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Thread: Hello! Piggies Arriving on Monday

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    Hello! Piggies Arriving on Monday

    Hi all! Soon to be new guinea pig owner here with some habitat questions. This will be my first time keeping cavies, so want to make sure I do everything I can to provide them a happy and safe home. The boys will be living most of the week in my classroom (along with the hamster, leopard gecko and hermit crabs) and I have 2 cats at home, so a lidded cage is absolutely necessary to discourage curious kiddos and kitties alike.

    One of my school families has a lovely pair of piggies they need to rehome due to an allergy. It looks like theyíve been taken excellent care of with a setup that is light years beyond what many people know to provide. They currently have them in a roomy hutch outdoors to spare the allergic child. (We are in Ca and the weather is beautiful right now so they are safe and happy &#128515 They also have an indoor habitat, but arenít sure of the dimensions as itís not currently set up, though based off the estimate mom gave me, Iíd like to add a bit more space for them.

    So my question is this, has anyone tried the Amazon Basic version of the Midwest habitat? Itís about $15 less expensive than the Midwest, but Iím willing to spend the extra if the Amazon one is no good or too flimsy. My thought is to attach it to their current Cage to provide more space. Iím thinking Iíd like to use it as a kitchen area and the Amazon cage as their main living and running around space. Do you guys think this is something that could work?

    I also plan on putting them on wood pellets covered with fleece to hopefully minimize mess and smell. I know many people use this method very successfully, but my only concern is the pine. I know the oils arenít good for them. My local Home Depot carries a pellet that is 90% hardwood and 10% pine with no glue or accelerant. Do you think these will be safe?

    Thank you guys in advance for sharing your wisdom! Looking forward to a new pet adventure.

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    Cavy Slave Candalalala's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! Piggies Arriving on Monday

    Reading the reviews, that cage doesn't look good. It also doesnt look quite big enough for two piggies. I would create a c&c cage. It can be cheap depending on if you're willing to make your own.

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    Re: Hello! Piggies Arriving on Monday

    Quote Originally Posted by Candalalala View Post
    Reading the reviews, that cage doesn't look good. It also doesnt look quite big enough for two piggies. I would create a c&c cage. It can be cheap depending on if you're willing to make your own.
    Thank you so much for your reply.

    Ok then I will probably go with the Midwest. I know on it’s own it’s not big enough for 2, but I’m planning to attach it to their current one. If ordered 2 Midwest cages without the tops it would be about the same cost wise and double the space. I’m just concerned about having open cages in my classroom and around the cats. As a public school employee, I need to mind the pennies!

    I thought about making a C&C, but as a busy mom who works, I honestly don’t have the time right now and I’d like to upgrade them as soon as possible.

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    Re: Hello! Piggies Arriving on Monday

    Well, I changed my mind (as I’m want to do) and ordered a set of Whitmor cubes. They’ll be here Tuesday which gives me time to go to Home Depot and pick up a large coroplast sheet, a wire shelf cut to size and wood pellets. I really want to give the boys the best home possible and from all of my research the c&c cages are the way to go.

    Now to decide if I want to do a 4X2 with a loft or a 5X2 single level.

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    Re: Hello! Piggies Arriving on Monday

    Hello! Our boys have a C&C 4x2 with a 4x1 loft and they just love it. Up and down the ramp all day playing! I've heard that some pigs don't like the ramps, but ours absolutely love it. Also sleep under it as a nice little hiding place for them. Highly recommend a second layer for young playful pigs if you can stabilize it well!

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    Re: Hello! Piggies Arriving on Monday

    Flat and bigger gives them more room to run, but a loft will work. However, a 1 x anything isn't really large enough to let pigs get by each other without getting in someone's face. If you can do a 2 x something loft, it will be better.

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    Re: Hello! Piggies Arriving on Monday

    I have a 5x2 main level with a 2x2 loft which adequately houses two cavies. I would build a larger cage in a heartbeat if I had the space to accommodate it. I absolutely agree that a 1x anything loft is useless as it simply doesn't provide the space for two cavies as they seem to both want to go to the loft at the same time. In contrast, a 2x2 loft nicely holds a hay rack, litter box, hidey, pellet dish & water bottle. It's like a separate little penthouse apartment.

    If you build the cage with an offset/overhanging loft, that provides only a one-grid overlap and makes it easy to clean the main level. My loft is so super sturdy that it really needs no extra support under the overhanging section. To make the loft sturdy, use a pair of channel lock pliers to ease the grids into the connectors. Next use heavy-duty zip ties at both ends and in the middle of adjoining grids. As a final touch, use a high-temperature glue gun to put a couple drops of glue everywhere a grid meets a connector. My cage is so sturdy that I can sit in it!

    Below are some pics to illustrate what I mean. A pic showing a 1x2 loft, one showing a 2x2 loft, and a graphic depicting a cage w/offset loft.


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    Re: Hello! Piggies Arriving on Monday

    Quote Originally Posted by piggymomma14 View Post
    Hello! Our boys have a C&C 4x2 with a 4x1 loft and they just love it. Up and down the ramp all day playing! I've heard that some pigs don't like the ramps, but ours absolutely love it. Also sleep under it as a nice little hiding place for them. Highly recommend a second layer for young playful pigs if you can stabilize it well!
    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Flat and bigger gives them more room to run, but a loft will work. However, a 1 x anything isn't really large enough to let pigs get by each other without getting in someone's face. If you can do a 2 x something loft, it will be better.
    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    I have a 5x2 main level with a 2x2 loft which adequately houses two cavies. I would build a larger cage in a heartbeat if I had the space to accommodate it. I absolutely agree that a 1x anything loft is useless as it simply doesn't provide the space for two cavies as they seem to both want to go to the loft at the same time. In contrast, a 2x2 loft nicely holds a hay rack, litter box, hidey, pellet dish & water bottle. It's like a separate little penthouse apartment.

    If you build the cage with an offset/overhanging loft, that provides only a one-grid overlap and makes it easy to clean the main level. My loft is so super sturdy that it really needs no extra support under the overhanging section. To make the loft sturdy, use a pair of channel lock pliers to ease the grids into the connectors. Next use heavy-duty zip ties at both ends and in the middle of adjoining grids. As a final touch, use a high-temperature glue gun to put a couple drops of glue everywhere a grid meets a connector. My cage is so sturdy that I can sit in it!

    Below are some pics to illustrate what I mean. A pic showing a 1x2 loft, one showing a 2x2 loft, and a graphic depicting a cage w/offset loft.


    Name:  Offset loft design.jpg
Views: 41
Size:  47.5 KB Name:  Box & loft.jpg
Views: 41
Size:  42.4 KB Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Loft3.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	74.1 KB 
ID:	86344
    That is an awesome setup! I wish I could do an open top, but alas, cats and little hands.

    Yeah, definitely doing doing a 2 X 5 flat. I thought that's what I had typed, but who knows. I've settled on the long and flat because it's easier to make a lid. The great thing being that I can add on to it when I figure out how to make a loft with a lid!

    The piggies arrived this morning in one of those cages with the green bottom with pictures of grass on it, so I want to get them moved to a larger cage ASAP. My co-worker is bringing me a puppy run that I can set up on the linoleum. I'll lay some fleece over some cardboard and put their current cage with a ramp in the run as the kitchen area for the 2 or 3 days it will take for the supplies to arrive and for me to make the cage. (my custodial staff is gonna kill me! ) I'm picking up my Home Depot order in the morning so should be able to make the coroplast base tomorrow. If that goes well, I may not even need the current cage! I can't wait to see them in their new home when it's done!

    Thank you all for your suggestions and help!

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    Re: Hello! Piggies Arriving on Monday

    Closet shelving makes an awesome, cat-and-dog-proof lid.

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    Re: Hello! Piggies Arriving on Monday

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Closet shelving makes an awesome, cat-and-dog-proof lid.
    That's what I ordered! I'm going to have them cut it in half so I can have 2 smaller sections to flip up out of the way.

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    Cavy Slave Candalalala's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! Piggies Arriving on Monday

    Oooh I wanna see the final set-up!

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