Guinea pig advice wanted re. indoor exercise in winter

(15 Posts)
Snowbell Sat 05-Oct-13 09:04:21

Our pigs are now likely to be in their cage in the house until next March, and I hate the fact that they don't get to run about in the winter. They have a big outdoor run but nothing for indoors. What do you use as a run indoors? Some people on here seem to let their pigs loose in the house, but don't they wee everywhere? And chew cables! Our boy is a bit incontinent now anyway, since a fall has left him with a bit of nerve damage, poor lad.

Sawdust Sat 05-Oct-13 11:25:07

I recently asked a similar question and after some good advice got an indoor run from amazon - www.amazon.co.uk/Extra-Large-Folding-Playpen-Guinea/sim/B00261XBY8/2.

I am going to couple that with allowing them to run around the kitchen, where 'little accidents' don't mess up the carpet.

A paddling pool (without the water grin )
You can add a fleece or towel and some boxes or tunnels

Mine go out to their Pighouse in the winter days (inside Winter nights) but I put their heater on 30 minutes before they go out.

We've got a garage (car doesn't live their) so I put their rabbit run in upside down with lots of cardboard and paper then add some houses,

They can have a run round safely (but the garage is on a concrete floor so I couldn't leave them there full time. GP1 and GP2 (when we had him) did spend a week 'glamping' while DH repaired a leak to their Pighouse)

FernieB Sat 05-Oct-13 17:25:29

My boys have an indoor run but also get to free range in the kitchen or conservatory where accidents are easily mopped up. I usually let them do this before I would normally Hoover or wash the floor anyway.

Snowbell Sun 06-Oct-13 10:39:29

thanks for the link Sawdust. Is it piggie-proof? Haven't your pigs attempted to chew their way out of it?!

Sawdust Sun 06-Oct-13 17:56:15

It is very well made and certainly pig-proof. It even has a little hole just for their water bottle! If anything I wish it were a little bigger, but then I'm told I spoil my pigs!

guineapiglet Sun 06-Oct-13 19:51:21

Wow, all those indoor runs are amaxing, they didn't have these in my dayenvy and will be very useful for guineas to run around in and mooch about inside.

This is without doubt a tricky time for guineas, getting colder at night but lovely in the day, and not much rain about so not too damp. I used to bring mine inside once the clocks went back usually as hated being out in the shed in the dark, and as we had a north facing icy garden, was better for them to be in a lightly heated basement.

They do need to have a regular stretch of their legs though, but in general they are pretty lazy in the winter, eating, chatting, pooing etc, sounds like a great life!

FernieB Sun 06-Oct-13 21:18:17

'Being lazy.... Eating, chatting, pooing' - how is that different from their summer behaviour? grin

guineapiglet Sun 06-Oct-13 21:47:51

grin

Fair point fernie, their energetic and healthy lifestyle is not radically changed in summer, just able to do it for longer with nice light nights!

dotty2 Mon 07-Oct-13 12:38:26

I have occasionally put my outdoor run on the kitchen floor with old rugs/towels underneath it. Can't let them free range in the kitchen as too many nooks and crannies/gaps under cupboards with wires to nibble, but I would if I could. Mind you, I do have an unusually large empty space in the middle of the kitchen - stupid design. The run goes where the island unit should really be!

MadeOfStarDust Mon 07-Oct-13 14:57:50

Ours - 2 girly-pigs aged 5ish... stay in their hutch outside all year round... (it has a sliver hutch hugger and a flap made of an almost transparent builders rubble sack ) - they go out on the grass too - if it is not frozen or too wet.... they go on the unused garage floor if it is wet or snowy.... but are not too happy about that - they like the outdoors

must breed them hardy round here.... they seem happy little piggies....

dotty2 Mon 07-Oct-13 16:38:38

So do you reckon it is normal for them to be less active in the autumn/winter? It is mild here today and they are on the lawn, but have been snuggled under an old towel snoozing most of the day. I almost never saw them asleep in summer, but they often seem to be just buried under a big pile of straw when I go out to see them in their hutch.

MadeOfStarDust Mon 07-Oct-13 16:43:45

mine are a little less active in the cooler months - but will still run like mad with delight when they first get out onto the grass...

My boars (nearly 3 yo and approx 4 months) go out in their rabbit run when it's dry enough. They still popcorn and get very animated when they're given a fresh patch of grass to demolish grin

Last winter when I had the original brothers, I used to open the lid of their haybox inside the Pighouse and let the warmth circulate (they have a little oil filled radiator on a step stool ).
If they get cold and huddle up, they become a bit fixed. Much better for them to wander about inside their Pighouse and stay active.

alemci Tue 08-Oct-13 20:02:09

my boar has been in run today but lives indoors all year now. I put old towel or bathmat down. our pig doesn't move much - old piggy now with bad leg and touch of bumblefootsad

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now