This summer we bought two guinea pigs for the kids which are currently living in a hutch in the back garden!
As the summer is coming to a close and the autumn and winter will soon be upon us I have concerns about the best place to house them over the cold winter months!
When I had guinea pigs as a child my parents used to put the hutch in the shed for the winter which was quite roomy and had two large glazed windows!
Unfortunately, all we have is a concrete sectional garage with no windows!!
I wondered would the lack of natural light affect the health and happiness of my little piggies if I housed them in there over the winter ?????
For obvious reasons I cannot leave the garage 'up and over' door open 24/7 to allow them light.
I don't really want to bring them indoors either as I really don't have the space in the house!
Would they be ok outside throughout the winter if I insulated the cage with some 'visqueen' sheeting and padded them out with extra bedding????
Any experts out there with some advice???
They will need covering at night and lots of extra hay to keep warm. If the weather gets too cold ie ground frost or snow they really needto either be inside or in the garage, but do need natural light.
is there no way you could just bring the in on the coldest nights? In winter my rabbit comes in in his hutch just inside the kitchen door over night and then back out during the day with plenty of hay. My guinea pigs are indoor pets already!
i have several guinea pigs and i just make sure i put loads of hay and straw in there hutch and also cover them up with sheeting like you say.they will be fine as long as you do this:thumbsup:
Thanks for all your replies!!
I keep rabbits rather than pigs but some of them do live outside all year. I put clear plastic covers over the front of the hutch held down with sticky back velcro. We have also on occasion used old duvets under this for extra insulation. i know rabbits need 8 hours of light a day or else it interferes with there photosensitive body clocks and can cause digestive problems so i would suggest in the house rather than a dark garage. Also if you bring them inside you cannot take them out until late spring as their bodies need time to re-adjust.
Hope it helps.
we bred and kept guinea pigs for years they all lived outside in a large pen when not loose in the garden.
justmake sure there is plenty of bedding & hay,cover them probably large blanket for wet & cold.
guinea pigs are more intolerant of draughts than the cold.
(we had one that had to spend a day on the vets radiator to recover after she froze to the chicken wire.)
My bunny will be outside during the winter, i'm investing in a sungglesafe heat pad (http://www.snugglesafe.co.uk/heatpad.htm) to keep him cosy, this along with plenty of hay, a new sleeping box, plastic cover and a water bottle cover and he should be fine:thumbsup: . Rabbits are meant to be out doors, that's why they have furry coats!
I know someone who used to put a hot water bottle in the bed part of the cage wrapped up in a blanket making sure it would not burn of course. They put it in a night and took it out in the morning.
dont let the house rabbit association hear you say that seeyoujimmy. they will have your guts for garters. Hee Hee
My brother has a guinea pig, he lives in his hutch during the summer but in the garage during the winter, usually from about october time until around May. When he's in my brother keeps the garage side door open so Charlie the guinea pig gets light during the day, and on the slightly milder days he goes in his run on the grass for a short time to have some more space and light, but when it's really cold my brother just makes sure he brings him in the house for a cuddle and play.
My brother also bought him a plastic cocoon thing from Pets At Home which he fills with plenty of hay and puts in the bedroom area of the hutch for Charlie to snuggle in at night, and puts an old duvet over the front of the hutch to keep any draughts out. He's done this for the past two years and Charlie has been fine, obviously you can't keep a car in the garage while the guinea pig is in there though!