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Insulating/improving a cheap hutch?

(8 Posts)
Piggiefan Sat 29-Mar-14 12:57:03

I bought a second-hand hutch from ebay recently in preparation for getting two piggies. It's 4' and has proper catches on the doors, but now I've looked at it closely I've realised it's made of very thin wood. The frame is more solid but the walls and sides are made of plywood. Is this going to be ok for guinea pigs? I'm planning to cover the floor with a sticky-back plastic sheet and to re-felt the roof. Do I also need to add another layer of wood to the outside walls and floor to insulate it a bit? We're intending to bring the piggies inside in the winter, but obviously there will still be cold days in spring/autumn.

Mogz Sat 29-Mar-14 15:14:22

You can get cage covers that help, I use one with old blankets stuffed between it and the hutch during winter. Have fun with your new piggies.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 29-Mar-14 16:32:04

You can do lots to your hutch but bear in mind, when it's summer, you don't want your piggies to be too warm.

There are covers available, if your cage is a standard size you can get one from Ebay too. Make sure there's ventilation.
Or you can get a heavy plastic sheet?
(I had to drape a royal blue tarpaulin over the Pighouse when the roofing felt got damaged.They were bathed in a Biblical Blue Haze )

Make sure your hutch has good strong bolts (add a couple more if you can) don't forget the risk of foxes mangy git vermin they are predatory.

My boys have a wooden playhouse, DH made a haybox from an old bookcase (with a lid / roof) with carpet on top and newspaper/old carpet underlay down the sides, away from the little teeth.

I use rubber car mats and cardboard under newspaper.
You could cut a box to fit the sleeping area and put rubber mats underneath and at the side (then easy to remove and clean).
Fill the box with hay (good insulation) chuck the box out when it gets dirty.
Protect from draughts
Protect from damp
Protect from vermin

Maybe a screen of mesh for summer pesky flies ( Flystrike- commoner in rabbits but can affect guinea-pigs)

We need pictures when they arrive grin

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 29-Mar-14 16:43:58

Oooh and while you are Amazon~ing or eBay~ing have a look at SnuggleSafe microwaveable pads.
(Much cheaper on Amazon than P@H)

I bought one when I got the boys but I wasn't that enamoured of it but it's grown on me grin

I don't use the cover (they pee on it hmm ) but once it's cooked, wrap in newspaper and tuck into the hay. Even though it's hard, they sit quite happily on it.(about 8 hours heat)
I bought PetHotties (squashy , Petsafe) but they are a pain to fit in my microwave and they only hold 4 hours heat.

Piggiefan Sat 29-Mar-14 21:27:50

Thanks. It came with a insulating cover and a waterproof cover so probably we could use that when it's cold rather than adding to the hutch itself. We'll put another lock on the doors though, and are planning to hinge the lid so it's easier to change food/add hay.

70 - not sure I'd have enough frequent supply of cardboard boxes to make them into a sleeping area. Would one of those plastic hidey house type things do, put into the enclosed end of the hutch?

I fear I am worrying too much about all this but I want them to be happy!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 29-Mar-14 21:42:37

You should be fine with hay and newspaper in the sleeping area, a plastic house might take up too much room.
Has it got a seperate sleep area through a door type divider?

My boars don't tend to sleep in the same area, some guineas will happily snuggle up side by side. We give ours a hedgehog house in a pile of hay and they have their haybox (which is about 3' square). Usually GP1 is in the Hedgehog House (The Adults Only Area grin ).

They like to be in wheeking distance but not close.
When GP1 lived with his brother GP2, they sat in opposite corners of the haybox (I could tell by the two neat pooh nests grin )

Piggiefan Sat 29-Mar-14 22:02:03

It's got a separate sleep area so probably about 1.5' of the hutch. We're planning on getting two girls so they might be a bit more friendly with each other than boars. I suppose I can see how they get on and then add something else if I think they want it. Planning to go to a rescue centre after the Easter holidays.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 29-Mar-14 22:10:56

Happy guinea searching- there are sadly lots of piggies in Rescue (and Gumtree but I don't want to go down that particular road angry . I'm happy to pay a Rescue for a pig /pigs but I'm not going to allow someone to profit from the sale of their pet. They always say to make sure they get a good home, I'm asking £40. Fair enough, if someone gets a free pig they might make an impulse buy. If you need to pay, it's more considered. But they should be honest and say I paid £100, I want my money back )

Steps off soapbox.

Boars are lovely, love sponges and I am glad we got our, but Hand on Heart, sows are easier.
GP1 gets very fretty if his cagemate is taken away. He doesn't mind if he leaves the Pighouse but he likes to know where he left the other one.
But they like their Boar Space grin

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