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Small pets

New to guinea pigs

6 replies

Jax2218 · 24/08/2014 21:31


I am looking for a little bit of help with regards to keeping guinea pigs as pets. I have been offered from a shelter, two gp boars who live outdoors. They would be for my two young children (or really for me I missing having animals)

Now I have had lots of animals in the past but never GP's. Would they be ok outdoors and in the garage in bad weather/winter. What type of hutch would be best ( without spending a fortune), I will probably look for a run after I have everything else, or is that cruel?

Any advice would be welcome and indeed anything a newbie to GP's may overlook.

Thank you


OP posts:
starlight1234 · 24/08/2014 21:39

We had 2 boars ( only one alive now)

The difficulty with boars is when they grow up. My son's 2 played really happily when babies but when they grew up used to fight a lot and had to be seperated. One hs now died as a full grown male I can't put a young male with him or a female as I don't want babies.

Mine live outside year round I simply have an isulation bag that goes over to keep him warmer in the winter and extra bedding.

Jax2218 · 24/08/2014 21:50

What type of hutch do you have. I was looking at a single tier around 4ft.

OP posts:
starlight1234 · 24/08/2014 21:51

I have a single hutch but I do get hm out in the run most days if it is dry in summer.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 24/08/2014 21:59

starlight I've done both with boars.
When GP2 died leaving GP1 (about 2.6 ) we introduced tiny piglet boar GP3 (a 6 week old)
When GP1 died leaving a 1 yo GP3 we had him neutered and introduced him to GP4/GP5 , two sows the same age.
Yes it takes careful handling and yes it can go Pete Tong but 99% of the time it's work round-able.
70isaLimitNotaTarget · 24/08/2014 22:13

Find out from the shelter where the pigs live over winter, most likely they put them in a large enclosed shed . Guineas don't cope with damp or draughts or extreme changes of temperature.
Bear in mind , a large shed full of cages will be warmer than two or one piggie.
Boars don't tend to cuddle together, ours had their own space in the haybox.

WRT the hutch - go as big as you possibly can. If you are keeping them in a garage (with no car, fumes can kill them) you could see about using C&C or maybe have one made up.
I've had to put the run in our garage with a load of cardboard on a waterproof tarpaulin , a huge bag of hay and a duvet on top when I've had to do an emergency de-camp . (Most recently when our NDN tree was damaged and too near the Pighouse). Our garage has a concrete floor and not alot of light, so I don't want them in there long term.

4'x2' is IRL a small space for two boars. My sows were quarentined in a 4'x2' but in the run for excercise.
(I read that minimum spaces 4'x2' for 2 pigs /5'x2' for 3/ 6'x2' for 4 ) I keep my pigs in a 6'x6' wooden playhouse and a 84" long rabbit run. 2 boars to begin with, now we have 1 boar + 2 sows .
There's still a good 4-6 weeks (weather permitting) of grazing weather, so they'd appreciate a run.

Boars are lovely..cuddly, snuggly, messy Grin but they need space and they can get the hump with each other. If they have room to escape each other, it makes life easier.

Single level is much better, the ramps on alot of hutches are steep.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 24/08/2014 22:27

Ooh and another tip - get some scales. (I bought some flat digital scales and a Guinea-Pig Weighing Bowl )

It gives a good indication to your Pigs' health.
Something like a 2oz loss gives cause for concern, to watch.

Our boar is a huuge 3lb Rex, he's been bereaved,matched,neutered and bonded within a 6 week period .
The two ladies are steadily gaining an ounce or so (they had just finished weaning their piglets when I got them ) so they're putting on condition and winter fat now.
GP3 has lost 2oz but we put that down to more running around after his girls.

But we weigh weekly to be sure.

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