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Guinea pigs - two storey hutch/cage or not?

(15 Posts)
baddyface Thu 30-Mar-17 15:44:10

We are looking into rescuing two young guinea pigs. I have seen a few hutches/ cages and want the biggest suitable one. Some people I have asked have said two storey with a ramp, others have said that GPS don't like to adventure up a ramp and it's a waste of space.

Any experience would be gratefully received thanks

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 30-Mar-17 21:12:08

I'd always go for one level myself, given that all my guinea pigs are lazy artcles !

Years ago, my Dad made a big outdoor hutch from a heavy old sideboard (divide in the centre, hatch in the floor of the upper level, heavy wire mesh to ventilate ) they had a ramp but it was carpeted, shallow and had a side so more like a tunnel.
I had 4 females who happily used them (2 pairs of Mum/Daughter)

My piggies now wouldn't even look at a ramp except to hide under it.

You need to get a big enough hutch to give a decent sleeping area . I have a Gumtree bargain rabbit hutch in our Pighouse for GP6 , there's a door cut in one end, leads to his floor area.
GP7 and GP8 have two houses - one wooden box that is designed to fit on a run, and a cardboard box (Costco bread one)
They have a C&C divide in the Pighouse (old wooden playhouse)

C&C are good for indoors, you build it to fit the space and how many pigs. IIRC each panel is 14" square, I use cable ties to fasten and put thick cardboard on the floor over the grid. Some owners do lofts/ramps, I don't.

Any outdoor hutch needs to be positioned in a sheltered spot, away from direct sun, damp, draughts, free from the risk of predators.
And check the bolts (add a couple more) and the mesh (add another layer).
You can put a thick plastic cover over the front , well ventilated. The hutches tend to be shallow, guineas won't sit in rain so it seems a shame to have them cooped up in the sleeping area.
We painted our rabbit hutch atfter we deep cleaned it (steam gun + VirkonS) , DH added flymesh and more wire when we used it joined to their run.
I can't get it out the Pighouse now (had to take the door off to get it in) so it won't go back out.

Be aware of the height of the hutch, they can attempt to jump , they don't check how high they are hmm

PurpleDaisies Thu 30-Mar-17 21:15:35

I agree with 70. My piggies wouldn't use a ramp (well, mr pig would but he's a very special case). The girls are all too fat/scared to bother investigating. Ours are indoors all year round and the CC cages are a good option.

baddyface Fri 31-Mar-17 07:27:59

Thanks you for your replies.
So no two storey then!

I am still deciding on whether to keep indoors or to get a hutch that is in the summer house which can be heated and is pretty warm. The reason being that my youngest dd can be pretty loud and I would worry about frightening the GPS or making them jumpy. My older dd who is the one who they are for is very much an outdoors girl and is in the garden every day. She is very animal obsessed and tactile so I'm expecting her to be very hands on with the GPS.

I like the look of the cc cages though for indoors. Can I ask if you have a roof on. Do GPS just never try to escape?!

I would love to convert an old sideboard to give thyme enough space. Just need to find one! In the meantime are there any hitches that are realistically big enough for them?
I hate to think of them not having enough space.

dietcokeandwine Fri 31-Mar-17 11:52:27

Another vote here for indoor pigs.

And don't worry about noisy DC, mine are noisy too and the guineas just adapt to be honest. What I have found is that sudden noises after a period of quiet will frighten them and they will skitter away. A constant general loud-ish level of family noise, shouting, chatting, toys banging about etc doesn't bother them in the slightest. Ours are in the kids' playroom, in indoor cages (not c and c at the moment as I didn't know about them when we bought our hutches, but I'd love c and c at some point in the future) and the pigs and the DC love it. They do become immensely sociable if you have them indoors, and on cold wet nights and days it does make the care and feeding so much more pleasant!

We also have a big indoor run that ours use for playtime and running about, although if I'm honest our older pair just loaf about regardless of how much space they have!

GPs won't try and climb out of an unlidded hutch but if DC are little beware of children trying to throw stuff in.

dietcokeandwine Fri 31-Mar-17 12:03:46

We have Savic Nero 4 cages (two of them side by side, two pigs in each) on stands which are great - pigs are at a good height for cleaning out and general socialising, and the stands allow for brio train tracks and all sorts to be constructed underneath them grin

Savic 4 is the minimum size for two pigs (2ft x4ft) and ideally I would like bigger. But as I say our two pairs do take it in turns to play in a big 'pop up' play pen in the day which is about 5ft sq so good for running about.

Another one to look at is the Ferplast 140 which is a bit bigger than the Savic 4. But I would ignore any other pet store indoor guinea pig hutches to be honest as they will be far too small. The Savic 4 and Ferplast 140 are only just about big enough really.

Can't manage links as on my phone but if you google the names they should come up.

C and c is absolutely the way to go if you can manage it as you can build them to the shape and size you have available. I have an entire Pinterest board of dream c and c hutches blushgrin. If only two of my guineas wouldn't insist on fighting each other I would be building them a c and c palace right now!

baddyface Fri 31-Mar-17 13:23:11

Thanks dietcoke.

I think now that indoors is looking more likely. Are they very noisy at night? I'm thinking we could put them in a bigger cage if we used the playroom upstairs. It's more of a storage place for toys anyway as the toys always end up everywhere except the playroom. It's next to a bedroom though and my kids are already terrible sleepers!

FernieB Fri 31-Mar-17 13:54:09

My pigs are indoors in the utility at the moment although they have been in other rooms over the years. They're not particularly noisy at night (they used to be in easy hearing range of the bedrooms). Mine have tended to put themselves to bed in their igloos as soon as the lights go out. In the summer, they can wake up at dawn and decide it's breakfast time and start shouting for food, but they're not very loud. Indoor is so much easier for interaction and cleaning out (daily). My DDs are sixth form now but still wander up to their rooms with a pig to 'help' them revise, so they get plenty of attention.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 31-Mar-17 20:21:13

grin @ "help them revise"

DD did a project about the Amazon River in Yr 6 , her GP1 (The Mighty Chester) helped her because Obviously Guinea-Pigs know Everything about South America.

She got a very good mark not sure how much was down to his help grin

totorosfluffytummy Fri 31-Mar-17 20:25:55

My piggies have a 3 storey indoor hutch and have no problems zooming up and down the ramps!

FernieB Sat 01-Apr-17 11:29:46

Another vote for no ramp. I know some piggies do it but lots have no interest/are too lazy. It would be quite frustrating to spend the money on the large double storey for them to not use half the hutch.

70 - DDs are currently revising Philosophy and Ethics with piggie assistance. Having seem Ginger hide cucumber from Madam and Madam swipe food from Gingers mouth, I'm not confident in their interpretation of ethics.

baddyface Sat 01-Apr-17 14:15:47

Thanks for all the comments. We have decided to get the c and c 77cm x 185cm cage. One storey. They don't come with a roof so the sides are just over 35cm I think. GPS won't get over that will they? Will they be able to climb on their house bit to escape or don't they bother with adventure like that?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 01-Apr-17 18:56:23

Piggies are pretty ground level (though I will share with you that our lardy GP3 boar would leap out of the travel box like a mighty Pegasus grin , but only when he knew he was in the Pighouse and we took his ladies out first. Travel box is just below knee height to me...)

I use C&C indoors, I think because its grid (and the travel box is solid) they have never attempted to jump.
Even now , my GP6 (boar) whistled and coos at GP7/GP8 (sows) as he can't live with him (they don't like him hmm but we're trying the long game, he's luffley but they might just continue to say "No" )
He's never tried to climb or jump.

Give them lots of hidey boxes or tunnels
Make sure you protect their paws from the flooring grids.
I used cardboard, newspaper and puppy pads.
And a tarpaulin on the floor to protect my carpet because they can push hay out .

Good thing about C&C is you can be flexible. We did a big rectangle, put a box in it for sleeping, and a narrower 'corridor' bit leading to their food area to keep them busy.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 01-Apr-17 18:59:25

Look on places like Gumtree/eBay for spare panels, I got mine from Costco originally but I don't use the circular fastenings, just cable ties, then trim the spare lengths off.
Cable ties from eBay/Amazon or in the car parts bit of The Range

baddyface Sat 01-Apr-17 19:22:11

Thanks 70s. Sounds like you have your hands full!

So do you not have the coroplast bases? I was planning to have those with newspaper and then hay on top. Would that work?

I was thinking of getting either this

candcguineapigcages.co.uk/product/standard-2-x-6-grid-cage/

Or this

candcguineapigcages.co.uk/product/standard-2-x-5-grid-cage/

Depending on where we can fit it.

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