Guinea Pig Housing – what should I get?
The most important purchase, that I guarantee you will make is a guinea pigs housing. It is somewhere where they will be spending large periods of time in each day for their whole lifes. These days people tend to have their guinea pigs inside as it is good for bonding, social interaction and having the ideal temperature range which is the same as humans of 18 to 24 degrees celsius. Minimum space requirements for two is 7.5 square feet. Also, make sure they are warm enough if kept outside. For inside make sure they are not too near to TVs because of the loud sounds and in a relatively quiet part of the house. Place them in an area that is not drafty or too cold like near a front door. So I am going to go through different housing set ups you can purchase, Ok lets go.
The good old fashioned, hopefully reliable hutch comes up first on the list here. What do you picture? well probably the image you have inside your head right now is an old wooden hutch standing out in a wet and windy garden. Maybe in the past, but now things have moved on a bit. Some hutches have open lids with solid hinges and felted ramps. Hard or more flexible metal bars and a removable plastic tray. There are some that are easy to put together following simple instructions or some that takes your head getting around on. Now they have rubberised feet like mine does from Pets at Home. Hutches can usually be around the £100 mark. Can be used inside and outside but might not cope very well with the british weather outside, that is where you might need to get a plastic cover for more shelter in the miserable weather. They are quite good at insulating the guinea pigs in and most provide adequate spacing with good hiding compartments.
Sometimes the build standard from the manufacture can let them down. The doors will open and be closed with bolts, you tend to have four doors on a double tier hutch and mostly two on a single tier. The height can be from 3 foot for single and 6 foot for double, length can vary from 3 to 6 foot. Cleaning is not always the easiest with gaps that might be there and grooves. Also, a hutch might ware quicker than the other options. Can be a bit messy with hay being kicked out of the hutch onto the floor and possible urine spills where gaps might be. But you can bend down to talk and watch them through the bars on the doors, which is nice to be able to do.
C and C cages
A more recent phenomenon that are made up of chloroplast sheets, the material used for sign making and cable ties to secure each panel together. They are easily customisable and good value for money. Can be big or small, but does need modifying to what you want it to be. Also, you will be leaning down to pick your guinea pigs up, in a hutch you can access through doors. Because there is more open space in a c and c cage, trying to get the guinea pigs out will take a bit more work as they might be running around to get away from your hands. What I really like is on one website you can customise to include storage draws underneath the cage, which is very handy and to have an open lid over the cage. You can also have an upstairs part to with a chloroplast ramp. A c and c cage will contain any mess better than a hutch for example becuase of solid walls all around. You can’t get down to their level very easily as it is lower down.
Not as much space even with larger cages than the other housing. Some have a stand with wheels or can be a good length that ferplast do with metal bar spacing. They will be easy to clean and to get the guinea pigs out. Can be secure depending on which cage you choose. Are good for temporary uses, but have to be used inside as does not quite work outside.
DIY – make your own
Why not produce your own set up using wood. There are many people now opting for this situation, who feel brave enough to make up a home for their guinea pigs. Just make sure you get the right tools and materials. Research on the internet about the different habitats you can build with instructions. One example is where you have vinyl flooring down with wooden walls making a rectangle enclosure.
Sheds and playhouses
Can provide masses of space and are sold specifically built for guinea pigs on some websites. There are different sized options available and they are great if you have quite a few piggies. They will be well insulated and look quite impressive, it is essentially a guinea pig mansion. Always do your research to make sure you are getting a well built shed or playhouse, not anything that is going to fall apart.
There are a few options you can decide on, but make sure it is secure, spacious and comfortable. All the examples in this article have got good space, some more than others. Can either buy online or in store, the choice is yours. Always look at how easy to clean each option is and how long they might last for. Each one will have its own advantages and disadvantages.