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Thread: Expanded Midwest cages

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave Scooterpig's Avatar
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    Expanded Midwest cages

    I've finally finished the expansion of my Midwest cages! Took a bit of planning, especially in how to support the lids. Here's a picture of the girls enjoying their new cage:Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Cavy Slave Scooterpig's Avatar
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    Re: Expanded Midwest cages

    Here's a picture of the boys in their cage too. They only moved in yesterday so they are still a bit wary. I made their kitchen area a little smaller to allow more room to run around, which I think is better, so I'll modify the girls' kitchen as well to be a similar size.

    The new cages are each just under 4ft x 4ft, so there's almost almost 16 sq ft of space.



    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cavy Slave Scooterpig's Avatar
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    Re: Expanded Midwest cages

    Making a Midwest cage bigger is actually pretty straightforward. You can easily open up the hooks between the panels to add additional sections. I also used cable ties (zip ties) to make it extra secure.

    For the base, I used two of the canvas bottom sections. I opened up two of the corners along a long side of each, then overlapped them in the cage. You need to remove the black binding in the corners you're opening, and cut the binding at the top edge at the opened corner. It's a bit fiddly but a seam ripper or small sharp scissors will do the job. If you keep the short pieces of binding you've removed, you can reattach them along the opened corner on the short sides. It means that when you've attached the bases in the cage, you'll have a neat edge where the short sides of each canvas bottom meet.

    You could add velcro to join the bases or sew them together - I decided not to make make it easier for cleaning.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    Cavy Slave Scooterpig's Avatar
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    Re: Expanded Midwest cages

    I've had my original Midwest cages on the floor on carpet and found it to be a pain for cleaning, so I decided to make a firm base by using two desktops and six 8" kitchen cabinet legs (all from Ikea) for each cage. It makes it easier to clean and gives me storage space for all the piggies' stuff! I also opted to put a 4ft x4ft sheet of coroplast in each one, under their fleece flippers. Each cage uses six flippers.


    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. "Thank you, Scooterpig, for this useful post," says:

    Mellisenda (02-19-14)

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    Cavy Slave Scooterpig's Avatar
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    Re: Expanded Midwest cages

    The thing I found most tricky was figuring out how to support the lids for each cage. As it's a square cage, I wanted to use two lids for each. I think I bought every shelf bracket and support mechanism in Home Depot! In the end, my husband came up with a nice simple solution - two 4ft lengths of dowel (I think it was the 5/8" size). We attached them to the side panels using four 1/4" cable clamps for each rod - 2 at each end to hold it securely (found in the electrical aisle of Home Depot). You just loop the clamps round the wire and attach them with a nice big screw to the rod. The spacing of the two rods means it's easy to open each of the lids independently.

    http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/...psb2862407.jpg

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    Cavy Slave KaLeigh's Avatar
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    Re: Expanded Midwest cages

    Awesome. Thanks for posting this! Any updates?

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    Cavy Slave pigger123's Avatar
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    Re: Expanded Midwest cages

    That's a really good idea for Midwest cages! I don't feel that having one Midwest cage really offers enough space, but having two together like that seems nice and roomy.

  9. #8
    Cavy Slave Scooterpig's Avatar
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    Re: Expanded Midwest cages

    Well, I am planning an extension!

    I want to add an upper level, at half the height of the cage so approx 7 inches above the existing floor. It's probably going to be 1ft x 4ft. I'm going to use rods to support the base of the upper level, but I need to come up with some additional support - probably some kind of metal bracket that came be attached outside the cage (possibly to the table). That's the bit I'm still working on.

    Not sure what the base of the upper level will be made of (maybe acrylic with coroplast on top). The sides will be clear acrylic though to let the light in.

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