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Looking for tips on how to shop for a Guinea pig hutch, run, general Guinea pig stuff!

(13 Posts)
SteviebunsBottrittrundle Sat 16-Jul-16 19:48:45

Just as the title says please. We are thinking about finding some Guinea pigs to adopt (very hypothetical at the moment. Just doing some research). I haven't had any small pets since I was a child, so have no idea where to start really.

TIA

Idontknowwhoiam Sat 16-Jul-16 19:51:42

Omlet runs and small pet homes are lovely
They're a tad expensive but I'd love one!
Also farm shops for straw/hay and sawdust if you have the space to store a large bale.
Much cheaper to get it this way.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 16-Jul-16 21:10:28

Omlet/Eglu do look nice (insulated so warm in winter, cool in summer) but even on Gumtree they are £250+.
And small.
There's a rabbit hutch I saw online called "BunnyBunker" which though it's £400+ (ouch) looks better value in view of space but it would need adapted to let piggies climb to the sleeping area.

Steviebuns are you planning keeping your hogs inside or outside or both?

Inside you can keep a closer check but you do need a big enough cage and a run (C&C are good , you can adapt it to suit yourself and make two levels, but a lot of piggies don't climb well)
You'd need MINIMUM 2'x4' for 2 adults but bigger is better.
The hay gets everywhere, I kid you not grin

Outside you need to protect them from heat,cold,damp,wind,predators.
The two level hutches that you see have a very small sleeping area and are usually shallow so the open meshed area can get wet (you can get waterproof thermal covers for them). The bottom layer can go on grass but it would get churned up quickly and they're heavy to move.

Hay- it varies. Some is dusty (not good) some is coarse (also not good) I only buy Small Animal hay and soft barley straw to bulk out a winter bedding.
I do buy equine cardboard shreddings for the floor (huge compressed bags of it).
Equine hay/straw is too coarse for rodents.

Mine live in an old wooden Playhouse - you could consider a shed but make sure it's ventilated,secure and won;t get flooded.

My DH has made a load of our pigs accomodation. At the moment they have a three box run made from an old bookcase with doors cut to each section. And a big haybox made from one of those plastic lidded garden trunks (for garden cushions etc) with two doors cut.
DH was delighted when I showed him plans I drew for two colder weather sleeping areas I want him to build. I'm Gemini, I come up with ideas, I don't do them grin

Bunny Business is good for outdoor runs (they can fold flat for storage)
Gumtree etc is a good place to search but make sure you sterilise 2nd hand (steam gun and white vinegar to neutralise the smell of other animals)

Make sure no-one has hay or fur allergies.
And guinea-pigs are addictive and collectable <<gazes at our 5 hogs out in their runs>> wink

SteviebunsBottrittrundle Sat 16-Jul-16 21:52:47

Thanks both!

I've been thinking about whether indoors or outdoors would be best. I would worry about the more extreme temperatures (we live in Home Counties for info, so moderate climate but still warm / cold enough to be a worry). I just don't think we would have enough room for them indoors which is also a concern. We have a garden which I think would be more spacious. I think we would probably keep them outdoors most of the time. I'm wondering if it's worth looking at two hutches, one for outdoors and another to use indoors when the weather is particularly warm or cold.

EastMidsGPs Sun 17-Jul-16 07:25:35

Do NOT buy flimsy hutches etc from P@H. They are rubbish and a waste of money. We were lucky to have an old fashioned style pet shop nearby when we had our first piggies and was able to buy huge study hutch cheaply.
Since then DH has built our own hutch and play outside run.
Our pigs' hutch (when not outside playing) is in our summer house in the summer and it's in our utility room in the winter - where they can run and play -
EastMids winters can be cold, very wet, and we often get snow as we're quite high up.

Apart from their living and sleeping quarters you need to just think of their living costs and how much time you can give them
One of the cruelist things you can do is have piggies and ignore them. They thrive on interactions with their human slaves
Some of the costs include: different types of fresh veg a day, hay, straw, guinea pig nuggets, treats, vet's bills ... parsley - you'll need waggon loads of parsley smile

Read all the very helpful threads here, find your local rescue and go for a visit.

But if you can commit and offer lots of attention to piggies you will be rewarded more than know.

EastMidsGPs Sun 17-Jul-16 07:27:13

Sturdy not study angryphonesmile

Squirrelfruitandnutkin Sun 17-Jul-16 07:40:43

Watching with interest! I would love some piggies and the dcs would too. Just dh to persuade- he's not a animal lover. and I think he's scared of anything with little claws

EastMidsGPs Sun 17-Jul-16 08:24:24

Squirrel
My DH was no never EVER when I got ours ...but one took to him and he was smitten. Well, that might be an exaggeration, he tolerates them or so he says, but he never passes them without a chat, sits out in the garden with them and has been known to cuddle them. Our Sadie actually prefers him to me, ignores me when I say her name, but acknowledges it, when DH calls her.

She also loves watching and listening to Geoff Spelling with DH ... think she might prefer men grin

EastMidsGPs Sun 17-Jul-16 08:25:30

I have heard him read to them from the paper when he's out in the garden with them.
He denies this thogrin

Bearsinmotion Sun 17-Jul-16 08:32:23

Ha Squirrel, I got a piggie when I was 8 and DF was insistent he was my pet and he wouldn't help me with him. After a few months piggy would squeak when he heard me come in (he recognised our footsteps!), ignore my mum and sister but squeak for my dad. Turned out dad was feeding him fresh veg from the garden when I wasn't looking! smile

Apparently piggy was more appreciative of the veg than anyone else in the family hmm grin

januarydreams Sun 17-Jul-16 08:41:51

The Rspca often have a lot of donated equipment that are much cheaper than buying new.

If you can get to an Rspca animal centre you can ask to speak to the person who looks after small furriers. Most of the time they're very friendly and honest. They also know the personalities of the animals they look after, so they can help select the right one for you.

I hope that helps! smile

SteviebunsBottrittrundle Sun 17-Jul-16 09:39:34

Thanks! All really helpful.

Yes, I would love some piggies, but DH isn't so keen! I'm a SAHP atm so do have a good portion of the day which I can spend with them, with or without DD. I guess the issue would be if that changes any time soon. I am looking for a new job but a PT one, so think I'd still have a good few hours a day to spend with them.

EastMidsGPs Sun 17-Jul-16 11:21:19

We both work full time. So our girls do not get attention until about 3.30pm when I get home (we both leave for work before 7)
So they get a good breakfast and have things to break their boredom during the day. Our garden is safe and secure but I don't put them out to play if we are not here.
So in summer and any fine and not too cold autumn and spring day they go out as soon as I am home. They then come in later for a cuddle, watch TV and have a wander around indoors.
In winter they have the cuddles,TV and w indoors.
Weekends, if possible they are out on the grass for as long as possible .. then it's cuddles TV and repeat grin
DH watches lots sport and so do the piggies gringrin

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