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Thread: How cold is too cold?

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    Cavy Slave dextersmycutegp's Avatar
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    How cold is too cold?

    Recently we had our power go out for 3 days. The house got pretty chilly and the warmest it was during that time was about 53 F (the house is normally about 10 degrees warmer than that). I was just wondering if that is too cold, since the piggers seemed really cold.
    Next time this happens could I move them to the same room the fireplace is in? Or would that be too drafty?

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    Cavy Slave littlebear's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    53 is much to cold for guinea pigs. They should atleast be in a 65 - 75 is a good temperature range for them. As it says on the main site, if you are cold they are cold if you are hot there hot. But in a situation such as yours that you cannot help I'd throw in some towels (fleece) there cuddle cups and cozies, etc. And I am not sure about the fire place.

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    Cavy Slave fourbwabbys's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    Anything under 60 degrees would be too cold. I agree with littlebear, adding some extra cozies or towels will help them keep warm.

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    Cavy Slave aqh88's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    Below 60F without any breeze or drafts is generally considered too cold. 65F if it's windy or there are drafts in your house. At that point you need to start finding a way to help them keep warm. Fleece or other blankets are the best way. I know some people have managed to use hot water bottles or heating pads but they have their dangers. You have to make sure the pigs can't chew on them and that the pigs can get away from them if they want or they could actually overheat.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    My power was also out, probably in the same storm, for over two days, and I have five piggers that had to be kept warm. I threw a towel into the cage, but they couldn't figure out what it was for and mainly just chewed on it and then ignored it.

    I ended up moving their floor cage near to the fireplace so that they could be as close to it as they wanted (up to a couple of feet away), and I took turns holding them on my lap while I was sitting by the fire to try to keep them warmed up. I even tried putting them in boxes with towels in them while we drove around the neighborhood in the warm car, but they kept getting into arguments because they didn't like being in the boxes. *sigh*

    What's a piggy mom to do? Luckily, our heat came back on Sunday night and they all pulled through just fine.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    The rescue near me (western Washington, same storm) was adding a bunch of extra hay to the cages to help also. I'm going to call tomorrow and see if they want me to drop off some cuddle cups I just finished (I have 8!). I was out for 5 days and I think they are still out.

    Edit: It was in the 40s in my apartment by the time my power came back today. I hope those pigs are ok. I might be getting a refugee hedgehog tomorrow.
    Last edited by hydrohoki; 12-19-06 at 11:35 pm. Reason: adding temperature

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    Cavy Slave kavykrazy's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    My power was out for three days, and my house got pretty cold. I only added extra hay for them to snuggle in. As long as they are not in drafts, pigs are adaptable. They evolved to be able to handle the cold of the Andean Mountains.

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    Cavy Star Percy's Mom's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    Quote Originally Posted by kavykrazy View Post
    They evolved to be able to handle the cold of the Andean Mountains.
    Please remember that the guinea pigs you have in your home are NOT able to handle low temperatures. These are domesticated animals that would not survive in the cold of the Andes. Extra hay, pieces of fleece, heated rice socks are all good ideas. Bringing them into the same room as the fireplace is a good idea, just remember not to put them too close.

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    Cavy Slave aqh88's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    You know it was shown on mythbusters that a fireplace actually cools the rest of the house and creates lots of drafts. It pulls air from other rooms to feed the fire and go up the chimney. While it may be slightly warmer around the fire unless you close up the room your in and move all animals into it your actually going to make your house colder by using the fireplace. I don't think wood stoves have the same problem though. My neighbor has one and they use it through much of the winter with good results. Their heating bills are extremely low.

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    Cavy Slave kavykrazy's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    Quote Originally Posted by Percy's Mom View Post
    Please remember that the guinea pigs you have in your home are NOT able to handle low temperatures. These are domesticated animals that would not survive in the cold of the Andes.
    I didn't mean that we could take these pigs and drop them off in the Andes. I meant that they evolved in the cold so they are able to withstand cold without too much distress. They are really not that delicate when it comes to being in the cold (50-60) as long as they have a shelter to get into, buddies to snuggle with and no drafts blowing on them. High temperatures will kill a pig much faster than low temperatures.

    What do you consider a low temperature?

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    Cavy Star Percy's Mom's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    The range that littlebear mentioned is a good one. 65-75 degrees, perhaps just a few degrees warmer or cooler would be ok. 50 is far too cold.

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    Cavy Slave kavykrazy's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    Unless I convert my house over to make it totally climate controlled, that is an unrealistic temp range. My house temperatures flucuate much more than that, and my pigs are just fine. Cavies are not that delicate, that they would need such tight restrictions.

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    Cavy Star Percy's Mom's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    You asked a question, I gave you an answer. If you want sources for the information, here is the care pamphlet that you are free to print off from GuineaLynx, and the page on their website regarding housing and proper conditions.
    http://www.guinealynx.info/pamphlet.pdf
    Guinea Lynx :: Housing
    Here is the link to the Guinea Pig Cages location page.
    http://www.guineapigcages.com/location.htm

    Whether or not you read any of that is up to you, but knowing the quality and validity of the information that I have picked up from both sources, I wouldn't be willing to risk keeping my guinea pigs in a temperature range more than a couple of degrees on either side of that range. If it's not possible to keep the room your pigs are in at a relatively stable temperature between 65-75 degrees, I would take every precaution to warm or cool them.

    And yes, cavies are that delicate. Temperature fluctuations, either hot or cold, change in humidity, and drafts can all lead to possible respiratory infections or other health problems.

  14. "Thank you, Percy's Mom, for this useful post," says:

    WEAVER (12-21-06)

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    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    You can't just throw a towel in the cage. They definitely won't get that. But, a really good option is to put a good thick big towel over a tunnel so that it has a lot of overhang on one end and covers a little of the other end. They will go in that end and snuggle and work their way under the towel on the other end.

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    Cavy Slave Hansel's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    Pigs are very sensitive to temp change. My old roomate would crank up and turn down the heat in the winter time. My pigs got URI's around that same time.

    The pigs we have are totally different than the pigs in the Andes. Your profile says you live on the west coast. If you live someplace that is warm all the time, imagine someone taking you in your bathing suit from a nice hot beach to a place with snow. You will not atomatically adjust to the temp and would be very miserable.

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    Cavy Slave kavykrazy's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    I have already read that information. Guinea Lynx is an excellent resource, I agree. I just don't happen to agree with that bit of information. As I said above, as long as they have a shelter, buddies to snuggle with and there are NO drafts, a drop in temperature such as the original poster was worried about isn't going to kill them. Give them extra hay if needed, and I like the idea CavySpirit posted above: drape the towel so the pigs can get underneath it.

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    Cavy Slave Hansel's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    Not to be rude but regardless if you *agree* with it or not that temp range is cause for concern.

    Good ideas on keeping them warm!

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    Cavy Slave kavykrazy's Avatar
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    Re: How cold is too cold?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hansel View Post
    Pigs are very sensitive to temp change. My old roomate would crank up and turn down the heat in the winter time. My pigs got URI's around that same time.

    The pigs we have are totally different than the pigs in the Andes. Your profile says you live on the west coast. If you live someplace that is warm all the time, imagine someone taking you in your bathing suit from a nice hot beach to a place with snow. You will not atomatically adjust to the temp and would be very miserable.
    I don't want to make this a debate for the kitchen, which it can easily become.

    As I stated in my last post, and this keeps the thread on topic, the original poster was concerned about the drop in temperature. I stated that as long as they have a shelter, buddies to snuggle with and there are NO drafts, their pigs will be fine. Take the extra precaution of adding hay or draping a towel if needed.

    When the power goes off, houses gradually cool down. It is not the same as going from inside the house to outside the house. That I agree is too drastic a difference, at least in the winter in most places.

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