New Guinea Pig Cage (C&C)

kwomack86

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Hello, I currently have 2 guinea pigs. One 2 y/o named Nugget and one baby believed to be about 4 months named Reese that I just got about 3 weeks ago. Currently, they are in separate cages but have floor time with each other and are seemingly getting along well, I'm planning on getting an entirely new cage and putting them both in there to preserve room and give them both more space.
I've been watching Youtube videos on DIY C&C cages but I'm not as handy as I'd like to be, and I'd hate to buy the materials and have a mediocre cage for my piggies. Does anyone know of any legit C&C cage websites? Perhaps ones you've ordered from already?
 

Piggies&buns

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I don’t know much about US cage suppliers

However, I do need to say that when bonding piggies, you can’t do it a bit at a time the way you are - particularly are boars and with one of them about to turn a teenager it’s making it even more risky - they either need to be permanently together or permanently apart. You can’t separate them but then put them together for floor time and then separate them again. That means that each time they’re put together they begin to establish a relationship for it to then be interrupted upon separation, and then start all over again at the next floor time. This causes them stress and does not give you a true representation of how they are going to be together.

The guide below explains everything

Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?

Two boars need a cage of a 2x5 c&c (180cm x 60cm) to give them enough space for their territories
 

Siikibam

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Look on guineapigcages.com but there are some genuine grids on Amazon as well.

as an aside, you either need to put them together or not. They shouldn’t be having floor time together then getting separated. Each meeting is a bonding session for them, and they have to restart each time. It sounds like they’re boars so minimum is a 2x5 cage for them.
 

alpacasqueak

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My c&c isn’t a ‘genuine’ one etc, as in it was ordered from eBay and was a much better price for me as I needed extra grids for a lid because of cats, there are some well priced ones on there (just popped on USA eBay and looks like some decently priced ones?) so maybe worth a look?
 

kwomack86

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I don’t know much about US cage suppliers

However, I do need to say that when bonding piggies, you can’t do it a bit at a time the way you are - particularly are boars and with one of them about to turn a teenager it’s making it even more risky - they either need to be permanently together or permanently apart. You can’t separate them but then put them together for floor time and then separate them again. That means that each time they’re put together they begin to establish a relationship for it to then be interrupted upon separation, and then start all over again at the next floor time. This causes them stress and does not give you a true representation of how they are going to be together.

The guide below explains everything

Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?

Two boars need a cage of a 2x5 c&c (180cm x 60cm) to give them enough space for their territories
So when I first got my younger guinea pig, I should've immediately put them together? because I had Reese for 2 weeks, then he sprained his ankle and has been on pain meds for the last week. The vet recommended to keep them separated while he was recovering, as it would've caused him extra stress. Yesterday was the last day of his pain meds and he's slowly recovering. They seem to get along, but I'm afraid of them fighting if I put Reese in Nugget's cage (its much bigger than Reese's cage).
 

kwomack86

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My c&c isn’t a ‘genuine’ one etc, as in it was ordered from eBay and was a much better price for me as I needed extra grids for a lid because of cats, there are some well priced ones on there (just popped on USA eBay and looks like some decently priced ones?) so maybe worth a look?
I've looked at eBay and I was considering getting a cage from there and I've also looked at other websites from the UK, I just wanted to be sure they were legit! but thank you
 

Piggies&buns

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So when I first got my younger guinea pig, I should've immediately put them together? because I had Reese for 2 weeks, then he sprained his ankle and has been on pain meds for the last week. The vet recommended to keep them separated while he was recovering, as it would've caused him extra stress. Yesterday was the last day of his pain meds and he's slowly recovering. They seem to get along, but I'm afraid of them fighting if I put Reese in Nugget's cage (its much bigger than Reese's cage).
Yes, an immediate bonding As soon as you got him, particularly if the piggy is under four months of age. Piggies of that age need social contact so all quarantine etc has to be abandoned in favour of their social needs.
Vets can often underestimate the importance of social interaction and say to keep separate when often it is the worst thing to do. You don’t ever separate boars once they are put together, not even for illnesses or vet visits - they stay together at all times.

You can’t ever put one piggy directly into another piggy’s cage though - that will be seen as a territory invasion and will cause a fight. You always introduce on neutral territory. While they are in the neutral bonding pen, you clean down the cage they are going to live in so it is also neutral and once they have spent several hours in the neutral bonding pen and accepted each other then they can move to the cage and remain together from then on. You needed to have the right size cage for two boars from the beginning really - anything less than 180cm x 60cm is too small for a boar pair

The bonding guide explains the process. It has to be all or nothing. You can’t do it bit by bit particularly with boars. It takes a further two weeks after initial introduction for them to fully form their hierarchy and relationship. You will also see dominance behaviours with boars but if will be more so during this period, and also heightened because your youngster is now coming into his teens and will be hormonal.

Piggies will only fight if they aren’t compatible in character. One needs to be dominant and the other submissive - fall outs can occur over hierarchy if both want to be dominant. This is why you can’t tell whether your two are going to get on yet because they haven’t got as far as establishing their hierarchy due to being repeatedly separated.

Do read all the guides that have been linked in previously as they tell you how to carry out a bonding and what the signs, good and bad, are

Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
 
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Piggies&buns

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^ yep - if the two cages are big enough, then you could put the piggies in a neutral bonding pen and while they are in there, join their current separate two cages together to make it one big cage so they have somewhere to live together while you make their new c&c.
 

kwomack86

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^ yep - if the two cages are big enough, then you could put the piggies in a neutral bonding pen and while they are in there, join their current separate two cages together to make it one big cage so they have somewhere to live together while you make their new c&c.
I'm going to consider doing this ASAP while my new cage is being shipped.
 

Piggies&buns

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my older guinea is in a 46"x23" cage from amazon(made by Midwest) and my younger is in a 25"x14" cage from petco, though he's growing rather quickly.
The smallest even a single piggy should be in is 48 x 24 inches (120cm x 60cm).
For two boars the smallest cage size is 180cm x 60cm

Your youngest piggy’s cage falls below welfare standards and isn’t suitable for him to be in at all.

Cage Size Guide
 
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alpacasqueak

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my older guinea is in a 46"x23" cage from amazon(made by Midwest) and my younger is in a 25"x14" cage from petco, though he's growing rather quickly.
Yes I’m glad you’re looking for a bigger one because it’s a tiny space for the little guy to live in and they grow very quickly, well both of them really could do with much more space, these boars like a lot of it to do boar stuff!
 

kwomack86

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Yes I’m glad you’re looking for a bigger one because it’s a tiny space for the little guy to live in and they grow very quickly, well both of them really could do with much more space, these boars like a lot of it to do boar stuff!
I figured. I don't want them to become unhappy or anything so I'm definitely going to order a new cage asap. I'm currently looking at this cage to purchase for my piggies to live in together. Do you think this is suitable?
 

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Piggies&buns

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I figured. I don't want them to become unhappy or anything so I'm definitely going to order a new cage asap. I'm currently looking at this cage to purchase for my piggies to live in together. Do you think this is suitable?
No I’m afraid that is not suitable. Two boys need a cage which is 5 grids long by 2 grids wide (the one in the picture is only 3 grids long by 2 grids wide and is also not big enough for welfare standards for a pair and definitely not for a boar pair. That cage only measures approx 112 cm x 70cm). Upper levels don’t count or get added towards the cage size, they are merely considered as bonus spaces because guinea pigs are ground roaming and need their cage to be big enough on one single ground level).

If you try to keep two boars in a cage any smaller than a 5 grid x 2 grid cage then that can cause tensions and fall outs due to lack of territory. It’s even more important when you are dealing with a teen boar in particular, that there is a lot of space.
 
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kwomack86

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No I’m afraid that is not suitable. Two boys need a cage which is 5 grids long by 2 grids wide (the one in the picture is only 3 grids long by 2 grids wide and is also not big enough for welfare standards for a pair and definitely not for a boar pair. That cage only measures approx 112 cm x 70cm). Upper levels don’t count or get added towards the cage size, they are merely considered as bonus spaces because guinea pigs are ground roaming and need their cage to be big enough on one single ground level).

If you try to keep two boars in a cage any smaller than a 5 grid x 2 grid cage then that can cause tensions and fall outs due to lack of territory. It’s even more important when you are dealing with a teen boar in particular, that there is a lot of space.
Thank you! I've found a 6x2 cage on etsy that also has the upper levels I am looking for. I will most likely be purchasing today. Guinea Pig Forum is much more helpful than just googling and going to random websites. It feels good to know that almost everyone on here has experience!
 

Piggies&buns

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Thank you! I've found a 6x2 cage on etsy that also has the upper levels I am looking for. I will most likely be purchasing today. Guinea Pig Forum is much more helpful than just googling and going to random websites. It feels good to know that almost everyone on here has experience!
A 6x2 is much better. The loft is absolutely fine to have but do be aware not all guinea pigs will use them (my boys for example! They’ve had a loft and I’ve removed it as they just stopped bothering to go up there!) The ramp could, possibly, become a bit of a territorial dispute area, so it’s just something to bear in mind.

As with boars and bonding you always need a plan b - It would also be a good idea to buy some extra grids and keep them handy just in case things get problematic and they turn out not to be compatible down the line and they need to be separated. That way, you can just pop the extra grids in the middle of the cage and they can live either side of Feb divide (you’d likely need to take the loft down and use the loft grids to extend each half of the cage to make it a 4x2 for each piggy). Hopefully it would never come to that, but a plan b is always a good idea. Even with my well bonded two year old boars, I always keep extra grids and have a plan of how to separate them if things go wrong.
 

kwomack86

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A 6x2 is much better. The loft is absolutely fine to have but do be aware not all guinea pigs will use them (my boys for example! They’ve had a loft and I’ve removed it as they just stopped bothering to go up there!) The ramp could, possibly, become a bit of a territorial dispute area, so it’s just something to bear in mind.

As with boars and bonding you always need a plan b - It would also be a good idea to buy some extra grids and keep them handy just in case things get problematic and they turn out not to be compatible down the line and they need to be separated. That way, you can just pop the extra grids in the middle of the cage and they can live either side of Feb divide (you’d likely need to take the loft down and use the loft grids to extend each half of the cage to make it a 4x2 for each piggy). Hopefully it would never come to that, but a plan b is always a good idea. Even with my well bonded two year old boars, I always keep extra grids and have a plan of how to separate them if things go wrong.
That's something to take into consideration. Hopefully it doesn't have to come to that but I'll be well prepared for it.
 
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