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July 31, 2006

Comments

Whitney

Hi Ann:

Absolutely...ask away!

The short answer to "will they be okay in this type of an environment" is "no". Guinea pigs' ideal/healthy/safe temperature range is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. My own experiences in a desert climate showed me that even the shadiest spots can't make a 110-degree day feel like 75 degrees. Granted, I was in Southern Arizona -- if you're in the desert but much further north, you're going to know your neck of the woods better than I.

The pigs stroke out so easily and quickly in even 80-degree heat that I'm all kinds of fearful about them being outside in a desert climate for long periods of time.

Plus there are other factors that trouble me: http://guineapigconnection.typepad.com/pig_notes/2009/03/should-guinea-pigs-be-housed-outdoors.html

That's not to say you can't let them out for some exercise time, say, in the morning when it's cooler. Even an hour or two a day of exercise in a very large area like your aviary will give them a lot activity, variety in their routine, and so forth.

Ann

I have a question if I may. I have a couple of guinea pigs that I recently put outdoors under a tree with chicken wire around it. It's actually an aviary that is extremely secure and I do have a few birds that live in there. There are no issues with the birds and the guinea pigs. I live in the desert and it does get very hot however, like I said, the aviary is built around a large pine tree so it's completely shaded. They have access to several water bowls and a water bottle. They have LOTS of room to roam around and explore which they do and have several areas to go hide under which is very shady. Even though I live in the desert and it can get into the triple digits out in the direct sun, will they be okay in this type of an environment? They get plenty of fresh vegetables from my garden on a daily basis as well as fruit that I cup up for them daily.

The reason I moved them outside is that they have so much more room to run around in.

Ellen

Here's how my friends Nancy and Howard, who do not have air-conditioning, help their pig Ezekiel stay cool on the hottest days: They fill a plastic milk jug with water and place it in the freezer. When it's frozen they take it out and place it right next to Zeke's cage. When he chooses, Zeke can sit near the jug and feel the cool air rolling off of it. They alternate two jugs so that one is in the freezer while the other is doing its job keeping Zeke cool.

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