Above all, the right location, enough space and the right materials are important so that nothing happens to the guinea pigs and they feel really comfortable in their new home.
Guinea pig outdoor enclosure: which materials are suitable
If you want to build a guinea pig outdoor enclosure yourself, you should make sure that no plastic parts are installed that the small residents can nibble on. Many insert trays that are used as the floor for the enclosure are unfortunately made of plastic and therefore pose a health risk for your pets. It is better to use wood or ceramic. The latter is easy to clean and does not weather.
With wood, you should make sure that it is untreated, i.e. free of lacquer or other agents that are intended to protect against moisture, insects, etc. These substances could otherwise get into the guinea pig organism and cause health damage there. Otherwise, the rodents also love to chew fresh grass. So a base plate is not absolutely necessary. A metal rabbit wire is recommended as a limitation for the enclosure sides.
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Pay attention to the correct enclosure size when building
As with the indoor enclosure, there should also be enough space in the guinea pig outdoor enclosure. The minimum size for a small facility with two guinea pigs is at least 2 square meters. This gives the animals the opportunity to move enough and to avoid them if necessary. According to the veterinary association for animal protection, a cage should generally not be smaller than 120 x 60 centimeters.
For example, the larger the area where guinea pigs are kept, the less exercise they need in the home. Different floors are also welcome at the Meeris. If you build yourself, you can also take this into account. If the enclosure is too small, there is a risk that the animals' muscles will atrophy, which can lead to a shorter life expectancy.
The location is crucial for well-being
Before you build a guinea pig outdoor enclosure, you should think about the right location. Ideally, it is a little out of the way from the children's play area, the street or the terrace, because the rodents like to be quiet and suffer from stress when there is too much hustle and bustle. Too windy corners are also not recommended, otherwise the risk of diseases in guinea pigs increases. Avoid intense sun exposure and create enough shady areas where your pets can retreat at high temperatures.
Possible dangers in the outdoor guinea pig enclosure
In addition to the risk factors already described, there are other points you should be aware of before you build an outdoor guinea pig enclosure yourself. If your darling is not used to free access, you have to explain the new conditions step by step. Do not leave your guinea pigs in the new enclosure for too long and check regularly whether they are well. Important: a retreat where it can hide. Small houses or a hidden niche are suitable for this, for example. This hiding place should be well insulated so that the sea ice doesn't freeze or get exposed to too much heat.
Even if the guinea pigs don't climb out of their enclosure, you should build a cover. Otherwise, larger birds such as ravens, crows or magpies can view the animals as easy prey. Although the rodents are not known as good diggers, such as rabbits, it is important to ensure that they cannot dig through the side boundaries of the enclosure. Wooden slats or anchoring in the floor are suitable as protective measures so that the guinea pigs do not run away.