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cold eglus and guinea pigs

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Hello everyone,


I bought a eglu for my 2 guineas pigs in the summer because i had a red mite infestation in my wooden hutch(spread from my hens) and also because i thought it would warm for them in winter. i assumed this from reading the info from omlet about it being warmer in winter and cooler in summer due to the twin wall cavity insulation. But my guineas are cold and theres lots condensation inside. I also think that there isn't enough indoor space for them, especially in winter.Has anyone else found this a problem. I really wish i had kept the wooden one which my husband built. It was big and it was lined with polystyrene so it was warm but it was getting rather old and i was seduced by the cool looks of the iglu!!


i think they could improve the eglu by making it bigger with a separate sleeping compartment inside, this would also help stop the straw or other bedding from falling out the door when they go in and out. This happens alot and makes shutting the door at night hard. they could also make a warm protective fitted cover to put over the outside in winter (which would also stop the doors freezing up)



I am not completely dissatisfied with the eglu it's great in summer and so easy to clean. I would be interested to hear if anybody else has any concerns am i just being to fussy, i do hate the thought of them sitting out there being cold!! I would really appreciate any comments.

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I use a rablu for my two bunnies and have a clear shower curtain cut to cover the run - this keeps it wind and rain proof. Bunnies don't like being shut in at night so the door isn't a problem for mine, but I move them back into their wooden hutch up by the house fo rthe winter - it's far more sheltered.


GPs suffer in the cold and damp - ideally, they should be brought inside or into an outhouse in the winter.

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This is my first winter with the eglu too, i have a rabbit in mine. So far though I haven't had any condensation inside though as claret said bunnies don't like being locked in so the door is open which may be why. I got a snuggle safe heat pad for Benji which goes in the microwave to keep him cosy, but maybe with guinea pigs feeling the cold more they would be better inside over winter (i've never had any myself but know other peopel who take them in), have you tried emailing Omlet for advice?

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Thank you for your replies. I have just moved my guineas to a wooden hutch which we have lined with polystyrene and put a snuggle safe heat pad in (they are great and last about 10 hours) and they are so much warmer than in the eglu.


I am not able to move them indoors so i have convinced my hubby that we need to build them new luxury accommodation with heating!! I got the idea from greenfields rabbit rescue (greenfieldrescue.co.uk)which has detailed instructions to convert a shed with an upstairs sleeping area and a run attached on the side accessable with a catflap. (It should cost no more the£200) We are going to heat it with a ceramic heater like you use in greenhouses.


I wish omlet had said thet eglus may not be suitable for winter use when it is very cold and that guineas need to be bought inside. I feel i have wasted alot of money.

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I think have a heated insulated shed would be the best idea if you can have them indoors ;) At the moment, my guinea pigs are indoors (their cage is er, just over 5' by just over 2') because I don't want them out in the cold. Also, the draughts and the damp are bad for them.

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I wish omlet had said thet eglus may not be suitable for winter use when it is very cold and that guineas need to be brought inside. I feel i have wasted alot of money.


Sorry Tanya, but I beg to differ - the pet eglu is suitable for GPs, and is sold as such. They assume that people who own piggies will be aware that they can't take the cold and need to be indoors. At no stage was it ever recommended as a winter home for them. Ordinary wooden hutches aren't sold stating 'for summer use only'


I had countless GPs as a youngster and they always came into the summer house in the winter. Bunnies are far more hardy, and I could probably leave mine in their beuatiful rablu durng the winter, but my lawn is very exposed. So they use their luxury duplex wooden hutch inthe winter and the rablu is their summer palace when the weather is good.


I hope that your piggies enjoy their eglu in the summer so that they can run around safely, but please do make sure that they are brought in for the winter.

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Hi again everyone, I ve done a test to see how cold it gets in a wooden hutch and in an iglu at night. I put a thermometer outside and one in the eglu and one in the wooden hutch (both were filled with straw had thick newpaper and sawdust too) and at 6 am this morning i checked them:


outside temperature was -2 degrees

wooden hutch 2 degrees

eglu 0 degrees


I was quite shocked at the results, i think both options are far two cold.I will definately be building the new heated shed. I know loads of people who keep rabbits and guineas outside all winter and even my vet said guineas are fine outside if they have plenty of straw or hay, i don't think so!!


Also the omlet/eglu guinea pig guide clearly says "The eglu is well insulated, if it is also packed with hay your guineas will be cosy. 0 degrees i don't think so.

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Bunnies should be fine outside itn he winter - they grow lovely thick coats and can tolerate cold far better than GPs can. Just make sure that their hutch is in a sheltered spot.


My girls' wooden 2-storey hutch is by the side of the house where it is warmer, I pull a clear shower curtain down over the front of the hutch at night to keep the worst of the cold out and they've been fine, even with 2" of snow around the hutch.

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Even if the door is closed, there shouldn't be any condensation inside - there are ventilation holes to prevent that. My eglu has 10 hens in at night and never gets damp.


I always used to keep my GPs indoors in the winter, one reason why I don't keep them now - I don't have the room.



How do you squeeze 10 hens into the Eglu? I thought they were only designed to hold 2.

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Our two guinea pigs live in a purple eglu in our garden all year round. They have lots of warm hay and sleep tucked up inside a plastic igloo. They are always warm. Last winter, when they were small, I checked them all the time, fretting and worrying but they were absolutely fine. A thick layer of newspaper, wood shavings and an igloo filled with straw and they are purring with pleasure. I leave the door open during the day even on the coldest day and they stil run out and jump about nibbling grass. They have a tarpaulin covering the entire run which is totally waterproof and also the eglu faces away from the prevailing wind so they don't get a cold wind through their front door. It is a fantastic well designed house. I think guinea pigs are more resiliant to the cold and damp than you think.

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I keep my two girls in a hutch in a shed. They have stayed out all winter and it's been pretty cold. They have plenty of hay and huddle up together. This suggests that they are probably cold but when you stroke them first thing, they feel warm. I close the shed door at night and put a blanket over the hutch to eliminate drafts. They are four years old and going strong. I had them indoors one winter but they got too hot and sprawled out looking like they were flagging.


I have a rabbit in an eglu and he loves it. I close him in on colder nights but otherwise he is free to roam. If given the choice he sits by the door in the draft! NO sense at all. That's why I close him in if it's cold because I don't think he has worked out that he can be much warmer inside. He's always fairly warm when I stroke him in the morning. No worries there.


Sorry for the essay but I think it's good to share experiences. :wink:

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Eglus are simply not suitable for Guinea Pigs!! :evil:

I feel that amidst the Avian Flu "panic" Omlet have diversivied into an area they have limited knowledge about.

I would never consider an eglu as an appropriate means of housing Guinea pigs either in winter or Summer.

Guinea Pigs originate from warmer climates than ours and can easily catch chills, even in summer when early morning dew makes grass wet.

ideally, Guinea Pigs should not be housed outside during the winter in any type of hutch.

The Guinea pig eglu is extremely expensive. The interior dimensions are tiny.For two Guinea pigs, which is the minimum number of piggies you should keep together should have "hutch space of 5'x2'.(See RSPCA recommendations if you don't believe me).

for more suitable Guinea Pig housing try the happy hutch company.

Even in warm summer months which are unusual these days, you would need to move the eglu every day as guinea pigs will soon eat the grass available in this small space.

I would also recommend typing in Guinea Pig Forums into your web browser to find more information about Guinea Pigs from people who aren't just interested in making money. :x

Sorry Omlet, I love your Eglu for Chickens, i have had one for three years but I do not like your Idea ofa Guinea pig, or rabbit Eglu

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Further to my previous, i think someone siad that Omlet do not sell this as a winter "house". Whoever said this may want to vist the Omlet Guinea Pig produccts page again and read how the eglu will keep Guinea Pigs warm even in winter!!

I also would like to add in the summer my Guinea pigs have pens 5'x5' on grass which they love and have plenty of room.4 in each.

these pens are quite cheap at happy hutch.

PS I have no connection with this company, just quality products suited to Guinea Pigs and rabbits.

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Some people haved successfully kept their GPs in a guinlu over winter, although I wouldn't personally do it myself... I always kept mine indoors in the summerhouse over winter.


My bunnies love their rablu, but migrate back to their winter palace in the colder months as my lawn is too wet for them then.


The great thing about this forum is that people get to express their opinions and make up their own minds. I'd keep GPs in one in the summer - it's ideal.

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Dear Claret,

yes i agree, the forum is a great place for people to express their views :D

sometimes people have to agree to disagree and this is what I am saying in this particular subject.

Guinea pigs are particularly susceptable to chills, and as stated in my previous post, even in summer the grass can be wet. rarely do we get long periods of dry sunny weather which could mean that for several days these delicate creatures could be couped up in a tiny area of the eglu which just is not good enough.

also the guinea Pig run is not large and as these are "pack" animals they would eat the grass within the run in a couple of hours and would need relocating, something which i suspect not too many owners would be aware of.

As you can probably tell i have a partiular interset in guinea Pigs and care passionately about their welfare :D

with regards to rabbits I would not consider keeping a rabbit in anything less than a 6ft x 2ft pen, if I had to.Mine are free range.They have a hutch, within a shed, and the door to the hutch is open so they have the run of the shed when the weather is poor. On better days they are free range and are extremely happy and friendly :D More like dogs really.

my piggies are in the run whenever possible which has not been too often this year due to the poor weather :( also it should be noted that their digestive systems are quite delicate and the lush green gras should be introduced slowly at the start of spring/summer.

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Hi i started this post quite a while ago but thought i would update it with what i decided to do for the guineas.


We converted a 6ft x 4ft shed,unsulated it and put in tubular heaters.

Put in a upstairs with ramp and built a run on the side.


The piggies love it and it is always nice and warm! Here are the piccies!


The Shed!



Inside the shed!




The ramp!(modelled by Buttercup!)




The 7ft x 9ft run!


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What a wonderful ginipig mum you are.You could teach people alot on how to keep them.That set up is brilliant.Question dose it cost alot of money to use the heaters :D

Hi, no it doesn't, it's the same as running a 60watt bulb. you do need to get electricity to the shed which can cost a bit. although it is very useful to have for lawnmowers,stereos etc aswell.


I got the heaters from screwfix


http://www.screwfix.com/search.do;jsessionid=4ZMN5ODYDSU44CSTHZOCFFA?_dynch"Ooops, word censored!"t=UTF-8&fh_search=tube+heaters&searchbutton.x=54&searchbutton.y=10

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:) Lovely pictures, those guineas are adorable and your photography (and guinea homemaking) skills are brilliant.


Well, this is my first year with 2 guineas in a Guinlu which I intend to keep outdoors but in a sheltered position. I'll monitor the situation as the winter progresses, but that's plan A.


Previously, in many years of having guineas, I've brought them inside between Nov. & March.

But, I'm going to give the Eglu a try, obviously I'll use plan B if they aren't safe & happy but they're fine so far.

Oh, and they come into the house for cuddles when OH isn't looking. :lol:

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I don't mean to stir up trouble but I think the eglus are just to small for rabbits and guineas!


Eglus don't meet the new animal welfare bill reccommended minimum sizes even with the run attached. They need more indoor space! especially when it is cold and wet.


I know some guineas will still go out and use the run when the weathers bad but they are at risk especially if they are old.


This is a quote for the animal welfare act (regarding rabbits)


"Hutches should be a minimum of 6 x 2 x 2 feet - ideally with an attached run to allow the rabbits to exercise.Runs should be a minimum of 6 ft x 4ft"


I think the minimum sizes for 2 guinea pigs is 5ft x 2 ft with an attached run!


Omlet should redesign the eglus or just stick to chickens!

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