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Small pets

My guinea pigs will be okay outside, won't they?

29 replies

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere · 08/07/2012 20:15

We are in Surrey and it is pretty wet, though not anywhere near as bad as other parts of England. We have moved our baby boars outside today - they are about 4 months old. They are in a wooden hutch, off the ground, with back-to-nature bedding, a little grass hut thingy, toys, a cardboard tube, water, hay, food, nibbles.... will they be okay?

They looked quite scared earlier but I really cannot have them inside. We have one living area and I childmind so the children are constantly knocking or banging the cage or sticking things in it. Not ideal.

I am hoping our boys will settle well outside. We will obviously be aware of heat and cold!!!

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KatherineKavanagh · 08/07/2012 20:20

Ours are fine outside, is your garden fox proof?

Mintyy · 08/07/2012 20:21

They will be fine outside except in extremes of heat and cold. Is their hutch in the shade? Will you put them out in a run if it ever gets dry enough??

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 08/07/2012 20:36

We're in Essex, but my 2 boars are much older than yours (2 in October).
Their pighouse is raised on a wooden plinth (it's my DC old playhouse) and I really worry about them (as you do)

I cleaned out the Pighouse (daily task) and as usual their haybox was peed to oblivian.

I give them rubber car mats, cardboard, newspaper and hay.

They used their litter tray hoorah , but only for droppings. One step at a time Grin

We had a river down the path beside the Pighouse (lower level)

But their house was toasty and snug and dry, so I'm sure as long as your hogs have got enough dry bedding to snuggle in ,and the front of the cage is protected , they'll be fine. And enjoy their independance Wink

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere · 08/07/2012 20:39

Fox proof: I think so. We have a small paved backyard, mid terraced with a wooden fence and gate. While I have seen foxes around our neighbourhood, I have not noticed them in our tiny backyard or surrounds.

Their hutch will be in the shade most of the time and yes, we have a run for them that they will go in (on the grassed front area of our house) when the weather improves!

It is not too cold now for them, is it?

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ByTheWay1 · 08/07/2012 20:45

they'll be just fine - ours are outside piggies in a hutch all year round for 12 years except for 1 week when it was below 0 for the whole week winter before last.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere · 08/07/2012 20:48

70isalimit, the front of the hutch has a metal bars and a wooden door. It is a double storey hutch but the two storeys are not connected by way of a ramp (we intend to do that once they are a bit older). Is that enough protection in the front of the hutch? Should we put anything more in front?

I am hoping they will poop in the same corner of their outside hutch as they did when they were inside Grin. They also seemed to prefer to urinate in the same corner, my clever little piggies!

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ByTheWay1 · 08/07/2012 20:54

If it rains heavily we put a builders rubble bag (strong clear plastic) over the front of the hutch, apart from that, nothing - they need fresh air... we also have a double storey, but have never bothered with the ramp - keeps them off the ground, cuts down on cat interference etc...

BonkeyMollocks · 08/07/2012 20:56

I found that back to nature bedding quite hard on their little toes on it own?

Can you mix it in with something (I mixed it with carefresh in the end until I swapped it for megazorb) or chuck loads of hay on top to make it more snug.

My Little pig gave me a right dirty look before he tiptoed across it. Not impressed Grin

But yes, they should be fine :)

Sleepydog · 08/07/2012 20:59

Ours are out in their hutch from March (although more like May this year) to around Oct/ Nov - then brought in for the winter.

Our hutch is off the ground. They are 3 now and we have had them since around 8 weeks , also live in suburban fox area.

As soon as grass is dry they go out - went out late afternoon today as grass seemed to dry pretty quick in this temp even though it had rained.

If they are out and it looks as though its going to rain I put a towel over the run and it keeps them dry aswell as shading them from when the sun happens to be out .

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere · 08/07/2012 21:01

Thanks for all the advice!

The back-to-nature stuff seems quite soft to me? We had been using wood shavings and one of our boys kept on sneezing so we stopped the wood shavings and the dandelion salad that we gave them - not sure what caused the sneezing but it has stopped so we will not go back to wood shavings or the dandelion salad (dried, packaged!)

Will try megazorb soon - at the moment this is all new to me and DH so we are just going on trial and error!

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70isaLimitNotaTarget · 08/07/2012 21:03

They'll probably stay in the wooden box part, but have you got a waterproof sheet or tarpaulin to cover the front (with the front bit pegged down but ventilation at the sides). I don't know if you are forecast rain where you are but we've had off/on rain for 4 days, tipping down today.

They should be fine if it's dry, but have something you can quickly pull over the cage if need be.

My Pighouse has the plastic windows, and DH has made one removeable (inside the window frame is lined with flymesh and heavy wire fencing) to make it predator proof. They need protected from draughts and damp.
I use an old shower curtain (fastened with clothes pegs) on their run- partly in case they get a rogue shower and (when it's sunny) to give them shade.
And my little GP2 is a magnet for magpies Confused.

BonkeyMollocks · 08/07/2012 21:03

If you try Megazorb you will see what I mean.

Maybe I'm too soft Grin

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere · 08/07/2012 21:03

What should we put the hay in? At the moment it is in a hay box thingy attached to the metal fencing but it will just get wet.

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BonkeyMollocks · 08/07/2012 21:07

Just chuck it in, they love burrowing in it, and playing 'ghosty guineas' Grin

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere · 08/07/2012 21:08
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70isaLimitNotaTarget · 08/07/2012 21:23

We put the hay into the haybox (mine CBA walking to the hayrack. They made that plain about 24 hours after we got them Grin )

They love the Haunted Hay Game.

One of them (usually GP1 because he's braver) will dive in, after the obligatory Marking Pee, and tunnel through. He sounds like he's having a fight, but it's with himself. (Think Rab C Nesbitt on a bender)

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere · 08/07/2012 21:37

I was worried about them weeing on the hay and then eating it?? Or am I being a bit too precious...

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BonkeyMollocks · 08/07/2012 21:44

They will love it, a box full of hay is like piggy heaven.

My two go popcorning mad more for the rustle of the hay bag than they do a carrot Grin

I have also given up with hayracks, they prefer to plonk down their arses and eat. I have resigned to just chuck it in and let them sort it our. I miss my nice clean organised cages with no hay on the floor

Mintyy · 08/07/2012 21:48

Just been out in the piddling rain and stuffed my girls' bedroom with a whole heap of hay. They haven't been out in their run for two days so deserve a treat. You should have heard the squeaking!

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere · 08/07/2012 21:54

I stuffed some in their bedroom but they are still so scared, that one hid away and the other as if I was satan incarnate.

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Alliwantisaroomsomewhere · 08/07/2012 22:04

Sad Even DH now says they are petrified! I don't want to bring them in now, because they must get used to it. Poor boys! I feel very mean!

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70isaLimitNotaTarget · 08/07/2012 22:07

As long as you change the hay regularly, Satan, they'll have enough to pick at.

I give mine fresh daily at the moment ( I'm worried about flystrike, so I'm on the defence rather than trying to solve it).

In winter they have a deep litter system (like horses stables)- straw at the back and sides to insulate (it's very soft, they don't eat it) and a half bag of hay XL bag.

Then when they come in for the winter night I take out the wet hay and pull the bedding to the side to air the floor, then toss the hay in the morning.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 08/07/2012 22:09

They are probably scared of the new environment and all the new sounds.

Have you got a fleece they can snuggle in?

At least they've got each other to sniggle.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 08/07/2012 22:10

Sniggle? snuggle Blush

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere · 08/07/2012 22:20

No fleece, but the boys have this five star hotel so they cannot really complain, can they?

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