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Thread: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

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    Cavy Slave
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    DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    Hi,

    I am new to the board and I will be scavenging the threads soon.

    I build reef aquariums and thought I might put my skills to use on for my future pigs. You can imagine how excited when google came up with cavy cages on the top of my search list!

    I have noticed few people have acrylic cages... but I also understand the cost to build one is going to be in the $150 range... which would make retail in the $400 range... without frieght...

    So...

    If it weren't for the cost, would an acrylic cage be good? What features would you add to the cage.

    Thanks!

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    Cavy Slave katiecavyNC's Avatar
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    Key thing is that the acrylic should not be too high. The piggies need adequate ventiliation. Ideally you could make the base from acrylic and maybe the sides and back taller and a short front with prehaps grids?

    You definately don't want to make something like an aquarium with little ventilation.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    Quote Originally Posted by katiecavyNC View Post
    Key thing is that the acrylic should not be too high. The piggies need adequate ventiliation. Ideally you could make the base from acrylic and maybe the sides and back taller and a short front with prehaps grids?

    You definately don't want to make something like an aquarium with little ventilation.
    Thanks for the response. I am browsing all the cage pictures right now. Are the pigs not able to climb up mesh?

    In many of our aquariums we super glue gutter guard (black plastic kind) right to the acrylic. Would they be able to climb that, or are they just that weak in the front?

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    Cavy Slave katiecavyNC's Avatar
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    GPs are not climbers. They will go up a ramp if properly enticed (food) and will hop in and out of litter boxes, etc. They can't climb a vertical surface and can't jump too high over something either like a mouse or hamster.

    They will occasionally jump grids if there is no top on the cage, but most cases I've heard of on this forum is when there is a male on one side and a female on the other.

    My guys have 1/2 grids along the front side of their cage (it is elevated) and have never attempted to make that flying leap to escape. a 1/2 grid is only about 7" high.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    I remember having pigs 20... ok more than 20 years ago...shhh.
    I remember the big male being able to jump easy out of a 20g tank... fortunatly he would only jump out to jump into the females cage... ROFL From what I am reading on the boards he might have been something of a record breaker

    Could you please fill me in on the jargon, "grids". Thanks!

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    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    Here's my take on acrylic. I started out designing a killer acrylic cages for hours in my head, before I came up with C&C's.

    There a lot of down sides as I see it.

    - too heavy, for one.
    - not flexible. Once you build it, that's what you have.
    - the bottom etches easily with urine stains. Won't have that 'new' look very long.
    - any DIY effort takes real skill and special tools and can result in injury if done wrong.
    - actually, I think the pigs like having a more enclosed feeling that the opaque sides of Coro provides.
    - a broken cage requires serious repair.

    On the positive side, a number of people have cut out a section of the front panel on a C&C and replaced it with a section of acrylic, making it easier to see into the piggie cage.

    Add in the cost and you won't have a commercial market. Shipping is even the downside of commercial C&C cages, due to size of the Coro and weight of the grids.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    Sorry I am having a hard time following a few terms

    coro?
    C&C?

    acrylic comes in plenty of colors and plenty of those are transparent, semi transparent... and of course solid. I work with acrylic and stock clear and black Scratches would be an issue in clear, probably not in black though. A few other issues would not be present for me either... Acrylic is infinitely expandable in my case. Acrylic is far from heavy. If I build a pig cage to the ceiling it would unlikely be too heavy... and I would certainly build it modular

    I see scratching as an issue. The whole point of using acrylic would be to make it look nice... but if the side dodads were black, the front could be made as a door and that could be replacable.

    Quote Originally Posted by CavySpirit View Post
    Here's my take on acrylic. I started out designing a killer acrylic cages for hours in my head, before I came up with C&C's.

    There a lot of down sides as I see it.

    - too heavy, for one.
    - not flexible. Once you build it, that's what you have.
    - the bottom etches easily with urine stains. Won't have that 'new' look very long.
    - any DIY effort takes real skill and special tools and can result in injury if done wrong.
    - actually, I think the pigs like having a more enclosed feeling that the opaque sides of Coro provides.
    - a broken cage requires serious repair.

    On the positive side, a number of people have cut out a section of the front panel on a C&C and replaced it with a section of acrylic, making it easier to see into the piggie cage.

    Add in the cost and you won't have a commercial market. Shipping is even the downside of commercial C&C cages, due to size of the Coro and weight of the grids.

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    Cavy Slave aqh88's Avatar
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    I've built a few aquariums and looked into it. Unless you really dislike the grids or just can't find them or anything similar it doesn't have any advantages. Lack of ventilation could be a problem if you don't make the cage rather wide as well as long which is why actual aquariums are not good cages. The 2nd problem is it scratches so easily that even the bedding might do it after awhile and if that doesn't then the houses getting knocked around and the pigs running about or trying to stand on the front to beg for food might. You'd still be best off putting in coroplast and running it at least a few inches up the sides to protect the acrylic but you'll likely still have scratches after 6 or 8months. Mine throw their houses around all the time. Add that it's heavy and expensive and it has no merits except some people think it looks better.

    Pigs can most definitely climb and jump when they want but they rarely want to climb out of their cage. If they have a large enough cage, friends, and there aren't girls in heat next to boys they very rarely try to get out. Rolo climbed 3 grids high to get up the stand and back into her cage but has never climbed out. I've also seen a pig jump 24" high over a board before but have never seen any of ours or heard of a pig jumping over the 14" grid sides without a good reason(such as girls on the other side). They love their c&c cages and would rather try to break into them than break out.

    c&c is cubes(storage grids) and coroplast. Corplast is corugated plastic, the material signs are made out of, and what is used as the base for cages on this site.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    Oh, I have lots of "coroplast" I use it for facade work in the store Its about $20 for a 4'x8' at the plastic supply warehouses.

    Cost is not an issue for me.
    The issues are: the enclosure has to look great, and easy to maintain.

    Also, personally I have a hard time looking at the bars

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    So the pigs can't or don't chew on the coroplast?

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    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    No. They don't chew on it when they have the right things in the cage. The grids serve a number of very useful purposes. If you are planning on the acrylic replacing the grids, the cage will be too enclosed. Not enough air flow, even on a large cage and not enough visibility for humans or pigs.

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    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    If you don't like the look of grids, take a look at the alternative cage section. Here's an example:


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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    Have you had a look on our home page? You may want to do so, if you haven't. It also provides inside usable dimensions for the number of pigs.

    They can't climb a vertical surface and can't jump too high over something either like a mouse or hamster.
    It's not common and happens rarely but it does happen. I had a young boar climb up the corner of his C&C cage and go over the edge and go over to the girls cage to see his mama and the other girls through the cage bars. I'm just glad he wasn't able to climb up into the girls cage. He used the corner where the grids came together like a ladder. He also liked to take flying leaps off the loft where the ramp was and escape his cage that way. His loft lasted about 2 days before I took it down and then built a lid out of cubes to keep him in the cage.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    oh, man now that is a nice looking set up! I could live with that.

    I know I might seem a bit head strong, but since I make acrylic tanks for a living, finding out how to make one for the pigs would be really cool. Building that exact design out of acrylic would be a snap (other than the sweet curves on the side). Black acrylic would be as good or better than wood, especially cast acrylic.

    On the picture there, wouldn't you worrie about them jumping over the sides?

    I see that some people use blankets, news papper, wood chips (other than ceder). Do the blankets work well? I assume you simply put them in the wash (no softener?)?

    Thanks,

    I'm very into planning ahead for a pet.

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    Try doing a forum search for "fleece". It will pull up many very useful threads that will explain what it is and how to use it.

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    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrinal View Post
    On the picture there, wouldn't you worrie about them jumping over the sides?
    Normally, yes. But this setup belongs to a guy who is very experienced with pigs and knows his pigs very well. You have to do the safe thing for your pigs and in his case, it was.

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    Cavy Slave Slave to the Wheek's Avatar
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    If you click on the camera at the upper right corner of my post, you can see images of the cage I've built. Acrylic would be very horrible to move around if you built a good sized cage, it would need to have holes drilled in it for ventilation, it would get scratched easily as the piggers stand up on their hind find to beg for food, it would be horrible to get into to clean..geez..I could probably think of more myself. For one thing, I would rather have a larger cage, than a smaller one.

    To me, you have to remember that a cage is a habitat. You can design something that is gorgeous but that isn't neccessarily the best thing for the animal. Remember back when zoos were just wild animals kept in tiny jail cells?

    If someone combined acrylic and grids somehow to keep the flexibility and the looks you might have something, especially since you have it all at your disposal.

    Personally, I just can't see improving on this:

    Or this



    The cost is so cheap it's ridiculous, the flexibility is unlimited and the creativity is inspiring while you do it over and over until you've found what you want.

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    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    Just awesome cages and they look fab, too!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    Thanks guys. I wen't with the blue grid and forest green fleece. Perhaps it is because I am so please with my new pig, but the grids look a lot less evil in real life than in the pictures.


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    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Re: DIY ACRYLIC cages?

    Ah, a convert, then. Excellent!

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