How much space do my guinea pigs need? - Calculate Now
Commercial guinea pig cages are usually too small
Anyone who visits a pet supply store with the desire to buy a guinea pig cage might get the impression that a cage measuring 0.80 x 1.20 m is sufficient for keeping 2 guinea pigs. Even the advisory staff does not usually point out that these cages are only suitable if the animals have all-day exercise. Since this is usually not easy to ensure, it is worth buying a sufficiently large enclosure from the beginning or building it yourself.
An optimal guinea pig enclosure offers a racing area of at least 2 meters, which cannot be guaranteed by most cages. To build a guinea pig enclosure, all you need is a waterproof pad and appropriate side restraints to prevent the animals from escaping. Even an inverted cupboard could be converted into an enclosure, so the purchase costs are kept within reasonable limits.
If the enclosure consists of several floors, it is important to ensure that the required walking area is not achieved by adding the two levels, since the animals can not live out their running instinct optimally.
Important for the furnishing of a guinea pig enclosure are, in addition to the drinking and feeding bowl and at least one hayrack, appropriate shelter possibilities, shelters and, if necessary, tunnels, so that the animals can avoid each other in case of dispute.
What should be considered for the outdoor enclosure
Guinea pigs are also suitable for outdoor keeping if the following points are observed:
- In order for an appropriately dense winter coat to form, the animals should begin to be kept outside as early as summer to acclimate them to the temperatures that drop toward fall/winter.
- The enclosure should provide well insulated shelter so that the animals do not freeze.
- A minimum of 4 guinea pigs is recommended for outdoor housing so that the animals can snuggle up to each other and keep each other warm. At the same time, provide retreats for each animal in the form of appropriate huts, roofs, etc. Guinea pigs are flight animals that always look for places that are shielded from above.
- The enclosure should be well secured especially against intrusion by larger animals (birds of prey, foxes martens, etc.), especially at night there is a great danger here.
- At temperatures below zero, make sure that the drinking water does not freeze, but is always at an appropriate temperature.
Important: Never keep them individually
When keeping guinea pigs, it is important to remember that these animals are pack animals and should never be kept alone. Even if animals kept alone can make a contented impression: They need at least one conspecific to live out their social instincts. If you want to keep a male and a female guinea pig together, one of the animals should of course be neutered to prevent unwanted offspring. Otherwise, a so-called harem (the females should be in the majority) is ideal for a low-conflict coexistence.