Can I keep guinea pigs in an unheated outbuilding?

(14 Posts)
HumphreyCobbler Mon 19-Nov-12 18:27:39

Just doing some research atm. My DH is allergic to everything so cannot have any pet in the house. We have a stone shed which will have actual pigs in part of it. It will have some daylight but not a great deal.

Is this a possibility, or will it be too cold in winter? Would have them outside in a run in summer.

Thanks.

Mynewmoniker Mon 19-Nov-12 18:31:53

I wouldn't risk it as these winters seem to be getting colder. I'm not sure all the hay possible would keep them warm without some extra heating. it must be a safe source though.

BonkeyMollocks Mon 19-Nov-12 18:59:16

My pigs are indoors but I wouldn't keep pigs outside in a stone building without some sort of heat in the winter.

Can you get a heater in there somewhere?

guineapiglet Mon 19-Nov-12 19:48:23

Hi - I agree with Bonkey - guineas do not do well in cold unheated buildings and they cannot regulate their own temperatures - ours were in a shed in the summer ( too dodgy to leave them in the run due to cats and foxes in the garden) - but in the house in the basement when it got too cold. It depends where you live, which direction the shed faces etc, but without any insulation it may well be too damp for them - if you could insulate the walls ( Kingspan insulation or a small heater) maybe you could put the hutch in there with lots of duvet/carpet type insulation around, but this is not ideal when it becomes frosty/snowy. We used to open the shed door in the warmer months so they could get light and roam around the shed floor. We had a door made of mesh on a frame which we fixed inside the shed door, so they were safe and got fresh air - useful when we were going out and couldnt leave them outside in the garden.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 19-Nov-12 20:06:02

Thank you for the information, it looks as if we will have to think again sad as heating is not an option sadly

My GP boars are banished to the Pighouse (wooden playhouse) or the garage (concrete floor but thet have their rabbit run in there with cardboard). The garage is mainly to play in while I clean their Pighouse,

I have an oil filled radiator in their Pighouse, the temperature is between 16 and 20 (they've also got tons of hay and Snugglepads/ Hotties).

The heater is on at night at the moment and they seem to like it because they are quite active in the Pighouse.
What I don't want is for them to be huddled up together to keep warm (they are boars so they like to keep a respectable distance) grin

I wouldn't keep them in an unheated outhouse area- thinking about the damp as well as the cold.

My spoilt pigs have a thermometer in the Pighouse too wink

HumphreyCobbler Mon 19-Nov-12 21:20:28

I have really dropped a clanger here. I had GPs outside as a child. So I thought it would be fine. It obviously isn't and I have now promised my DS some as a pet.

What am I going to do? There is no way I can heat it (apart from the residual heat from two large Kune kune sows at the other end of the shed). They cannot come in the house due to Dh's allergies.

What am I going to say to my DS? sad

guineapiglet Tue 20-Nov-12 10:01:19

I do feel for you - my son has serious allergies and asthma, so our guineas had to stay well out of his way - they are very allergenic, so it might be your son would not have been able to have much contact with them anyway, even being near them would set him off, this is why they were relocated to the shed, and brought in to a room where he didnt go. It is a bit counter productive for your son to have a pet which he cant love. In the end, we compromised by getting him some tetras for his room. He chose the tank ( Cold water, not tropical) and we went with him to choose the fish etc - so they were his responsibility - he cleaned them out ( mostly) and fed them, gave them names etc... He was aged about 10 then, and enjoyed looking after them. Now he wants a dog, but we had to rehome our gorgeous girl as he was allergic to her as well, a terrible time, I felt as if I had given up one of my children. It is hard on allergic children, but they have to understand that furry things make them ill, and then work on finding something which they can love, but wont make them poorly. Good luck!

HumphreyCobbler Tue 20-Nov-12 21:46:34

Thanks for your comments. It is my DH who is allergic to stuff, not my DS. Hence why I thought it would be so lovely to have a gorgeous little pig that the children could cuddle.

I started managing his expectations a little today on the basis that we might not be able to keep them in the cold.

BedsocksarenotsexybutIlovethem Wed 21-Nov-12 10:14:15

I've kept pigs for 20 years and mine have always lived outside and been fine. We have always got babies in the summer to make sure they are big and fat by winter. Also keep them in groups so they can stay warm. Mine have got a large hutch which I stuff with hay and put snuggle pads underneath for them to sit on which they love. I would love indoor pigs but don't have room for them.

gordyslovesheep Thu 22-Nov-12 14:25:13

mine are in a shed with plenty of hay - they have a heat pad in the winter months - they have managed fine for the past 2 winters

RooneyMara Thu 22-Nov-12 14:27:47

Mine were outside last winter, with loads of hay, no heating, I did insulate their hutch with loft cladding silvery stuff (buy in a roll from Homebase etc) and covered with several blankets and so on at night.

And there were two of them.

This year we only have one left and so I've got her an indoor hutch/cage, and intend to bring her in.

But last year they were fine.

Littlepumpkinpie Thu 22-Nov-12 23:39:07

Mine are in the shed in thier hutch so are out of the elements of the cold ,wind and damp air. I used to heat the shed when it got below 16c. But due to rising cost of living I can no longer afford to run the convector heater. So far its been really mild. So I have been using snugglesafe heat pads overnight. and cover the hutch with a blanket and the thermometer has never dropped below yet. When the really freezing tempertures start I will be giving them a new snugglepad three times a day. If I could I would bring them all in but no room for all 6.

countrykitten Tue 01-Jan-13 10:38:45

Pigs die in cold weather and cope with it far less well than rabbits. Not a good idea to keep them outside - ours live in the boot room and have their own radiator!

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