Guinea Pigs in the Snow

We have had surprisingly wintery weather here, with snow and sub-zero temperatures both during the night – and not getting much above freezing during the day.

My two guinea pigs live outside in their Omlet Eglu Go hutch and run, and I recently purchased an insulated cover which proved to be a very timely investment. I have been worried about them getting too cold but I filled the coop section with hay and have given them a healthy portion of nuggets each day, but they seem to have been happy to hunker down and wait out the cold. I know they don’t hibernate as such but I guess when it gets cold they conserve their energy – I’ve been surprised at how little they are eating given the circumstances.

I have given them some willow and hazel twigs which they really enjoyed, dried leaves and all. I have been cleaning them out more frequently as hay is great to snuggle up in but the moment it gets any hint of damp, the spores multiply and can cause respiratory problems so I am changing their bedding every 2nd or 3rd day at the moment; the compost bin is getting quite full so I am looking forward to the warmer weather for the microbes to start working! Once the guineas can go back on the lawn the bedding consumption reduces right down so that should be in the next few days as this cold snap is due to fizzle out in the next few days…when it will start raining again!

The Zippi outdoor run from Omlet is great, although the one problem is that Twiglet is quite skittish and I can’t catch her, so it requires some judicious house placement and quick manoeuvres to catch her so she can be put back in the Eglu for the night. I will have to send some time in the spring getting her used to being handled, although that does just come with age. Piglet used to be a nightmare but now she is quite used to cuddles and sits quietly. I really need to bath them but we don’t have a working hairdryer at the moment! I will weigh them once the weather cheers up and I don’t have to stress them out when it’s so cold. Here is their outdoor run:

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