We have 5 piggies and we strongly suspect that DH is developing asthma and is allergic to the hay and it's looking more and more like we need to move the GP outside, at least through the summer.
Sooo, what do we need to know, obviously strong hutch, as we do get the occasional for from the railway line nearby. We don't have grass at all, so they can come inside still to run, but I'm most worried about them being warm enough?
Finding a hutch for 5 guineas, I think I'd rehome the DH
I will try and work out what space they'd need ( going by the 4'x2' for 2/ 5'x2' for 3), you'd need something like 14 square foot , most hutches are 2' wide. You could get a double decker if your hogs are likely to climb. My lardies like Ground Floor Living, they have a recycled wooden playhouse. They have the floor area, it's light (4 windows, 2 can be removed and have the inner part re-inforced with wooden bars, heavy metal mesh,and flymesh)
You can insulate them, hay is excellant to keep them snug. Snugglepads. Cardboard and newspaper. Fleece.
Main problems I've found though
Damp and draughts. Extremes of heat and cold. Going from hot-cold or cold-hot.
My pigs are in at night for winter and go out to their Pighouse by day (we clean at night, so in winter we put the fresh bedding in early morning, put their heater on and let it warm up before they go out) At the moment (they are out) they have a low heat overnight.
5 piggies will snuggle (hopefully) but you'll need lots of hidey spaces and boxes.
Could you get a shed on Gumtree or similar then customise it? You could put a hutch inside for sleeping then lock them in. Keeps them fox safe. Otherwise you need to get waterproof covers for the hutch.
My piggies would insist that you build a raised bed for grass BTW , just for them.
The best of which is rehoming DH, don't think I'm not tempted!!
They will climb, so 2 tier is a possibility, tho I like the sound of a small shed or playhouse with hutch inside, would be best for being secure. We only sleeve see foxes out front but they could get in the back of they wanted to.
Will go investigate snuggle pads. By fleece, is any cheap fleece blanket ok, or do I need a specific one?
Never underestimate foxes and the damage they can do, we had one of our (buried) guinea pigs dug up twice when we thought he was safely put to rest. They patrol round the bottom of our garden, my NDN are used to me hollaring GetOutOfIt at full tilt. We have a good sturdy bolt on the shed and a heavy weight (bucket of cement) in front of the door.
The fleece I use is Primark £3 ones, the rough one . I tried the very silky soft one but it didn't wick, my pigs were left with wet bellies (this was inside)
I bought loads when they were on sale (I think Christmas leftovers, £1 each. My pigs don;t mind kipping on navy with red reindeer and snowflakes). I cut the blanket stitch off, cut into 6 pieces and line the sleeping areas. Newspaper/straw/fleece/hay. (When it's warmer , I'll stop the straw and fleece) Then it all gets rolled up and binned. I know it's a waste but I don;'t want to risk my washing machine.