Emergency Cage Designs

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Post   » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:45 am

I have two adolescent boars who suddenly started falling out a few weeks ago and they're relationship is deteriorating even more currently. I currently have a divider in their 2x4 cage but our part cuy is throwing himself at the bars and still managing to rip off chunks of hair. I ordered new grids a few days ago and picked up extra choroplast today. I need to get them away from each other quickly. The only problem with that is I have some what limited space. I've spoken to our vet who has said I've done everything possible to keep them from fighting and that they likely have just fallen out. They both have neuter appointments and will be placed with females when they're healed and there's no longer a pregnancy risk (I've yet to get females but have looked at ones that need adoption in the area). Because of this I would like to keep a 2x4 cage for each or slightly larger if possible. I have room to expand a cage to a 3x4. To do this with one or both cages they would need to be a double decker though. As the current cage was my first experience building a C&c cage I definitely need some he'll with this one. The two most important things are it needs to be sturdy and that it needs to have a cover as we have a previously stray kitten who thinks they're food. I'm worried about my ability to design something sturdy as things like this are not in any way a strength of mine. Any help and suggestions are appreciated!

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Post   » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:39 am

Part of their problem may have been their cage size. A 2x4 isn't large enough for two boars, much less two adolescent boars.

If you use connectors (clamp the grids in tightly with pliers) and zip-ties three ways at all the corners, it will be very sturdy. Closet shelving makes an awesome lid. Cage too, for that matter.

I doubt the kitten will try to eat full-grown (or nearly full-grown) guinea pigs. It's more likely to try to play with them, but that doesn't work either because the pigs may get scratched. Our kitten was endlessly fascinated with our pigs and kept trying to reach them through the cage lid, but doesn't bother them at all now that he's grown. In fact, he sometimes hops in the cage to take a nap.

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Post   » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:58 am

Some pretty great cages over at www.guineapigcages.com if you want to check out ideas that members of the forum have posted!

I note that they do list a 2X4 as suitable for two guinea pigs but as bpatters points out, it is too small for two adolescent pigs.


Post   » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:05 am

No wonder they were fighting if you have two adolescent boars in a 2 x 4 cage. I knew someone who had two boars in a 2 x 3 cage; the boars were litter mates and were together literally since birth. Their personalities were perfect matches as one was dominant and the other extremely laid back. The only time they fought was for a several month period when they were adolescents and my friend put a divider in the cage. (I told her the cage was too small, but her parents [she was a teenager] wouldn't allow her to expand.)

By some miracle, this period only lasted a few months, and after that the girl was able to remove the divider and the two boars continued to live together in a 2 x 3 grid cage until I lost track of her family. That is, when they outgrew the adolescent stage, they were fine together again. I'm not sure that any other pair of boars could live together peaceably in such a small cage, but you could try putting in a grid divider in the cage you have until you can expand it as much as you are able to expand it.

As for the kitten, I agree with bpatters. Guinea pigs are too large for most cats to consider food material. Our full grown cat was scared of them (reacted to the pigs outside of the cage like the videos of cats and cucumbers) for about a year or so, even though she would stare at them when they were in the cage. Now she ignores them.

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Post   » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:15 am

My two girl kittens/cats are constantly trying to get in the cage with the pigs. So far, I've not seen any chasing or running, which is what fascinates the felines. My husband says he's seen one chase, but I apparently missed it.

The pigs seem to be just as fascinated as the cats. The cats will lay down and the pigs will come over to investigate. It still makes my husband so nervous he "jumps right in" and removes the offending cat, so I try to keep the felines out of the cage. He refuses to leave the room if the cage is open and I'm not standing right there. I did have one cat (much older!) who jumped in the floor cage and went for the hay. One of the guinea pigs who was in the cage at the time, just checked out Sassy's legs - all four of them, not the least bit nervous.

They still stick their paws through the grids, though.

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Post   » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:36 am

I'm with your husband on playing it safe. But still very interesting to see what they do together if neither shows any fear!

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Post   » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:17 am

We have a hunter cat and I don't trust him at all. But other cats haven't cared. The pigs still have their own room, though.

RE: the boars, I'd try to give them a loft or expand their cage and/or give them both a decent bit of leg room with a divider. One of my boars grew up and decided he wanted to bite everybody on the face. He lived next door for the rest of his life (I had no sows).


Post   » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:08 am

Thank you so much for your replies everyone! I didn't realize a 2x4 was to small for to boars. I had read in several places that that was the minimum requirement for males and a 2x3 was minimum for two females so thank you for telling me otherwise. I never would have put them in something so small had I known! I have expanded their cage to a 3x5 as of Monday and I removed the divider and started a rebonding process. They did quite well initially but unfortunately started to fight again and I had to put the divider back up. They actually ended up having a semi annual visit with their exotic vet this week anyway and as she watched them interact on the floor of the room and listened to the precautions I had taken to keep them from fighting (two of everything, multiple entrances in every hide, plenty of resources) she said that I likely wouldn't be able to rebond them ever. This breaks my heart as they've been together since I got them when they were babies and got along pretty well until recently. I feel so bad that I'm the cause of it as well. I had always planned to expand their cage much past the minimum once we moved apartments and had more space. It honestly makes me so sad to see my long hair pig Jimin sit next to the divider and try to get to his brother. My other pig doesn't seem at all upset but I worry about how this is affecting Jimin since he'll have to be on his own for another month until he can get a girlfriend. If you have any advice on getting them back together let me know. I've already tried neutral spaces and baths right before reintroduction.

I also agree that my kitten may not actually try to eat them but she actually does bite ears and paws hard enough to make the pigs cry when I try to get them out for floor time without her in a different room (we don't do that anymore as I'm afraid I won't be quick enough to stop injury one day). I definitely think she mostly curious but she was a stray when we found her on the highway so I think she has more hunting instincts than my other cat who cuddles right up with her brothers.

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Post   » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:58 am

She is wrong saying that you likely will not ever be able to rebond them. Often, after adolescence has past, they are much more laid back and will get along fine (with proper introductions).

I am thrilled you have such a big cage! It still could work. What I suggest you do now is break it up visually with long draped pieces of fringed fleece so they can't see each other easily.Be sure to have two or three water bottles and places to eat so they don't have to be near each other. I bet you can think of some other interesting things to put in such a large cage.

Oh, and it definitely does sound like the cat could be a problem. I'm glad you are taking precautions.


Post   » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:15 pm

We used the same tactics that Lynx suggested with our young fighting boars. they had been separated to different cages, then re-introduced into a 3x4 with large cardboard boxes with multiples hole cut in them (Our house was simultaneously undergoing renovation, they needed to have hideys)

There was still squabbling, but very short lived. WIth more space they could easily side step or avoid coming within 12 inches of each other. In our 2x4, they were forced to come within a few inches of their "personal" space which would set them off. After a month, we rarely have teeth chattering or even mounting. They "chin off" occasionally and call it a day.

Our boys are now 11 months and roughly 6 months (forgot his birthdate!) Good luck!

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