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Alyssab9
04-15-17, 04:35 pm
Hi everyone...

I am looking for some ideas and advice on outdoor runs. I have 4 male guinea pigs who range from 3 months to 4 years old. I have always had them indoors with occasional supervised outdoor time in the summer, which they just love.

I am working a lot more than usual so I don't always have the time to bring them out during the day anymore. So I want to build them a really good outdor enclosed hutch/run and put them in it while I'm at work on nice weather days. I will make sure it has a good hutch and a shaded area. Also someone is always home with them to bring them inside in case it gets cold or rains.

I just don't think they need to be inside in the stuffy house if it's nice out and they would have fun in the outdoor encloser.

I would be bringing them in at night as soon as I get home from work which is at around 5 so it wouldn't even be dark out yet.

bpatters
04-15-17, 06:41 pm
We don't recommend outdoor runs for guinea pigs. Unless you're sitting right there with them, you can't protect them from stinging/biting insects, or from snakes.

They'll be just fine inside if you've got a nice large area for them to run.

CavyTV
04-15-17, 09:12 pm
I understand that you really wound like a run for your boys, but like bpatters said, it's not the best idea. You can certainly build it and use it, just not when nobody is outside. Besides, the little furballs will just stuff their faces all day, and too much grass may cause bloat. The little stinkers just don't know when to stop lol If you really want the run, go for it. Just don't put them in there when you go to work. Another option would be to just collect a lot of grass in the morning for them to munch on. I've been doing this and my boys love it. Of course, you'll have to introduce it slowly if your pigs haven't had grass in a while. Just start small, and then gradually increase the amount you're giving.

spy9doc
04-16-17, 09:27 am
Yes, do introduce grass slowly or you will have major loose stool on your hands (pun intended). I picked some dandelion greens yesterday and fed them too much, and as a result Sparky had big loose smelly poops last night.

I built a piggy run for my previous cavies and they were so terrified that they literally froze in the spot where I set them down. Only if I was sitting next to the run would they move. If you DO decide to build one, build it like a cage and put a bottom on it.....and turn it upside down where predators can't get to them. It only takes a second for a sharp-eyed hawk to swoop down and snatch one. We saw a hawk out of nowhere swoop down and catch a squirrel and carry it away....and we live in the middle of town. I also put flat weights on the top and included a towel over one end in case the run became sunny and they needed shade.

I admittedly sometimes left them out for an hour or so, but they were always in my line of sight from my office. If you happen to have an old pet store cage, turn it upside down and give it a try before going to the trouble of building one.

Guinea Pig Papa
04-16-17, 10:13 am
Ditto what everyone else has said. I used to take Pooper and Sly outside, one at a time, and sit there with them while they enjoyed the grass. Neither one were runners and would never venture more than a few feet from me, so that was never a concern. Until the morning I saw the hawk. Sitting on the neighbours porch, about 50 feet away from where I would sit with my fellas. Waiting for me to come out. He'd been hovering around the neighbourhood for about 10 days, and I saw him sitting there at 730 in the morning waiting. I usually brought them out around 9. Actually got a picture of the little bugger too.

spy9doc
04-16-17, 11:21 am
Until the morning I saw the hawk.

Then you certainly know what I mean. Absolutely made my blood run cold! :sick:

Alyssab9
04-16-17, 12:33 pm
Okay I understand that no one wants guinea pigs outdoors. I get it, really. They would not be alone, my mother in law is always home and would check on them many times throughout the day. I live in rural vermont. I have a small playpen I let them out in during the summer but I would like to build something better.

CavyTV
04-16-17, 01:18 pm
The pen will have to be REALLY secured. There should be no possible way for any predators or bugs to get to them. The pen will have to be covered, meshed, sturdy, whatever it needs to keep the pigs safe. It'll probably be very expensive to build. Your mother in law will have to check on them more then several times a day if she's not outside. If I were her, I'd probably want to check every 2 minutes. As you can see, your idea can be a lot of work and risk. She will have to constantly be checking the weather if it starts to rain or gets too hot/cold. Honestly, it seems like too much work. They'd be much better off with just being inside while you're at work.

lunarminx
04-16-17, 02:31 pm
This would work but you have to make sure to cover at least half of it to provide shade and make sure the cover is weighed down.

https://www.wayfair.com/Advantek-The-Courtyard-Small-Animal-Enclosure-VNK1014.html

Alyssab9
04-16-17, 04:02 pm
Okay my mother in law is not going to be checking them every 2 minutes.. more like once or twice an hour.

Alyssab9
04-16-17, 04:11 pm
I'm going to dig a hole the size of the run, put down a tarp, put rocks and dirt on top of it and build the base. There would literally be no way for any type of animal/insect to get in. Then I was thinking about getting one of those rabbit hutches for an inside portion and use windows screening and attach the hutch to the other outside portion of the run. I'm not going to have grass on the bottom, but get a bale of hay for the ground covering. I have so much unused wood laying around from other projects that the only things I would actually be investing in is the screen and other small things.

Alyssab9
04-16-17, 04:15 pm
https://goo.gl/images/vfnYFJ basically like this but slightly bigger and more activities for them like tunnels and stuff.

Guinea Pig Papa
04-16-17, 07:24 pm
Okay I understand that no one wants guinea pigs outdoors. I get it, really. They would not be alone, my mother in law is always home and would check on them many times throughout the day. I live in rural vermont. I have a small playpen I let them out in during the summer but I would like to build something better.
Not at all. I loved taking my boys outside and they loved being outside. We are all just trying to make you very very aware of the risks involved and the measures you would need to take to ensure nothing happens to your furry kids. My boys no longer go outside simply because I have, as yet, not built them something safer.

Guinea Pig Papa
04-16-17, 07:27 pm
Then you certainly know what I mean. Absolutely made my blood run cold! :sick:

Scared the living bejezus outta me. They haven't been outside since.

grace&piggies
04-16-17, 11:37 pm
I have previously used the wire top from a pet store cage. Like this one here: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0484/0009/products/42346HutchRabbitGuineaPig2211.jpg?v=1434695170
I just removed the plastic tray and made sure it was firmly grounded (no gaps) around the edges. Added cardboard boxes for hides and a water bowl. Pigs loved it! It was directly supervised when in use.
The picture you've linked looks good. Not sure what the area you live in is like, but securing the cage from anything digging in or flying down are usually the biggies. Weather protection if it suddenly rains, gets hot, gets cold, etc. Supervision to prevent anything going wrong (predators, weather) and respond to changes.
Love to see what you come up with.