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Operation Winter

(8 Posts)
loveisagirlnameddaisy Thu 06-Nov-14 12:38:59

Right... last night was very cold and although the GPs are in the greenhouse, protected from wind/frost, it is still chilly in there. They're in two storey accommodation and use the ramp happily. Upstairs has cardboard, newspaper and plenty of hay (although this gets trampled down quite quickly) and downstairs is carpeted (tee hee).

I'm considering extra heating options but am concerned about extremes of heat (for this reason, I'm against bringing them inside as our house is pretty warm even with the heating off). The only room cold room is the garage but its full of junk. So, what do you think I should do? I've seen the Snugglepads that 70 uses, are these good? Do they radiate heat or just provide heat to whichever GP sits on it? I haven't got an old duvet but I could buy a cheapy one, should i get one and put it round the hutch? Any other ideas?

Also, on a slightly separate note, I'm just using Pets at Home hay; I've been wondering for a while about getting something else as it never looks very green. Any recommendations? Thank you so much!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 06-Nov-14 14:01:22

Hi- yes we had 3c last night and frost. I brought the pigs in for night time on Saturday (because of the fireworks) I'm hoping next week they can stay out in their Pighouse if it's warm enough. We'll see.

Hay- it varies alot. I think if you want green hay you need to look at fresh bales but you need to make sure it's dry (equines will use a bale of hay before it gets a chance to go mouldy ),

Hay has been rough the past couple of years because of the rain, I think this years is better. If I go to Jolleys, their own brand hay is lovely. And 'Readi-Grass' very green but dry, malty smelling. Not a hay substitute, it isn't as bouncy and it's a bit sharp.

The SnugglePads are hot when you microwave them (as in you can hold it, so not as hot as a hot water bottle) We wrap in newspaper and put it under their hay. It'll stay hot/warm for 8-10 hours. The pigs will sit on it, even without the fleece (which I got fed up with washing, my original boars were very productive )

Our small bedroom has no door and we keep the radiator off so they don't get hot.
When they go out, I have a mini-oil filled radiator that I put on 30 minutes before they do (I need to plug it into a timer soon, to save me wandering down the garden at 6.30am)
They have fresh hay and paper every day in their haybox ( I don't want to risk them on damp hay. It does flatten , and with three of them they do pee loads) When I had the GP1& GP2 pigs, they could make a haybed last longer just with picking out. (They are all different characters and habits)

You could get a tarpaulin to go over the hutch (leave ventilation space) easy to get hold off and much cheaper.

I've tried loads of things with our pigs over the time we've had them. They seem to like hay,cardboard boxes and newspaper.
I've changed my mind about fleeces, they don't sleep on them.

As long as you give them protection from damp, wind,predators, extremes of temperature and changes of temperature, they will snuggle in the hay and be toasty.

loveisagirlnameddaisy Thu 06-Nov-14 15:25:37

Thanks 70, your advice is amazing as always. Have ordered the Snugglepad off Amazon so we'll see how that goes. My only concern if it doesn't radiate heat is that only one GP will benefit as they tend to sit apart from one another. I'll just keep giving them loads of hay and cover their hutch at the back, top and sides.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 06-Nov-14 15:53:26

I reckon they are big enough/warm enough that if the pig sits next to it , they;ll still get the warmth, and hay is really insulating (it used to be an old method of cooking, putting a warm crockpot into a box of hay to keep the heat in) . When we lift the guineas out of the hay, the space they leave is all cosy (shame they pee it hmm )

Our two boars (GP1 and GP2 then GP1 and GP3) didn't cosy up. They sat in opposite corners. Then when GP3 took over the haybox we gave GP1 the willow hedgehog house with a rubber trug cut to fit over and straw in the gap. Kept him cosy and secure, that was his space.

GP3 and the girls will all share the haybox but they have an extra 2 houses in case of marital discord.
Though I think they've been 'getting along' quite well wink

tiggydiggydee Thu 06-Nov-14 16:16:22

Hope you dont mind me joining in but I was wondering about snugglepads too. My GP's (2 boys) are inside now along with the bunny in the utility room. There's no heat in there but during the day the warmth from the house warms the room up so at night I worry they'll get chilly.
The boys like to sleep at opposite ends of the cage to each other in little houses so one snugglepad will only have one GP's bum cheeks on it grin they wont share! Will one in the middle keep the whole cage warm or am I going to have to get two? Come to think of it ...do i need 3..one for the rabbit? Or do I really need one at all? Sorry confused relatively new GP owner who's started to ramble on..sorry!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 09-Nov-14 20:52:30

tiggy you will find that boars like their 'own' space and one Snugglepad between them should be enough just now. Maybe in the colder weather you might want to give them one each?
They need to be able to have space to avoid it if they don't want to sit on it (I bury ours in the hay so if they want to they can dog down Our haybox is 3'x3' so once it;'s full of hay, they are snug)

I put ours back out today but I was rethinking their winter accomodation. They have been in a C&C type pen but TBH they only use their hayboxes (and manage to get their pooh into all the nooks and crannies hmm )

I said to DH that I'm going to give them their indoor cage (which at 4'x2' is really too small ) but if I fill it with hay and cover with their fleece , it's no different really to them cramming three pigs in a haybox ( glorified washing basket, cut down sides, lined with newspaper and filled with hay)
Should be easier to empty and clean and they will only be sleeping there,

tiggydiggydee Mon 10-Nov-14 15:01:50

Thanks for the advice 70! Yes they poo soooo much don't they...just one constant eating and pooing machine really grin
Mine are in the biggest cage i could find on the internet but have just ordered a paddling pool so I can make an indoor run for them during the day. Mind you they don't move much ..the most noise and movement I usually see from them is when I open the fridge!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 15-Nov-14 21:15:56

My little rodenty types came in last night for bedtimes , I got their indoor cage out of the garage.
They were a bit noisy, mainly rustling paper rather than squeaking.
Food demolished, just a sweetcorn core left.

Tonight they have fresh hay and fresh paper and a trug. They had a box last night but my pig got wedged in a tiny space (daft bat) when I tried to catch them hmm

Got DD to change the bedding "you would not believe how much they've peed" she said.
Oh, I do believe. I do

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