How do I encourage guinea pigs to use both levels of the cage.

pedro1976

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I have a 2 level cage with a ramp. We have had our piggies for 3 weeks now but they will not go down the ramp and only have a small area upstairs. I had their food and water upstairs but have been advised to put it downstairs and they will find it.

Yesterday I did that while they where in the run and then put them both downstairs. 1 ran up the ramp and the other stayed downstairs. I know have 1 upstairs with no food and water and one downstairs with no hiding place.

How do I encourage them to use the ramp and have I done the right thing?

Help!
 

Siikibam

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You may need to raise the bottom so it's not too steep. And also attaching some sides or a tunnel to the ramp so they can feel safer. And something they can grip on when climbing up - carpet tape cut to size but there are other things you could use. Try enticing them upstairs by putting veg on the actual ramp. But just be aware some don't like it. You will have to put some hay and food downstairs as well.

You say the upstairs area is small. How big is the cage? Boars need minimum 150 x 60cm. However, 180 x 60cm is best.
 

Piggies&buns

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:agr:

As ground roaming creatures, it can take some piggies a long time to master ramps, some just won’t ever do it. Ensuring it only has a gentle gradient, has sides/covered can help but you obviously can’t force them to be comfortable with it.
It’s only the single floor level of their cage that counts towards the cage size so if the bottom level doesn’t meet size requirements for two boars then the cage is too small.
 

Piggylove82

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I have a double storey outdoor hutch. Food, water, hideys, bedding, hay availability is equal on each floor. My boar pretty much always used the ramp. My one sow did too. My second sow would come down very slowly, but not up. The ramp has steps and sides and isn't steep, but I added some corrugated card to the steps and how she races up only to come back down again without even doing anything on the upper floor!

I had my piggies as adults so this may have been the first ramp they've ever come across.

20200728_202416.jpg

I have since added more card to the steps. It works great, til they say hey, card, let's eat it! 😂
 

pedro1976

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You may need to raise the bottom so it's not too steep. And also attaching some sides or a tunnel to the ramp so they can feel safer. And something they can grip on when climbing up - carpet tape cut to size but there are other things you could use. Try enticing them upstairs by putting veg on the actual ramp. But just be aware some don't like it. You will have to put some hay and food downstairs as well.

You say the upstairs area is small. How big is the cage? Boars need minimum 150 x 60cm. However, 180 x 60cm is best.
The ground floor is 152 x 61. I will try giving the ramp a cover, it's not too steep but I can try to make it shallower. I have just put both downstairs while I sort out extra water upstairs for them.
 

Fantasimo

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I used to put my pigs up on the top level when I put them back in after lap time. It’s easier for them to go down to where they know, than up to where they don’t. They got used to it pretty quickly after that 🙂
 

Bill & Ted

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Can you fix some carpet or carpet tile on the ramp. I used double sided sticking tape that you can buy at DIY stores for thr job, very quick and easy.
 

LMPigs

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Ours were initially quite suspicious of their cage ramp but now they go charging up and down enthusiastically, so don't give up!

We did try picking them up and putting them back on a different level from where they started, and we also tried putting veg on the bottom of the ramp when they were downstairs.

Once one of them gets the hang of it, the other will probably follow.
 

Chickenpies

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When I tried to make my piggies go up and down, I cut some wood down and nailed it to the side, put a brick under the bottom to reduce steepness and put a towel they could grip onto. They eventually gathered the courage to go and explore and they loved it! Oh, I forgot to mention the key part, food! I slowly moved a bell pepper down and they followed it and over time they got to the bottom.
 
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