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Thread: Building a new cage

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    Cavy Slave
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    Building a new cage

    So the Hubs has decided he is not a fan of the C&C, he thinks they look a little junky. He has determined to build a 3 level cage (each boy on a separate level, since we know both Bru and Popeye can't get along and we aren't fans of the idea of putting either of them in with Samson [no one ever called ] since he is blind.) each level being 27x56. The cage would be in a decorative cabinet with air circulation on all sides. But it would also keep the pigs safe from curious toddlers.

    Two questions:
    1. Is chicken wire an appropriate material for cage sides? He REALLY dislikes the grids. If it's not WHAT can we use?

    2. How do you build doors on a multilevel enclosed cage? Ideally the whole front of each level would open for easy cleaning and pig retrieval.


    Thanks for all the help you guys have been so far!

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    Cavy Slave Onetwo's Avatar
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    Re: Building a new cage

    Alternative Cages - Guinea Pig Cage Photos

    Shelving & Plywood Cage - Guinea Pig Cage Photos

    Here are some C&C alternative cage pics. Hopefully those will be of some help.

    I think chicken wire will be less stable against toddlers (Unless secured to a wood frame) and less attractive.

    If you are using wood you need to be very careful about what you use to seal the wood and you have to seal it very very well to prevent rotting and smells...

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    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: Building a new cage

    I love the "look" of wooden cages, or furniture re-furbished for keeping ones piggies in. I just don't have the money or physical ability or even space to construct something like that, yet. We have just moved to a much smaller apt. ( haven't even unpacked much yet...) and their cage is in the computer/den room now.

    There is a member on here, that used a clear heavy plastic tarp for a liner, inside her wooden cage, which her husband used a staple gun to keep it in place. You may or may not have seen her cage in the photo gallery. I will try to find it for you, so you can see how they did it.
    Candy Cherry home - Guinea Pig Cage Photos




    Last edited by kathlaaron; 07-27-11 at 08:28 pm. Reason: correction

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    Cavy Slave GPigsRSweet's Avatar
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    Re: Building a new cage

    My two favorite non-C&C cages would be:

    ♦ The one kathlaaron just linked (Candy-Cherry_home4 - Guinea Pig Cage Photos)
    New and "final" cage - Guinea Pig Cage Photos

    Personally I think chicken wire will look more junky than grids. Could be just me but that's not the route I'd go. Plexi-glass, in my opinion look GREAT, and if I were to make my own cage, that's what I'd do. Maybe you should show your husband pictures and see what he thinks?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Building a new cage

    The chicken wire would be stapled to the wood frame. I think I saw it in a few with it in the pictures, I personally like the look of the clear plastic, but the babies could still get in. And I still haven't figured out a door even scrolling through.

    Would absolutely have to seal it with something safe for the boys.

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    Cavy Slave GPigsRSweet's Avatar
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    Re: Building a new cage

    Here's a good door if you could make something like this out of other materials: Back door - Guinea Pig Cage Photos

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    Cavy Slave GPigsRSweet's Avatar
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    Re: Building a new cage

    Sorry didn't read this part:
    Ideally the whole front of each level would open for easy cleaning and pig retrieval.
    This door is nice: Cage with doors open - Guinea Pig Cage Photos. Would you be able to make the front partly chicken wire, partly something else (maybe plexi)? Then, you could make a wooden section around part of the wire to make it more stable to bring it down like in the pic above. (I'm not a good handywoman, just thinking here...) Good luck with whatever you do; can't wait to see what you come up with!

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Building a new cage

    I don't think chicken wire would be a good material to use for guinea pigs. They tend to climb at the sides of the cage when they want a snack and the fine wire used in chicken wire could cut their footpads.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Building a new cage

    Good point Pinky. I think I will go price plexi and see what I can figure out to keep the kiddos out. It's not a daily issue, just when my sisters and cousins visit

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    Cavy Slave GPigsRSweet's Avatar
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    Re: Building a new cage

    How about telling the kids the guinea pigs may bite if they get too close to the pigs "territory"?

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    Administrator lissie's Avatar
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    Re: Building a new cage

    If he doesn't like grids, would he be okay with closet shelves? Like this:


    You could hinge the doors like this cage.



    I like plexiglass, but to make a 3 level closed cage, it might not have enough ventilation.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Building a new cage

    Quote Originally Posted by GPigsRSweet View Post
    How about telling the kids the guinea pigs may bite if they get too close to the pigs "territory"?
    They are 1 and 2, so in one ear out the other. They would never hurt them on purpose, but they may love them a little too much We supervise them but I worry about accidents.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Building a new cage

    Yes, I worry about ventilation, which is why chicken wire was a thought. I really like the look of the plexi half shelves, but the kiddos concern me. I really don't get his issue with the grids, I will show him the shelves and see what he thinks of those. I think it may be because we have all dark wood and leather furniture, so they look a little out of place. But I don't think it's any worse than the bird cage.

    I do like the way that folds down. Wish I could tell what they are hinged with, 33 and I can barely see anymore - I'm getting old!! Ha!

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    Administrator lissie's Avatar
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    Re: Building a new cage

    How big is the cage they are in now? If the cage is small, they might not get along. Once you move them to a bigger cage, you might not need multiple levels.

    Since the kids are only 1 and 2, you could raise the cage to a table height. They would not be able to reach in, so you won't even need to cover/close it.

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    Administrator lissie's Avatar
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    Re: Building a new cage

    When you mentioned dark wood. I thought of these cages.





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    Re: Building a new cage

    Lissie,

    They were together in a 4x4 when they started fighting. It turned into a blood bath and nothing we did could stop it. It even came to a point where we had to use much smaller grids (from a playpen) to separate them because they were trying to get at each other through the bars. All 3 are now in separate 2x4 c&c cages. It breaks my heart that they can't actually be together, they were wonderful friends at one point.

    I absolutely LOVE the middle cage, but the bottom one is more like what he is looking to do. I really like that it's lighted but I would be afraid that would get hot on them! And it's got the plexi, which I do really like.

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    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: Building a new cage

    I just wanted to mention that I really like those cages that lissie put up too..I like the first and last photo the most. Though, the first photo of the wooden/plexiglas cage I would have made much longer, constructing two 3 x 6's into an L shape. That's ideally what I hope to do some day, as well as make some kind of up and down, tunnel-like, ramps/steps with walls, going up to a small loft, and coming down...more a toy "jungle gym" type thing, (removable) just for some fun entertainment !

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    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: Building a new cage

    Quote Originally Posted by brupoppiggies View Post
    So the Hubs has decided he is not a fan of the C&C, he thinks they look a little junky. He has determined to build a 3 level cage (each boy on a separate level, since we know both Bru and Popeye can't get along and we aren't fans of the idea of putting either of them in with Samson [no one ever called ] since he is blind.) each level being 27x56. The cage would be in a decorative cabinet with air circulation on all sides. But it would also keep the pigs safe from curious toddlers.

    Two questions:
    1. Is chicken wire an appropriate material for cage sides? He REALLY dislikes the grids. If it's not WHAT can we use?

    2. How do you build doors on a multilevel enclosed cage? Ideally the whole front of each level would open for easy cleaning and pig retrieval.


    Thanks for all the help you guys have been so far!
    I would definitely use plexiglas if you can afford it, and I am not sure how handy your husband is with carpentry, or what your fancy cabinet looks like, but what if you made ridges/wells to slip the plexiglas pieces in, so you could just slide it back and forth, to open and close ? Like one would have for sliding glass doors ? You could also drill some holes into the plexiglas walls for added ventilation too ! Do you think that might work ?

    P.S. I also don't think chicken wire would be safe or nice looking either.
    Last edited by kathlaaron; 07-29-11 at 10:37 pm. Reason: adding

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Building a new cage

    Hi brupoppigs!
    I don't usually post much, but was intrigued by your thread. When I first got guinea pigs 10+ years ago, we built a C&C cage. It was nice for a while, but like your husband said, it started to look junky. We have four cats, so we needed a more sturdy, nicer looking way to keep them out of the cage. We built a HUGE cage- we had 3 pigs at the time- kind of like the one I have now and it worked very well and looked nicer than C&C. After our pigs passed and I went to college, we didn't have pigs for a while- but this March, I adopted two babies from a local shelter. I didn't have as much room in my room, so we made this smaller version (sizewise equal to a 2x5) for the girls and they love it! Just thought I would share, I spent hours and hours trying to figure out a nice design, and these have worked wonderfully. The cats lay on top and I know that the pigs are safe! Hope you like them- I'm looking forward to seeing you post your final product! (oh and instead of chicken wire, we used this metal mesh that is both thicker and more sturdy than chicken wire, and the pigs don't bother it)

    Click image for larger version. 

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  28. #20
    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator! VoodooJoint's Avatar
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    Re: Building a new cage

    The cage in the post above mine is the stuff I wanted to recommend. It's called hardware cloth. It's welded, sturdy, wire mesh (1cm sq holes). It is easy to see in and out of and tends not to discolor or have the potential of breaking like chicken wire does.

    Plexiglass will look great at first but it will smudge, discolor and scratch easily. After a few months it won't look as pretty and will become a hassle to keep clean.
    Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You can't let the world judge you too much.

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