Best hutch for guinea pigs...(3 Posts)
So, following on from all the great advice and experiences I got from my previous thread, I have almost decided we will get guinea pigs. My DD and I are going to visit a rescue centre today, and she is going to meet some, hold some, hopefully get wee on her, and perhaps a little guinea pig poo, just so she is aware of the realities of little pets (our cat has the big wide world outside for a litter tray).
But, assuming all goes well today, and she is even more enthused and committed to the cleaning and feeding regime, I was wondering what the best hutch was? I have come across Ryedale (which seem to be the best but which are VERY expensive) and the Welfare Hutches, and lots of mention of the happy hutch company (who don't seem to exist anymore), but I was hoping for recommendations. I was thinking to get a 2x6 foot bungalow, because our rescue piggies might not be into stairs. I am anticipating that the piggies would live inside with us until May (so they can get to know us, and us them, before they move to the summer home). My other key criteria is that the wire front has small enough holes that NO rats will get in (having read some very horrible stories about rats moving into rabbit hutches). Any thoughts/advice/recommendations anyone?
We have our hogs in a wooden playhouse (it belonged to my DC so I had it already) DH painted the inside with piggie safe paint, made two of the windows removeable for ventilation and put re-inforcement in the window spaces . (wooden bars/metal grid/flymesh). There are bolts on the outside to hold in place and a large plastic sheeting that sits in front of one to protect from drizzle but still give air.
We have a powercable from the garage so I've got a light,a fan and I can put a heater in.
I bought a rabbit hutch last year (Gumtree) for outside but last winter put it in the Pighouse (mainly to protect it ) . There's a door cut out of the end where we used to attatch to the run. Its re-inforced with extra wire mesh and flymesh. Door secured but we can lift the roof (its padlocked for security when outside)
TBH , it isn't big enough for full time living, my two sows sleep in it and have some floorspace. The boar has a little wooden house to himself and floorspace.
You'll most likely need an indoor and outdoor space/hutch. I like my piggies to be outside throwing their hay about but there are times they need to come indoors: Guy Fawkes, winter, Storms, illness.
Double storey hutches - some piggies will use the two levels (mine CBA ) . And if there's a run at the bottom can you move the whole thing?
They need to be sheltered and protected so they don't get blown over.
Protect from rain,wind, sun. You can use thick plastic but you need to ventilate.
The size of the sleeping area too, most are tiny. By the time you fill with hay your pigs won't have much space.
Look on Gumtree / eBay for 2nd hand ones too (though most are buyer collect) , rabbit hutches tend to be bigger.
You'll need something to clean it with (I use Virkon S in a spray after I've blitzed with the steamer)
Is anyone good with woodwork? You could custom make one . There's lots of ideas online, look at some of the rabbit accomodation too, some good ideas with sheds.
Nice thing about a shed is you are protected too, if its tipping down, you stay dry while you chat to them and clean.
I was coming on here to ask about hutches too! Am going to adopt some rescue piggies soon and am planning to convert a sideboard into a home because the ones i've bought before at Pets at Home etc have been £££ and very poor quality imo.
I'm thinking a solid wood sideboard would provide a very nice two storey home for three or four piggies - I would wire mesh the doors, paint the whole exterior with outdoor quality paint and add an asphalt roof sloping to the back...in my mind it's genius but any tips appreciated. I have had pigs before and they were lazy sods but I am assuming if the slope is gentle and the bedding area is cosy most could be arsed to go upstairs to bed??
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