one side is enclosed, all wood with a opening to go to the other side. Only the front on one side has wire, all the rest is wood. So I stuffed the enclosed side with tons of hay and am using wood pellets as bedding on that side to soak up any urine, so they won't get chilled. On the other side they have fleece blankets are flooring and a hidey log house that I've covered with a fleece blanket as well. I will give them a snugglesafe to use in very cold weather.

The shed is wood and insulated. I will cover one window but leave the higher one not curtained as I want them to have daylight. I also hung a wool blanket in the door frame inside to prevent any drafts when I open and close the door.

I hope with all this they will be warm enough. When it gets colder I can also put a duvet or wool blanket over the front of their hutch.

Such a worry though!

Lynn
 

Emmiiee

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mine are outside in a hutch, coverd in a towel nd bin bag atm! am looking into warmer covers :)

its funny tho cos there a tiny secotion of the bottum of their double hutch *** isn't coverd and 9 times out of 10 they will it their :/ silly piggies
 

PingandChipy

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The safest heater for a shed / garage (where are yours?) is an oil filled radiator and they are cheap to run too. Get one with a thermostat then you can just ensure it stays above a certain temp.

Duvets or sleeping bags over the hutches help, as do boxes stuffed full with hay.

Snugglesafes are good and stay hot for 6 - 12 hours.

Sophie
x
Thanks Sophie,
My pigs are in our shed. We are going to look for an oil filled heater after work today. Thanks for all your advice. I appreciate it. :)
 

ChrisU

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I think we under-estimate the insulation properties of hay.
Have you ever heard of cooking in a 'hay-box'?

From Wikipedia:
Hay boxes are so called because hay or straw were the commonly used insulators. Pots of food would be brought to a boil and then placed in a box filled with hay or straw. Additional hay or straw would be added around and on top of the pot.

My piggies live in hutches in a green-house during the winter. Obviously it is not insulated at all being made of glass. They all seem to have thicker coats than friends' indoor piggies and always feel warm even in the coldest winters. (-7C so far).

Nevertheless I always give them LOTS of hay in the winter.

I recently got my hubby to make the entrance to the sleeping part smaller to keep the heat in in my boys hutch. (They had chewed it so that the hole was quite big!) Now I have noticed that Tiger likes to sit just inside blocking the hole, and Rufus has to really push past to get in!
 

PingandChipy

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I bought an oil filled radiator and it seems to be working pretty good so far. It was abit of an ordeal trying to get it set up because I Have a rabbit that free ranges in the shed. So I had to block it off with a dogpen. I have to keep going outside to check on it because I'm paranoid about fires. It's not touching anything though. It is in the center of the shed.
 

Guinea-wiggles

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Hi, mine are outside under a gazebo in hutches that have been double lined with the silver insulation, double lined with fleece blankets and then hutch snuggles.
Inside they have loads of hay, shavings, paper etc and in the bedroom compartment I've used an old box with a small fleecy dog bed lined with paper and hay.
They have snuggle sacks dotted about and I'm in the process and trying to design/make some kind of fleecy tube for them.
At tea time when the temperature really drops I cover the front of the cage (under the hutch snuggle) with a double lined blanket.
I asked for some ideas a while back on here and everyone was really helpful:)
 

Claire1973

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My piggies are outside, in our shed which has a stable door I can open the top door for the day light during the day and there are 2 windows to allow light in. I put them out in the run if it is a nice day but they have fleece snuggle oo's, placed inside a plastic hidey igloo with hay "thatched" inbetween the two! I also heap hay all around the plastic igloo so there are layers of fleece plastic and hay. I have heatpads for when it gets really cold which I can place under the snuggleoo. I have a double duvet and a cover over the whole hutch which has plastic covers you zip up over night to keep out draughts..also as the hutch is on legs I have stuffed bubble wrap underneath it! I think the temperature will get quite warm inside! I also have an oil filled radiator which I will plug in if the temperature plummets :-)
 

clairelove

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my guineas live in my converted outhouse, they live in 3 triple teir hutches and the others in triple teir 4ft hutches, they have lighting and a oil filled heater which i also used last year in my shed, it kept the shed really warm and is cheap to run and my outhouse is really warm too, its on 24 hr 7 days week along with the radio and lightrolleyes...

my guineas have wooden houses and igloos and fleece pop up beds in to keep them warm and loads of hay...

my rabbits live in my 10ft shed free range in there with outside run via a cat flap.

they have boxes stuffed with hay, wicker beds, cat carrier boxes linned with vet bed and loads of hay and straw piled on top and around them so they have some where snuggley and warm to go....
 

PingandChipy

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Good news! I went out this morning and the outside temp is 5 degrees celcius. The shed was 12 degrees celcius and the animals were nice and cozy :)

I could actually feel the difference as soon as I entered the shed. And my bunny hasn't been able to get to the heater, nor wants to from what I can tell. So all seems good so far. I also stuffed the hutches with hay. The pigs remind me of hens sitting on eggs in their hay. Just the way they sit on top of the hay it looks like they are roosting (sp?) is that the right word? lol

well, off to work I go!
 
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