Best Guinea Pig Hutch

If you are housing your guinea pig outside, you will need to buy a good, large-sized solid and sturdy wooden hutch that stands up to bad weather and potential predators. It also needs to be one that makes a good home for your guinea pigs where they can be happy and feel safe.

To save you time and help you find the best hutch for your guinea pigs we’ve looked at a lot of hutches. The ones we recommend are the single storey Chartwell wooden outdoor hutches (made in the UK) which are available in 3 variations. You can click on the links below to find out the price of each:

We’ve also created some shopping lists which include everything you’ll need for the hutch. Check out the shopping lists here...

Table of Contents

Hutch Features

The 5ft and 6ft single storey British built Chartwell hutch is an excellent hutch for several reasons. Here we list the features which made us choose this over other hutches on the market:

Hutch Size

It is essential to the good health and wellbeing of your guinea pigs that you buy a hutch of the right size. A minimum size for two guinea pigs 120cm x 60cm but a bigger hutch is even better. 

The Chartwell hutches are deeper than most guinea pig hutches you will find anywhere else which is a real advantage for your pets, giving them lots of space to play.

  • The 5ft Chartwell hutch measures approx 5ft x 2ft x 2ft and also has plenty of room for two guinea pigs.
  • The XL 6ft Chartwell hutch is the biggest we could find and would recommend for two super-happy guinea pigs. It measures 6ft x 2ft x 2ft. 

Bear in mind that you will also need a run so you can either buy one separately or purchase the 6ft hutch/run combo - more about the combination hutch here…

It’s important to be aware that there are many hutches for sale online and even in pet shops that are sold as guinea pig hutches but are far too small. Always check the size is at least the minimum we recommend and preferably larger. If you don’t have room for a hutch of the required size in your garden or on your patio, it is better you house them indoors in a large cage or consider another pet that doesn’t require as much space. 

Sleeping and Play Area

This hutch is divided into a cosy dark compartment accessible by an arched doorway and a larger section with wire mesh where they can get fresh air and sunlight. It’s important to make the hutch as warm as possible in the dark area so they that on cooler days they can snuggle up and feel comfortable.
Hutch is raised for air flow

The hutch has 10mm integral legs which raise the hutch from the ground. This is an important feature as it will protect the wood and allow airflow. This is essential to extend the life of your hutch and for the health of your guinea pigs.

Easy to clean

It is really important the hutch is cleaned regularly as outdoor guinea pigs are especially at risk of flystrike, a potentially fatal disease. 

The 5ft and 6ft Chartwell hutches are designed so they are easy to clean due to the cleaning bars that open at the front under the doors enabling you to sweep out the soiled bedding. 

Fox proof wire mesh

Your outdoor hutch must be fox proof. If a fox has a way to get into the hutch or run then it will do so. The Chartwell hutches are made with fox-proof galvanized wire mesh to prevent attacks. However, foxes are very clever and, as with any hutch, you may need to buy additional bolts or padlocks to make sure there is no way the doors of the hutch can be opened.

There is also a central wire mesh panel where you can fix your guinea pig’s water bottle and hanging toys.

Made with treated wood for durability

These Chartwell hutches are constructed with good quality Scandinavian wood and built in the tongue and groove style. The wood has been treated with a pet-friendly preservative to make it weather proof. However, it is recommended, as with any hutch, that you use a water-based preservative at least once a year to keep it in good condition.

Easy to put together

This hutch comes as a flatpack item with instructions on how to put together. You will need to follow the instructions carefully and make sure it is built so that it is strong and robust. If you’re not particularly keen on putting it together yourself, you can usually find someone who puts together flatpack furniture for a living and will charge you just a small fee to do this.

Summary

To summarise, these extra large Chartwell guinea pig hutches are our recommended best buy for an outdoor wooden hutch and have the following features:

  • 2 opening doors for each compartment
  • arched doorway to sleeping area
  • extra large space unlike most other hutches 
  • aluminium latches
  • fox proof wire mesh
  • sloped roof so rain falls off the back of the hutch
  • cleaning bars to easily remove soiled bedding
  • treated wood and strong timber construction
  • integral legs allowing airflow

Bear in mind that you will need a run so that your guinea pigs get the exercise they need. Although this is a good sized hutch, they need a regular run-around in a larger area. You could either purchase a separate run (5ft Chartwell Run or 6ft Chartwell Run)  or buy the 6ft hutch/run combo

Shopping lists

To make it easy for you to find and buy the required hutch and all the other items you’ll need, we’ve created shopping lists for each hutch option including bedding and feeding accessories. These are all items we recommend:

5ft hutch shopping list

6ft hutch shopping list

FAQs when buying a hutch

Here are some common questions people ask when buying a hutch:

Do I need a hutch cover (hutch hugger)?

You will need a hutch cover (also known as a hutch hugger) to protect your guinea pigs during wet weather. You can buy a rain cover separately for both the 5ft and 6ft hutches which may be needed in both winter and summer.

It’s important the bedding doesn’t become soggy as guinea pigs are very susceptible to illnesses in damp conditions. Please see our shopping lists for links to buy the hutch covers. Check out our shopping lists for the hutch cover for the 5ft or 6ft Chartwell hutches

Is a two storey guinea pig hutch better than a single storey hutch?

We did used to recommend the two tier hutches as they give additional upper level space. However, guinea pigs prefer a larger floor space and as they get older they may find the ladder more difficult to climb, particularly if they start to get arthritic. For this reason, we feel it is best for guinea pigs to have an extra large one level hutch. 

Is a 3ft or 4ft guinea pig hutch big enough?

A 3ft hutch is definitely too small. This is less than the minimum hutch size recommended by the RSPCA for keeping guinea pigs. Even if you only have 1 guinea pig (which is not recommended) it is too small. 

A 4ft hutch would be just about ok for 2 guinea pigs (if they spend a lot of time in a run) but we prefer the larger ones because it just gives them that extra bit of space that make their lives so much happier. You can check out the 4ft Chartwell hutch here…

Is it safe to paint the hutch in a colour of my choice?

Yes, you can use a colour wood preservative which will help prolong the life of your hutch but it’s essential you use a pet-safe wood stain. We recommend the Cuprinol Garden Shades for 3 reasons.

Not only are they pet-safe but being water-based, they are easy to apply. You must ensure the wood is completely dry and aired before allowing your guinea pigs in the hutch though.

One of the great things about this paint is that it comes in many beautiful shades including pink, blue, green as well as more neutral colours including white for a cleaner look. Check out which colours are available here…

Keeping your Guinea Pigs Safe Outdoors

Don't forget to read our article on keeping outdoor guinea pigs to ensure your pets are safe and live happy lives. 

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