what do I need to know before putting guinea pigs back outside?

(6 Posts)
intheshed Sun 28-Apr-13 09:36:50

I have reluctantly agreed to put the piggies in their outside hutch now that it's getting warmer sad. They are taking over our dining room!

They are 2yo rescue piggies that we got in Feb- apparently in their old home they were used to being outside in spring/summer. We have a brand new hutch- how do I make it warm for them, how much hay should be in the sleeping compartment? Do they need their igloo in there too?

I already have a snugglepad ready for them! Just don't want them to be cold sad

My boars have been out for about 3 weeks (IIRC during the DC Easter holidays ) but I did put their radiator on overnight on low heat (they are very spoiled blush )
Snugglepads give a nice warmth -about 8 hours I found . My GP2 used to claim it, GP1 never got a look in.

Now they're in with no extra heat (but they have a Pighouse so all enclosed).
I fill their haybox to the brim (it's about 3'x3') with a lid. They burrow in, make tunnels and nests, and flatten it down. So you need to shake it up and take out the peed bits [nice].

Put newspaper/cardboard under the hay (no staples or sellotape) it really does insulate and it helps absorb.

You could put the igloo in their playarea rather than the haybed just in case there's squabbling and one gets trapped.

Have you got a cover to go in front of the wire part for night time? A heavy plastic sheet or tarpaulin will work if you can secure it.

If your piggies cuddle together they'll give each other warmth (mine sit in opposite corners- no cuddling unless its really cold). But when I pick them up their bellies ,ears and paws are warm so the hay does insulate them.

And they can eat hay/sleep in hay/ hide in hay without having to move Bonus grin

My boars were really pleased to be out again, they love the space- I was waking up thinking "Oh I hope they're ok"

cazzybabs Sun 28-Apr-13 14:25:54

Ours have been out all winter ... I did bring them in when it was a minus temp during the day but other than that and excess hay they have been out and fine.

We got them from Wood Green and this was their advice.

oohaveabanana Sun 28-Apr-13 14:30:55

My two have a similar set up to 70s - although being girls they do a lot of snuggling together :-) I personally use straw rather than hay for the snuggle/haybox, as otherwise we get through insane amounts of hay (hay in main run/near food).

We have an waterproof hutch snuggle which goes over the outside & has an easy to lift flap, as I always worry about the front of the hutch getting wet & rain getting in.

We use insulated squares (polystrene stuff) aroudn the hutch too when it's colder, but I think they can come out soon....

intheshed Sun 28-Apr-13 19:19:12

Ooh we don't have anything to drape over the outside at night- I could do something makeshift with the cover for the patio table?!

They do tend to snuggle together so that's good. I figure I'll pop the snuggle pad in before we go to bed and some extra hay.

It's nice having a clean dining room but I miss them sad

oohaveabanana Sun 28-Apr-13 19:59:21

:-) I miss ours when they've outside too - it's strange to open the fridge door & be greeted by silence!

A tarp or patio furniture cover would be fine I'm sure - I think of rain getting in & getting their bedding all wet <over invested>

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