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C&C Critique My Set Up Plan, Please?


Active Member
Cavy Slave
Nov 29, 2011
Our family is planning on adopting two piggies after Christmas.
We are planning on a pair of males.

This is new to me, and I want to make them happy and have a user friendly process for cleaning and so on. I have been reading voraciously and have a plan in my head, but I would LOVE input as to whether it makes sense (assuming we will adapt once we have piggies with their own preferences and personalities!).

For info, we have a 6 year old animal crazy daughter who is very used to dogs and horses~ knows how to behave respectfully and carefully *most* of the time~ our Papillon is only 4 lbs. so she is also used to handling very small creatures. And then we have the Sheltie who adores small creatures and the Papillon whose reaction remains to be seen~ GPs are his size, but he has the heart of a ratter, so caution is planned!

So we are planning an open C & C cage 2 x 5 grids.
Hubby is building a plywood table 3.5' high (out of dog hop- into range), with a shelf underneath for storage.
Will add a top of needed due to dogs!
We plan to do one level, with a coroplast insert/ base.
A hinged or other door at the center front for access by the 6 year old (supervised, of course ;)).

And then, I get confused as to placement of everything!
I am thinking of making a 1 x 2 kitchen area with absorbent litter stuff (care fresh etc) for hay, water and food dish(es), and maybe a small-ish opening to go through into this area to keep the litter in there.
(am I right in understanding they toilet most in this area?)~ does it make sense to do a corner littler box there, too, or just an all over litter area?

And in the main area, one grid over top of each back corner, from which to hang things, toys, fleece drapes. etc. and their hideys or cozies whatever underneath these?

Fleece for the main area, I am going to try sewing toweling (2 layers, all prewashed) to the back and tieing it down at the edges through small holes in the coroplast~ does this make sense? I guess I see how absorbent that is and go from there?
Should I plan on extra absorbancy or something under the areas they choose to sleep in most?

Is a rock in the kitchen suggested for nails (climbing on)?
Other 'must haves' or suggestions for getting started?

Thank you so much... I am so darn excited, if the cage was ready I'd have them tomorrow LOL
Welcome to the forum. I do have a few suggestions.

A C&C cage on a table 3.5 feet high is going to be very hard to clean. Unless you meant that the table is high enough to make the top of the grids 3.5 high from the floor, and that's still pretty high for a short person to reach to the back of the cage to clean it.

I'd make the table low enough that your daughter can interact with the piggies though the walls anytime she wants to, and low enough for you to be able to easily clean it. And I'd put a sturdy lid on top of it, clipped down when you're not doing something in the cage. I use two lengths of closet shelving on mine -- one zip-tied down along the sides and the back of the cage, and the other one clipped to that one with carabiners, which act as hinges. I lock the top down by using the same kind of clips that come on dog leashes -- they're available at any hardware store.

You definitely need a litter box under the hay rack. Having one under the water bottle isn't as important, because they don't spend much time there. And mine eat their veggies so quickly that it doesn't really matter whether they're in a litter box or not.

If you're lucky, the pigs will pick a place to do a good bit of their business. You can encourage that by putting litter boxes in the corner(s) of the cage and draping something in front to give them some privacy. You might want to just try cardboard boxes at first and see if that works before you invest in something more permanent. Some pigs will use those, some won't, and some, like mine, use them as beds and therefore get them taken out of the cage altogether!

I'd wait on the tie-strips until you see if they burrow or not. If they don't, you'll have saved yourself some effort in making them, and a lot of effort each time you change the cage. Mine were a total waste of time -- in over two years, mine haven't attempted to burrow once.

Pads where they sleep are useful, because you can change them more often than the main cage and get more mileage between each fleece change.

Rocks are a personal preference. I tried bricks, but all they did was put their front paws up on them and wheek at me for more food, NOW! I couldn't tell that they did a thing for their nails.
i don't understand the whole kitchen, bedroom, set-up thing myself. is there a reason to have seperate rooms? i'm new to c & C cages (i have a 2x4 one) and could also use any suggestions for set-up. i have a hay rack thing, water, a food bowl, and 2 hideys. in addition, i drape a fleece cover over a section of the cage - it covers abut 1 grid - to give them a "cave" like feeling.
Jacqueline: the rooms are not separate, per se. The only "room" that people tend to make separate is the kitchen, and even then the separation is usually just a difference in bedding with some form of division to keep the bedding in the kitchen. For example, I have a 5x3 with a 2x1 kitchen section. The kitchen is just a separate corplast section that I fill with wood shavings instead of fleece, and this is where their hay rack is. Your cage sounds thoroughly awesome, I wouldn't worry about changing things up unless you are so inclined.

ETA: Some people try to create separate rooms to encourage their pigs to stay cleaner by encouraging them to do their business in a particular part of the cage. However, if your pigs are anything like all of the ones I have had, they just don't get it and apparently find their poops quite cozy.
Thanks for the input!
The carpenter (husband) has been instructed to lower the table and plan on a lid :eek:ptimist:.
That is just the kind of input (and all the rest!) I need to be ready...!
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