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So assuming that Grandad can build a Devil Dog proof hutch and assuming I allow dd2 to indulge her newest love.....

(18 Posts)
DooinMeCleanin Tue 21-Jun-11 15:31:26

Where would one accquire a Guinea Pig or 2. I'm sure it's best to keep them in pairs isn't it?

It's been forever since we had Guinea Pigs. It would be an outdoor Guinea Pig all year, but would be in an outdoor cuboard (with a window, obviously, not in the dark), would this be okay?

We have no grass for them to exercise on, only a yard. They'd be happy with a yard providing they had lots of straw wouldn't they?

Also they'd only get to run out for an hour or so a day as the dogs use the yard and Devil Dog would think of them as a light snack.

We are not really set up for Guineas are we?

DooinMeCleanin Tue 21-Jun-11 16:51:31

No Guinea Pig people about then?

BabyDubsEverywhere Tue 21-Jun-11 18:58:32

Hmm, it could work. We are still dog proofing at the mo and so the piggies are all inside. I have a run in the study i use for them to stretch their legs, i put a waterproof picnic blanket down (plastic side up) and just wipe it over with a wet wipe when they have finished. I also send the kids outside to pick grass for them. Do you walk the dog anywhere grassy? perhaps you could fetch a poop bag full each walk for them, they would appreciate it smile
Always get two, at least, they need company. I have four now, they are also quite addictive smile
I dont know about them outside all year though, Im sure other people do, but i wouldnt want to risk it. DH's nan left her two rabbits out a few years ago and then one morning they were frozen to death. sad I suppose in a cupboard with a hutch hugger or something? would you take them into the house for interaction though? They are very cuddly little things smile
Dont bother with straw. Lots of hay, fresh veg, and guniea pig nuggets, in that order usually for volume!
Cant think of anything else, i find them simple wee things really, love 'um smile

thisisyesterday Tue 21-Jun-11 19:05:47

an outdoor cupboard will be as cold as properly outdoors to be honest, and it isn't advised to keep them outside all year round.

personally i wouldn't be happy keeping them without any grass at all

i think, as your last line says, that perhaps you are not really set up for them!

Goblinchild Tue 21-Jun-11 19:16:45

I wouldn't be happy about keeping them like that, no grass and an hour on concrete a day. They like being cuddles and let to run around.
One of my piggies is quite a nervous beast, and I don't think she'd last long with a Devil Dog.

DooinMeCleanin Tue 21-Jun-11 19:26:58

No its not really fair is it? I will tell her she will have to wait until we get a bigger house and a garden and nice big shed.

Goblinchild Tue 21-Jun-11 19:28:54

If your DD is mature enough to have a pet, then she's old enough to realise that she has to meet its basic needs. Piggies aren't complicated, but an owner should be realistic.
So I approve of the plan to wait. grin

chocolateyclur Tue 21-Jun-11 19:37:12

If she - and more importantly you - are serious about piggies there are things you can do. Indoor cages are far better than outdoor hutches - and cheaper and easier to make. Google "cavy cages".

They make lovely house pets. Hay is essential to wear down teeth and running around inside is better than outside (prey animals, susceptible to cold and excess heat too)

DooinMeCleanin Tue 21-Jun-11 19:53:05

I love them, we had them growing up with no garden, but we had a very soppy doberman who wouldn't hurt a fly so they were allowed to roam all day.

I'll have a look at the indoor cages but off the top of my head I can't think of anywhere inside I could put them where the dog would not be bothering them constantly. I thinly she will have to wait a few years till we move.

BabyDubsEverywhere Tue 21-Jun-11 21:13:10

Glad you are going to wait. smile

DooinMeCleanin Thu 23-Jun-11 10:33:29

Dd2 spoke to my Dad and he told her he can build an 'extension' at the front and side of our outside cuboard to give the piggies lots of space to run in and she should get some litter boxes and plant grass seeds and dandelions in them.

There is still the matter of bringing them indoors to consider. I really cannot think of anywhere they would be 100% safe from the dogs during the winter. Obviously bringing them in for cuddles would be fine. The dogs spend much of the day in the dining room with me and the dc in the living room. There are three doors between the dining room and living room, so even if the dc forgot and left one door open they'd have another two to get through.

It's given me more to think about, but I'm still not sure it would be fair. The part of the yard where the cuboard is is the bit we are fencing off to stop the dogs getting to the bin bags and back gate so they'd be able to use the 'extension' without having the dogs barking at them. My Dad would build the hutch, extensiona nd fence all at the same time. I might have a word with the vet next time we are in and see what he thinks.

Goblinchild Thu 23-Jun-11 15:57:23

Just don't come back in a few months asking how to help your children cope with death-by-dog piggie bereavement.
Or with piggie death-by-stroke-through-stress.

DooinMeCleanin Thu 23-Jun-11 16:10:20

It's not something I'm going to rush into Goblin. I'll need to clarify with my Dad exactly what he is thinking of building. Plus I will need to talk to the vet about the weather issue in the winter and lack of covering grass. If I think for a second they won't get everything they need and more or they would be at risk from the dogs then dd2 won't be able to have any.

I'm just thinking over options at the moment.

BabyDubsEverywhere Thu 23-Jun-11 17:04:58

Okay, so you have a cupboard with windows, th hutch will be in there or that will be the hutch? either way. and your dad is going to build an outside run attatched to it so they can have access in and out, is that right? So long as the dogs cant get to it at all to scare them i think that sounds do-able. In this run, if your dad could put a wooden lip around the bottom, about half a foot high, then you could get a couple of bags of soil and a roll of turf and you have a grassy area. Best to give that a week or two to settle and take before putting piggies on it. Grass will grow in very shallow soil so that would solve that problem.

So your only problem then is the winter months. My bunnies will be outside this winter. We will be getting some of those heat pads you put in the microwave, plus Ive made a hutch hugger to cover my massive hutch (an old duvet and plastic sheeting.) and I have already attatched loft insulation to the roof and then covered with wadding to retain heat. I always pack the whole sleeping area with hay for them to nest in. I am about to board the bottom of the top deck of their hutch so i can insert some more loft insulation in the cavity that will be created. We will be getting those bottle huggers to stop the water freezing, and attatching perspex to the outside of the run (leaving a a few inch gap for air insulation) and perspex on the top so they can still use the whole area and not get wet etc.

There are lots of things you can do i think.

The main issue i have with outside pets is about them being forgot about sad So long as you make time each morning and night to check on them properly and have lots of cuddles with them then i think with all the right prep work and commitment it could be possible without neglecting the basic needs of the piggies.

BabyDubsEverywhere Thu 23-Jun-11 17:05:36

Sorry Doin that turned into an essay! smile

DooinMeCleanin Thu 23-Jun-11 17:30:34

Atm the moment I am not sure what exactly he is planning on building, so I have no idea if the cuboard will be the hutch or if the hutch will be in the cuboard, I was too busy fighting off his crazy dog and not paying attention. It sounded big whatever it was. I'm not sure how many Guinea Pigs he thinks I was thinking of getting, as it sounds like he hopes to build the Piggie version of the Ritz hmm. He gets very bored now he has had to retire and loves being given little projects. Putting grass at the bottom sounds like a very good idea. I'm sure he could manage that. And adding perspex is also a good suggestion.

I'm still just thinking things over at the moment. I don't want to get them unless I know we can give 110%.

BabyDubsEverywhere Thu 23-Jun-11 19:30:29

With piggies the more the better smile a little tribe of piggies would be lovely, and they will be likely to keep each other warm at night too smile

I think you could make it work. Your op didnt sound so promising as i was imagining a lone hutch in the middle of a dog run grin a seperate area with inside cuddles and lots of planning sounds much more hopeful smile and your DD2 would be thrilled no doubt smile

PigletJohn Thu 23-Jun-11 19:45:54

worth remembering that insulation slows down the rate of heat loss, but even if you have a well-insulated home, with no heat input, it will be as cold as outside. Some sort of thermostat-controlled electric heater such as a pipe heater might do. But if it goes wrong they will bake or freeze sad

my vote's for an inside home with an outdoor run for the summer daytime only.

Yes they do make good house pets and like snuggling up to you but the dogs will be a big problem

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