Cage layout & fleece

This_Little_Pig

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Hi again...

Apologies, lots of questions at the moment as we are new to this:soz:

We are setting up a C&C cage approx. 120x70cm with a small loft area 32x70cm ready for getting some Guinea Pigs soon.

Having a good read of bedding options, and like the idea of the fleece with a mattress protector under or sewn in - people saying they can last a week before washing?!

My question - I have read that it's best to keep the hay & feeding area separate from the fleece, why is this?
Would it be ok to have this area in the loft area? and would it have hay/food/water/some sort of litter tray covering it all? My worry was if the pigs won't go up the ramp until they are used to it, they won't get the hay / food etc.


Any advice on any of the above would be greatly appreciated, I could be getting everything wrong, please do correct me where necessary!

Thanks very much
 

sport_billy

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We put our hay on top of the fleece, this does make it a little messy... many people put the hay on a tray so it is easier to clean up without it getting stuck all over it!

With 120 CM space it will probably need cleaning more than once a week, more than likely twice. The bigger the area belonging get away without doing a full clean and just a few people poo pick with 120 CM space it will probably need cleaning more than once a week, more than likely twice. The bigger the area belonging get away without doing a full clean and just a few poo picks instead.
 

piggieminder

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I find it's easier to keep the fleece hay free if the hay is in the loft. You may find with new piggies you need two piles of hay as well, as one may try to keep it all to him/herself. You will need to poop pick at least once everyday, and fleece change every 3 or 4 days.
There are lots of tips and ideas here. Housing, Bedding & Seasonal Care Guides
 

Siikibam

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I have hay trays on top of a bath mat for the boys, but the hay does sometimes stray onto the fleece. The girls’ hay tray is just sat on the fleece because they like to burrow. I think I’d put it in the loft as suggested above. Just be aware that the piggies may not like ramps.

Are you looking to get girls or boys?
 

This_Little_Pig

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Thanks for the replies everyone

Is it just a case of filling the loft with hay?! Or better having a hay rack/bag of some sort? Or maybe I'm over thinking things a bit!

Does the food & water go up there too, or in the main cage area?




I have hay trays on top of a bath mat for the boys, but the hay does sometimes stray onto the fleece. The girls’ hay tray is just sat on the fleece because they like to burrow. I think I’d put it in the loft as suggested above. Just be aware that the piggies may not like ramps.

Are you looking to get girls or boys?
I'm not sure, but my daughter has said she'd like girls (2). I need to see what Is available once the cage etc is sorted.
 

Julie M

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I use kitten litter trays(low sides) with paper pellets in the bottom then hay on top and sit them on the fleece. I have one per piggie but that would take a lot of space in your cage. (I've a 7x2 c&c) you can also get corner litter trays. As piggies like to pee where they eat.
 

AMMAH

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I've connected an old ferplast cage to my C&C cage and put all their hay in there. As Julie says, pigs go to the toilet where they eat so since I've done this, their fleece in the C&C cage is sooooooo much cleaner. I only have 3 pigs but I love the fleece fabric so I felt like I was always sweeping up poops to keep it looking nice! Fleece definitely makes you realise just how many poops guinea pigs do ha ha!
My C&C cage is 5x2 so I clean that once a week, and I clean the ferplast cage 2-3 times a week.
 

This_Little_Pig

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Thanks all.

Just to confirm, if I start by putting plenty of hay in the loft (maybe in a tray of some sort with absorbent layers). Then have the food bowls and water down in the main area.
?

And see how we go, probably adjust things to suit their feeding /wee/poo habits.

I'd like to try fleece, so I'll try and find some cheap, is any fleece ok ie. B&M / Wilko / Primark etc? What material type am I looking for?
And then an absorbent layer under the fleece like puppy pads or a washable mattress topper? I don't have the resources to machine sew them together so would probably see how it works keeping them separate or even wonder web or something!

Am I missing anything?

Thanks
 

AMMAH

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There's a post somewhere on here with a list of recommended places to buy fleece. I've had a quick look and can't find it, so maybe someone else can help you out?
I bought mine from here: Pampered Piggies Boutique - Guinea Pig Beds & Cage Liners and the lady was very helpful.
I also saw this one on Facebook which has some great patterned fleece but I've not used them Cage Liners
You just provide the measurements and it's made up for you; no need for sewing etc!

I put newspapers under the fleece, but I know other people used puppy pads.

Also, I would recommend a bag to wash the fleece in, so you don't get hairs and bits of hay etc in your washing machine. Something like this:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=petwear+wash+bag&i=pets&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
The only other thing I would say is that my pigs won't use a ramp. The youngest one sometimes go on top of a castle I've got (via the ramp), but the 2 older pigs never do. To connect my C&C cage to the ferplast cage, I had to cut a hole in the side and then put a tunnel through. So I would keep an eye on them as obviously they need lots of hay every day, so if they're not using the ramp, they won't be able to get to it!
 

PigglePuggle

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I would have a downstairs hay tray too, not all piggies use a ramp. The Rosewood rabbit corner litter trays you can buy on Amazon are very good, we have 3 of those, we add hay, the piggies turn it into poops, we clean them out once a day. If your piggies wont use the loft you can also cut a little door in the correx and add it on the side at floor level as a walk-in hay-room.
There are some cheaper ready made fleece liners available on ebay, from Atalas and Cozy Pets, in smaller sizes- we have a few of these for our 3x2 cage area. Pampered Piggies boutique and Ziggy's Piggies make some of the best custom-made larger size fleece cage liners. And Vetfleece brand Inconti-pet washable puppy mats are great for an absorbant bottom layer under the fleece liner. If you don't sew (I don't sew either!) Then a ready-made liner is much better than just a fleece blanket, it would be 2 layers of fleece with an absorbant wadding middle layer and all sewn together in the right size so it doesnt get ruckled up by zooming piggies... they may be a bit expensive to start off but they are very durable and you can just brush off the fur and hay (highly recommend a rubber horse curry-comb brush for that) then pop them in the wash!
 

Hanlou

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I used to buy anti-pill fleece from eBay and use washable incontinence pads on the bottom with a layer of micro fibre towels in-between. I had them as separate layers - tbh I think this is easier for washing and drying. I don’t have a tumble drier so found it much easier to wash and dry separate layers as all-in-one liners can be quite bulky.

I had the fleece a bit bigger than the cage so I could tuck it in round the layers and used binder clips to secure it all. Just as an alternative thought!

(Edited for typos!)
 

This_Little_Pig

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Thank you for the replies.

I'll try and find some fleece locally, I guess any cheap fleece blanket will do really. 100% polyester?

Then either washable or disposable pads under. Are human or pet pads better and cheaper?

If they are likely to be 'messing' when they eat hay then I'm not sure what to line the loft correx with. Maybe fleece and a litter tray on top of it if I can find a suitably sized one.

I'd love to have a custom made liner but no way it's affordable at the moment!

I'll look at hay downstairs too, just a low sided tray with hay in?

Thanks all!
 

Siikibam

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Set it up one way and see if you like it. When we only had the boys and they had a loft, they used to eat up there (also closer to the fridge 🙄). I used to puppy pads down and heaps of hay on top.

For the cage size you have I would t advise getting boys, unless you can extend it to 150cm+.

I use fleece with a waterproof mattress underneath/between. Puppy pads only for hay trays but it’s additional waste. I want to find an alternative.
 

AMMAH

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Looking good! I use straw from Pets at home which is chopped quite small and soft (so no pokes in the eye), but I found it a bit smelly, so I put shredded paper under it which works really well to soak up the wee.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fitch-Paper-Bedding-Small-Animals/dp/B009MXHIOM/ref=lp_2329312031_1_2?srs=2329312031&ie=UTF8&qid=1552679945&sr=8-2You can get much smaller, cheaper bags from Pets at home; I think it's called Carefresh, but its obviously much more cost effective to get the 10kg or 20kg bag; if you've got somewhere to store it! I would use that in the loft (with the hay)

This RSPCA guide is also helpful
http://www.manchesterandsalfordrspca.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Guineapigguide2019-Housing.pdfAnd as Siikibam said, your cage wouldn't be large enough for 2 boys as they might fight
 

This_Little_Pig

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I got a couple of seed trays from Wilko that thought may be ok for hay tray?
They have 5cm high sides, will they be ok to climb that? If not I'll cut a side away

Thanks
 

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piggieminder

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They should be fine, I have cat litter trays about that size mine use. I also use/have used the bottom of an old pet carrier, a small cat/dog plastic bed the bottom of a hamster tray and an underbed storage box with a doorway cut in it, just to give you some ideas.
 

This_Little_Pig

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I think we have everything now, apart from the Guinea pigs!
There are a few local rescues but they have no girls (lots of boys), not sure why this is?
Even adverts on gumtree etc are almost all boys too
 

Hanlou

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I think we have everything now, apart from the Guinea pigs!
There are a few local rescues but they have no girls (lots of boys), not sure why this is?
Even adverts on gumtree etc are almost all boys too
It’s because boars can be more awkward bonding and relationship-wise. When they hit the hormonal stage some boars fall out and if a fall-out is serious they have to be permanently separated. They need more space too - with your set-up size I would strongly recommend going for sows as it’s not big enough for boars.

I adopted a pair of boars who were about 2 years old and they never fell out but they had a 5x2 C&C cage. I’m very fond of boars but you just need to be aware of all these things.

ETA: I’d read through the various pinned posts at the top of this section - lots of useful information!

Behaviour and Bonding
 

This_Little_Pig

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It’s because boars can be more awkward bonding and relationship-wise. When they hit the hormonal stage some boars fall out and if a fall-out is serious they have to be permanently separated. They need more space too - with your set-up size I would strongly recommend going for sows as it’s not big enough for boars.

I adopted a pair of boars who were about 2 years old and they never fell out but they had a 5x2 C&C cage. I’m very fond of boars but you just need to be aware of all these things.

ETA: I’d read through the various pinned posts at the top of this section - lots of useful information!

Behaviour and Bonding
Thank you, I'll keep reading!

So much info to get through!
 
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