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Zesty using the fish as a pillow.

Cage: Each floor is made of coroplast. We are still experimenting on the best way to handle the corners. Flaps on the outside (unlike picture) seem better. One later of tape and some kind of adhesive is probably the best way to go.

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The full cage stands six feet tall. The top floor is not advised if you are short, as it becomes difficult to see that floor, and harder to catch a gpig toward the back. Hay bin and drawers on bottom are huge convenience.

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The three floors as seen here provides 33.75 square feet of room for the gpigs. The minimum space for eight gpigs is 26 sq feet, so this cage for seven gpigs is fairly spatious.

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Each floor is protected by a drop-down gate. Each gate has three small bungee cords that allow for fast and easy release.

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Top floor looking down the ramp. The ramp guard is not attached as well as it will be, but extremely helpful in keeping the litter balanced.

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The paranoid Jinueapig likes her spot under the top ramp.

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A single "cube" bent and attached with paper binders acts as a hay loft. When we noticed the gpigs climbing on it to get to the hay we quickly added a layer of soft rubber mesh (used in kitchen drawers) to each. This helps prevent their legs from falling through the wire.

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Each ramp is affixed using three strong zip ties. This allows the ramp to be lifted up and a single metal bar put under it in the corner to block off access to a given level. This also makes it easy for cage cleaning, when the coroplast levels need to be removed from the shelving.

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Bottom level with the ramp up, effectively blocking any access, even for baby gpigs.

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Each ramp has three holes drilled and is attached with zip ties.

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We learned the hard way that regardless of cage layout, the bottom of the ramp will be an area of high traffic. Our first ramps were quickly consumed by urine at the bottom, leading them to be warped and the wood to go foul. The new ramps have a thick layer of Performix Plastic Dip (think liquid latex but stronger) over the wood, with a double layer of rubber kitchen matting over it. This prevents any liquids for reaching the wood on the ramp and should last a lot longer.

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Side view of cage. We settled on two Critter Canteens for water, as all other types we tried ended up leaking or not being used. The blue 'wire' seen in many of the pictures is outdoor track lighting strung between two of the three levels.

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The cage consists of two Wide 5-Tier Wire Shelves and three sets of Whitmor Storage Cubes, all from Target. The cube grids are attached to the shelving using black zip ties from Home Depot.

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As seen by the illustrious Waffle, the ramps with the rubber matting are ideal for gpigs to move between floors. It doesn't take long for them to not only traverse the ramps, but to use them to their advantage when they think they are being removed from the cage.

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The cage at night, with the outdoor track lighting (controlled via wall switch). The top floor is kept light free since most of them sleep on that floor. The lighting is very subdued and used during the evenings, but not left on over night.

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All of the gpigs are removed from the cage several times a week and put in a make-shift play pen for excercise. The outer fence is a Small Pet Playpen from MidWest Homes for Pets. We use three of these to make a large pen (with a few panels left over, seen in the middle of the cage). This cage is ideal because the smaller more colorful fences seen in the picture did not stop two of our gpigs from jumping them and escaping to run wild in the house. Each time the playpen is set up, a different configuration or room location is used, and different props are added. Each playpen is carefully inspected by the cats before they are moved to a bedroom.

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A water bottle attached with a small bungee cord provides liquid when they are out for extended times.

Photo album generated by album from Dave's MarginalHacks on Tue May 26 10:01:49 2009