Advice - Cold Weather due to Hurricane Sandy Power Outages

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Post   » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:01 pm

So we just lost power again due to the follow-on Nor'easter after Hurricane Sandy. It's ~32 degrees tonight and supposed to be ~42 tomorrow. Obviously the house won't get that cold, but it will be cold. a) What's the lowest temperature a guinea pig can survive? b) How long can they last before there's an issue? c) Any advice to mitigate the cold? Given the current storm, fuel shortages, widespread power failures etc there's not much we can do for at least a day and everything's still iffy beyond that as far as getting him elsewhere. Right now we gave him a more plush "cave" to hide in that should be warmer than his standard hideaway and also covered half the cage with a couple of blankets.

Info, advice and piece of mind appreciated! :)

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Post   » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:10 pm

Drape some fleece over the corner of the cage. Guinea pigs like to crawl under draped fabric (towels, fleece). It is like being under a blanket and will keep them warm.

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LS in AK
Upside-down & Backwards

Post   » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:12 pm

Do you have access to hand-warmers, the chemical kind you shake and they give off heat for up to 8 hours while you are skiing? If so, you can wrap them in a thin blanket or put them under a towel so the pigs can lay on them (just make sure pigs can't get at them to eat them. They are toxic.)

And, do you have a gas fireplace or a wood stove? I lost power for 6 days once while living in western WA, and we had to bundle the pigs in lots of blankets in a small temporary space and sit them next to the fireplace during the day. At night, we all just bundled up (it was in the 20's after the windstorm). I used a big Rubbermaid tub, with the litter box/food area in one half and lots of cozies in the other, so they could burrow and stay warm. I duct taped their water bottle to one side. Pigs made it through better than I did (I caught a cold, they were fine.)


Post   » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:15 am

The hand warmers are great! They sell them here at 7-11. The grocery stores have Thermacare wraps which are larger and last longer (although more expensive).

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Post   » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:41 am

I live in the basement (in MN), so it can get pretty cool down here in the winter even with my bedroom door shut. I've draped thick towels or a blanket over the cage with a small gap at either end for air flow. It gets and stays surprisingly warm in there. The boys also have cheap fleece blankets to burrow in on super cold nights.

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Post   » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:00 am

During the 6 days we were without power, I draped cage liners (fleece and pads sewn together) over their "bedroom" area, and made sure they they had cuddle cups and cozies to huddle inside of.

While I was worried, the pigs did surprisingly well. I would have been more worried about heat than the cold. I think they can survivie pretty cold temperatures, though I don't have numbers for you.

I also provided extra hay, in piles for them to snuggle into if they wanted. Hay keeps them warm too.

You might also try hot water bottles, if you have hot water.

Good luck. Stay as warm as you can!


Post   » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:28 am

I would be very careful using those hand warmers. I have evperimented with them and they can get really hot but seeing how my guinea pigs always find a way to get into somehing outside of their pulling a grocery bag through the bars or a tall plant etc...that I caught because I was there and could see, but to have something in their cage they can get at when you are not able to see if they got into it is to me dangerous.


Post   » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:41 am

Thanks for the advice. We don't have access to gas stove/fireplace etc unfortunately however he seems to have made it through the night ok and is actually spending more time in the uncovered area than the area with the hideaway and blankets which hopefully is a good sign?

I'll try to pick up the warmers today and will be extremely careful. I'm hopeful that one way or another by tomorrow we'll have him somewhere warm so as long as he can survive like this - and it seems he can - we should be fine.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:53 am

As long as they can get under something fleece, they should be ok. One of the posters over at GPC has a pig that they found in their yard, under a thick thorny hedge, when the snow was several feet on the ground. It took them two or three days to catch him, and the temperature went down well below freezing every night.

He's now a captured, well-loved pig in a warm house, but he did just fine with all the cold weather outside.

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Post   » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:26 am

From all I've read it's HEAT that you've got to worry about. With blankets and a semi-covered cage, especially if temps stay above freezing, I bet he'll be okay.


Post   » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:44 am

He seems to be tolerating this a lot better than we are! :) And it's supposed to warm up today through the weekend so I think everything will be perfectly fine. Thanks again for all the advice.

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