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Thread: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

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    Cavy Slave
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    Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    Would a 9 square foot cage be big enough for 3 guinea pigs? ((Either 3 females or 2 fixed females and a fixed male)) Iím building a shelving unit for all my cages pets and it makes looking like each section will be 3x3x3 foot though I could probably make my hedgehog section a bit smaller and make the guinea pig area 3x4x3 foot and the hedgehog section 3x2x3

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    The size guidelines we recommend are at an absolute minimum 10.5 sq feet for 3 females (or 2 females and 1 male group in which either the male or females are desexed), the ideal cage size for a group of this size is 13 square feet or more.

    Generally when you see a cage measurement on this forum like a 2x4 C&C cage it is using the number of grids the cages out of as the measurement (2 grids wide, 4 grids long), the grids are about 14 inches.

    For anyone else thinking of making a shelving unit for a guinea pig cage just keep in mind guinea pigs really need one big flat space, and they don't benefit from having multiple smaller levels. They also don't tend to like having very narrow cages so converting an existing shelf generally won't work, it really needs to be purpose built with the cage size needs of guinea pigs in mind.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    Quote Originally Posted by Soecara View Post
    The size guidelines we recommend are at an absolute minimum 10.5 sq feet for 3 females (or 2 females and 1 male group in which either the male or females are desexed), the ideal cage size for a group of this size is 13 square feet or more.

    Generally when you see a cage measurement on this forum like a 2x4 C&C cage it is using the number of grids the cages out of as the measurement (2 grids wide, 4 grids long), the grids are about 14 inches.

    For anyone else thinking of making a shelving unit for a guinea pig cage just keep in mind guinea pigs really need one big flat space, and they don't benefit from having multiple smaller levels. They also don't tend to like having very narrow cages so converting an existing shelf generally won't work, it really needs to be purpose built with the cage size needs of guinea pigs in mind.
    Yeah the shelving unit will have all the pets in it in mind Iím going to be completely making it from scratch so I should just stick with 2 guinea pigs

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    How tall does an open top cage have to be to be escape proof? I might build a second part to the cage outside the shelf unit with a ramp connecting the 2 sections unless I just leave a gap in the lower section of the cage I’m already building and just close that up with them in it when I bring other pets out to play

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    Depends. Some pigs never try to get out, some can climb open grids. But closet shelving makes an awesome lid -- too heavy for the pigs to push up, sturdy enough to protect from dog and cats.

    If you look at the photo galleries on this site, you'll get an idea how high most cage walls are.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Depends. Some pigs never try to get out, some can climb open grids. But closet shelving makes an awesome lid -- too heavy for the pigs to push up, sturdy enough to protect from dog and cats.

    If you look at the photo galleries on this site, you'll get an idea how high most cage walls are.
    Ill look there next but I was thinking like 2-3 foot tall solid walls for the outer section not open grids

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    You don't want solid walls -- you've got to have some air circulation. Three feet is probably overkill, and if the walls are solid, so is two feet.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    You don't want solid walls -- you've got to have some air circulation. Three feet is probably overkill, and if the walls are solid, so is two feet.
    How are solid walls going to prevent air circulation if the top was open? Though I think I’m just gonna do a 4 ft by 3 ft cage instead of making 2 parts so the cage will be 12 square feet then depending on if the shelter has 2 or 3 available piggies the cage will be large enough

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    Whatever.

    I will say that the joy of owning pigs is being able to see them and enjoy watching them do their thing. If it's got solid walls, you're going to miss that.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Whatever.

    I will say that the joy of owning pigs is being able to see them and enjoy watching them do their thing. If it's got solid walls, you're going to miss that.
    The front of the cage is gonna be mesh so I’ll still be able to see them and they’ll get air but if I was doing the solid wall outer part the top would of been open where I could see them

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    Quote Originally Posted by PennyLane94 View Post
    The front of the cage is gonna be mesh so Iíll still be able to see them and theyíll get air
    Sorry to say this but you seem to be dead set on building this cage your way despite the advice of those far more knowledgeable and experienced. Why are you plunging ahead without considering what is best for the cavies, NOT what you think you would like? A semi-closed cage sets up the environment for respiratory issues with cavies which can cause their death in a matter of hours, not days. They need maximum air flow, good cage hygiene, as well as proper food and care.

    If you are going to all the trouble to build a great cage, why not take your time to ensure that it is done the right way in order to ensure the health of your cavies?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    Sorry to say this but you seem to be dead set on building this cage your way despite the advice of those far more knowledgeable and experienced. Why are you plunging ahead without considering what is best for the cavies, NOT what you think you would like? A semi-closed cage sets up the environment for respiratory issues with cavies which can cause their death in a matter of hours, not days. They need maximum air flow, good cage hygiene, as well as proper food and care.

    If you are going to all the trouble to build a great cage, why not take your time to ensure that it is done the right way in order to ensure the health of your cavies?
    the cage is gonna be 3 foot by 4 foot ((12 square feet)) by 3 foot tall at most I could mesh would be the front and one side and I’d keep the cage clean along with a good amount of out of cage time and giving tons of veggies and good food

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    I’m probably even gonna go up to an 8 ft by 3 foot cage instead of 4x3

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    Cavy Slave Candalalala's Avatar
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    They don’t need 3ft tall walls. They maybe need a foot and a half. Especially if the walls are solid, they won’t climb that.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    Quote Originally Posted by Candalalala View Post
    They donít need 3ft tall walls. They maybe need a foot and a half. Especially if the walls are solid, they wonít climb that.
    Im probably eventually gonna add a second level in the cage and it gives me more space to get in to clean in the back plus I think it would look weird to have such a big cage with a solid top but short walls

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    Cavy Slave Candalalala's Avatar
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    A solid top and solid walls? I know you said mesh, but what kind of airflow does the mesh allow for?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    Quote Originally Posted by Candalalala View Post
    A solid top and solid walls? I know you said mesh, but what kind of airflow does the mesh allow for?
    The solid walls was if I built the 2nd section of cage with no top the way I’m doing it since I’m just doing one large cage is solid back,top, bottom and maybe one wall and the mesh will be 1/4inch holes so tons of air flow

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    Cavy Slave Smileandnod's Avatar
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    What material are you using to create your "solid walls", "solid top" and "mesh walls"?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    Quote Originally Posted by Smileandnod View Post
    What material are you using to create your "solid walls", "solid top" and "mesh walls"?
    I’m planning on either Poplar,oak,or aspen wood with tiles covering the inside and 1/4 inch wire mesh/hardware mesh

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    Cavy Slave Smileandnod's Avatar
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    Re: Cage size for 3 guinea pigs

    Quote Originally Posted by PennyLane94 View Post
    I’m planning on either Poplar,oak,or aspen wood with tiles covering the inside and 1/4 inch wire mesh/hardware mesh
    I applaud you for your attempts to build your piggies a large cage because they need a large, flat surface with lots of ventilation for their health and wellbeing.

    If may offer you some constructive criticism from my own hard learned lesson... Wood is oftentimes very difficult to keep adequately clean even with a covering over it (such as tile or linoleum) because moisture inevitably gets to it which causes issues down the road. Sure, it looks great and works well at the start, but all you have to do is deal with one pig with a fungal infection, urine wearing construction away or an especially busy pig who likes to gnaw away at the wood (which is a natural thing for pigs to do) to have a really frustrating experience. Any exposed wood is impossible to clean adequately to solve some issues and oftentimes just creates a messy, odorous situation for you and your pigs.

    I have found the c&c cages to be the easiest to clean, healthiest for my pigs (lots of space, ventilation, and easy to disinfect when necessary) and the most versatile...I can add to it or change the configuration whenever I want at an affordable price! I couldn't believe how much better it was until I switched to one.

    I hope that you are also planning on this structure being indoors. Many times those choosing wood are planning an outdoor cage which is not usually in the best interest of their pigs' health. (I am sure you have already read about their sensitivity to certain humidity and temperature ranges)

    Just consider all your options of cage materials since I am sure you plan to put a lot of effort into this project.

    And remember, the people on this site are very knowledgeable and are a wonderful help because they have an immense amount of experience with guinea pigs. Some have made their own mistakes and learned the hard way, so they want to share with others for the benefit of their guinea pigs. They really do know what they are talking about and are reliable source of information.

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