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Guinea pigs and wet grass

(9 Posts)
ChiefOwl Mon 08-Oct-12 10:20:58

We have two 6month old gp's. Until a few weeks ago they were spending from 11-8ish outside in their run everyday. But the weather has changed and the grass is always wet.

They have an outdoor hutch and we have an indoor cage too.... But i don't like the thought of them spent the entire winter in a hutch/cage. What do I do with them? The grass never seems to dry out now.

PiggyWhisperer Mon 08-Oct-12 11:17:16

It has been an awful summer in terms of getting piggies out for lawn mowing duties.

Now is the time really that piggies should not be on grass, we have already had some ground frosts (south-east at least) and the ground is cold, as well as very wet. Guinea pigs being so low to the ground are at high risk of picking up infections, particularly with their private parts being low to ground also.

Ideally if at all possible, it is better for piggies to be indoors over winter, but with the right setup, they can be kept comfortable outside in hutches, hutch huggers, bottle huggers, microwavable heat pads, and lots of hay.

If you do decide to bring them indoors, you can definitely keep them entertained with bordem breakers, such as toilet rolls stuffed with hay, paper bags stuff with hay, and if you are able, floor time where you can hide vegetables, lots of chubes, tunnels etc to keep them amused.

ChiefOwl Mon 08-Oct-12 11:31:01

I was thinking of bringing their outdoor run inside so they have much more space but it's just what I put under it. We have cats so they can't have a free roam.

alemci Mon 08-Oct-12 11:35:30

our piggie went out on a bath mat on top of a cheap plastic tray (Ikea). He can still go on the grass in his run but hopefully the tray and old mat keep him dry.

he won't be out today though. when we do put him down in the kitchen, he tends to sit in one place anyway but could trot around if he wishes.

good ideas with the tubes etc Piggywhisperer. will try that

guineapiglet Mon 08-Oct-12 16:53:30

Hi _ I agree, this is a very tough time for guineas, and decisions have to be made about whether they are in for good - I used to try and wait until the clocks went back until I brought them in, but once the frosts start and grass is not drying out, it is not worth letting them go outside to get damp. On a bright sunny day, I would put the girls out in their run for a few hours mid morning, but I made a kind of raised platform, with newspaper and hay in their covered area so that they had somewhere to hide and keep warm - fresh air is good for them but not once it has become cold and damp. The way to guineas hearts is through food, so if they have plenty to keep them interested with nice smelling hay, lots of different foods, something to hide in...... I used to let mine free range with regular 'poo stops' - cardboard boxes with newspaper and hay as well, where they could run to if they needed to. They do still keep to their routine in winter, play, eat, rest, poo,repeat all day, but it is better that they are warm and dry. You can pick handfuls of grass so that they are still getting a grass intake, and also other things which seem to thrive like dandelions etc, if you have any you can get your hands on.

Chief owl - good idea to bring the run in, we used to do this and put loads of newspaper down which we changed everyday, it is a bit labour intensive but it does give them chance for a stroll. If cats are about, make sure the guineas have igloos to hide away from them and and area where the cats cant see them to torment them.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 08-Oct-12 18:37:35

My guineas are still out in their Pighouse. It's all enclosed (it's the DC old playhouse) they have a Haybox with a thick cardboard box inside ans layers of rubber mat, cardboard ,newspaper + straw and hay.

I've left their little tubular heater on for the past few days just to keep the temperature nice.
They have microwave Pet Hotties for cold nights.
DH is hmm at the heaters, but it's cheaper than a vets bill wink.

I put ours on the lawn on Saturday (where the grass was dry, mid afternoon).They were very judgey and by the time I'd cleaned their house, they were demanding to go back home.
(Had to make it up to them with a huge handful of fresh cut grass)

alemci Mon 08-Oct-12 21:29:00

our piggie has been extra demanding today, due to not going out to eat. wanted extra food and was really loud and squeaky. he has managed 3 cuddles today and has been out to play.

i am thinking up some ways to keep him entertained this winter. he is lovely.

i may put an old duvet cover down in the kitchen as he won't run on the tiles.

lurcherlover Mon 08-Oct-12 21:41:15

Could they live in a shed? Check out this link - scroll down to see a photo of a guinea pig palace!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 08-Oct-12 22:35:13

I've bought a paddling pool for the boys to use in the kitchen. They can have boxes and tunnels in it (not used it yet, I'll sort it tommorrow).
When we put the on the bathroom floor, they just sat there, watching each others rumps (like the ying-yang logo).

Ours have a 5'5" x 5'7" space with the haybox and 2 houses (thick bathmats on the floors of the houses).
TBH, I don't know how much moseying about they do.
They pee and pooh everywhere though, so I'm guessing they wander about.

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