The benefit of buying a hutch and run combo is that it is a lot easier for you and your guinea pigs when it comes to exercise time. It can also be cheaper to buy them as one item.
We have had a look at many of the hutch and run combos available for sale and many are very small - not nearly big enough to house guinea pigs and give them enough space to exercise. The best one that we found was the 6ft Kendal Hutch and Run which is an excellent choice if you are housing your guinea pigs outdoors.
Table of Contents
- Benefits of the hutch and run combination
- Why we recommend the Kendal 6ft hutch and run
- Shopping list
- Where to place the hutch in your garden
- Treating the wood
Benefits of this hutch and run combination
With a hutch and run combo, the run attaches to the hutch enabling your guinea pigs to retreat into the hutch when they need to feel secure but can go out for some exercise as and when they want to when the hutch door is open. Rather than taking them out of the hutch and putting them into a run on a daily basis so they can stretch their legs, they have permanent access to their run and can exercise as and when they need to.
Because the hutch is raised from the run, this will give them added security from predators. There is also a trap door which you should lock off at night time or if, for any reason, you need to keep them in the hutch area.
Why we recommend the Kendal 6ft Hutch and Run
We go into more detail about the hutch itself on our best hutches page but in brief, this is why we like this combination hutch:
Perfect size for 2 happy guinea pigs
The 6ft Kendal Hutch and run gives 2 guinea pigs loads of space - a lot more than most hutches that you will find on sale. The hutch itself is 6ft x 2ft x 2ft and the run area is 6ft x 3.7ft x 2ft
Split housing area
There is an arched doorway between the two sections of the hutch. On one side is a lovely dark space without any wire mesh so it keeps out draughts and allows them to sleep and relax in safety. Make sure you add plenty of hay for warmth. A snuggle sack or a cosy guinea pig bed would be a good idea too.
The other side has wire mesh where you can attach a water bottle for feeding.
Good sized and easily accessible run
The run opens on the top and side so you can easily access your guinea pigs if you want to take them out or if you need to add tunnels and toys. It doesn't have a base so your pets will love the fact that they have access to grass if you place your hutch on a lawn. Remember you should not put wire mesh under the run as this will hurt your guinea pig's delicate feet.
If you decide to buy this hutch and run combo, you might like to use this shopping list which lists all the things you'll need to buy with the hutch including bedding and feeding accessories.
- 6ft Hutch and Run Combo
- 6ft Rain Cover
- Water bottle
- Food bowls
- Hay rack
- Bedding: Hay for warmth (must be dust extracted)
- Bedding: Kiln dried wood shavings to absorb urine (must be kiln dried and dust extracted)
- Pet safe wood preservative
Tips and Advice
Where to place the hutch/run
Make sure you place the hutch and run on a flat part of your lawn. If there are lumps and bumps in your garden you might find that it allows for gaps below the run which could allow predators to enter. You should also ensure it is in a safe place which is not exposed to direct sunlight or in a part of the garden where it's likely to be badly affected by weather.
As well as the hutch/run, you will also need a hutch cover to protect your guinea pigs during wet, rainy weather at any time of the year. It doesn't need to be covered the whole time as it can produce condensation in the hutch. However, if rain is forecast then the hutch should be covered.
Treating the wood
The wood will need treating at least once a year to help keep it weatherproof. If you want a different colour for the exterior of the hutch, you can use the Cuprinol Garden Shades, a water-based and pet-friendly stain and preservative. Cuprinol garden shades stain comes in many different colours with everything from pretty pink to bright yellow, coral, white and several many other fabulous colours too.
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