Temperature when it's ok for GPs to be out in the hutch/run?(9 Posts)
We've had 2 gorgeous GP ladies for over 4 years and they live inside, and go out in the run on nice weather days.
The run is one with a ladder up to a hutch but as my ladies are
utter wimps somewhat delicate in nature they won't go up the ladder (or down it if we put them in the hutch bit) so it limits when they can go in the run.
We've just adapted it and taken a side off the run and attached the hutch at the side, if I keep one half of the hutch closed (has 2 doors) and put hay and a blanket in for insulation, what kind of temperature could they go out in. I still don't want them to live outside permanently, but if I get up for work and it's for example 7 or 8 degrees, could they go out then, or is that still too cold? When I leave for work if it isn't a really warm morning, I leave at 7 and don't get home until after 6 so they don't get out at all that day. I wondered if as long as they had the hutch for protection they could go out if it was a bit colder (but expected to warm up as the day went on)?
As long as you have an area where they can go and snuggle if it gets breezy / rainy then this should be OK. They do have fur coats after all! I used to have 10 indoor-living GPs and would put them out on the grass in a run from early spring (ie now) and just put one of those plastic igloos in with them with hay in so they could go inside and snuggle up if need be. I never saw them bother going in there as they were having so much fun eating grass! Couldn't leave them out and go out because the run wasn't predator secure, but never had any issues with temperature. As long as it isn't frosty or bitingly cold wind I'd say it was fine.
It's difficult to give a temperature, so many other factors- wind, damp, what insulation they have, depth of bedding, type of piggie (some of these NewFangledNambyTypes
You could put a SnugglePad in deep fresh hay then that'll give them a nice diffused warmth.
We used to give our older boar his wicker house ,a layer of hay and a rubber trug over the top, to give him a snug safe space (our piglet boar decided to take the entire haybox )
We have overnight temperatures of 6c but it looks (according to BBC Weather) that it'll dip to 2c overnight next week (though that might change).
Mine have a heater on low just to keep their Pighouse ameanable, now they are out at night (I started leaving them out this week) but they are protected all round.
I check the floor and their beds to make sure they're moving about, if I saw all their pooh in one space I know they'd be miserably hunched in one spot, but they aren't. Their ears are a good temperature indicator, better than their fur and feet.
Our lawn is too cold and marshy (we have heavy clay soil) but hopefully over Easter they'll get out in the run.
Thanks for your advice. It sounds as if my ladies will be ok out during the day now as long as I pad the hutch up a bit. (Mine are defo namby pamby types!).
The girls are coming up 6 years old now, we've had them 4.5 years so they're pretty used to inside type temps, and only being out on pleasant days, don't want to shock their fragile systems too much at this point, but they do love a good grass feeding so will be good for them to be out a bit more I think.
our 2 sows are good old bog standard smooths (though GP5 is a Crested smooth <nods sagely> ) GP6 is of the NambyPamby quarter, (Teddy boar )
Ours give us grief though:
Pigs: "Course if we were wild we'd be out there, hunting and killing our dinner"
Me: "If you were wild, you'd be Lunch "
Pigs: "But we'd live in grass hollows, in Peru. Ducking'n'diving"
Me:"But you're not IN Peru and you'd last four minutes"
Pigs "Masters of our own dinnertime........chomping through lush vegetation..."
Me: "You whinge in the garden if it's getting dark. If you were wild, you'd be rangey and brown "
Pigs: "No-one telling us it's time to come in, time to go out."
IRL, they look judgily at the garden and declare "We're not going out in that weather. Cut us grass and we'll have a Carry Out"
Mine love the dark and then it's a nightmare to catch them as they still want to play!
In Summer last year they didn't go out till late afternoon (DD put them out when she got home from school and it was cool enough)
When we did the fresh bedding and supper, GP5 (Himmy) stood at the bars like a little phantom, glaring at us .
"It's 10pm. What time is this for guineas to be out"
But it didn't make them catchable <<sigh>>
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