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Pigfarmer
11-15-01, 01:37 pm
Hello,

I just stumbled onto this site and I must say it is one of the best if not THE best place for information on GP's anywhere on the 'net. I always thought the space "requirements" for GPs was too small, and finally someone agrees with me. I have an outdoor pen and two piggies, both female. I use 3 cube panels for the sides and 4 panels for the length. I use the side of the house as the fourth wall. I used to use store bought shavings but I switched to hay from my local feed store. At 50 cents a bag you can't beat it. If you would please indulge me for a moment as I have a few questions.

1) If anyone is interested, I can post a picture or two of my setup. Do I need permission to do that? What's the best way to post a picture?

2) It's starting to get cold where I live (low 40's-50's at night, sometimes colder). I am considering building an indoor cage thanks to some of the great ideas on this site. Should I bring the pigs in at night, or should I leave them out there? I have a good friend who has an outdoor pen for 30 or 40 pigs. No, that's not a typo either. He leaves them outside 24/7. They seem to be happy, but I'm not around to see them in the middle of the night either. Maybe they all cuddle up for warmth, I don't know. Obviously he can't have 40 pigs in his house, but I'm questioning wether being outside is good for them or not.

3) Last question: If I do move the GPs inside, can I continue to use hay, or will it stink up the place? (no offense to da pigz :) Right now I have them in a plastic tub at night which is way too small. If I have to go back to shavings it's not a big deal, it's just a few more $$.

I would appreciate any and all replies. I for one hope this site continues to do well.
Thanks,
-Jeff

originalfirefly
11-16-01, 11:53 am
I highly encourage you to bring your pigs inside permanently. Here are some reasons why: www.cavycages.com/environment.htm (http://www.cavycages.com/environment.htm)

1) To post a pic, you need to have it up somewhere on a website, then provide us with the link. (This board doesn't support uploading pics unfortuneatly.) No special permission...we would all love to see your wonderful setup.

2) Bring your pigs inside!

3) Lots of people use hay for bedding. You pretty much just have to change it every day (from what I understand). It absorbancy isn't that great.

Hope this helps!

Miriam

CavySpirit
11-18-01, 01:12 am
I second bringing the pigs indoors. All the reasons I believe are quite well stated from a good book which I've guoted on page Miriam gave you.

I also don't adopt out to outdoor environments for those reasons.

I would do what you can to bring them indoors. Are you friend's 30-40 separated by sex (I hope)?

Glad you like the site. Will be updating it and adding more info soon.

Pigfarmer
11-18-01, 08:28 pm
Thank you both for your replies. I will be bringing da pigz inside as soon as I can get the cage up and running.

Your reasons for keeping GPs indoors are all valid. I disagree with you though when you say you won't adopt to people with outdoor cages. I am sure countless "indoor" pigs have died from many causes (children, wiring, other pets, etc.) I think you would agree there are hazards both indoors and out, and just because a pig is indoors doesn't mean it's going to get attention, or won't get sick because the owner didn't catch the symptoms in time. My pigs seem to like it outside. They get fresh air, they get to hear the birds chatting at each other all day, and they get more space than if they were inside. You have to do what you think is right and I respect you for doing that. But I also think that you are excluding some people who might otherwise make good pig owners. I would rather see a pig in an enclosed outdoor home than no home at all.
Thanks again for answering my post.
-Jeff

CavySpirit
11-21-01, 04:35 pm
Hi Jeff,

Actually, the number of people who I haven't adopted out to solely because of the fact that they kept the guinea pigs outdoors was one. And in that case, I directed the person to shelters in the area that had guinea pigs needing homes as well as the Monterey rescue which they were fairly close to and where there are still hundreds of pigs needing homes (who are in fact more used to an outdoor type environment).

I agree with you about homes for the guinea pigs, but, I don't feel my standards are causing any guinea pigs to be put down or left homeless.

Actually, I just remembered another from way back when. Similar circumstance. Both of these homes had suffered losses of one of their guinea pigs prior to what I would consider old age.

There are definitely hazards indoors as well. I completely agree. Boy, do I agree. But as it relates to my adoption criteria, I do my best to minimize those also: cage requirements, cage location, education, onsite visits, follow up over time, etc.

Part of my mission is education. If my only objective was to rehome animals and nothing else, it would be intolerably frustrating for me. I have to feel that I am making a difference or it would be like beating my head against the wall along with being a supreme money pit. Also, if I were to relax my standards just to get the animals placed, I would be doing not much more than a shelter (very little screening) or a pet store (no screening).

While I agree, I'm sure there is a family or two out there who I have not adopted out to who may have made a great home, there are far more that I have either rejected or educated or redirected to something else which was the right thing to do. I can't be perfect, but I know that these criteria are basically working and working well.

With most of the adoption criteria I post, I know it's not a black and white world. I have made exceptions in certain special circumstances for some of the conditions.

Just to add a little recent story, my two most recent additions to the rescue came from a young adult who 'rescued' them from a pet store dump. Very good intentions. He kept them in an outdoor shed. We saw it when we went to pick them up. I'd say the shed, as far as sheds go, was fine. However, one of the males had the worst fungal infection I have ever seen, not to mention he also had lice and mites. I'm still working on it three weeks later. Caused solely by being outdoors? I don't think so. Did it contribute? I'd say yes, both weather and lack of attention to care. Would the lack of attention to care had been any better if they had been indoors? Who knows, but it wouldn't have been worse.

Anyway, just wanted to share my thoughts. Keep us posted on the cage saga. :)

Pigfarmer
11-21-01, 05:52 pm
Teresa,

Great answer. I think we are both on the same page here for sure. You obviously care a great deal about these animals and I tip my hat to you. I thought that you were just finding placement for these GP's, my mistake. I like the fact that you don't just turn people away, you give them information and/or refer them to other "Pig Sanctuaries." From what I can see from your site here you are doing good work.

I will post links to pictures of both my old outdoor and my new indoor setup. Both of my pigs are getting used to living indoors but I'm sure they will adjust in time.
Thanks,
-Jeff

treelady53
03-24-02, 05:54 am
actually i kept mine outside right next to the door i used every morning to come home. GP
do well in cold IF they can stay absolutely DRY. when the wind blew too hard for me to block
the rain i brought them in. i refuse to put them in a dark garage or shed. now they have a big
coroplast & cube environment and i plan a much bigger summer pen(they were in a hutch but
they are so much happier in the larger space). it will be sturdy because i have raccoons & pos
sums & feral cats around. plan to use pallets, chicken wire, & cinder blocks. - - - treelady53

imacavylover
09-06-02, 06:27 pm
I'm going to have to disagree with not putting cavies outdoors under any circumstances. Our guinea pigs are in huge cages out on our screened in porch away from the sun, and they are very loved- and *still* happy.
It all depends what you give your piggies in their outdoor homes that will make them happy or unhappy. I seem to think keeping guinea pigs outdoors is just as nice, if not more nice, than keeping them indoors. We keep the house temperature very cool throughout the summer, which the cavies don't like and I think it's best for them to have fresh air. It is hot outside right now, but we have a ceiling fan over the cages and another plug-in fan which keeps the temperature near the cages cooler. Their water bottles get changed 2-3 times a day- and they are fed very well. All of my cavies seem to be happy... In the winter, we will warm all of them up with rags, lots of thick bedding, straw, and a thick quilt to cover the cages. They also have huts to crawl up under if they get cold. Not all piggies are the same, and I think saying that pigs are ONLY happy and healthy indoors is not true. Guinea pigs are from the **wild,** not from a house. And believe you me, these piggies are STILL spoiled rotten even being outdoors. They get to play in our large garden... and have lots of floor-time. Their cages are not in the sun's path- and there's not much drafts. Books provide alot of good information, but only half of the information, I am convinced, applies to few piggies out there.
Christopher

CavySpirit
09-06-02, 09:40 pm
<blockquote>[/b][/i]Quote:[u]<hr> Actually, the number of people who I haven't adopted out to solely because of the fact that they kept the guinea pigs outdoors was one.

Make that two as of tonight.<blockquote>[/b]Quote:[u][i]<hr> Guinea pigs are from the **wild,** not from a house.

Perhaps, but these domestic guinea pigs are not 'from the wild.' Outdoor survival characteristics is a long, long way from the traits that the breeders try to breed for. They go for color and markings and what not. Not what makes a guinea pig better able to survive outdoors.

imacavylover
09-07-02, 01:50 pm
Teresa,
I'm not sure why you advocate to keeping cavies outdoors, but so far, mine are doing just fine and love the fresh air. Like I said before, we moved our cavies outdoors to deodorize the house. The bedding(Carefresh and Pine shavings) was cleaned regularly, but there was still a smell that wasn't pleasant. We even bathe the guinea pigs once every 3 weeks. I don't know of a bedding out there that is actually perfect. Not even Carefresh is perfect in my opinion. Not only did we move our cavies outdoors to get rid of the "hay barn" smell, but we found more room on our back screened-in porch. Their space in the house was VERY limited. You'll be happy to know that my cavies are under perfect care, and I wouldn't dare try something that I wouldn't think would work- such as putting cavies outdoors. It's better keeping the cavies outdoors then selling them, don't you think? Yes, cavies living indoors is very nice, we had our's indoors for about 10 months, but the piggies kept multiplying, the room was limited, and the house smelled of hay. Just because a person doesn't have room in their house for cavies, is no reason not to have them as pets. If I sold my cavies, they wouldn't get the care I give them, even with a book wrote about their preferences, so keeping them outdoors is not as bad as it seems. I can't imagine where you find the room to keep 60+ cavies in your house, but you are VERY lucky!!!!
Have a great day :-)
Christopher

CavySpirit
09-07-02, 05:53 pm
[/i] The piggies kept multiplying?[u]
I'd say you have issues beyond the location of your cage.

[/i] Just because a person doesn't have room in their house for cavies, is no reason not to have them as pets.[u]
Well, as a rescue, sorry, but I disagree. If you cannot provide the proper environment or anything else, such as vet care, you should not have the pets. We disagree on what "proper environment" is all about.

[/i] It's better keeping the cavies outdoors then selling them, don't you think?[u]
No, not necessarily.

[/i] I can't imagine where you find the room to keep 60+ cavies in your house, but you are VERY lucky!!!![u]
I have an average-sized home. I'm just committed to saving their lives and doing rescue. So, I have no diningroom furniture, just cages. One out of three bedrooms is all cages. Cages in the office, cages in the livingroom. A cage in the kitchen. Here's an album that walks through the cages in my home: imageevent.com/cavyspirit/virtualtour (http://imageevent.com/cavyspirit/virtualtour).

IMACAVYLOVER
09-07-02, 08:57 pm
Hi Teresa:
Your cage photos are very nice! There's so many of them !!!!!
About the piggies multiplying- limited space means limited cages. Some females and males had to be housed together because there simply wasn't enough room- and there was no other place in the house suitable for their cages to be at. In light of this, the males and females mated. I refuse to have any or all of them spayed or neutered since I've heard too many herendous stories about cavies dying. And I doubt that many Vets know how to do this with a cavy anyway. So now, all of the females are seperated from the males, and the males have their own cages. I will definitely get some pictures to you soon...... it's nice knowing someone as smart as you with information on cavies.

If a person doesn't have enough room for cavies to be indoors, what's wrong with moving them outdoors? I understand that so many people have their own opinions about whether or not cavies should be placed outdoors, but with the required and proper settings(such as bedding, warmth, and and comfort), what's wrong with them living outdoors. My cavies seem to be happy to be outside with the fresh air and all of nature's sounds- They are protected from any insects, animals, and weather inclements. The screened in porch is in the shady part of our backyard, so heat really isn't a big issue. Of course when we do have our hot days- there are two powerful ceiling fans going, plus another fan(plug-in) type which keeps them cool. The walk-in closet that they used to be in is empty now and this is going to be a place for them to come and play around in- especially in the very frigid days of winter.

"It's better keeping the cavies outdoors then selling them, don't you think?" Let me rephrase this- Since my cavies can't be indoors... I have agreed to not get rid of them and keep them in the sheltered porch outdoors. If I sell them, they will not get the love and care I give them. I spoil them to death! I don't want you to get a bad mental image of cavies living outdoors and not getting any love or care- so I will not only send you some pictures... I am promising you that my cavies are VERY loved!

"I have an average-sized home. I'm just committed to saving their lives and doing rescue. So, I have no diningroom furniture, just cages. One out of three bedrooms is all cages. Cages in the office, cages in the livingroom. A cage in the kitchen......."
I honor you for this- but we live in a 2-story home and it's not possible to have that many cages in it! Believe me, if I had the room, I would definitely try and rescue as many cavies as I could- because I love them dearly, as does yourself- but until that day(if it comes), they will have to do outside. They all are still active and happy and still continue to squeak when we make their feeding calls.
You being a rescuer, I imagine how particular you must be when you hear stories of piggies being raised wrong- and that is understandable, but most cavies even without all of the reccomended products are very happy and live full, healthy lives. I'm not saying mine don't have it all- they have more actually- just letting you know from another viewpoint.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Have a nice night!

CavySpirit
09-07-02, 10:06 pm
When I reply on these threads, it's not just to the individual poster, it's to the community at large. If I were replying just to you, I'd use private email. My point being, when I say outdoors, I mean outdoors. I understand about gray areas and whatnot. And you will do what you need to do and feel is best. However, I must always take issue with cavies being housed "outdoors" in general. You base your position on your knowledge. I base mine on mine, which includes a LOT of heartbreaking stories.

[/i] Some females and males had to be housed together because there simply wasn't enough room- and there was no other place in the house suitable for their cages to be at. In light of this, the males and females mated. I refuse to have any or all of them spayed or neutered since I've heard too many herendous stories about cavies dying. And I doubt that many Vets know how to do this with a cavy anyway. So now, all of the females are seperated from the males, and the males have their own cages.[u]
Sorry, but there is no excuse for housing males and females together due to lack of room. None. If that's your excuse for breeding, it's a pretty poor one. You've heard too many horrendous stories about spay and neuter? I've heard too many horrendous stories due to irresponsible breeding. Far, far fewer due to inept vets and neutering, and I'm in the stories and excuses business--big time. Glad you finally managed to separate the males from the females.

I'm sure your cavies are very loved. I just still hold my position on adopting out to outdoor environments.

Best to you and your piggers.

SuperCavyLover
09-08-02, 09:10 pm
Teresa,
You obviously have a bad mental image on ALL cages being placed outdoors. I've seen enough pictures myself on some of your photo albums(with ImageEvent) to know just how horrible a cavy can look after being mistreated. Let me remind you, my cavies are not in dog carriers or boxes outside. They are treated the same way outside as they were inside. Further, we've noticed that them being on our back screened-in porch gives us more time with them since we also like to sit out on the porch and eat breakfast, etc. If it suits you to put all of your cavies indoors, then that's great. But just because you've heard too many horrendous stories about cavies being outdoors is no reason to make a final opinion about all outdoor cages. You make me and probably other posters with "outdoor cavies" feel bad that our cavies *have* to be outdoors, due to lack of room or other reasons. You being a rescuer, I would think you'd be tickled pink that I even have cavies... 17 of them as a matter of fact. 17 may be a small number to you since you have over 60, but I'm not a breeder nor a rescuer so I've got quite a bit to just be a "regular pet keeper."

"Sorry, but there is no excuse for housing males and females together due to lack of room. None. If that's your excuse for breeding, it's a pretty poor one. You've heard too many horrendous stories about spay and neuter? I've heard too many horrendous stories due to irresponsible breeding. Far, far fewer due to inept vets and neutering, and I'm in the stories and excuses business--big time........"

>Why isn't there NO excuse for housing males and females together due to lack of room?? If there isn't enough room, then there is *simply* not enough room. At the time my cavies lived indoors and two sexes were living together, I had no idea this was a bad thing to do. I'm sure you wouldn't have wanted me to sell either my males or females to pet stores... would you? Some owners would have done this due to lack of room- but I cared for mine so much- I refused to not part with them. But apparently you still look at me as not a good cavy owner because my cavies live outdoors despite all of the good I do for them.

"I'm sure your cavies are very loved. I just still hold my position on adopting out to outdoor environments."

>Yes, I do love my cavies and I wish I could feel better about them without constantly having to read that putting cavies outdoors is a bad thing. I do wholeheartedly agree with you that cavies indoors is safer and a better environment, but putting them outside is ALSO not a horrible thing. At least their cages aren't outdoors without protection from animals and weather. What could possibly be wrong about putting my cavies in an outdoor environment where bugs, animals, etc. can't get them? The weather? Not all climate zones are the same and it depends what you do for your cavy(ies) to ensure their health/happiness.

This of course is just my opinion and I respect what you say- but from looking at my cavies, they seem to be very happy and active and I refuse to listen about what a disgrace it is to keep any guinea pigs outdoors.

"Best to you and your piggers."

>Thanks! I wish you extended success in your Cavy Spirit Rescue Program and on your websites. I'm a BIG cavy fan and I am totally fond of what you are doing to help the many cavies out there that need love and care.

As always, have a super day!

ben walker
08-16-03, 03:17 pm
hey

im a newish cavy owner, im 14 years old. Ive had my two pigs for about 6months, and for the most part kept them in a smallish cage inside. Its winter here in new zealand, almost spring, so i decided to invest in a second hand cage for outside. Its great and has plenty of room, with a warm hutch. I cant see why people dont like keeping guinea pigs outside. Just look at us humans, being out in the fresh air is much better feeling than being stuck indoors right? I think the same applies to guinea pigs. On fine days i puit them in their new run and hutch, at night times i bring them in to their old inside cage. So far they love it. They can also graze and eat grass all they like outside, which cuts the cost of veges. I think that its just a matter of preference were you keep your pigs. Thanks.

Ben

Cocoa Puff
11-04-04, 07:02 pm
This is probably really late but, Teresa where did you get that bale of hay for 18.25. If you got if from a feed store can you tell me which one. I live in the Bay Area too...

Furkidsmommy
11-04-04, 08:20 pm
I've been reading through this and I can hardly believe my ears. What is wrong with you people? Stupidity I guess. There is never an excuse to put a male and female piggy in the same cage unaltered, period. As to saying you didn't know there was anything bad in it, hello male and female what do you think they would do, good grief ignorance really makes me mad. Guinea pigs require a certain stable environment with temperatures between 65-75 degrees in a dry, draft free location, out of direct sunlight. I very much doubt that this could be provided in an outdoor environment 12 months of the year. No one makes you have piggies, so why would you get them in the first place if you could not provide adequately for them. To keep them in any other conditions is dramatically reducing their life span. Don't like to hear the true, well too darn bad reality truly bites.

CavySpirit
11-04-04, 09:55 pm
This is a very old thread.

Portola Valley Feed in Portola Valley off 280. There are other places as well.