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 How To Build A Cage For Your Cavy?

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GuineaPigLuvver
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PostSubject: How To Build A Cage For Your Cavy?   Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:44 am

STEPS

-One Guinea Pig needs at least 7.5 sq ft of cage space, for two at least 10.5 sq ft. Of course, the bigger the better! It may seem like a lot of room, but it is necessary if you want happy, pop-corning pigs!
-Cubes and Coroplast Cages These are very simple to make, and quite cheap too. Clip wire mesh cubes together with plastic connecters to make the walls, then score and fold an open box base made of corrugated plastic. This sits inside the cubes.
-Alternative Cage Instead of cubes, use lengths of chicken wire/hardware cloth, supported with wooden stakes. Instead of Coroplast, use linoleum or a plastic tarp/groundsheet.

MY ADVISE

-Do not use wood as a base, unless you cover it with plastic to make it waterproof. Urine will soak in, resulting in a stinky and unhealthy environment.
-Do NOT house your guinea pigs in a wooden hutch outside. This is very common in the UK, but guinea pigs cannot escape the weather or predators, and hutches are usually too small. If you really can't keep your pigs inside, house them in a shed or unused garage (car fumes are killers). Guinea pigs will happily free range in a shed, but it is best if they come inside the house at least for the winter.
-Cubes are available in shops like Target, Walmart, Bed, Bath and Beyond in America. They are harder to find in the UK, but try B&Q, Kleeneze catalogue, and eBay.
-Coroplast is called Correx in the UK. It is found in sign-making shops.

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PostSubject: Wooden cages   Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:50 am

I completely agree with using coroplast and grids to make the best, most space saving cages. They also offer as many options as the imagination can create.

However, I have a wooden cage, and it is possible to create one that's safe for cavies. First, use pressure treated wood, as it doesn't splinter and is hard, so chewing doesn't hurt it. Always seal the wooden base with paint or varnish, to keep urine, water and other moisture from seeping into the wood.

I covered my base with peal and stick, self-adhesive tiles at 10 cents/tile. I chose the tiles as I have a paper cutter that easily cuts the tiles to fit the cage bottom. If I hadn't had the cutter, I would have used remnants of sheet linoleum, available at flooring stores and some DIY stores. Since I used the tiles, although I fit them together very tightly, I used tile sealer to seal all the seams and keep any debris from getting into the seams. About once I month I clean the base with bleach to kill any bacteria that may be breeding there.

I have the grids used in C&C cages. They serve as the back and sides of the lower level, and the back of the upper level of the cage. I use CritterTrail playpen sides for the front of the cage, as I have back problems, and it's easier to bend over the lower fencing than the higher grids.

In the decking section of the DIY stores is a product used for installing thatching under decks. It comes in different colors, and is a long runner with a channel cut for the thatching to fit into. I use this on the edges of my levels, to hold the grids and playpen sides. IF using cloth bedding, it can also hold that under the grids, and make it easier to sweep or vac poos during daily cage cleanings.

I originally built two 4'x6' bases covered with lino tiles and the decking channels. I used four pressure treated railing spindles to hold the top level, and the bottom level was mounted on four heavy duty castors. I found my back couldn't handle a four foot deep cage, so the top level was cut down to three feet by six feet. the bottom level was also cut down to 3'x6". The parts cut off the original cage bases were combined to create a 20"x6' second level for the top cage. The bottom cage is used to store piggy items such as bedding and hay. I plan to make curtains to hide the storage area on the lower level.

It is possible to use wood for a cavy cage, and it's possible to convert a wooden rabbit hutch into a good cavy cage. Just make sure any wooden surfaces that will get wet, are both sealed and covered with a waterproof material. Building a wooden cage from scratch takes carpentry skills and tools. We have both. We highly recommend C&C for anyone who doesn't have the skills or the tools, can't afford wood as it's very expensive in some countries, or just wants a cage they can change regularly. C&C is the easiest material to use if the cage is going to be inlarged, made into multiple levels, or if piggies need to be separated. Wood is an option, but it isn't an easy one to change once it's built.
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PostSubject: Re: How To Build A Cage For Your Cavy?   Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:54 am

I wanted to build a 4X8 cage but no space Sad

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PostSubject: Re: How To Build A Cage For Your Cavy?   Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:39 pm

No C&C here, unfortunately. I had C&C shipped to here, but they already rusted after a few years, so now I ordered a set of playpens to connect like you would connect grids. They are almost as high as grids, not square, but rectangle.

I have a kitchen laminated top as base for the new cage. It is made to stand acids for kitchen use, so that works well too. I use towel material on top, which I bought on a rol and cut it to size myself. On top of that, I use a cloth made mainly from polyester, like fleece is, but this doesn't hog any hay like fleece does, as it's not fluffy. The pigs love it a lot.

I have had connected store bought cages as well in the past, but they aren't the best cages I had. Also a large wooden cage, which was great. I used a table cloth as a base, or linoleum (vinyl floor cover), as there is no coroplast here.
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PostSubject: Re: How To Build A Cage For Your Cavy?   Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:36 pm

I currently have 2x4 and 1x4 cage and for sure need some more space with my newbaby growing up. I'm thinking of giving the fleece a try, anyone have experiences to share?

This my current piggie kingdom

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PostSubject: Re: How To Build A Cage For Your Cavy?   Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:48 pm

Very nice cages, I saw you improved it Smile. Pigjes I think I'll try the pen pieces for floor time.

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