Piggie Palaces
 
 

Sadly, the vast majority of cages sold in pet stores, even those supposedly suitable for rabbits, are far too small for even one piggie, let alone a pair.  Ideally, one piggie should have at least 8sq ft of space, and a pair 10.5sq ft.  Now I’m sure you’re wondering, where can I get a cage that big, and wouldn’t it be very expensive?  The good news is that you can make one yourself, the materials are readily available and the cost is a fraction of what the pet stores charge for their itty-bitty cages.


Have a look at the cages here.  These were all made by Piggles adopters and other friends, most of whom started off by saying, “I couldn’t possibly do that!”.  Turned out they could, and they did!


How’s it done?  Known as C&C (Cubes & Coroplast) cages, the basics are Cube grids, available from the shelving and storage section of Home Depot, Canadian Tire and Bed, Bath & Beyond (not Costco, Walmart or the Dollar Store, as the ones they sell have slightly larger grid squares, and piggies heads can get stuck) and Coroplast, which is the material used for making lawn signs such as those used by real estate agents.  Coroplast is available in 96” x 48” sheets from Home Depot (white only) or in a range of colours from Rona, cost about $20, and the grids cost between $20 and $30 depending on colour and where you buy them.  No special tools or skills are necessary - scissors, a metre-long ruler, a craft knife, duct tape and a little imagination are all that’s required.  NOTE - Check out Stephanie & Mike’s cage (below) for an ingenious method of construction using a shelf unit frame and shelving sections.  You buy them in one piece or they can be cut to size in the store, so this is a very versatile method of construction. 


VERY IMPORTANT  We have recently seen a story on FB about two guinea pigs getting really sick with heavy metal poisoning after chewing the plastic coating on Daiso brand grids.  To be on the safe side, we strongly suggest that piggies should not have access to the grids, or that you use the non-coated variety.  They’re a bit more expensive, but worth it to keep your piggies safe.


We’re not going to reinvent the wheel here - there’s an excellent website which details the steps to making these wonderful cages, here www.guineapigcages.com .  Warning - if you are in Canada, DO NOT ORDER A CAGE FROM THEM!!  They are in the US, and you will incur heavy shipping fees and Customs duties.  We would add one little tip which we found very useful - instead of using the connectors that come with the Cube grids, use cable ties.  The connectors put a small gap between each grid which makes accurate measuring of the Coroplast a little more difficult, plus they do tend to ping off from time to time.  You can get cable ties from the Dollar Store, just make sure you cut off the excess to avoid piggies chewing them or getting poked in the eye.


So, have a look at the cages below, then start planning your construction project!  You will have a lot of fun doing it, and your piggies will be delighted.


Double click on any photo to see a larger version.


PS  Want to see a video of a truly awesome C&C cage? Check this out! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D29WcRyUP0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Thanks to Laura at PigglePigPigs for the great vid, and check out her Cages page here

http://www.piggiepigpigs.com/guinea_pigs/cage.htm for more info on building a C&C cage.  You can also link from there to her online store, for some great piggie merchandise.  She’s in the UK, but does ship to Canada and the US.


NEW!!! Want one of these fabulous cages, but really don’t think you could make one?  One of our foster moms, Kathy, is now making made-to-order C&C cages for our adopters.  Check out her website at http://www.theguineapigstore.ca.








 

Build your own awesome cage!