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xo_ameliacook
01-07-15, 08:02 pm
Hi,

I recently have adopted a guinea pig and have a outdoor hutch as I live in Australia it doesn't get too cold and snow. I know people say don't put guinea pigs outdoors but I have been recommended to do so by lots of people anyway I have been using breeders choice seeds hysorb sawdust and its good but I have seen many people use fleece and I want to know which is better for an outdoor cage, my guinea pig is litter trained so she mostly goes in there and does her business so do you think because of this I won't have to wash the fleece as often? I have been fostering this guinea pig and it is just coming to a end and I am adopting her so I will buy her a friend ASAP so don't worry as she had has lice so I they couldn't put her with a friend so don't worry she will have a friend soon.

Thanks Amelia

Piggylover2002
01-07-15, 08:05 pm
I use fleece in my indoor cage, so it wouldn't be much differnt outside. It might even be warmer. It's up to you, but I perfer fleece.

lunarminx
01-07-15, 08:28 pm
I wouldn't use fleece outdoors, the fact that you mentioned litterbox , you wouldn't have to wash it as often, goes to show it will get too stinky. Fleece also needs the daily poo sweep and sawdust/bedding does not. If you use fleece the health of your piggies would require you to wash it weekly if not more, depending on the size of the hutch. And daily poo sweeping. Are you willing to do that?

pinky
01-07-15, 08:40 pm
Sawdust should never be used for guinea pigs. It's dusty and poses a health risk when they inhale it. Any type of wood shavings must be kiln dried because the aromatic oils from wood can cause liver and kidney damage in guinea pigs. Cedar should never be used.

lunarminx
01-07-15, 09:05 pm
Pinky, the mini flake bedding I use is called saw dust at the local feed store, its kiln dried and multi screened. Their brand may not be real sawdust.

http://www.awf.com/american_wood_fibers_americas_choice_mini.htm

lunarminx
01-07-15, 09:11 pm
I'm gonna assume this is what they are talking about.


http://www.breederschoiceseeds.com.au/products/Hysorb..html

foggycreekcavy
01-07-15, 11:22 pm
It doesn't matter if it doesn't get too cold and snow. An outdoor hutch is no place for a guinea pig.

Supervised outdoor time is fine, but guinea pigs need to live indoors. There are lots of other reasons besides outdoor temperature for keeping them inside.

xo_ameliacook
01-08-15, 01:33 am
I would be willing to sweep poo daily as I clean the cage daily anyway to keep it tidy and clean for her

xo_ameliacook
01-08-15, 01:34 am
I use this sawdust which is breeders choice sawdust http://www.breederschoiceseeds.com.au/products/Hysorb..html

Aertyn
01-08-15, 02:11 am
As someone who lives in Australia, I cannot say this strongly enough. No Guinea Pig (or rabbit) should live outside. Our conditions are simply far too harsh for their fragile little bodies. Combine that with hutches that are woefully inadequate to protect against predators you have a recipe for dead guinea pigs. So far, this week, I've heard of 3 carpet pythons getting into cages and eating the inhabitants and 4 dying of heat stroke (despite being 'in the shade'...it was 40C. The 'shade' will do precisely nothing in heat like that.)

xo_ameliacook
01-08-15, 02:34 am
When it is hot I bring her inside and the cage is snake proof

pinky
01-08-15, 06:36 am
When it is hot I bring her inside and the cage is snake proof

How is the cage snake proof? It's not just snakes you have to worry about. Insects pose a threat as do predators and unforeseen weather conditions.

Inquiring Mind
01-08-15, 07:28 am
When it is hot I bring her inside and the cage is snake proof

Considering it's summer right now, when is it not hot in Australia? All daytime summer temperatures in Australia are too hot. Even if the temp doesn't kill her, she will be extremely uncomfortable. If she is a baby, I guarantee you won't get to witness any adorable popcorns. It will be far too hot for any kind of activity. She will spend most of her day lying in the corner of the hutch with labored breathing, desperately trying to cool herself. And even if she did popcorn, you won't be there to see it.

What you need to realize is that just because an animal hasn't died, doesn't mean it's enjoying life. You don't just want to stop your animal from dying - you want to give it a high quality of life. A guinea pig kept outside in the Australian summer heat will not have a high quality of life, even if it does manage to survive. If you still choose to go that route, you are essentially gambling with its life. It could easily die of heat exhaustion. Snakes and predators are major risks.

My daughter's friends have had their outdoor guinea pigs taken by pythons. It's so tragic and unavoidable. I wonder what's worse, being strangled alive by a snake, or slowly overheating to death?

No matter what anyone tells you, your piggy will positively, absolutely be safer and happier inside with you. There's really no debating that. The evidence speaks for itself.

Another thing to consider, you will get WAY MORE out of your pig if you have her indoors. As I said before, if she's kept outside, you won't get to witness her adorable antics, like popcorning. If she's in your home, you will get to constantly observe and appreciate her personality and behavior. She'll communicate with you when she's hungry. It's impossible to forgot to feed a piggy that's eagerly squeaking at you for food. You also won't forget to change her cage because it's right there in front of you.

Keeping guinea pigs indoors is not just better for them, it's better for YOU. You will get so much more enjoyment out of her.

Good luck and I hope you do what's best for her.

Inquiring Mind
01-08-15, 07:50 am
I have one more thing to add:

In the small chance that I've convinced you to keep your little piggy inside, here's a link to an Aussie website where you can order C&C shelving or the entire cage, plus some accessories:

http://shop.guineapigsaustralia.com.au/new-category-3/

The C&C cages are great, but the grids can be hard to find here. I bought the shelf unit for $28, then went to Bunnings and bought the coroplast for $5. It was cheaper than buying the fully made cage. If you live in a major city, you might be able to find the grids for cheaper, but there was none in my area (which is why I ordered online.)

At the moment, I use a folded over fleece blanket and hay in my C&C cage. There are hardly any C&C cage accessories available in Australia. It's very annoying. The fleece looks really good when tidy, but like other people have said, it needs A LOT of maintenance. The little cuties mess it up very fast! Guinea pigs are poo factories, so daily fleece cleanings are a must.

ThePigAlchemist
01-08-15, 09:49 am
Snakes aside, there have been lots of news stories in the past year of outdoor guinea pigs who were killed or stolen by people. One of the most dangerous predators that you can't "predator-proof" a cage against is humans.

xo_ameliacook
01-08-15, 06:15 pm
Can I just say you don't really know that much about what I do with my guinea pig and how I look after her. She comes inside to eat her vegetables everyday, she runs around the her play pen inside everyday, her cage gets cleaned everyday and everyday she gets the loves that she needs, she spends plenty of time indoors and loves her cage and runs around it all the time. You don't know how much time I spend with her and what I do with her.

Inquiring Mind
01-08-15, 06:57 pm
Can I just say you don't really know that much about what I do with my guinea pig and how I look after her. She comes inside to eat her vegetables everyday, she runs around the her play pen inside everyday, her cage gets cleaned everyday and everyday she gets the loves that she needs, she spends plenty of time indoors and loves her cage and runs around it all the time. You don't know how much time I spend with her and what I do with her.

Firstly, no one attacked the way you feed or spend time with her. I only mentioned that it's easier to forgot about an animal when it's out of sight, out of mind. It happens all the time, especially when people get busy. I was just listing another reason to have your pet in your home. That's all. Try not to take it so personally.

Secondly, the only way to guarantee that she gets adequate time indoors is if she LIVES indoors. Because this forum is about helping people give the BEST possible care to guinea pigs, you are going to have people speak up when that care isn't being given. Putting an animal in a situation where they could potentially overheat and die or be taken by predators certainly does not qualify as "best possible care." Keeping her outside is risky, ESPECIALLY in Australia. You could very easily wake up one morning to find your guinea pig gone or dead. I know several people who have lost their birds and guinea pigs to snakes and heat stroke in my area, which really upsets me, because it shouldn't have happened. It boggles my mind that they can't figure out that it's clearly dangerous. They're so upset over their losses, but yet still so utterly clueless.

That is the reality. It's not an attack on you. I, like many of the other people here, are trying to help. I feel no ill will towards you at all, but I do hope you reconsider your decision.

In case you don't, I suggest you regularly freeze bottles of water to put in her hutch on a daily basis. They will keep her cool and she'll be able to lick the condensate. If for some bizarre reason I had to have my piggies outside for any length of time, I would absolutely do that. It's a very easy and effective way to keep them cool in the summer heat. I know you claim that you will take her inside EVERY TIME it's hot, but considering you're going to have her for several years, that's not very realistic. I'm not attacking you as a person, I'm just being practical. There will be times when you wont be home in really warm weather. So yeah, I recommend freezing the water bottles. Of course, frozen water bottles won't protect against predators, but it should stop her from getting heat exhaustion.

pinky
01-08-15, 07:03 pm
Can I just say you don't really know that much about what I do with my guinea pig and how I look after her. She comes inside to eat her vegetables everyday, she runs around the her play pen inside everyday, her cage gets cleaned everyday and everyday she gets the loves that she needs, she spends plenty of time indoors and loves her cage and runs around it all the time. You don't know how much time I spend with her and what I do with her.

If she spends so much time indoors and has accommodations there, it would make more sense to just keep her inside where she'd be safe. I think a lot of people who keep their guinea pigs outdoors don't want them in the house. That doesn't seem to be the case in your situation. You can always take her out when you're out there to supervise. Both of you'd have the best of both worlds. She'd be safe and you'd get fresh air while you spend time with her when she'd be outside.