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C&C Alternatives Wooden/Cardboard Cage

hojun

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I was planning to make a home made cage out of wood/cardboard.
Please note I'm only building the walls of the cage. The bottom will be space and fleece/towels will cover it.


The problem with cardboard is that it is too light.

If I use wood, is there any risk that if the wood is not smooth, I'm afraid the guinea pig will get splinters or hurt in any way.

I also wanted to use shelf like materials but those have white paint and I'm night sure if that is safe.

So can someone people help me answer these questions:

How do I make cardboard stand up or more durable if I can?

Are wooden cages dangerous, or will guinea pigs bite the walls or get hurt by them?

Will the wood absorb the odors of the guinea pig?

Will guinea pigs bite walls if it is not bite-able, as in its a flat surface?

Are cages like
Code:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS85omTTMqA&NR=1
acceptable? (Bottom of the thing is space)
 

Duffinvt

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Many here use coroplast (plastic sign material) because you can wash it. Yes, they will likely chew wood and it will also absorb odors. Some people put down a shower curtain and then put the towels and fleece over it and use grids to make the cage and set them on top of that. It works, you might have some poops flung out but it will work quite well.
 

hojun

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Wait so If I cover the entire thing with fleece, will they chew it?
& how long will it take about till the wood absorbs the odor? - If I use floor wood, will it absorb odor? This is just the walls, not the bottom of the cage
 
Last edited:

Duffinvt

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Right, my girls can pee on the walls of the cage (and have peed on the floor moldings while out at floortime). I'd really advise not to use wood as you'll have a smelly cage before long ! It really needs to be something that does not absorb pee.... maybe someone else can give you some guidance on other materials to use!
 

hojun

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How high can guinea pigs pee? Can I cover it with fleece like a fleece box

how about giant lego blocks? i don't know where to find these but I've seen them before
 

Duffinvt

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Mine can pee 4 inches up. I guess you could do it. If you were to go to all that work to build a wooden cage I would try to line the sides with something waterproof... could you use vinyl flooring ? Are you going to use grids? They do need good ventilation.
 

hojun

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the top part is going to be open and I'm not going to use grids for the flooring or cage
 

kaite13

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I used to have a wooden cage and it was fine. But I couldn't change it and they used to sit on the ramp to look out. Oh the only downsides were if you use shavings and they a wte and piled up against the wall it will make the wood wet.
 

hojun

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kaite13, thanks for your information. Can you please answer these questions?

Where did you buy your wood and what kind was it?

Did the wood have to be smooth and splinter-free?

Do you know if it would smell from the odors of the pee even if the guinea pigs did not directly pee on it?

Do the guinea pigs chew on the wall?
 

kaite13

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kaite13, thanks for your information. Can you please answer these questions?

Where did you buy your wood and what kind was it?

Did the wood have to be smooth and splinter-free?

Do you know if it would smell from the odors of the pee even if the guinea pigs did not directly pee on it?

Do the guinea pigs chew on the wall?

I bought it at home depot. I think it was called particle board. They didn't chew on it or get splinters. I didn't think it smelt but, we had linolium on the bottom. Just the sides and corners got stained from shavings untill I switched to fleece.
 

hojun

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Thank you. :] Do you need to smooth out the particle board or spray something so that the guinea pigs don't get hurt or chew it? The particle board's appearance looks really splintery :].
 

Duffinvt

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From Woodworking Answers : " Plywood, particle board, and MDF (Medium density fiberboard) all contain formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is produced on a large scale worldwide. One major use includes the production of wood binding adhesives and resins. The ARB evaluated formaldehyde exposure in California and found that one of the major sources of exposure is from inhalation of formaldehyde emitted from composite wood products containing urea-formaldehyde resins. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reclassified formaldehyde from “probably carcinogenic to humans” to “carcinogenic to humans” in 2004, based on the increased risk of nasopharyngeal cancer. Formaldehyde was also designated as a toxic air contaminant (TAC) in California in 1992 with no safe level of exposure. State law requires ARB to take action to reduce human exposure to all TACs."
 

hojun

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Sigh.. right when I find the perfect material...:crackup:
 

Duffinvt

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Honestly? I think after many failed attempts with materials, the "perfect" cage is pretty much what most of us on the board use. C&C. It is light, airy, easy to clean and the pigs can see out of the cage and are more part of the family. You can reconfigure the cage to your heart's desire. Being down in a wooden cage, they might tend to spook easier as people are always "sneaking" up and then looking down on them.. you know .. they are prey animals and always wary. Is there a reason you do not want to consider a C&C or at least the cubes over some other thing like vinyl or plastic (and then covered with towels/fleece of course).
 

hojun

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To be honest, I wanted a second-story or at least a loft for a guinea pig home. However, C&C Cages cost about $100 and I'm on a budget. Is it possible that I buy only the grids, connectors, and ties and just use fleece, towel, towel, and then shower curtain? It's not that I don't want the best for the guinea pigs but yeah...
 

Cogni

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When you say the bottom will be 'space' I guess you mean just your plain floor? what is the surface, tile or something like that? lineoleum?

I think coroplast (corrugated plastic, like in lawn signs) is the best bottom surface, and it is not hard to obtain in the U.S.
For the sides, cardboard isn't really sturdy enough. It will also get peed on and/or chewed. I suggest following the usual pattern on this site and getting some grids or closet shelving to make the walls of your cage. The coroplast can go up around the sides of the grid to about 10 inches until the babies get too big to get through the grids; then you can cut it back to about 5 inches.
Good luck.
 

Cogni

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I didn't see the responses until now. I had an old page up. But just to add to what the others have said, I just want to say now that there is no way that you need to spend $100 on a C&C cage. Mine cost $10 for the coroplast and about $21 for the grids; plus about $1.50 at a dollar store for a LOT of cable ties. And I have gotten extra pieces of coroplast since then from political signs that neighbors gave me after elections, from other old signs around my campus that were being taken away, etc., and after a wipe-down and piecing together with duct tape on the bottom, I have a whole other cage floor that I use for floor time and other purposes.
 

lissie

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Not sure where you are located. You can find grids from here:

Grid Wire Modular Shelving and Storage Cubes - Bed Bath & Beyond - ($19.99)

Walmart.com: Whitmor White Wire Storage Cubes, Four Cubes Interlocked: Kids' & Teen Rooms - ($16.20)

Amazon.com: Whitmor 6070-1723 4 Storage Cubes, Black: Home & Garden - ($21.31 black grids, $19.00 white grids)

Coroplast:
SABIC Polymershapes, Branch Locator
This is a warehouse type store, only opens M-F 8-5
The location near me used to sell a sheet for $10, they've recently went up to $15. The sheet size is 4x8 feet.

You can also look for coroplast in sign shops.
 

Duffinvt

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You can sometimes find grids cheap at lawn sales, by posting on Craigslist or Freecycle. I got my first set of multi-color free on Freecycle. I now use it as a fence for floor time as I wanted all one color. I found them at Bed, Bath and Beyond and used one of those 20% off coupons. I had my husband do the same and so got two sets of grids for $12.00 each. And YES, by all means use a shower curtain, Dollar Store vinyl tablecloth or such for the base and ask around for old towels. My friends gave me tons of towels and I actually got a bag of fleece from a friend who is crafty. Huge pieces and it got me started until I saved money for my desired "cute" patterns.
 

hojun

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So if I use those materials for the base, is a coroplast still necessary?
 
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