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Thread: Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

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    Cavy Slave Renee Williams's Avatar
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    Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

    A little background: I have a male guinea pig, Bandit. I'm not even sure how old he is - I sort of took him from someone who was neglecting him. It's a long story, but I think he's had a bit of a traumatic life and his cage mate died during the process (prior to my taking him). Anyways - he's essentially lived his whole life in a small cage with hardly any contact. I've never owned a guinea pig, so I'm new to all this.

    I can't have a C&C cage because we have cats - six cats. We tried the C&C thing and they jumped on the top and I was deathly afraid of them caving it in - plus, they stuck their paws in through the holes. I ordered a chicken coop (probably sounds crazy), but it's 10 feet long. I figured he'll finally have space to run around and we won't have to worry about the cats jumping on top of it because 1) part of the top is sloped, so they can't sit up there and 2) it's more reinforced by the frame and 3) the chicken wire is thin enough, the cats can't stick their paws in and hurt Bandit.

    The image for the exact chicken coop I ordered should be attached. Hopefully, I did it right.

    Anyways, I was wondering if anyone else had ever used a chicken coop/rabbit hutch for a guinea pig before?
    If so, where there any special modifications needed?
    Any suggestions for this type of arrangement?

    Also, can anyone suggest any toys or other items to put in his cage for him? He seems slightly depressed and/or bored.

    Thanks for your time and suggestions

    Renee
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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

    C&C's work just fine with cats if you zip-tie the grids together and use closet shelving as a lid.

    He needs a buddy. Guinea pigs do much better with another pig.

    Are you planning on housing him inside or outside?

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    Cavy Slave Renee Williams's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

    Oh, he's definitely being housed inside. It's way too cold outside.

    He had a cage mate previously. According to the person I took him from, Bandit attacked the other guinea pig. I'm not sure if I believe that. I talked about it with the vet. She said to let him adjust to his new home, then maybe adopt another but house them separately. I was planning on modifying this chicken coop for that, which was another benefit to it.

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    Cavy Slave Marie1234's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

    That looks pretty big, I bet he will be happy to have so much room. I know very little myself so hopefully someone else can chime in. I do know wire flooring is a no no, so if it has any you will have to cover it. Are you planning to make coroplast boxes for the bottom section or using something else for the floor? How do you get in to clean it?
    I agree that getting him a friend will help with his mood. Good luck!

  5. "Thank you, Marie1234, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

    If Bandit and his previous friend were housed in a tiny cage together it is possible he might have attacked. Male guinea pigs kept in very close quarters is pretty much asking for a bad fight, they have nowhere to escape from each other and they are constantly in each others faces. Even if he did attack his previous cage mate, if it was under those conditions it doesn't reflect how he would react in a better environment.

    One thing I can see happening with that chicken coop is the wood will get chewed. It would be ideal if you could line as much of the exposed edges of the wood, that are within his reach, as possible. Here in Australia we have a product used in hanging drywall made of PVC readily available in most hardware stores that would be ideal for this purpose as you can get it in a right angle, I have some of it lining the top edge of my coroplast (the J bead shape) to prevent chewing and it really does work. Here is a link to a page showing what I am talking about http://plasticomponents.com/product-group/drywall

  7. "Thank you, Soecara, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave Renee Williams's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

    It has an open floor. I'm thinking of adding something to the bottom of it, either wood or tile, to make it solid. I would cover the bottom with fleece.

    I'm thinking of modifying the sides to open to make it easier to clean, but for now, I bought a long, extendable vacuum and can spot clean with that.

    I just checked out petfinder today, actually. There are two single male guinea pigs in my area that need homes at a local shelter, so once I get this cage set up and modified to have a divider, I think I'm going to contact the shelter and talk to them about adopting one of them. I wish I could take both of them, though.

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

    If you add wood to the bottom of it to give it a solid floor you will need something between the wood and the guinea pigs to make it a bit more water proof. One idea is to have a sheet of linoleum, or a shower curtain on top of the sheet of wood, sandwiched between the bottom wood sheet and the cage itself (just make sure if you use a shower curtain to make it taut and don't have any edges of it inside the cage as you don't want him to be able to chew it).

    It is a shame you can't give both of those shelter boys a home, but it is a good idea to only get one, having three boars together in almost all cases does not work.

  10. "Thank you, Soecara, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave Marie1234's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

    You are definitely going to need a waterproof layer over the wood, peel and stick linoleum or pond lining for example. If funds are not an issue I have also seen the critter nation cage modified for guinea pigs. But you have to buy 2-3 cages which is super expensive. However it would be easy to clean and there would be no way the cats would get at the piggies. There is a cage tour of what I mean on YouTube:

    And I agree that his aggression might have been triggered by too little space. And I almost wonder if it would be better to introduce both the new cage and a new buddy together as the cage would be neutral territory then and not 'belong' to him. ...? Maybe someone else with more experience can chime in on that.....
    Last edited by Marie1234; 01-07-18 at 07:48 pm.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

    Critter Nation cages are not suitable for guinea pigs. They make use of a lot of vertical space, and guinea pigs really need a large flat space to run in.

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    Cavy Slave Spartan021's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

    Get him a full grown male or a fixed one for a mate. if the fight it looks like you could put a barrier in between the two sides so he had someone to chat with but not fight or get hurt.

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    Moderator CavyMama's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

    The coop looks pretty big but if the cats jumped into the C&C cage, is there a reason you think they wouldn't with the coop?

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    Cavy Slave Marie1234's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Critter Nation cages are not suitable for guinea pigs. They make use of a lot of vertical space, and guinea pigs really need a large flat space to run in.
    Agreed that one is too small. This lady put 3 together and took out the side panels, making it one large run. The dimension were 108" L by 24" W (18 sq ft). That's why I said to watch the video and that you would need 2-3 cages and it would be very $$$. But just an idea I thought might help if she had the funds and wanted a cat proof and easy to clean cage that could potentially house GP's either together or separately (using the double critter nation)

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    Cavy Slave Renee Williams's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

    Quote Originally Posted by CavyMama View Post
    The coop looks pretty big but if the cats jumped into the C&C cage, is there a reason you think they wouldn't with the coop?
    I'm sure they will try to jump on top of this cage, the difference between this and the C&C (what I'm hoping for, anyway) is that there will be more stability because of the structure with this cage and the chicken wire is thinner as far as the cats being able to stick their paws through the holes.

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    Cavy Slave Renee Williams's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soecara View Post
    If Bandit and his previous friend were housed in a tiny cage together it is possible he might have attacked. Male guinea pigs kept in very close quarters is pretty much asking for a bad fight, they have nowhere to escape from each other and they are constantly in each others faces. Even if he did attack his previous cage mate, if it was under those conditions it doesn't reflect how he would react in a better environment.

    One thing I can see happening with that chicken coop is the wood will get chewed. It would be ideal if you could line as much of the exposed edges of the wood, that are within his reach, as possible. Here in Australia we have a product used in hanging drywall made of PVC readily available in most hardware stores that would be ideal for this purpose as you can get it in a right angle, I have some of it lining the top edge of my coroplast (the J bead shape) to prevent chewing and it really does work. Here is a link to a page showing what I am talking about http://plasticomponents.com/product-group/drywall

    Thanks for the suggestion regarding the plastic components! He's not much of a chewer - we had him in a temporary make-shift cage made from our old coffee table when I first brought him home and he never nibbled on that and he only ever chews on his current cage's bars when his food dish is low (or sometimes when he hears a treat bag ). But I think taking precautions to make sure he doesn't chew the wood is a good idea.

    I think the previous person who had him neglected him and his cage mate. When I took him to the vet he had an eye infection, bladder stones, and a vitamin deficiency (they never fed him fresh food - ever). So, I think the cage mate's death was caused by neglect. But I'm worried about getting him a new friend because the whole thing sounded traumatic - they left the dead guinea pig in the cage with him for a day or two, I guess. And then kept the pigloo that the cage mate died in, which Bandit refused to go near for a few months.

    I feel really bad for him. I just want him to have a good and fun rest of his life.

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    Cavy Slave Marie1234's Avatar
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    Re: Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

    I would be interested to know how this works out for you, pls keep us updated.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Has anyone ever used a rabbit hutch/chicken coop?

    We're getting a chicken coop type thing for ours as an outside habitat. You will be inside I know, so I can't see that it will be any worse/better than the much loved C&C cages which have their downsides as you have noticed.

    We don't have cats in our house but we have a fair amount of mozzies (mosquitoes) so they will have a fly screen mesh along with the metal mesh to keep out the biteys.

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