- Oct 24, 2013
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Instead of adding a loft, I'd recommend adding a stand to the cage and make it a full 2x5. The shape of your cage doesn't allow your pigs to run full laps.
I would if you could first make it a full size cage (2x5) then build up. I find that zipties are not a very sturdy way to go, and only use them to keep my grids in the connectors. I would see if you can get some cheap online anywhere.
The reason I suggest making it full size first is because the second level will be easier to build. You will also gain a couple more grids. For the upper level, I would first connect grids and see how you want your top to look, then I would find Coro and do some measurements. I have a way to make a ramp, but it is pretty complicated and you could find easier ramp pictures in the Gallery. I love your cage and your pigs, and I wish I had enough space in my teeny tiny apartment for a cage like that!
to answer your question. I think the best way to do a second level is using miracle bars from the cage store for support:
What I would do is make a 2x2 removable loft on top of one side of the cage. I would not use connectors, I would nest the top level inside the current cage and lower it a couple of square which would shorten the ramp length because it would be on less of an incline. You could rest the bottom of the ramp on a grid cave so it didn't take up any additional floor room.
Here is a photo I stole from Pinky showing a nested loft:
Notice how the top loft area has no connectors and sits inside the base. Also notice it is sitting on wood dowels so you don't need to support it from the floor
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Here is my patio (it does not extend up out of the cage)
Notice how I attached the ramp to a grid. The grid is laying on the miracle bars and is clipped to the cage. I can unclip it to take it all out of the cage. Each of these parts is removable during cleaning time (the bars, the ramp and the coroplast patio tray) so that I can get under the patio very easily
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After I put the patio tray in I just laid some carpet (also from the cage store) and then put a home made flipper on top. I never secured it down but if I was going to do that I would sew vecro to the carpet to tack it to the floor.
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The nice part about doing a lower patio is that the ramp can be shorter and takes up a lot less room the down side is that taller hideys don't fit under the patio and you loose some viewing area if your pigs hang out under there a lot. But that can also be good if you convert that to your kitchen, you don't have to see all the mess either.
sure, that's how the photo that pinky shared is put together. I prefer the miracle bars because they are so slim and they are the same color as my grids, plus they are metal and not terribly expensive ($7.99 a bar). Wood dowels would be fairly easy to get and probably cheaper.
Also, keeping the ramp a little bit away from the wall lets them have more options for running laps. My piggy runs laps around her ramp. I will also say she always does zooms around the cage like a race track and then she runs up and down the ramp. I think she loves to run up and down the ramp. Her patio is her favorite place in her cage. She is always snoozing up at the top of the ramp in her patio. Which helps a whole lot with cleaning as well because she prefers to make up there.
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This is super helpful i wouldnt have thought of this!! Can i use wooden dowels as my support?
And i love the ramp idea thats great!
Mine is a patio (it is 1/2 a grid up from the bottom of the cage) so the whole top is flat. It looks cave like because it was dark in the room. The thing over the patio is the lid on the cage. Made out of two 16" wire closet shelves from home depot.
Here are some other photos of the patio. It's currently a 1x2 but I have expansion plans to make both the cage and patio bigger because I recently got two more piggies.
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@pinky im sorry but i didn't really understand this, is there anyway you can break it down for me as again I just got thoroughly confused about the velcro and where you're using it. and is it a full screw eye (fully circular) or is it the half circle so you can hang it on the grids?