Where should I keep my guinea pigs in winter?

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Pottyone | 11:17 Tue 28th Oct 2008 | Pets
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We got 2 guinea pigs in September. They are outdoors in a 2 storey hutch at the mo. We were told by the RSPCA centre where we got them that the hutch should be moved into a garage in the winter. However we use our garage for the car in winter. We have a shed we could move the hutch into. However a friend with guinea pigs has said she never moves hers anywhere. We also have a cover over the hutch with a bit that comes down over the front at night which she doesn't. I also put loads of hay in which they have burrowed into once but usually just flatten down. If they were cold surely they would burrow in their hay? What do you all do with yours in the winter please?


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Mine live in a hutch in the shed but my wife tells me that when she was little she kept them outside in a hutch and covered them up with a thick blanket in the winter where they survived ok.
Would you like to live outside through the winter. Probably not.
Would the G Pigs like to live in your living room during the winter? Probably.
If you don't have the facilities to keep them happy and well, it may be considered irresponsible to get them in the first place.
Have a heart., invite them in.
I would definitely put their hutch in the shed for winter, I used to put my guinea pigs hutch in an unheated greenhouse for the winter. It protects them from the wind and rain, and prevents the hutch from getting soaking wet, which would make the interior cold. Glad to see you give them lots of hay. Have they got a separate sleeping compartment, if so they don't then usually paddle down the hay, they just snuggle into it. I don't know what area you are in, but here in Cheshire it has just started to snow today. Hope all goes well.
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Hello Schutzengel, thanks for your answer, yes they have a sleeping compartment which is full of hay but they don't burrow into it, just flatten it. They are in a very sheltered part of the garden, sheltered from the North and East wind, and have a cover to stop the hutch getting wet. I think I will put them in the shed.
If douggym would like to read the question again he/she will see I never mentioned not having facilities to keep them, I was merely asking for advice from other guinea pig owners. And I am certainly not an irresponsible owner. If I was irresponsible then I wouldn't have bothered to even post on here.
Hi Pottyone..mine are indoor , I have them out on the lawn for a few hours in summer.If they are young I would be inclined to put them in the shed.It can get very cold,frosty and they need some maturity to stand a cold winter.Hope this helps, as I say mine are indoors, so I don't have that problem.g.
My guinea pigs have lived outside all year round and have always been fine. The hutch is under a lean- to however and is protected on 3 sides so it is not exposed. In the winter I make sure that they have lots of dry fresh hay especially at night and the hutch is covered top, bottom and both ends with a thick duvet which also covers the front overnight. There is also a waterproof cover over the whole thing. I was always told that they are more susceptible to draughts so as long as the hutch is sheltered they should be okay. I do have a shed but it's colder in there than under the lean-to!
I know it's not the same thing but my rabbit lived outdoors all year round and he made it to about 12, which is a bloomin' good age for a bunny.

Cover their hutch with a thick blanket or sack overnight and put a sock over the water bottle to stop it freezing. It's a good idea to have a couple of spare water bottles in case one does freeze.

Also, don't be too eager to clean the hutch thoroughly over the winter. If you pick out the worst of it and put clean hay or straw over the top, the poo will ferment (for want of a better word) underneath and help to keep the hutch warm. Kind of like underfloor heating. Once the weather gets warmer you can give it a good clean and scrub and disinfect.
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Thanks for all your help, but doglady, my guinea pigs poo for England - I've never seen anything like it. I can't imagine leaving them for more than 3 days without cleaning them out. I have put them in the shed, though they don't seem as happy as when they were outside. They were in the garage for a couple of days but in my opinion it is too dark in there all day plus once the car goes in in winter, the fumes will be dangerous for them when the car is started in the morning. We will see how it goes with the shed. It is strange that when I put them out in the garden and then go to put them in once it gets cool, how they seem to want to stay out in the cold. They seem to like the cold!
Like you, i have guinea pigs in a two storey hutch.I have moved them into our summerhouse for the winter,not only because it warmer,but also because we get foxes in our garden.Food for the fox is more scarse in winter so i`m not taking any chances.They are safe in the summerouse.
my 2 guinea pigs are in the garden for the winter. i had hoped to have them in a shed but my husband hasnt quite finished building it yet. i bought 2 hot water tank insulation jackets at wickes (bogof at the time) these are wrapped around the hutch, tied together and held on with elastic and bricks. so far the water hasnt frozen in their drinking bottle and it feels cozy in there. i give them lots of hay and line the floor with newspaper and wood shavings. the bedroom area also has some under laminate floor foil backed insulation stuff under the newspaper for extra warmth. if the temp drops much more i have a small indoor cage that i would consider putting them in but with a cat in the house im a little wary of this plan. hope this helps!

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