I found this forum about 5 years ago, and haven't checked it again until now. It's evolution is awesome!
I've been through 4 of 5 (6?) 50 page 'show your cage' threads, and I didn't find much in the way of free range setups. The photos on the non-forum part of GL are actually the photos that encouraged me to go free range 5 years ago.
So here's a photo of PigButt's home base. (He's always got the run of my bedroom, and occasionally the 20x6' stair landing outside it when he gets the gumption.)
It's always changing; tubes, houses, towel:carefresh ratio, bowl placement, hay rack or not, whether there's a rug in front, etc.
What brought me to the cage photo threads is an unexpected change: Pig has lived with a dog for 7 months (usually supervised, but she's earned my trust with Pig.) While the dog would eat the extremely rare poop in the middle of the floor, she'd leave everything in the home base alone - until 2 weeks ago. Now she'll trot to the base, give Pig a few greeting head licks if he's there, then polish off the oxbow and start picking through the hay for poops. Since I've not been able to break her of it yet, I'm thinking a covered design will be an easier solution to bad dog breath. Though for the record - a dogfood powered vacuum massively cuts down on the maintainance. :)
And also for the record, since it's likely the question will be asked and this is also my introduction:
-Yes, he's an only pig.
-Yes, he earned it.
-He has 3 failed pairings under his, er, belly. One of them resulted in a gash in the side of the other pig through which organs could be seen. That fight only lasted a few seconds before being broken up, but it was long enough... *sigh.* That pig lived, with a bald spot where the gnarly scar is.
-Yes, I know being in sight/sound/smell/just not touch of another cavy is the next best thing, but that means one caged pig, one free range. Then realistically the caged pig needs a cagemate. That's two more pigs, and I can't really handle the medical costs for them should they get sick. PigButt had a bout of bloat in November that ran me over 1K in vet bills, and I'm just thrilled he unexpectedly lived through it. (He's still a bit on the skinny side, as evident in the photo.)
-And yes, I'm half listing my reasons to re-convince myself I don't need another piggy, because I'd love to get him a friend. The dating game Cavy House runs might be perfect for senior mega-alpha grumpy PigButt. I cheer everytime one of their pigs I've got my eye on gets adopted out, with the cheer being "Yay! He found a new home! I'm no longer tempted by that guy!"
So I do what I can to keep him happy, which is also how the free range setup evolved. He talks, he popcorns, he occasionally still does laps despite his advancing age. He knows the words 'up,' 'come,' 'no,' and 'Pig.' A recent development, about which I'm most excited: he's started to ASK for laptime. Just in the last few days. Ecstatic!!
Oh! The reason I'm not doing a C&C cage: he is terrified of grids. I don't know why. Tried to build him a C&C cage 5+ years ago, failed. Tried putting an open 1x1 in his base a few months ago, covered with cloth, water bottle strapped to it, all hay and food in it, and he only approached it when he had to, and slept as far from it as he could. He doesn't react this way to anything else. So grids are out for my picky opinionated grumpybutt.
I love the photos of all your cages! I wish I could go the C&C route - y'all make it look like fun!
As far as draping, I'm trying to go UNDER the ramp (the part that's seen by us! lol) so it looks all purdy.
Uhm... I have no idea. Maybe I've fooled you? Maybe it's not pvc? I really don't know, it's just one of those tablecloths that feels a little like plastic, and you just need to wipe it and it's clean. I did use a shower curtain earlier, but apparently guinea pigs find cheap shower curtains very tasty. So I had to think of something else. I wanted to use linoleum, but darn that's expensive! Would last longer though, but I really want a C&C-cage someday, so I think I'll rather save up until I can get one.I do love your cage though. This is a little off topic, but what is up with the pvc thing? I was buying a shower curtain liner recently and most of them said pvc free? I want to think that it has something to do with it not breaking down after it is disposed of? Which regular plastic doesn't do well either. I am by no means saying you shouldn't use it. I am just curious about it.
- Supporter in '09 - '10
I used vinyl flooring for a while and I got a big enough sheet for a little bigger than a 2x4 for $7.00 here. It was a scrap piece at a flooring store. I loved it. I kind of want to get another piece to put under my cage so when hay and poop falls, it doesn't get all over the carpet.
Guinea pig poops have a way of flying around the room you know. :)
GPT - those two are indeed siblings! Bumby's in front, chomping on some lettuce, and Minnie's in the back, with a parsley stalk hanging out of her mouth. Minnie is, of course, very cute, but that shot of Bumby has to be one of my all-time favourite pig photos, although I might be a little biased.
Hunybee - Thanks! They really needed a bigger cage, especially with the new arrivals. Their old cage was "technically" big enough for about 4 or 5 adults (from memory) but just seemed way too small for them. They love running around their new cage, popcorning and exploring. They also seem a lot more at ease. Flynn will even feed her babies right in the middle of the cage. They also love the blue stool, and often guard it protectively from each other.