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E_Blackaby

Junior Guinea Pig
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#1
Hi!

So I'm pretty sure the standard hutch for most people housing their Guinea pigs outside is the classic 2 storey wooden hutch (probably from pets at home)

Basically I have had 7 pigs in my life and out of all of them only 1 has ever learnt to use the stairs in the hutch which essentially brands the hutch a one-storey (limiting space). I tried everything to get my other girls to use the stairs, thinking even my oldest and bravest pig might venture down but food/any sort of bribery just wasn't cutting it. I know lots of people with pigs and they also have the same problem!

This wasn't much of a problem whilst I have had 2 pigs (both of which did not use the stairs but since I had them inside every day for a long time the space was seemingly enough) but recently I adopted 2 more girls so I now have a herd of 4!

Originally I considered housing then seperately but the bonding went so well I really wanted them to be together! But I know no matter how big a double storey hutch I could find, they wouldn't use the stairs.

So I bought another double storey hutch and my (pretty amazing) mum constructed this piggy mansion! We used an extremely secure thick piece of large tubing and my mum (being the wannabe DIY gal) had a drill and an electric saw and as you can see from the pictures we joined the two hutches!

I just thought I'd share this 1) because it's pretty cool haha and 2) in case anyone else is DIY savvy or like me has a willing friend/parent/partner who will give it a bash! The girls have been in their 'mansion' as I like to call it for a week now and loving it it provides them the space of a 2 storey hutch without using the stairs. There should be larger hutches available but since there wasn't I decided this was best! It is 100% secure and sealed and perfect!

Hope it could help someone or just hope you think it's cool haha! x

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Mother Hubbard

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#2
That's really neat.

I can understand getting your piggies to use ramps but I have to say the ramps that @Tim made for me worked a treat, they feel very secure and use it tonnes and it's lined with carpet so no problem gripping.
 

E_Blackaby

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
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Manchester
#3
That's really neat.

I can understand getting your piggies to use ramps but I have to say the ramps that @Tim made for me worked a treat, they feel very secure and use it tonnes and it's lined with carpet so no problem gripping.
Ahhh really! Thanks for that info! I'll look into it funnily enough it was my most 'skittish' pig that always used the stairs so I couldn't work it out haha! x
 

Mother Hubbard

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#4
If you don't use the downstairs section, you could use it for storage, that's what I originally did until I ended up expanding the furry mob.
 

E_Blackaby

Junior Guinea Pig
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#6
If you don't use the downstairs section, you could use it for storage, that's what I originally did until I ended up expanding the furry mob.
My brothers girlfriend does that because she has a similar problem! I'm going to seal up one of the stair 'holes' this week so that they only have access to one (to give them more space) and maybe invest in a most secure stairs for the other hutch because it would be nice to see them use it! Xx
 

Tewdric

Teenage Guinea Pig
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#14
Looks great, and is a fab idea.

Have you tried using a fleece ramp tunnel to help with the two stories? I got one from C and E cosies to help my boar (who wouldn't use the ramp) and now he's up and down the two levels with the rest of my mob.
 

E_Blackaby

Junior Guinea Pig
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Dec 1, 2016
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#15
Looks great, and is a fab idea.

Have you tried using a fleece ramp tunnel to help with the two stories? I got one from C and E cosies to help my boar (who wouldn't use the ramp) and now he's up and down the two levels with the rest of my mob.
Thanks! I covered one of the ramps today with a wooden panel and they are already living the extra space and I am definitely going to look into something like that for the ramp because looking at it today it is quite steep for them and I think they need more stability! Thanks for recommending I'll take a look! Xx
 

Louise's Zoo

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#16
What a great idea :yahoo:

I recently added ramps and a loft area to my cage and I was so pleased that all 3 started using the ramps within 24 hours and now they race up and down them!
 

Sue G

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#18
I took ages researching different 4 ft 2 storey hutches (outdoor ones, but to have it inside) and sacrificed my display cabinet and all the treasured contents so the luxury hutch I finally chose could go there. My wonderful neighbour took several hours putting it together for me ....... all to no avail. They would NOT use the ramp. And whether I put them upstairs or down, they just wouldn't venture either way. Even basil treats on the ramp didn't tempt them. And so reluctantly I've put the hutch outside well covered with tarpaulins until I can get rid of it, brought their cage back in, and they are so much happier. I feel awful for putting them through the stress (and one of them when upstairs didn't seem to recognise the significance of the hole at the top of the ramp, and his little leg slipped over the edge but thankfully no more than that. Such a waste of money :( and I'm dreading having to tell my kind neighbour his hard work was in vain.
 

E_Blackaby

Junior Guinea Pig
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#19
I took ages researching different 4 ft 2 storey hutches (outdoor ones, but to have it inside) and sacrificed my display cabinet and all the treasured contents so the luxury hutch I finally chose could go there. My wonderful neighbour took several hours putting it together for me ....... all to no avail. They would NOT use the ramp. And whether I put them upstairs or down, they just wouldn't venture either way. Even basil treats on the ramp didn't tempt them. And so reluctantly I've put the hutch outside well covered with tarpaulins until I can get rid of it, brought their cage back in, and they are so much happier. I feel awful for putting them through the stress (and one of them when upstairs didn't seem to recognise the significance of the hole at the top of the ramp, and his little leg slipped over the edge but thankfully no more than that. Such a waste of money :( and I'm dreading having to tell my kind neighbour his hard work was in vain.
Awww I wouldn't feel too bad like I said I've had 7 pigs and only one (my most picky and skittish piggy) actually used the ramp and she only ever used to do it I feel to wind me up when I was trying to get her out ;) bless her! I think it's quite a common problem that pigs don't use ramps I personally think they are way too steep on the hutches I've bought! A similar thing happened to me one of my little girls slipped her leg over the edge but she was fine they just have to work it out and work out the boundaries! It's a shame you cant use it but maybe sell the hutch? x
 

GPTV

Rescue Buddy
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#20
could you try putting one of those bendy tubes in the hutch laid out on top of the ramp so that it's an enclosed downward tunnel instead ? if it was one of the ribbed tunnels they would have plenty of grip too - this sort of tunnel

http://www.petsathome.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/pets/guinea-pig-adventure-tunnel

or maybe even a fleece tunnel?

or get your creative DIY mum :gp::like: to add some sides to the ramp to make them secure, then add some old carpet/towels/puppy pad to the floor for grip,
or maybe extend the length of the ramp so its not so steep - they could have a two tier mansion then :tu:
 
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