Guinea Pig Cages
My guinea pigs live indoors with us, living in our home, there are so many advantages for my guinea pigs and myself. They are never far away, I can talk to them,
give them a cuddle anytime of the day or night. I can monitor their behaviour more closely and
notice if one of my guinea pigs is unwell more
quickly. Sharing your home with guinea pigs also means they really are part of your family.
If you have cold winter nights like Britain, you can be sure they will always be warm
and cosy in your home. Guinea pigs soon become accustomed to household activities and especially enjoy sounds like the fridge door opening, a sign veggies may be on their way :)|
I'm pleased to say that from July 2005, my guinea pigs have been living in their new cages made out of cube grids and corrugated coroplast/correx, known as C & C cages. Although
my guinea pigs always had many hours of free range time when they lived in the smaller cages, they can now have lots of extra space, 24 hours
a day, 7 days a week. A larger cage also means that you can add more home comforts. We have now almost finished the Piggy/Bun Palace so there's plenty of room for 2 x C & C cages.
Squeekie, Clover and Peachy live together in one cage and Jake, Jasmine and Sweetpea live in the other one. Our buns also share the palace, which is why I named the palace, Piggy/Bun Palace. Both buns have their own cages.
You can buy sheets of corrugated coroplast/correx from a sign makers. Looking in your phone book under 'sign makers' is a good
place to start searching. Originally, my local sign makers didn't actually know what coroplast
was. I'm not sure if that's the case throughout the UK, but the shop owner knew what I was asking for when I mentioned correx, so that's worth remembering. Also remember to
include the word corrugated, so they will order the correct sheets. The sheets came
in sizes 8 feet x 4 feet. Some shops may already have some in stock, but you may have to order the correx. You can also have
a choice of colours. I bought my chrome cubes grids on-line from Melanie, her email is Glitterbug_121@yahoo.co.uk.
If your having trouble finding materials, visit Cavy Cages who have
an excellent site and forum that helps you find the materials that you need.
Measuring from inside the cages, using the correx, not the cubes, both cages are 2.4 feet in width and 4.8 feet in length. So there's lots
of room for 3 guinea pigs to run-around in. If your home can't accomodate large cages, please make sure your guinea pigs get hours of free range time. They
need exercise for their health, well-being and mental stimulation.
Photo's of our cages
Here are some photo's of the cages at different stages of being made. While waiting for the correx to arrive, I let the
piggies have a trial run, to see what they thought of them. They were already used to spending time
in the new room, so they were very familiar with the palace. In the first photo, Clover, Peachy and
Squeekie started exploring straight away and they insisted on them having some Timothy hay
to nibble on while they were inspecting the building work.
Clover, Peachy and Squeekie checking out their new cube grides.
Jasmine, Sweetpea and Jake insisted on some home comforts while they were introduced to the
new cube grids. All the piggies looked very confident.
Jasmine, Sweetpea and Jake making themselves at home
At last the correx arrives. After only a short time of measuring and preparing the correx to the sizes that we needed, all the building work was almost
completed. Just added a few home furnishing and the piggies packed their bags and moved in.|
Here is a view of the length of Jasmine, Jake and Sweetpeas cage
A width view of Clover, Squeekie and Peachy's cage
Although guinea pigs don't always use a bedding area, I wanted an area for them so they would feel more secure. Especially as Jasmine
and Clover love to hide when they are sleeping. My husband made the bedding area using left-over correx. All three guinea pigs in each
cage can stretch out without getting in each others
way. As a safety precaution I've placed two cube grids and connecters
over the bedding area, just incase one of
my inquisitive guinea pigs decides to climb on
the roof, they are unable to venture any further. Peachy has recently used it as a platform, so I was right to be extra cautious. Remember, although
guinea pigs aren't as agile as hamsters, mice and rats etc who are the animal versions of Spider Man, guinea pigs
can climb a little so when placing anything in the cage, make
sure they can't use it as a platform to escape if your cage doesn't have a top. Many won't want to escape. I've even used a wadding pool in the past with no problems ( it was in a safe room that had no reachable cables etc ). But its always wise to ask yourself 'could they escape?'. Remember un-neutered boars ( or even neutered boars ) would have a very good reason to escape, should females be close by. Their natural desire to mate could make them forget about the security of the cage and they could try anything to get to the females.
My piggies also have an igloo if they want a nap. They can have complete solitude from their cages mates for a while. Jasmine especially hogs the piggy igloo, she loves it.
Squeekie, Clover and Peachy near their bedding area, enjoying some fresh grass
Jake, Sweetpea and Jasmine also enjoying a pignic of grass in their bedding area.
I try to make my guinea pigs homes a bit different everyday, so they don't become too bored. Even making something simple like a tent out of
newspaper is very much appreciated. Try to
not add too many things in the cage, remember they need room to run and they can't do that if its more
like an obstacle course. Please visit my Guinea Pig Toy page for other ideas.
If you have any free roaming predatory pets like a cat or a dog then you will need to make a secure safety top so that they
can't get to your guinea pigs. Our Piggy/Bun Palace is joined to our house and it leads out into the garden. We rarely have cats coming into the garden, but as a precaution
we never leave the piggies unattended when the door is open.
For cage top ideas visit Cavy Cages
Position of Your Indoor Cage
Please think carefully where you are going to position your cage. Keep it well away from any heat source like a radiator and don't place it near the TV or any speakers. Guinea pigs do get used to us noisy humans, but a constant noise will stress them
out. Like us they need times when they should have peace and quiet. Never try to dry wet/damp washing on a radiator in the same room your guinea pig is using. Damp conditions could cause respiratory problems, even leading to pneumonia
Having a hutch in the garden was never an option for my guinea pigs. These days more
and more guinea pig owners are keeping them indoors as part of the family.
However, another alternative if you don't have room in your home is having a hutch inside
a shed. That way they would be sheltered from harsh weather and be safe from predatory
animals. If you use a garage, please remember that fumes from a car exhaust can be very toxic to guinea pigs, so please don't use a garage that is occupied by a car. If you decide to keep your guinea pigs in outside building like a
shed, always keep the cage out of direct sunlight and make sure the shed/garage is
well ventilated, draught proof and nice and dry. Remember that water bottles and bowls can freeze up
during the winter months. Even guinea pig urine patches can freeze. So provide a safe form of heating in the shed, for your guinea pigs comfort. Visit the The Happy Hutch Company UK for outdoor cage ideas.
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