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Guinea Pigs - 5.25pm and they in the run in the garden , has been bright sunny afternoon - thoughts on GP being outside this time of year ?

(24 Posts)
CaptainUnderpants Fri 16-Oct-09 17:29:49

First year with GP , got them in the summer , read /hear conflicting advice about them being outside in winter . Mine are runnning round like mad in their run outside .

They will sleep in their outside hutch in the winter but have a run around inside house during the day. If it is dry in winter can they have a run outside ?

Should they be kept in in winter or not ?

Fennel Fri 16-Oct-09 17:32:26

Ours are outside day and night at the moment, we bring them in when it gets below zero, maybe Nov-March. we live in a very mild part of the UK though.

You can tell when they're not happy. If they are running about outside (like ours at the moment) then they aren't feeling too cold, if they're cold they huddle and shiver.

MedusaHead Fri 16-Oct-09 17:33:28

I also have GP's of a few months old so I will be interested to hear comments.

Mine will be kept ouside all winter. I have moved their hutch up against the house wall for warmth and have thoughts of fashioning some kind of cover for the hutch out of some fleeces and a shower curtain that I bought. The plan is to do it this weekend as I think theres supposed to be a ground frost this weekend at some point.

I have read many different things re guinea pigs in winter on tinternet.

MedusaHead Fri 16-Oct-09 17:35:18

Mine are in their run at the moment and spend most of their time in their igloo and then as soon as it gets to dusk and cold they come out! They are not very bright!

herbietea Fri 16-Oct-09 17:37:44

Message withdrawn

CaptainUnderpants Fri 16-Oct-09 17:43:27

I have a Horse blanket and tarpuline covering their hutch and I put lots of extra hay in. Was thinking about getting one of those snuggle things for small animals that you warm up in the mircowave to help them in the winter = any thoughts on those ?

Good advice about if they are running about they are happy . My two are still running around now .

Pyrocanthus Fri 16-Oct-09 17:44:08

Our hutches are indoors, but the pigs are out today soaking up the remains of the sunshine. I always shove them out on any dry day in winter, but keep them off the grass if it's wet.

MedusaHead Fri 16-Oct-09 17:53:47

My grass is always wet but they don't seem to mind at the moment. Maybe if it gets colder I'll have to stop putting them out.

Its a shame but in the winter the only sun we get is on the patio and not the grass and the patio is too uneven to put the run on.

Pyrocanthus Fri 16-Oct-09 18:02:24

I've just realized how quickly it's getting dark... Better get them in while I can still find them.

Meglet Fri 16-Oct-09 18:10:04

Mine have a hutch in the shed covered with blankets for night. In the day they go in the run, which has a cosy hutch attached. They go out every day, even if it snows, I just clear the snow away so they can get at a bit of grass. Although on those days they do tend to stay in the hutch and ignore the snow.

CaptainUnderpants Fri 16-Oct-09 18:15:14

Ok , it seems that they can go out side in the winter as long as the grass is dry - if they are running about they are happy - if huddled togther then cold and uunhappy .

Pyrocanthus Fri 16-Oct-09 18:28:38

I think wild gps burrow under the snow in the Andes. Yours are probably relieved they don't have to bother, Meglet.

jobhuntersrus Fri 16-Oct-09 18:45:56

We keep ours outside all year round. I have a cover for the hutch which keeps the rain and wind off. Give plenty of extra hay to snuggle up in too. The hutch is on an old garden table so a good 3ft off the ground. The only time I bring them indoors overnight is if it is below freezing. They spend the night in a box of hay in the utility room which has no heating so is pretty chilly but not like being outside. I put them back in their hutch again in the morning. They have a separate run down on the grass but the grass is now wet most of the time so I won't put them in there until the spring now. Their hutch is quite large and we bring them indoors for a cuddle and play fairly regularly.

silver73 Fri 16-Oct-09 22:00:03

The microwave pet hot water bottles are fab -they stay warm for at least 8 hours. I really worry about gps in the winter.

My girls are indoors but we don't have the heating on at night so they each have one of the water bottles in case they get cold.

RubysReturn Fri 16-Oct-09 22:06:10

Ours winter indoors, partly becuase it keeps them sociable, partly becuase I hate cleaning hutches in the cold grin
Am bringing ours in tomorrow. But I do put them out for a run if dry and fine

123andaway Sat 17-Oct-09 09:10:00

Ours are outside all winter. They are hardy little creatures, and are made to deal with alot harsher climates than a British winter.

Ours get extra hay, and I put a fleece blanket in their sleeping area which they snuggle under. The hutches have a tarp cover to protect them from the elements.

They are out in their run for the day as soon as the grass drys in the morning. If it's rainy/snowy/icy they stay in. I bring them in just before dusk.

silver73 Sat 17-Oct-09 09:11:12

Gps are not hardy at all that is a myth

FABIsInTraining Sat 17-Oct-09 09:13:56

We have had our GPs for a month now and have had time outside every day except one when it rained all day. It does vary how long they are out for depending on what I am doing and what the weather is.

Our lawn is damp and a bit muddy. Are they not supposed to go outside if the grass is wet?

RubysReturn Sat 17-Oct-09 09:15:21

I was advised not to put them out when wet underfoot - not entirely sure why. Ours make their preferences clearly known though!

When it is wet, they wheek

silver73 Sat 17-Oct-09 09:25:12

No don't put them on damp grass they can get colds etc very easily esp if they are on damp ground. I'd keep them indoors for the winter for peace of mind.

They don't like changes in temp either so outside in day and inside at night may not be a good idea either.

Pyrocanthus Sat 17-Oct-09 09:28:10

They can withstand quite low temperatures, but not drafts or damp, I believe. Perhaps hence the burrowing under the snow.

I agree with silver73 that they are not that tough and can go downhill very quickly - they breed prolifically far a reason!

Pyrocanthus Sat 17-Oct-09 09:29:00

Has it really been a month, Fab?

Pyrocanthus Sat 17-Oct-09 09:41:41

Hm, drafts? hmm

FABIsInTraining Sat 17-Oct-09 14:11:20

I picked them up on September 11th.

Mine spent most of the time they are in their run, hiding in their cabin.

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