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Upper Levels Need help building upper level!!

StarknNemesis

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Hi there!!
Mo was just wondering how to go about building a sturdy and secure upper level for my piggies! I think they need more room to roam/explore even though their cage is huge!!
any suggestions??
 

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Gandalf

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Do you have any extra grids? If so, how many more do you have available?
 

lissie

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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.

 

StarknNemesis

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Do you have any extra grids? If so, how many more do you have available?

Have 12 extra grids but no connectors. I can get zip ties but are they as strong? How many do you have to use to connect one side of a grid securely?
 

StarknNemesis

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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.


Oh they run full laps dont worry. I have 2 tunnels in the middle and they race each other through them to their houses on one side then around through the tunnels to the other. I want them to be mentally stimulated and figure out different cage arrangements since they'll be living their whole lives in a cage. Nemesis already knows his name. Both Nemesis and Stark have learned that when i ring the bell it means food in a matter of 4 days.

My goal is to see how much they can learn. The other reason is because one of them is a skinny pig so he needs lots of blankets, a heat pad and several hiding spots just to stay warm.

Besides id much rather give them a second floor to play on rather than build a stand for the c&c cage and keep their surface area the same size!m.


Any suggests thanks!!
 

Gforcepiggies

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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! :)
 

StarknNemesis

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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! :)

Thanks!!! I love them too theyre pretty awesome but im having the hardest time reading enough info on their diet!

The reason the cage is designed the way it is is because i have a vent on the ground and cant have it covered! This was the only way i could give them a big enough cage and make sure they still got heat when its turned on without potentially burning the coro.
 

Traysea

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to answer your question. I think the best way to do a second level is using miracle bars from the cage store for support:

http://www.guineapigcagesstore.com/candc-wonder-bars#.UnPSQaUw1hA


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
8 22cage zpsc5a2d6a1

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
1209059 10201809227529558 583393410 n

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.

1382430 10201809227249551 1450674191 n

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.
 

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StarknNemesis

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to answer your question. I think the best way to do a second level is using miracle bars from the cage store for support:

http://www.guineapigcagesstore.com/candc-wonder-bars#.UnPSQaUw1hA


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
View attachment 56843

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
View attachment 56844

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.

View attachment 56845

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.

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!
 

Traysea

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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.

1383158 10201879403043902 2144132842 n
 

StarknNemesis

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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.

View attachment 56942

What did you use to cover the top and put fleece blankets on as a hideout? I think my boys would absolutely love it!!
 

pinky

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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!

I bought wood 1x1's at Lowe's in 8' lengths. I don't think they even cost $3 so they're inexpensive. My husband cut them to length. I screwed a screw eye at both ends so the wood stays securely in place. You can lift out the entire loft up in one piece. The white cage is all connected together with velcro. If you decide not to use the loft or ramp, you can take it apart and store it flat. It's a breeze to put it back together with the velcro. I used clear package sealing tape to hold the sides of the gray cage together. I prefer velcro over tape, though.
 

Traysea

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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.
1383372 10201809225969519 2116931609 n

1377120 10201809229489607 1016260349 n

1375833 10201879248000026 1600922345 n
 

StarknNemesis

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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?
 

StarknNemesis

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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.


View attachment 57089

Does your piggy ever try to step around the coro in the patio level seeing as there is no grid on the other side?
 

Traysea

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No she doesn't but I wish I had thought harder about how to cut the hole in the patio. I would have cut down the middle and made two gate style doors so that the coroplast was covering that gap. Im in the middle of a new cage construction and part of that will be enlarging the loft now that I have 3 piggies I need to make it bigger.
 

Traysea

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Also that grid is only there to hold up the ramp, not to support the patio. The wonder bars are what holds up my patio. I did it so it is all removable for easier cleaning and access to the bottom level.
 

pinky

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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?






The vecro holds the sides and top of the ramp to the loft. I also use velcro to hold the overlapped sides of the cage and loft together. I made a paper pattern of the ramp before I cut it. I cut the wooden I-beams so they extend about an inch beyond the grids. They rest on the grids. I use screw eyes (doesn't matter what kind) or plain screws to keep the I-beams from being pushed into the cage. One can be screwed into the top, side, or bottom of the outside of both sides of each I-beam so the act as a lip that holds the I-beam in place.
 

Traysea

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Pinky do you mean you use something like this on the end, to hook onto the cage?

Hook


You could also use something like this to attach to the cage (two washers and a wing nut):

Wingnut

The miracle bars that I use have a bent over part that just rests on the grid, and it has a hole in it so you can tie wrap it. I didn't do that because I want mine to be removable. But if you did a wooden version I wonder if you can just screw on another piece of wood to create the bent over part:

Supportbar2
 
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