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Thread: Summer is coming. Should you house your GP outside?

  1. #21
    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator! VoodooJoint's Avatar
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    Re: Summer is coming. Should you house your GP outside?

    I just looked over all of your posts and I really don't see where you ask for any advice on helping your GPs except in posts #18 and #20 of this thread. In that post you ask "Can you give examples of how I can make my shed suit my GP's needs?".

    That question was, basically, already answered. Don't bother making your shed suitable for your pigs-Make room in your home for your pigs.

    In post #16 you vaguely ask for help but it is unclear what you want help with.

    I don't think anyone here is going to help you make your shed a better place for them to live since few people here think they should be housed in any type of shed in the first place.

    Moving them indoors will not overly stress them. There are plenty of people who rescue or buy GPs from owners and breeders that house animals outdoors and the new owner houses them inside when they get them home. The GPs tend not to drop dead from stress.

    Find room, build large housing and make the move.
    Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You can't let the world judge you too much.

    Maude from Harold and Maude

  2. "Thank you, VoodooJoint, for this useful post," says:


  3. #22
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Summer is coming. Should you house your GP outside?

    I know they won't 'drop dead' but I have 2 7 year olds and 2 pregnant Guinea Pigs. I don't think the move would do either of them any good.

  4. #23
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Summer is coming. Should you house your GP outside?

    Sammys mum: (opinion of another UKer)

    There was a time when I also beleved that guinea pigs could be housed (happily and heathily) outdoors, so long as they had a shed for protection in bad weather.
    I have since changed my mind for a number of reasons...

    One of these is actually sleeping inside a shed. (Honestly!) I was at an event a couple of years ago staying in the "indoor accomodation" at a campsite. This "indoors" turned out to be insulated sheds, with camping bunk beds inside. I slept fully clothed, inside a sleeping bag, with a double duvet and a fleece blanket on top - and I can not tell you how cold I was! I literally could not sleep because I was shivering so hard and could not get warm. There was also a permanent cold draft. And this was only autumn - not in the depths of winter.

    Insulation istelf does not actually provide any heat. If you were to heat the shed, the insulation would help to retain this heat - so the pigs would not get too cold. But without heating the shed simply retains its ambient temperature - which may well be freezing!

    Guinea pigs are not the hardiest of animals. Being small, they have a high surface area to volume ratio, so it is harder for them to maintain their body temperature in cold weather (they lose heat more quicxkly than larger animals). Piggies also have thin coats, and exposed areas with no fur at all such as feet and ears. They really aren't equipped to dealing with British weather (especially when you consider they originate in South America!) They are also highly susceptible to damp and drafts - both of which are very likely in a shed.

    I'm surprised at your comment about UK weather not fluctuating much! I had to laugh at this! I don't really know how we compare to the USA, but we certainly get some lovely storms, plenty of rain, freezing winters, and roasting summers (although not necessarily at the right time of year!)

    I'm not sure how you can ensure your pigs are in the right place at the right time, unless you are home all day.
    The weather at the moment is all over the place. It has been going from beautiful warm sunny day, to cold, and pouring down with rain in a thunderstorm in the same afternoon! What happens if you put your piggies in their run and we have a deluge of rain? Are they supposed to sit there in the cold and wet until you get home to put them into their shed?

    About the age, so Voodoo joint is it common for guinea pigs to live to 14 years old indoors? If so, it would be very interesting.
    I think you missed the point here. No one is saying that outside animals can't ever live full lifespans, or that inside animals never die young.
    But the evidence shows that on average animals housed outdoors tend to live much shorter lifespans than those housed inside.

    I personally wouldn't want to take that risk. When my first rabbit died of pneumonia at only 2 years old I vowed I would never house an animal outdoors again.

    Just wanted to add - although the hutches you use sound big enough, I assume they also have wooden floors? If this is the case this is an added risk as wood absorbs urine. It is difficult to clean and impossible to disinfect - increasing the risk of bacteria etc which can cause disease.

    Please don't think any of us are trying to be rude or nasty - we are just trying to make you realise how dangerous it is housing guinea pigs outdoors. Honestly, the best place for them to be is inside with you.

    I would say now is the best time to move them! The piggies most susceptible to illness etc are just like with humans - the very old, the very young, and the pregnant / new mums.
    Bringing them in sooner rather than later could make all the difference.
    I don't think the "stress" of moving the pregnant ones is anywhere near as risky as allowing them to give birth to their babies out in a shed!
    Last edited by crazywiggy; 08-18-08 at 11:09 am. Reason: just saw your last post....

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  6. #24
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Summer is coming. Should you house your GP outside?

    Thanks, your post has given me another perspective to think about. We are infact planning on putting electricity or a free standing heater into the shed.
    We were thinking of putting the pregnant GP's in the house for their birth but decided against it when they got really stressed. We will probably put them in for their birth especially as it will be a difficult one.
    We are going to make changes to the shed. Adding an alarm and putting in electricity.
    We put cloroplast in the bottom of the hutch which is ontop of lino so the wood isn't a problem.

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