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Thread: Minimum wall/grid height for open C&C?

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    Cavy Slave LittleSqueakers's Avatar
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    Minimum wall/grid height for open C&C?

    So, I'm working my way towards beginning a Second Age of Pigs (after being pig-less since Tribble passed away and my fosters went back to the rescue a little over a year ago), but the gears are turning slowly at present. There's a lot of prep work to do since my living situation has changed somewhat.

    At present, I am tinkering with re-designing the pigpen, and I have a question. My plan is to get rid of the plastic mortar-mixing tubs that I hacked apart and gorilla-taped back together to form a base and instead to finally get coroplast. I also want to try wood pellets with a layer of fleece on top this time, since I've heard so many good things about it, and excessive laundry was one of the biggest downsides of using home-made fleece flippers with Uhaul padding and fleece.

    My question is this: the way I am planning on attaching the grids to the outside of the tray, if I used 2-3 inches of wood pellets in the coroplast tray, then I'm estimating there would be about 11.5-10.5 inches of height between the floor (on top of the wood pellets) and the top of the grids. Is this high enough to keep pigs from escaping from an open cage? Or should I keep playing with it and figure out a way to add more height? Also, I know babies need more height than adults, and at this point I'm not sure if I might end up adopting babies or not...

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Minimum wall/grid height for open C&C?

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleSqueakers View Post
    My question is this: the way I am planning on attaching the grids to the outside of the tray, if I used 2-3 inches of wood pellets in the coroplast tray, then I'm estimating there would be about 11.5-10.5 inches of height between the floor (on top of the wood pellets) and the top of the grids. Is this high enough to keep pigs from escaping from an open cage? Or should I keep playing with it and figure out a way to add more height? Also, I know babies need more height than adults, and at this point I'm not sure if I might end up adopting babies or not...
    You say, "I am planning on attaching the grids to the outside of the tray".........that is confusing in that one constructs the cage first and then drops in the coroplast tray.

    I think that the standard grid height of 14" is sufficient even if you are contemplating that the layer of wooden pellets will reduce the height of the "barrier". Just keep in mind that something like a wooden hidey shouldn't be placed adjacent to the outside of the cage. I once had a baby who was determined to escape and he climbed onto the top of the hidey and then jumped out of the cage. If you place anything in a corner toward the outside of the cage, then put a single grid over the hidey to prevent an escape artist from being successful.

    Babies don't need more height, they need smaller grid openings to prevent them from attempting to crawl through or getting a body part stuck in the hole. While the babies are young, you can offset extra grids (secure with zip ties) to make the openings smaller, and later remove them as the cavies grow.

    I personally love babies! It's so much fun to watch them grow and see all the cute things they do. Plus, you can raise them as you want.......much like adopting a baby vs. older children. They will be uniquely yours and not be scarred from a history of neglect, abuse by humans, or abuse by other cavies. Yes, older cavies and human children need love, but my personal preference is to start with babies, especially when I'm starting over.

  3. "Thank you, spy9doc, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave LittleSqueakers's Avatar
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    Re: Minimum wall/grid height for open C&C?

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    You say, "I am planning on attaching the grids to the outside of the tray".........that is confusing in that one constructs the cage first and then drops in the coroplast tray.

    I think that the standard grid height of 14" is sufficient even if you are contemplating that the layer of wooden pellets will reduce the height of the "barrier". Just keep in mind that something like a wooden hidey shouldn't be placed adjacent to the outside of the cage. I once had a baby who was determined to escape and he climbed onto the top of the hidey and then jumped out of the cage. If you place anything in a corner toward the outside of the cage, then put a single grid over the hidey to prevent an escape artist from being successful.

    Babies don't need more height, they need smaller grid openings to prevent them from attempting to crawl through or getting a body part stuck in the hole. While the babies are young, you can offset extra grids (secure with zip ties) to make the openings smaller, and later remove them as the cavies grow.

    I personally love babies! It's so much fun to watch them grow and see all the cute things they do. Plus, you can raise them as you want.......much like adopting a baby vs. older children. They will be uniquely yours and not be scarred from a history of neglect, abuse by humans, or abuse by other cavies. Yes, older cavies and human children need love, but my personal preference is to start with babies, especially when I'm starting over.
    Yeah sorry, I kinda made that unnecessarily confusing with the way I worded it.

    Basically, I've got 3 lack tables available, a 70" x 38" sheet of 1/2" plywood that my dad custom cut for me, 17 of 1" metal corner brackets (they look like an "L" with each leg being 1" long and a hole in each end to put screws through), and nearly 3 full sets of storage cube grids. The nearby Home Depot has 4' x 8' sheets of coroplast. So those are my materials. My plan is to set the sheet of plywood up on 2 or 3 of the lack tables and set the coroplast base up on top of that.

    The challenge I'm dealing with is how to do the grids. Originally, I was going to do the simple grid connectors and cable ties, but I would have had to take space all around the outer edge of the plywood to make room for the grid connectors to sit. This would have forced me to make the coroplast smaller, effectively reducing the living area for the pigs and also would have made it very easy for the grid frame to shift and slip off the plywood during cleaning. My dad came up with the idea to place a series of corner brackets around the outer edge of the plywood to keep the grids from slipping off. Once he came up with that idea, we realized that we didn't really need to use grid connectors at all; we can cable tie all of the grids together into a sturdy frame, and then use the corner brackets to hold the frame flush against the coroplast base. The grid frame would then be sitting on the very edge of the plywood and not taking extra space away from the pigs, but the corner brackets would keep it from shifting or falling off the plywood support.

    The reason I was asking about the minimum safe height for an open cage is that my current (old) cage is designed so that the grids are actually suspended from the plastic base, so I was able to raise the height of the grids to whatever I wanted when I first built it. I think the height from on top of the fleece flippers to the very top of the grids is something like 14-15". Even with that, Tribble could stand up against a wall and reach his nose to the very top of the grids. He actually tried to jump from the floor of the cage once or twice in his zeal for breakfast (well, actually, it ended up being more like a body slam against the wall, nothing close to an escape). Compared to what I have now, 10.5-11.5" seems like a very low barrier! I'm going to be tinkering with it some this weekend. Maybe it would be worth adding an extra, offset layer of grids to increase the height? I do have so many extra grids... and then my cage would already be baby-proofed. (I would love to get babies again; it's just going to be a matter of whatever Craigslist can provide). I just worry about the possibility of somebody getting out and taking a tumble to the floor.

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