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Pigs in Shed

(19 Posts)
Learning70 Sat 03-Nov-12 00:21:30

Hi, I have two girl pigs, had them since August. They live in a two storey hutch which is in shed, which is shut up at night. During summer have also been out during day in run. Would they be better off in house for winter. We have plenty of space for indoor cage etc. will I regret having them in? And if I do, will they ever go out again?! I think they are healthy and content as they are, but not really a part of the family! Also, not sure I fancy tramping up she'd in the snow and rain when it is freezing, though I do quite enjoy it at the moment, going up there with my hot drink, sweeping the shed floor etc. can I do half and half?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 03-Nov-12 08:29:19

Hi Learning70
This will be the first winter with your pigs? How old are they at the moment?

WRT brininging them in for winter- GPs can't cope with damp, draughts or extremese of temperature. They can go downhill very quickly too. (When I was a child I had pigs that were inside/outside.When they got ill, they went from A1 to gone within a day.Usually a 'cold' type illness. But not a winter cold type thing, it could be any time of year.}

We've had our boars a year now (they are 2 yo) so last year was our first winter.
We brought them in for Guy Fawkes weekend then IIRC they came inside for the winter in December. But they went out to their Pighouse in the morning.
Mine have a shed (my DC old wooden playhouse) .They have the floorspace rather than a cage, but it has to be well insulated with rubber mats, cardboard, cat litter and newspaper with loads of hay and soft straw.

We make sure they don't get too hot indoors and the Pighouse isn't similat temperature when they go out (Pet Hotties/heater.Snugglepads . And I run a fan for 15 minutes before they go out)

My indoor cage is 4'x2' and my boys get very hmm indoors. So they are happy, nay desperate to get outside. Last year I had to split the space (little gits were fighting) but last night they were in DDs room (it is cooler).She said they had a quiet squabble once but ok.

If your girls are baby pigs (I'm guessing if you got them in August they'll be maybe 6-12 months by winter) then I'd go cautious and bring them in.
They are lovely and noisy .Every time you open the fridge or rustle a bag they will be on High Alert- "^Wheek Wheek. Fooooooooood^ "

Learning70 Sat 03-Nov-12 08:51:26

Thanks, I am definitely favouring having them in. My 8 year old will be over the moon. Not so sure about the husband, will have to work on him!

Learning70 Sat 03-Nov-12 17:44:39

It's official, the girls are coming in for the winter. We have bid on an indoor cage on eBay and I am going to copy the paddling pool idea for an indoor play run. I am ridiculously excited, have I lost the plot? They are still fine in the shed at the mo, it is a big decent shed and there hutch bed is stuffed with hay and I have an old rug covering part of the front too tonight, plus they have a wooden lodge which one of them favours but I remember just how freezing it was last year and can see me nipping out there alone in the dark spending the minimum amount of time. I really do enjoy watching them but they are defo happy but independent outdoor pets at the moment. I think they will feel more like 'pets' when they are inside. Lol

Learning70 Sat 03-Nov-12 17:46:15

... I mean their hutch. I always groan when I see grammatical errors like that. This is why I need pigs, I need to chill out more!

guineapiglet Mon 05-Nov-12 10:35:45

Our girls were in a shed with a huge hutch inside, and like you I enjoyed going out to feed them - but it is no fun in the winter, and temperatures can drop quite quickly, so inside, if you have the room is much better really as long as they are not too near radiators. - They quickly become part of the family, squeak when you come in and are much more sociable, you will miss them when they go out < apart from the fact that hay gets everywhere, stuck to socks, carpets etc!> - they are wonderful companions, so have fun!

Learning70 Mon 05-Nov-12 13:05:07

The pigs are in! I bought an indoor cage, it has room for their wooden house and plastic dome so they have familiar hidey holes. They have been cooing, I have never heard that before! They are having a snooze now, I think the sound of the washing machine has made them nod off lol. The room they are in is next door to the utility so I guess they will soon get used to the sounds of tumble etc. I need to find something suitable for them to run around in too! I have brought the outside run in but it smells too damp.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Mon 05-Nov-12 19:28:31

I bought an oil filled radiator for my hogs today and set it up in their Pighouse.
Lovely, (on the low setting) with the haybox open for maximum air circulation. smile and full to the brim with hay and a fleece.
The little boys were not happy indoors (for all of two flipping nights) so my plan is to keep them in the Pighouse or the garage (in their Rabbit Run with loads of hay and their new heater).
They can come in for cuddles at night (when the DC are home they come in for a paddling pool play).
Day time in the Pighouse they can have their SnugglePads and Hotties (else I'll be bankrupt! DH has ordered a thermostatic plug in timer for it.So I can set it to come on when the temperature drops. Just need to work out what temp I need to set)

If they do need to use the indoor cage they are going to need the shackles and chains divider sad.

Learning70 Mon 05-Nov-12 22:23:47

Will my pigs be okay if I put them outside for part of the day? I mean in their hutch in shed, not outside run. Just thinking for change of scenery and when I am cleaning indoor cage etc. we live in a 3 storey house and they are on ground floor but it stays quite cold down there in winter so they won't be too toasty ....

guineapiglet Tue 06-Nov-12 10:11:10

Hi - I used to put mine outside in the shed for part of the day if the weather wasnt too bad/cold, however, I do think once they are in it is hard to put them back out in a cold shed. Our shed was north facing and used to ice up and be freezing and their bodies cannot adapt well to temperature change, and it is now frosty at night so it might just be best to let them sit in another area ( I used to put mine in a laundry basket whilst I cleaned them out) - too much change might be unhelpful for them. IF they could be allowed to stretch their legs around the floor area, it will give them some exercise, but to be honest I think they are better warmish and dry then put in and out - it is a tough time for them - let your outdoor run dry out and stuff it with newspapers/fleeces, then they can run round safely. 70 sorry to hear the boys are being arsey about being brought in - it sounds like the new arrangements will be warm and snuggly for them at least, - it is a shame when they wont share a cage, even if you explain to them why you are doing it!

Learning70 Tue 06-Nov-12 10:41:13

Thanks piglet looks like I will be bringing the run back in today then! It is very cold today .... I will hide the evidence before hub comes home lol

guineapiglet Tue 06-Nov-12 11:21:45

Good idea, bring it in and let them stay warm.

If you read a lot of guinea threads you will notice that husbands feature strongly! - mine had to share his office with 5 guineas roaming around at one point ( he actually had about 20 guineas when he was a child, and so is quite 'pro' them) - but really objected to the mess/hay everywhere ( it wasnt) and the smell ( not too bad, but even so) - but I reckon it really comes down to jealousy!!!!! _ My husband did at one point say, when we had lost the last of our girls last spring, that 'maybe now he would get more attention' and also, 'when I come back I am coming back as one of your guinea pigs' - I guess we do indulge the guineas more! Whoops!

Learning70 Tue 06-Nov-12 12:04:32

The run is in! I bought two cheap fleece blankets so they are covering the floor. I have cleaned the cage and hoovered, they seemed unperturbed. Now they are in I can see how chubby one is, the more dominant one, I think she has been hogging the food supplies. The run is big and I can hear them tearing around so hopefully she will trim down! I shall coincide putting them back in cage with putting a wash on as that seems to send them to sleep. They can have a piggiesta this aft lol (while I clear up before kids n hub come home)

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 06-Nov-12 19:22:36

grin guineapiglet DH is a bit hmm when it comes to "the boys".
Not the GPs themselves- he'll happily "take a creature" for a cuddle.But when I buy them new things (though he was fine with the radiator because I used by Tesco double up clubcard points) he's very "Oh those pigs are spoiled "

Yes, and so they should be.
When the pigs are happy, my DD is happy (and so am I).

We can swap them between the Pighouse and the garage (when I'm cleaning the Pighouse and they need a change of scenery and some excercise- as if) grin

If they do come in for the night they'll be side-by-siding again- little troublemakers.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 10-Nov-12 21:39:17

DH cleared a space in the garage to put the pigs big outdoor run (we put it upside down to make it easier to catch them. The roof is now the floor)
Carpet under it. A waterproof shower curtain. Then the cage.
Cardboard inside to protect them from the metal bars.
Boxes, tunnel and a trug of hay.

I put them in for a run around while I did the Pighouse. DD can sit in the garage to chat to them.
And if it gets cold, we can put the radiator or fan heater in.

Spoiled little ratbags grin

Learning70 Tue 13-Nov-12 22:09:06

The pigs are doing good inside. I feel like we know them a lot better now. My son takes them their first treat of the day so they are starting to know his voice. And they purr! I never knew that before. They also settle down for a nap when the washing machine and tumble are on! I do need to find something for them to have a run inside though, I have been letting them have a run round the room while I clean cage but they are difficult to catch though they are tentatively approaching me now ... But I am a bit grossed out by picking up guinea poos off the floor!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 14-Nov-12 09:05:17

Learning70 they do get to know routines very quickly- the fridge opening or a rustling packet clearly signifies their breakfast time grin

Have you got room for a paddling pool for them? I poached the idea from Super Furry Animals and got one from Argos. It's used for indoors when we cuddle the boys and they want a pee (they do a little stampy dance thing and we know they need to 'go') There's a towel in the pool, they have their pee, then we cuddle them again.

The purring is lovely- you might get a Rumblestrutt from the bossy one (where they prowl like tigers, bodies held stiff and walking on tip-toe.With a low,growly purr- different to the short ,brisk purr that sounds like them laughing)
My GP1 does the Rumbling, GP2 does the laughing purr.

When GP1 Rumbles , GP2 is hmm "I'm your brother FFS, who are you trying to impress?"

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 14-Nov-12 09:07:27

Oh, and GP poo- it's one of the better animal poohs (I'm bleurgh at dog pooh).
I know some people buy a little dustbuster to hoover them when they are dry.You might get one from Ebay?

It's just chopped up, digested fruit and veg I tell myself grin

guineapiglet Wed 14-Nov-12 10:45:08

Hi all - sounds like your guineas have got their paws under the table with you Learning, glad they are inside and happy - lovely routine to sleep whilst all the machines are on, hope they are keeping you informed of their requirements! 70 is right, the poo is very inoffensive in a way (!), if you let them run on newspaper, you can pick it up and shake the poo off - my gardening advice would be to tell you to put it around any shrubs/veg/trees in the garden, it is wonderful manure, and although a bit tricky to handle, works marvels on the garden over winter. Much easier to manage than horse poo!!! Have fun!

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