Aviaries for guinea pigs
In the summer months, guinea pigs can (and should!) Be released onto the grass and fresh air, arranging a temporary aviary in the yard or in the country. Usually, for this, a net is used, stretched over pegs driven into the ground (See the article Building a summer enclosure for a guinea pig . Dangerous intruders The main danger to the guinea pig on the street is cats, dogs and birds of prey.
While in an open-air cage on the street (especially if it is not covered), the pig should be under constant supervision.
Although guinea pigs have their origins in South America, heatstrokes do happen to them – especially those with dark coloration. Therefore, a pig in an aviary should have a guaranteed opportunity to hide in the shade, mainly on hot days. It should also not be taken out into the yard when the weather is cold and rainy. And although guinea pigs do not catch colds so easily, the consequences of a cold, if it happens, can be detrimental.
Extreme care is also required when transporting gilts. These animals are not very agile, and they can be badly hurt as a result of falling. Often it even ends in death.
When removing the animal from the cage, always use both hands, supporting the bottom of the body with your fingers. Never grab a pig by the skin around its neck (like a rabbit) or by the leg, because it has very fragile limbs compared to the rest of its body. Always keep your pig from falling; falling from a height, it can cause serious damage to itself. Children, when carrying an animal, must use the palms of both hands for this and must place the pig on their chest with all four paws at the same time. However, it is best to use a basket with appropriately high edges to prevent the animal from falling out of it.
Children also need to be thoroughly educated that hugging and squeezing a guinea pig like a teddy bear is very unsafe for her. Too strong hugs can end tragically for an animal. A guinea pig, unlike a dog, is defenseless in the face of rough and cruel treatment.
Summer house for guinea pig
If the summer is warm, then you can keep the guinea pig outside all the time, but this will require a special room – a summer house, which must meet special conditions. First of all, the summer house must be protected from the influence of unfavorable atmospheric factors. In addition, it should be inaccessible to nearby dogs and cats.
A summer house for guinea pigs in the yard is usually a wooden box with double walls, the space between which is filled with insulating material (expanded polystyrene or other material with similar properties). The roof is covered with tar paper to provide protection from rain. The bottom should be a drawer for cleaning.
Outside, all wooden surfaces must be impregnated (impregnated) with a wood preservative that protects against rotting and pests. This cannot be done from the inside, so as not to poison the animals who love to gnaw wood.
The air flow and light access is provided by an entrance door in the form of a wooden frame covered with a strong metal mesh. At night and during periods of unfavorable weather conditions, it is imperative to hang on it a curtain made of fabric, for example, from burlap, which, without trapping the air, will restrain the flow of moisture.
When assembled, all this is installed on four wooden supports. They must be well impregnated, otherwise they will quickly rot and decay. It is recommended to use supports with a length of about 1.7 m, of which about 50 cm should be dug into the ground. This will provide the required massiveness and stability of the structure.
There should always be enough hay in the summer house. The temperature inside must not be allowed to fall below 5 ° C. Strong temperature fluctuations are even more detrimental to guinea pigs compared to the cold. Therefore, during cold weather, they cannot be transferred from a cold house in the yard to a warm home and back from heat to cold.
Summing up, I would like to note that guinea pigs are primarily pets, they can only be kept outdoors in warm summer! The rest of the time – only at home!