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Converting Indoor Piggies into Outdoor Piggies :(

(8 Posts)
TinyPanic Sun 23-Mar-14 18:25:35

I'm looking for some advice please. We have moved house and sadly my 2 guineas that live in a C&C cage indoors will have to become outdoor piggies. I have a hutch with a large run attached and a cover and I have managed to site the hutch right next to the back door out of the wind. My first question is when should I move them outside? I have been putting them in the new hutch for a few hours each day for the past week to get them used to it, but I am not sure when to move the out permanently? Also, should I be insulating the hutch in anyway or do I not need to do that until next Autumn?
I'd appreciate your thoughts. I'm very sad about moving them outside and I want to do it in the kindest (and warmest!) way possible.

fortifiedwithtea Sun 23-Mar-14 19:17:27

I've not had piggies completely outside.

I started with 2 boars who had a hutch in brick built garage (not used for car, very important for piggy health). In winter they had a towel draped over the front to keep out draughts.

I then went on to have a lone boar in the living room and his girlfriends in the garage. They all met up in the garden during the day smile But then I saw the wild mouse in the sows hutch shock. No more garage.

I moved the hutch to outside the backdoor but slugs got in and I started bringing them in at night. The weather got a bit colder. DH resigned himself to another this time huge hutch in the living room.

My old boar was so delighted to have his girlfriends living indoors he broke his teeth off twice trying to get to them then he learnt not to do it again and he lived out a long and happy life.

So I've done the opposite of you by starting outside and ending up inside. What I would say is piggies don't do well in draughts and damp and dramatic changes of temperature. I wouldn't consider putting them outside until all change of frost has passed.

Hopefully 70 will come along soon. She will have good advice on outside pigs.

Good luck

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 23-Mar-14 20:00:52

Hi fortified and Tiny

My boys do indoors/outdoors but when they are out they have a wooden Playhouse (now The Pighouse) which was originally for my DC.

I was going to put a hutch in the Pighouse but we thought "Why not let them have the entire floor as their area?"

The Pighouse is on a solid wooden base which is raised but secured round the edges (no foxes can get under but it doesn't sit on the earth so though our garden flooded, the Pighouse was safe)

If they are in a hutch , they do need protected against draught and damp- it depends where you are in the country as to your temperatures. IIRC this week our overnight temp will get down to 2c.
You can get the covers (they are ££) or try old carpet and thick tarpaulin over the top and front (but allow ventilation)
We have a heater (oil filled radiator) in the house , on top of the haybox lid to keep it away from sharp teeth.

Lots of hay to insulate them.

The temp they are comfortable at? I've read loads of different views.
I try to keep mine between 12-18 in their Pighouse (they don't have draughts to contend with, and they have always got hay. I put Snugglepads in too if I think it's chilly). (They've got a thermometer grin )

I find the high summer temperatures are more of a challenge. It's difficult to keep them cool but still protected.

In winter they are indoors at night in the small bedroom ( it's not heated but there's no door so it's slightly cooler than house temp to keep them comfy)

When I look inside their Pighouse they are active and grubbing around. Their haynests are cosy. Their ears and feet warm.

So if you wanted to keep them outside , it can be done with enough shelter - lots of people do.

Gingerbics Thu 03-Apr-14 22:20:47

Hi Tiny
Just wondered what you ended up doing in the end, inside/outside wise? Need to move our boys out soon but just worried it's still pretty cold at night so holding off a bit longer.

TinyPanic Sat 05-Apr-14 11:41:32

Thank you both for you thoughts - much appreciated! I haven't moved them outside yet as I agree that it is still pretty cold at night. I will think again in a couple of weeks time. We do have a large shed that they can go in over the winter, or the garage, but they will be out over the summer. So far they have been out in the hutch for 4-10 hours a day (weather dependant!) and they always feel warm when I check them. I have been bringing them in at night. What are you planning to do Gingerbics and what is your hutch set-up like?

Gingerbics Sat 05-Apr-14 22:06:10

That sounds a good plan Tiny. Ours have been going out in run when we're at home and not too cold and otherwise in their c&c cage inside. Bought them an outdoor wooden hutch, 2 levels with a ramp which they spent the day outside in today as we were going out and didn't want to risk the run. I'd heard guineas not keen on ramps so I'd put a trail of dandelions all up the ramp ( hansel and gretyl crumb- stylee) but they didn't even venture onto the bottom of ramp to munch the dandelions! Hoping they'll get used to it as will give them much more space. The ramp had no edge to it and I was worried they'd fall of the edge so we added an edge to it so it feels more secure but I guess they'll just have to get used to it!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 05-Apr-14 22:47:47

Ginger my DH made a lovely wide ramp (about 12" wide) that had a shallow incline and a 90 degree corner (to stop it being too steep) set into the corner of the Pighouse , so a wall at one side.
It lead to the top of the haybox , And it was carpeted.

They never used it only ever walked down if we put them on the haybox lid (to get to food)

Guineas and ramps - they either get it or they don't.
We had two 'don't get its'

TinyPanic Sat 05-Apr-14 23:30:46

Our 2 'get' ramps and they do zoom from top to bottom of the cage and then down the ramp door to their run. But they are carpeted! They are very spoilt piggies.

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