Guinea pigs need as much space as you are able to give them, with a minimum of 2 x 5ft for two female pigs, and 2 x 6 ft for two male pigs. Most standard cages marketed as suitable for guinea pigs therefore are not appropriate!
One of the most cost effective ways to provide an ample amount of space for your pigs is by building a C&C cage, like these shown here.
The sides are made out of storage cube grids clipped together, and the base is made from correx/corrugated plastic used for making signs. The base can then be lined with fleece over towels which are washed as needed and re-used, cutting down on waste. The first cage above also features a lid made from grids, but as guineas aren’t great climbers this isn’t necessary unless you have cats/other animals who might be a little too interested.
You can build your own custom C&C cage – you can buy the grids from Amazon and correx base from Homebase or Wickes. Check out the how-to guide at http://www.guineapigcages.com/howtometric.htm
Other DIY Ideas
Other alternative creative ideas for piggy housing include playpens, and even Ikea desks fashioned into a suitable home! Our two male pigs live in an enclosure that we made by joining two 100x60cm Ikea Linnmon desks together, attaching a solid back and sides and a perspex front. This setup gives us excellent views of the piggies, and is really easy to clean out.
The following sizes are recommended as minimum guidelines when planning your pigs accommodation:
|No. of Guinea Pigs*||Area||C&C Grids||Size (based on grids)|
|2||10ft||2×4 grids||27″ x 56″|
|3 (2 males)||12ft||2×5 grids||27″ x 71″|
|4||14ft||2×6 grids||27″ x 84″|
|*for males, go up one cage size|
Note: A grid is larger than a foot
We generally recommend keeping guinea pigs indoors, as they are particularly sensitive to heat and cold. However, it is possible to provide well insulated and predator-proof outdoor housing, by keeping your piggies in a shed, garage or outbuilding, which you could also attach a run to. All mesh on outdoor housing must be galvanised 16 gauge (16G) mesh to be considered fox-proof. Most pet shop bought hutches are not made with this strength of mesh and so are not fox-proof unless placed inside a shed/outbuilding.
If you are new to guinea pigs, we would strongly recommend joining The Guinea Pig Forum, whose members have shared lots of great ideas for housing. Also check out our pinterest boards for more ideas!