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Size Building my first C&C cage: advice on size compromise

Nivek5150

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Hello,

My family is planning to get a couple pigs, and I'm building a C&C cage to house them. I have all the materials I need, but before I go forward I need to decide on how big it will be.

I know the standard recommended is a 4x2. I've put together the grids for a 4x2 and allowed my mother to move it around the house trying to find a way to fit it in with her decor. Frankly, there's plenty of room in the house and I'd build them a 8x2 if I could get away with it. Today she was talking to me about how she'd like me to make it smaller. I know the golden rule is "more is always better", so looking for advice.

Some options/compromises I've come up with:

3x2 with a 1x2 loft
3x3 (I never see anybody talk about a 3-grid-wide cage)
Keep fighting for the 4x2 (and using zip ties instead of the grid connectors to reduce the ~.5" space between each grid.)


Thanks in advance for any input!
 

HollyH8

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If you can't do the 2x4 a 3x3 is equivalent space wise and would be better if you are getting males because it's not as narrow but males do require more space than females so I'm not sure how you'd do that? You can make a 2x4 without the connectors, lots of people on this forum have and it works fine.

So my vote would be either the 3x3 or the 2x4 with zip ties! Hope I helped :)
 

Smashley

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I actually think a 3x3 cage would be bigger than a 2x4. So, if your choices are between a 2x3 and a 3x3, I would definitely go with the 3x3.
 

daisy1cow

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Well I have a 3x5 with a 2x1.5 kitchen for my boys and use only zip ties!! Once I got to a 2x7 looking towards a 2x8, it was getting to long and narrow. So I decided to go out and jetted out from the kitchen to a 3x5. My fleece had been cut on the sides to sew to the bottom so I had to take the extra off the bottom and put back on the sides!! lol I change the cage around a lot.
I love the 3 wide. It seems so much more room. But.............. if you are looking for space to squeeze them it, it is probably easier to go longer than wider.
ALso, how does mom feel about up??? I have my girls above the boys on a buffet table so in case one of the boys gets out again, I won't have another surprise litter.
I was thinking you could build a ramp up to the table from the cage below. MIne is like a T the top is the girls and the boys jet out from below. The banquet table was huge and second hand for $20! It holds a 2x5
Look through the cages sections, there are TONS of ideas. Re arrange your grids to a 3x3 and see what mom thinks. GOod luck
 

Nivek5150

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Thanks everyone for your input so far. A little update

I chatted a bit with my mother about it, but we got interrupted so we'll be finishing that conversation later. She had me put together an outline of a 3x2 and said that to her seems more than big enough. We had guinea pigs occasionally when I was growing up (pet store cages), so she still has the mindset that the pigs don't need that much room. From what I've read, a 3x2 is considered the minimum for 2 pigs. I know I'll be able to provide them tons of floor time, so if I have to compromise on a 3x2 would that be the worst thing in the world?

She brought up putting the 4x2 behind a couch in the living room. It's not against a wall but at an angle so only somewhat hidden from view. It's not totally inaccessible back there -they wouldn't be just shoved behind furniture and forgotten about. But I also know that it's best to have them in areas with a lot of activity, and so does my mother really. An ideal location would be in our den where the family spends most of our free time, but I don't think there's enough room in there for even a 3x2. I could be wrong, maybe playing musical chairs with the desks and TV stand in there might open up a spot, but I'm not sure about that.

Is it true that males need a longer cage than females?
 

pinky

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A 2x3 is too small for two. A 2x4 should be okay with two females but might even be small for two males. Males usually need more space.
 

labgirl5

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Males are generally more territorial than females, so yes. A 3x3 would probably work better than a 2x4 for two males. A 3x3 would be a good cage size, but if you can't go 2x4 maybe you could go 2x3.5.
 

bpatters

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A 3x2 is too small for two pigs. A 3x3 would be fine, as it's actually larger than a 2x4.

Tell your mother that I have a 15 square foot cage in my living room, and wouldn't move my pigs for anything!
 

Nivek5150

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Thanks for the input.

Any opinions on having a 4x2 somewhat hidden behind a couch? I'm not crazy about the idea myself, but since it was my mother's idea I'd at least know that's something she would agree to.

Maybe I should take a picture...
 

foggycreekcavy

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Show your mom pictures of really nice cages. Lots of people have made them so they fit in with the decor of the house.

Cages made with ties instead of connectors are fine, but I always think that the ones with connectors look more classy. I made some with black coroplast and silver grids and they looked really nice.

A 2x4 is definitely a better size for two. However, if you adopt a pair of females who get along very well, they can make do in a 2x4 since you are going to take them out for floor time.
 

Nivek5150

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A 2x4 is definitely a better size for two. However, if you adopt a pair of females who get along very well, they can make do in a 2x4 since you are going to take them out for floor time.

Er... do you mean they can make do in a 2x3?

I know a loft doesn't count towards floor space requirements, but I would assume it could help give the 2 pigs more room to get away from each other if they're in that kind of mood, right?
 

pinky

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A 2x3 would even be too small for a bonded pair of females. Adding a loft will reduce the space even more because the ramp takes up space.
 

StarTaleMaddnes

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I have my guinea pig cage right out in my front entryway, and I love it, but I certainly understand your mother's point of view about keeping the cage out of sight, especially if she's spent a lot of time decorating. Hay tends to get everywhere no matter how high your walls are, and even if I sweep out 3 times a day, the cage seems messy almost instantly especially if it's towards the end of the week and hay dust has been ground into the fleece all week. Guinea pigs aren't terribly clean animals, they make a ton of noise, and if you skip a daily sweep there cage can start smelling. This is not to dissuade you from getting a piggy or from having there cage out in a family area, but your mother has a point. If she's spent a lot of time making your house look the way she likes, the idea of loud messy guinea pigs disrupting her "space" would be a problem.

Now moving on from the understanding others point of view phase, 3x3 or 4x2 will both work, the lofts are iffy just because not all Guinea Pigs use them- my two older piggies wont use a loft, and my one year old is a bouncy little thing that loves to be up.

As far as behind the couch goes, will they be up on a table or on the floor? Will they be sandwiched between a wall and the back of the sofa? Will the cage be easy to access from at least three sides? Who is going to be responsible for the cleaning of the cage? Are you bedding on fleece or carefresh or woodchips?
 

Nivek5150

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My mother's well aware of guinea pig noises and smells and messes since we've had guinea pigs several times in the past. We just went by the classic mistakes of a small pet store cage and 1 pig. We even used pellets as their main food instead of hay. I've spent the past month researching proper guinea pig care and I feel pretty ashamed of how we used to do things. I've done my best to educate her on the mistakes we made, and I think she more or less understands. I haven't owned a guinea pig in about 8 years. I did most of the "chores" for our last guinea pig in those days. I'm now an adult so I am very confident in my ability to care for them. My parents won't have to do any of the annoying things like clean up after them, clean the cage, bathe them, trim their nails, etc. I want them to focus on the fun stuff like lap/floor time and getting to feed them veggies.

My mother takes a lot of pride in keeping a tidy house, so I think her biggest concern is that a big cage (i.e. a proper one) will be one more thing to add to the "clutter" around here that really only exists in her mind. She lost both her parents (my grandma at end of july, grandpa at end of august) and is the executor of their estate. So she is definitely feeling a lot of stress and feels she's let the tidiness of her home slip a lot lately. I've done my best not to pressure her, and she has acknowledged that I have. My dad got extremely ill over the past year and after he got over it he ended up with a spinal fracture. So it's been a really rough year for the family, and that's part of the reason why I convinced them to become pet-owners again. All 3 of us could use some more good things in our lives. And although in retrospect we made a lot of mistakes the last time we had a guinea pig, when he was with us he was definitely a member of the family. My parents would always get a kick out of him going ballistic when he heard them get up in the morning (because he knew it was breakfast time). They'd both get home from work around the time I got home from school, so he learned that was another time for veggies and whoever got home first got to enjoy laptime while he ate. Those are the kinds of happy memories I want them to start making again because frankly they could use it.

I guess long story short, the family is ready for the commitment. Really the last point we need to nail down is where their home is going to be. My mother said she's been thinking of re-arranging the furniture in the family room (right next to the kitchen, plenty of traffic) so tomorrow night when we're both home we're going to play musical chairs and see if we can agree on a spot in there for the cage. I feel pretty confident that tomorrow we can find a place for a 4x2 or 3x3.

I want to thank everyone for all the responses and advice. I will give an update tomorrow night, hopefully with good news :)
 

pinky

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My cages are in my dining room. I have an shaped living, dining room. We enter through the living room but the first thing we can see as soon as we walk in the door are the cages in the back, right corner. We took out the dining room table to make more space for the cages. It's probably unusual, but I keep it clean so it works.
 

Nivek5150

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Success!

We reached an agreement on a spot for a 4x2 that will be much closer to activity in the house. It's just around the corner from the fridge, so I'm sure they'll enjoy the sound of rustling bags and veggies being chopped up on the cutting board.

I want to thank everyone for all of your input and advice as I worked through this "issue". Looking forward to getting the cage finished so I can fill it with pigs :)
 

StarTaleMaddnes

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So glad everything worked out. Be prepared for lots of begging every time you go into the kitchen! Don't worry to much about your past mistakes, you know now and are learning and that's all that matters.
 
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