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Cage Self Cleaning Cage... Opinion Please

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lissie

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I'm toying with the idea of a self cleaning cage and I'd like to get feedback on this. I'd like to build it but I want to make sure it is safe for the pigs. It would still be a C&C cage but the floors would be slightly sloped. The grids on the main floor will be sloped 3" in the middle. The whole cage will be lined with coroplast and I will be using fleece pads. The question is, are there any health risks for them to be living in a non-leveled cage? It would be like living on a giant ramp. There will be holes for poops to fall down into the trays on the side of the cage. I will use PVC pipes to block off the sides so there is no way the pigs can step into the holes. The PVC pipes will be raised 1" off the cage floor. For the hayloft, the hayrack will prevent the pigs to get to the holes on the side. The hayloft will be 6" slope.

By the way, I did read the thread about the unsafe self cleaning cage on eBay. Besides the fact that that cage doesn't have walls, and the pigs may step into the holes in the floor or living on hard surface. I can't think of anything else that would be harmful. I think my design has fixed all those issues.

Please provide ideas to improve it. Here are some pictures.

Finished Cage
self_cleaning_10_whole_cage_w_fleece_strips.jpg


Frame
self_cleaning_1_bottom_level_frame.jpg


Frame with Coroplast
self_cleaning_2_bottom_level_w_coro.jpg


Bunkbed Frame
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_fdrK34-B9Og/T...ZHFDrc/s912/self_cleaning_3_bunkbed_frame.jpg

Bunkbed Frame with Coroplast
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_fdrK34-B9Og/T...s912/self_cleaning_4_bunkbed_frame_w_coro.jpg
 

Evelyn

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It looks kind of uncomfortable, I do not think is a good idea, my opinion :) do what you think is best for your piggies not for you I am not saying you are lazy to clean the cage but you know its better to take 10 minutes to clean the cage yourself than put in risk the live of your piggie.
 

Sirene

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I think it's an amazing idea, and I'd love to see it once it's assembled. Can you patent the design?

Edit: Having said that, I began to think about joints, etc and walking on sloped floors. Apparently livestock that live on noticeably sloped floors (for drainage in barns, etc) can have joint and tendon problems. Wonder if this would be the same for the piggers, or if the fleece/rubber tile floor coverings would eliminate that problem...?
 
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Catayn

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I wouldn't like to live in an unleveled house, I think it is uncomfortable to worry about balance all the time.
But that is what I think.
 

uglypiggy

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Interesting concept that i'm curious to see how it will play out when complete. If the pigs do seem to be uncomfortable from the unleveled floors, you could always plan for it by having a leveled room for them to go to.
 

FlowersGrandma

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Interesting concept that i'm curious to see how it will play out when complete. If the pigs do seem to be uncomfortable from the unleveled floors, you could always plan for it by having a leveled room for them to go to.

It's not going to work. First off, the fleece is going to absorb the pee so it is going to have to be removed to be washed. And even on my ramp that is at a pretty steep angle, poops don't roll. They aren't round, they are banana shape. They are going to lay where they are dropped and so this cage isn't going to self clean itself. You are just going to have you pigs walking on angled floors and you still are going to have to change fleece (which seems like would be harder with angled floors) and you are still going to have to wash it.
I really don't see anyway for a cage to be self cleaning unless once a day, water runs through it.
 

Nekkyo

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I don't know about potential medical problems, but in terms of self cleaning, that seems difficult to achieve. You need the right incline for the poops to fall. Additionally, you need a certain amount of traction for the pigs to not slide down. Once you provide this traction though, the poops are very likely not to roll down. If you make it steep, the poops will be easier to clean, but it will be very uncomfortable for the pigs to live in that position. (Also, what if the piggy turns around to eat the healthy poops and they're gone?)

A crazy idea just occurred to me though, given the self-cleaning concept. What if you got one of those desktop vacuum robots? They're kind of cute, the problem would then be keeping the piggies form chewing through it. I'm not sure if maybe making a little box out of the miniature grids to cover only the top and sides would work. They do use batteries, so it probably wouldn't be wise to leave it in while you're away.
 

lissie

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I have thought of lining the whole cage with rubber mats or waterproof fabric. But I don't think that would be comfy for the pigs.

The fleece pads will be sewn with zorb and waterproof backing, so it just needs to be thrown into the washer. Not much effort on cleaning the fleece.
 

lissie

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Also, what if the piggy turns around to eat the healthy poops and they're gone?

I thought they only eat healthy poop directly from their bum?
 

Nekkyo

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I'd be careful with rubber. One of my piggies tried to eat one of those red rubber hot water bottles once when i took her to the vet. I'm not sure if it will hurt them to ingest rubber, but I was extra careful after I saw her chewing on it. Also, rubber does have smell to it that I personally wouldn't like to be surrounded by.

I did a quick search for 'grip fabric' and found this: Eastex Products, Inc. - Slip-Not Grip Fabrics Maybe you can find something else if you keep searching. What I was originally thinking about is this plastic sheet that is waterproof, grips and can be used to open bottles. I have a little square of it, and when I've washed it, the water beads up and rolls off. I'm not sure how piggies may respond to it.

I'm not sure how the piggies eat their poops, but I'm almost certain I've seen mine turn around and eat them.
 

lissie

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I saw some people use kitchen shelf liner to line their ramp. That might be useful for the hayloft. For bottom floor I'd still use fleece though. Washing and changing fleece is easy. Not saying that picking up poop is hard, but I'm pretty obsessed with keeping the cage poop free. I usually clean the cage 3 - 4 times a day.
 

GPigsRSweet

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I am not saying you are lazy to clean the cage but you know its better to take 10 minutes to clean the cage yourself than put in risk the live of your piggie.
I think it's very neat. I don't see where you'd be risking your pigs lives at all. How sloped would it be? Because I do think if it was sloped too much it could be uncomfortable. But, I'm sure you'd make sure it's fine.
 

NikkiPPanther

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I like the idea, but I just think it would not hurt to use 10mins of your time to sweep up the poops. I am concerend about the level of the cage, but yet I am confused with the design.
 

MaggieMae

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I think this is a really neat idea but I also don't feel the angles would be good for them. However, with a couple stregegically places angles and some "poop traps" you could potentially make a really neat easy to clean cage where all you had to do was sweep everything into a trap for cleanup versus into a dustpan and then into the garbage and potentially spilling some along the way.....

I like where the idea is going a lot! I just don't know about the angles.....

Or what about a self cleaning kitchen only?

I dunno just giving you some of my input. ;)
 

lissie

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Thanks for the comments and input everyone. I did some tests while I was cleaning the cage today. I lifted up one end of the cage to see if the poops will roll, well, they don't. Back to the drawing board.

ETA: Self cleaning kitchen sounds good.
 
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lissie

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How sloped would it be?
Sorry I missed this. The slope will be 3" (2 grid-holes), so the middle of the cage will be 3" higher than the ends. The bottom floor is 2x6. So imagine if it's a 2x3 cage, one side of the cage will be 3" higher than the other side.

The slope on the hayloft will be 6". The hayloft is 2x2 grids.
 

pinky

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I don't think living on an incline would be very comfortable. I think they would tend to gravitate towards the lowest point or against an object that would give them some stability. I've never seen mine spend time on their ramp, other than to get to the top or bottom of the cage. Some of mine seem nervous on the ramp so I think it would be stressful. Years ago, I went to a place where they had a building that was intended to trick your eyes into imagining distorted dimensions through a slanted floor and odd sized walls. The sloped floor was so odd, it made me feel like needing to brace myself when I walked. I can't imagine living like that.
 

lissie

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I don't know if their mind will perceive things like that. When I had ramps, mine like to sleep on them. They also like to lay on top of stuff animals so their body is not leveled when they sleep. I don't know if that's relevant though.
 
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