A new hutch!

Where do your guinea pigs live?

Our three guineas live indoors. They have an open pen in our family room, it’s actually rather like the one you see in Bertie’s books!

This is our new hutch, would you like to look inside?

We’ve tried many different types of hutch over the years but this ‘C&C’ or ‘Cubes and Correx’ design works really well for us because it’s so easy to clean and we can change the layout around whenever we want to. We’re hoping to add two more guinea pigs to our herd soon so we’re trying to make the most of the space we have. We currently use a mixture of fleece blankets and paper bedding (Fitch.)

Here’s what some of our other hutches have looked like.

Bertie and Jenny c1999

Bertie and Jenny had wooden hutches with a pen area around them. 1999

DSC00618

A mixture of linkaboard and old garden pens! 2005

guinea pig houses

We had a whole bedroom to ourselves in this house! But there were 7 of us! 2006

Piggy pen 2013

Making ourselves at home in the family room, 2013

Piggy pen Xmas 2014

Christmas with the C&C cage, 2014

piggy pen 2016

Our new pen, the loft is lots of fun!

At the moment, because it’s still cold here in England, we have extra fleeces over the cage and lids on the loft. The radiator you see behind the guineas is on quite a low setting so they don’t over-heat, but it does keep them warm at night. Guinea pigs don’t like extremes of temperature. They like to be warm and cosy but not too hot or cold – just like us!We like to provide different ‘areas’ in the hutch. This makes the hutch more interesting for the guinea pigs and stops them getting bored. The fleece stays relatively clean as our guinea pigs prefer to poop and wee on the bedding/hay. We give the fleece a little sweep up each day to keep on top of any stray poops. We wash the fleece once a week and have a full clean-out then, but the most well-used area (the part under the bunk bed) is cleaned out every couple of days.

You’ll notice we have a door on the pen (where the water bottle is), this is so our guinea pigs can enjoy some floor time in our conservatory – particularly useful in the winter months when they can’t get outside. They love to run free and race around the furniture!

In the summer, when the weather is fine, our guineas go in to the garden during the day to enjoy the fresh grass and sunshine but they always come inside again at night-time.

We prefer to keep our guinea pigs indoors so we can interact with them more and keep a close eye on them but lots of people have their guinea pigs living in garden sheds or outhouses and some guinea pigs live in fabulous purpose-built outdoor hutches too – like Bertie’s friends Alfie and Archie!

Remember, wherever you house your guinea pigs, give them as much room as you can, fresh hay, fresh water and food. If you provide all this and keep them clean, safe, warm and loved, they will be happy wherever they live!

image shows author Helen's guinea pigs Feb 2016

Mable, Horatio and Peppa, 3 happy little pigs!

 

All photos © Helen J. Aitken.

 

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