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Ramps In Guinea Pigs Cage

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Kallasia

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#1
Adding a second storey to your pigs’ pen can be a great way to increase their living space. However, you need to do it right or they won’t use it! Here are some general tips and also how I made mine :)


yawn – Binky sleeping upstairs away from Errol charging around downstairs

Steepness
Guinea pigs are not naturally climbers – they won’t go mountaineering up a ramp like a cliff face. Be wary of ready made ramps that are “suitable for rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, degus etc etc” because they are almost always far too steep for piggies.

As a general rule of thumb, for every 5cm up you need to go 16cm across.

So, for example, my second storey is 36cm (or one c&c grid) up and the ramp is 120cm long.

Material
Piggies have very delicate feet. They should never be housed on rough surfaces or mesh/wire floors and the same goes for their ramps. If it’s painful for them to go up/down then they will not use it.

Consider using a fleece covering – they can get grip on it with their claws and it is soft on their feet.

Support
Is your ramp adequately supported and fixed in place? If the ramp bounces up and down when the piggies are halfway up or down they will not feel stable and secure.

Sides
If your piggies are particularly nervous about using the ramp, adding sides or tunnels may help them feel less like they will fall off the sides.

Binky and Errol were never bothered about that and Errol enjoys running up and jumping off from half way but every pig is different.

Mobility
The final thing to consider is whether your piggies are fit and healthy enough to use a ramp. If they have mobility issues a second storey might just never work for them.

Our Ramp

Cage set-up

Despite apparently looking like a sawn off ironing board, our ramp is actually made from the boys’ old cage.

I took a side panel, 120cm in length, and used cable ties to fix correx to both sides of it (protecting feet from mesh). I then used cable ties to fasten it to the floor of the second storey like a hinge – this way I can flip it up and clean underneath without too much difficulty.

I then initially used a fleece to wrap around the ramp but changed to a ramp cover from pawsup which is fastened on securely with the velcro pawsup provided.

I have also put a large pigloo just over half way under the ramp. This acts like a support column so the ramp doesn’t bounce around when Binky decides to charge up and down, all 1.3kg of him!


Blue pigloo supporting the ramp

Both of the boys enjoy charging up and down the ramp and see it more as a toy than a means of getting to or from the second storey!

Posted here as request! You can read the original article here: Ramps!
 
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