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We adopted our two piggie
girls on March 12, 2007 and named them P.J. and Chestnut ... they are the SWEETEST
P.J. is zippy and vocal, and Chestnut is a relaxed piggie who takes naps on my lap.
After about a month they had us trained very well, doing so many cute things we just have to reward them with treats.
(I still have quite a few photos to add to the album)
INFO FOR GUINEA PIG OWNERS:
CLICK HERE to hear
the song The Boogie Wooglie Piggy by Glenn Miller ...
It's cute to think of guinea pigs when you hear it!
Need ideas on a cage?:
|Aspen Pine bedding||switched to fleece blanket bedding||side view||got a colorful Scooby Doo fleece blanket bedding.|
|I also cut the front edge of coroplast down so I can see|
|29" x 58" cage||my piggies better when I'm at my desk or in another room|
|added a 2nd story||
closed in their "carport" to make a "Master Bedroom"
|(loft area = 13” x 29”)||
(Total dimensions of the first story of cage = 29" x 73")
If you'd like complete details
about my cage, click here or scroll down to the
bottom of this page.
Click here for information on why your piggie or piggies need a cage like this, and here for free step-by-step instructions on how to make one.
It's so much cheaper and more luxurious than traditional cages! They love all the running around space. (Make sure no other pets could climb in.)
Guinea pig cages sold at pet stores are too small -- how would you like to spend your whole life in a house the size of a closet??
This cage is the equivalent of about 1,440 square feet of human living space. Much better!
For their bedding, I switched from Aspen Pine wood shavings to fleece fabric.
Fleece is softer, does not get impacted in their body openings, is non-allergenic, and much easier to clean. Just toss it in the wash once a week or so!
Plus you can easily scoop out their poops every few days with a large plastic spoon/ladle to freshen up between cage cleanings.
Here's the best place to buy fleece online: Jo-Ann.com
They'll deliver right to your door and you can choose from a variety of colors. I buy 3 yards of Alpine Fleece for my cage.
It’s so cute to see them running laps around the cage as fast as their little paws will take them, and also to see the two of them playing tag chasing each other around.
It happens all the time. You WILL laugh and will just have to hug these little guys after you see that, it’s adorable. Most importantly, you’ll know they’re happy and healthier.
Don't believe me? Here is a video clip of PJ zooming around her new 12 grid cage in spontaneous exuberance (make sure the video volume is on).
SO funny!! A must-read for piggie owners.
Complete Details about Debbie's Deluxe Loft Model Open Guinea Pig Cage
Cube grids: One box of Organize-It Blue Wire Storage -- Target, $12.99 (contains 23 grids, plus I found 3 more grids at a yard sale)
Coroplast: One 4mm thick 48 x 96 sheet -- sign making shop, $12.84
This 58” x 29” Cubes & Coroplast (C&C) cage features a 13” x 29” hay loft upstairs, accessed by a PVC pipe ramp. The bottom level is comprised of 12 grids for the sides. Downstairs is more than 10 square feet of living space and the hay loft is about another 2 ½ square feet of space. (This equates to about a 1,440 square foot home for humans – really close to the size of my own house!) The loft is comprised of 6 grids on the sides, plus 2 forming the floor, and 2 upright grids forming the support underneath.* One box of cube grids was enough to make this cage. We ran out of connectors, so most of the loft is secured by cable ties. A plastic placemat is used under the hay server to keep things a little neater upstairs. I chose to make the loft as an extension instead of making it directly over the cage so the main part of the cage could be more open.
The ramp was made by using a Dremel (small rotary power tool) to cut off the top of a 4” PVC pipe so that the piggies can fit through it comfortably but still have protection on the sides. My hubby cut the pipe to 48” and chopped 3” off the top, then I washed it thoroughly with soap and hosed it off to remove the fine white powder dust caused by the Dremel. The bottom edge of the ramp is tapered down to a gradual end. Traction on the ramp is accomplished through a strip of fleece slightly longer than the ramp so it can be tucked underneath on the ends. The ramp is affixed to the loft through a hole cut out of the grid. The PVC snugly fits right in (the wire grabs and holds it in place) and the one wire that was exposed is covered in duct tape so there is no sharp metal for the piggies to come in contact with. It’s important to note that the fleece in the loft must be tucked under the PVC ramp rather than around it … the first day we built the loft, my hubby was horrified to think that the piggies miraculously escaped because they were nowhere in the cage, and I wasn’t home! Since the fleece was only tucked over the coroplast and around the PVC, the girls had mischievously found a way to move the fleece and crawl in between the fleece and the coroplast and were hiding in there, completely invisible! Those little rascals.
Bedding is a layer of towels or mattress pad, then a microfleece blanket tucked over the coroplast sides. (You can pick these blankets up pretty cheap at thrift stores.) I've also used fleece purchased from. The coroplast sides measure as follows: downstairs – 6 inches around except for the front of the cage which is 3 inches because I want to be able to see them from my desk and from the other room. Upstairs: 10 inches on the sides the walls are on since they spray pee pretty high, and 4 ½ inches on the front and side facing the downstairs so I can see them better. I have 3 different sets of towels and fleece to rotate so there’s no waiting while laundering. Cage cleaning is done weekly and takes approximately 1 hour, not counting dryer time. I shake the 2 fleece blankets and the placemat out in my back yard, brush them down with a pet hair remover brush to remove fur, hay and any clinging poopies, and toss the blankets in the washing machine along with the sheepskin fleece tunnel, the ramp’s fleece strip, and the liner for their PVC elbow tube. That elbow liner is just an old T-shirt I cut to fit. (Actually, now I use a piece of fleece cut to size instead.) Those get changed every couple of days since they like to pee on them. Until cage cleaning day, they sit in a bucket of sudsy water in my garage sink. The veggie plate, elbow tube, pellet food dish, placemat, water bottle, coroplast corner hidey, toys, and the flat rock under the water bottle get sanitized too in that garage sink. The coroplast flooring is wiped down with a white vinegar and water solution.
One of the reasons I love the new loft is because I don’t have to take the piggies out on cage cleaning day anymore. (It seemed too stressful for them to be put into a temporary holding bin even though I put 2 hideys in there and plenty of snacks. They “argued” with each other the whole time.) So now I just leave them in the cage and remove the ramp, clean the loft, put the ramp back and let them go into the clean loft, and remove the ramp again so I can clean the downstairs. The hole in the loft where the ramp goes is blocked off by a piece of cardboard or coroplast so they can’t jump out. They like to play in the ramp when it’s laying flat downstairs while I clean the loft.
The piggies live in my home office, which is used most of each day and is in a high traffic area right near a bathroom, and their cage can be seen from the living room. The entire cage sits on a 72” x 29 ½” table. Two twin sheets are used to cover the area underneath the table, where I store paper towels, trash bags, newspaper, extra blankets, etc. Next to the cage is a cute wooden child's toy box which I stand on top of to reach the loft. Inside the box are their pellets, hay, my soup ladel pooper scooper, and paper towels. I also have a file folder there which contains all my guinea pig information, organized into sections for easy reference. (Cage, diet, care, etc.) I keep a weight chart and also a log of anything unusual or noteworthy to share with the vet. Plus fun stuff too like the day P.J. farted on my hand when I was holding her when company was visiting, the first time I heard Chestnut’s voice (I thought she was mute because she never uttered a peep the first month I had her), and other tidbits of fun info.
Well, I know I’ve written a novel, but I wanted to give as many details as would be helpful to someone else. This cage setup works really well for us. Feel free to ask if you have any questions. You can see more cage photos in the piggie PHOTO ALBUM ... click on the "photos of cage condo" sub-album.
* footnote: I have since altered the cage to close in the area beneath the loft (see the September photo above).