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Housing advice for a guinea pig...

(7 Posts)
bogiesaremyonlyfriend Fri 16-Jan-15 21:08:33

Dd is wanting some guinea pigs. After loosing some hens to foxes we want to keep them indoors when we are not around to supervise. Our indoor housing options are fairly limited due to house size. Option 1 is to have a 100 by 50 plastic store bought cage, then buy foldable run to pop them in for extra space. Other option is to build a raised cage (for space underneath for food etc) but would be 60x50 with a raised platform 60x30. With the option of foldable run for space also. The raised option would be much better for us as space is limited and the 100 cage is ginormous. I have read shop bought cages are fairly frowned upon for being too small.... Do any of these options sound ok? There would also be a run outside for warmer times. Or should we avoid guinea pigs??

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 16-Jan-15 21:23:27

<<I'm not good with metric being ancient>>

You need 2 or more pigs, they need piggie company so you're looking at minimum of 4'x2' for 2 adults (which is 120cm x 60cm )

My 3 adults sleep in winter overnight in a 4'x2' but they only tolerate it because I fill it with hay . My 2 boars didn't tolerate it at all, at the moment I've got boar+ 2 sows who are a bit less territorial.

A lot of piggies don't cope well with ramps and levels, some will jump up onto those plastic sleeping houses (usually if the food is there)

They do like a run to explore , you can make little 'villages' with boxes.Outdoor runs can only go on grass when it's dry and warm enough.

Most fights and issues with pigs happen if they get in each others faces or if they fight over food.

What other little furries were you considering?

bogiesaremyonlyfriend Fri 16-Jan-15 21:54:38

Dd will only consider a guinea pig. She likes them cos they are big and not too quick or nippy. She is quite nervous around hamsters/mice and a rabbit would have to live outside which I wouldn't be keen on. In the day the run could put them in would be much bigger than the 100x50 cage but I'd be worried they would be cramped still.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 16-Jan-15 22:15:58

Have a look at C&C cages, you can adjust the shape and size, easy to put together, airy.

I bought some grids from Costco , they have a circular fastening that clicks into place. We used some plastic tie grips (clipped off the excess to make sure the little demons didn't chew them)

You need a lining (most people use Coloplast , thin plastic lining) to keep everything inside.

I (well DH) made a lovely run about 5'x3' with an extra 2.6'x2.6' hay compartment. They all parked themselves in the hay basket and still managed to get hay everywhere hmm. So back to the indoor cage.

They go out to the Pighouse by day, or they get judgey.

And, be aware with children- some people who say guinea-pigs never bite -but
they are rodents and they are shy vunerable little creatures. They can give a 'pinch' , I wouldn't call it a nip or bite as such. Usually if they smell food on your skin or are scared or feel insecure. They're a nice size for DC , you can pop them in a towel to make it easier till they get used to you.

bogiesaremyonlyfriend Fri 16-Jan-15 22:43:32

Thanks. Once it warms up they'd be out all day and only in at night. I've had a look at the c&c ones so may look into that to build a larger space for day exercise.
I heard they never bite but took that with a pinch of salt as I would fully expect if startled or thinking their getting food they could nip. Will be fully supervised and I'm hoping with being indoors with 2 children around they'll be pretty friendly. Was thinking of getting a towel for each piggy and embroidering their names on. smile Do they like to be brushed?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 16-Jan-15 22:47:17

Your best bet is a smooth or an Abbysinian (rosettes) you can give them a brush over with a baby brush but they don;t need it (trust me, long haired guineas are a labour of love grin. Daily brushing .

Make sure your DC aren't allergic to hay (they need hay, no escaping it) or the pigs themselves. (My DD comes out in a rash if she cuddle the Rex boar, fine with the others)

bogiesaremyonlyfriend Fri 16-Jan-15 23:01:00

Yes definitely will steer clear of long haired ones, it's enough having dd's hair to take care of!
She has held/strokes them before at petting zoo type places so not overly worried she will be allergic to them, will check she is ok with hay though

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