Basement Living?

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Post   » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:37 pm

We have two 2 month old piggies (Hermione and Ginny) and recently acquired them. We are talking about adding a third possibly. They are in a store bought cage right now but my daughter and I are building a 2x5 CC cage with 2x2 loft currently... just taking some time!

It will fit in my daughters room but 1. Will make it cramped and 2. They keep her up at night.

We have a TON of space in our finished basement, the only issue is that it isn't truly heated. We never put vents in when we finished it so we rely on oil space heaters when we go down there.

1. What is a good way to keep them warm? We have an oil radiator we can use but I get nervous about leaving with one on.
2. Will they feel isolated being down there when we are mainly upstairs?

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Post   » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:20 pm

I'm not sure what the point is of having a pet that's not with you. To me, that's reason enough not to put them downstairs. As well, they tend to hide illnesses, sometimes until they're critically ill, so the more they're under your nose, the more likely you are to notice that something's going amiss.

Isn't there somewhere else upstairs that you could put them? Den, maybe? Mine are in my downstairs living area, right in front of the fireplace.


Post   » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:22 pm

We could definitely keep them in her room for now. I may get her a sound machine next to her bed. She doesn't mind them being in there but this morning she came out and said that she was up 5 times from them wheeking. lol

I said, "That part of owning them!" I just want them to have enough space while having sufficient love.

Maybe we could have a run in her room and another spot in the basement for sleeping at night?


Post   » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:35 pm

We have six piggies (was 7) and our cage is so huge (2 x 8 grids) it has to be downstairs in our finished basement. But, that is also where our main TV is and two computers, so we are down there a lot. Our basement is also heated and AC just like the rest of the house. If it weren't, I wouldn't have them down there, especially in the winter.

When I had to sleep downstairs because I was recovering from surgery and had to sleep in a recliner, that was only 3 feet from their cage. They did not keep me up at night at all. They don't wheek unless they want something, and if you make sure they have plenty of food, hay and water before you go to bed, they should be fine. They will get used to your daughter being there at night and they probably won't wheek as much after they get used to the situation.

I would definitely NOT leave oil heaters on for the pigs (if you leave them down in the basement) without people around, that's just a fire hazard.

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Post   » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:27 pm

When they wake her make, make sure she does not reward them with anything to eat. JX4's suggestion to make sure they have lots of food (and hay, of course) so they don't really need anything, is a good idea.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:01 pm

I feed mine their major veggie meal as I'm going to bed. That helps keep them asleep longer.


Post   » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:13 pm

White noise machines help with noises. The piggies that I'm taking care of squeak SO MUCH (even with enough food, water, etc.) but my white noise machine lets me sleep (although I am a pretty heavy sleeper). As for being in the bedroom in terms of space, that's just the cost of having pets.


Post   » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:29 pm

Wheeking could also be partly due to their age. They are only two months old, which are still babies. If they are feeling anxious they will wheek. (Ours wheeked a lot more often when they were as young as yours are.) As they get older, wheeking from being anxious will subside as they become comfortable in their new environment. I slept in a recliner for almost 3 weeks solid, and my pigs only woke me up once, about 5:30 in the morning with some chirping that sounded just like a bird. That was it, the only time.


Post   » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:22 pm

A noise machine is a good idea. She did say last night she didn't hear them so maybe they are getting used to the routine! I'll move their evening veggies closer to bed time. Once the C&C cage is built (this weekend) I should be able to fill the cage with more hay and space for them to move around and feel comfortable.


Post   » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:57 am

I've slept with from 1 to 3 guinea pigs in my bedroom. (I've told them when they start contributing to the rent, they can get their own room.). After a bit I found it comforting to have them in the room with me.

They have gotten used to a routine. They know when they are going to get fed in the morning as will start to get 'noisy' then. Saturday is really the only morning I stay 'late' in the bedroom and they notice that. If I do stay later, I almost think their body language is telling me, "Don't you have somewhere you need to be. Where are the curtains on the cage so we can close them?"

It is key to NOT feed them in the middle of the night. If they get used to that there will be some pitiful wheeking happening. Otherwise when the light goes off, they settle for the night.

Note I tend to be a restless sleeper and do run an air filter 24/7 in the bedroom. I also like to run a fan and do run an air conditioner window unit in warm weather. So there is 'white noise' in the background. Can also testify 'sound machines' (white noise, rain, ocean) are conducive to aiding sleep.

Yes, sometimes I hear some squabbling in the night, but a "Don't make me come over there" quiets them."

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Post   » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:06 pm

I have guinea pigs everywhere, including bedroom, but I have never had any problems with their noises. They are quiet in the night, and I find the sound of their munching relaxing. They wheek only when they see me coming with food.

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Post   » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:00 am

Yes, guinea pigs are crepuscular, like rabbits and deer, which means they are mostly active at dawn and dusk (although I have seen deer in front of my car in the middle of the night).

They don't use exercise wheels like other rodents so there's no wheel to keep you awake.

I agree--they are companion animals and should be in a place where you can keep each other company.

Coco-Pepe Mom

Post   » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:42 am

When I decided to get my two piggies, the first thing my husband said was the back bedroom was a good place - I said "no way, they are going in the living room"....the best option is to keep their cage in an active area of your home so that you get the most possible interaction. Without this, they will not become "tame" or really get to know you. Mine are right in front of the fireplace too (we don't use it). I love having them in the living room...I talk to them, pet them, watch them...I wouldn't have them anywhere else; especially not the basement (unless you're down there a lot). Good luck with the decision! :)

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Post   » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:13 pm

If it's not heated, I wouldn't do it. If you make the cage, you can make it any configuration you need, like an L that maybe you can tuck into the corner of another room.

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Post   » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:01 pm

At one point, I was getting my house interior painted so I had to move the rescue piggies down to our basement - no windows. I was trying to keep the lights on during the day, but my son kept seeing the lights on and turned them off - so not sure how much of the day they were in the dark.

I don't remember exactly how many piggies I had down there but every single piggy lost weight during their stay down there - many in the 70-100 gram range. It was plenty warm. So I think piggies do need a certain amount of light. I won't put them down there again.

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