In today’s short article, we are going to talk about bottoms. No – I don’t want to discuss your bottom – or even your guinea pig’s bottom. I want to talk about the need for incorporating a bottom when designing and building your C&C cage.

Go online and search for web pages and articles on how to build a C&C cage. The vast majority of results returned will show how to build a cage that looks less like a cage and more like a corral. If you examine it closely, you will note that this simplistic class of designs consists simply of a Coroplast bin or tub surrounded by a wire grid fence.

And I am not knocking this system. It is an absolutely fantastic and innovative design. It is both effective and efficient in its simplicity. It provides a lot of space for the money. And in my opinion, of all cubes and Coroplast designs out there; this simple, basic “pig corral” is the most economical and cost-effective design that can be had. However, there is one caveat – and it is an important one.

In my mind, this class of bottomless cage is generally safe only when used on the ground. Let me explain why.

To make visualization easier, let’s ignore the litter bin for just a moment. Suppose we place just the “fence” on a table. That’s right; we would have just a wire grid rectangle sitting on a table. Here’s a common scenario: A standard folding table is 6-feet (72-inches) by 30-inches wide. A common size for C&C cage width is 56-inches by 28-inches. So there is plenty of room (8-inches to spare) on each side. There is only an inch to spare in front of and behind the cage.

If we nudge the cage forward until the front wall of the rectangle slips off, there is really no problem. The front edge of the fence will now rest on the two sides and these two sides still hold the structure on the table as long as it’s not pushed too far off the front edge. The same goes if it’s pushed off either side. The cage will sit on the front and back walls.

The trouble comes when the rectangle is bumped diagonally off the table so that it slides off one of the corners (for instance the front-left corner). In this case, the entire left side wall and the front wall are nudged off the edge. The remaining two walls (back wall and right side wall) are unable to support the cage so it falls off the table diagonally.

Now let’s put the Coroplast bin back into the corral. Slide the cage off the front or side – once again, no problem. The cage rests on two opposite sides with the litter bin still contained within. But, nudge it diagonally off the table and it slides off the table – and depending upon weight distributions and forces, it may very well pull the litter bin onto the floor with it. At the very least, it will probably create a large litter catastrophe for you to clean up. At worst, you could be looking at an injured pig.

Now let’s add a bottom to our cage. Nudge the cage diagonally off of the table and two sides no longer fall off the edge. Even with two edges off the table, the cage does not fall off the table because it now rests on its bottom.

If you are having difficulty imagining the situation I have described, see our descriptive BlueStoneCommerce YouTube video available which very effectively exhibits this situation.

When considering a C&C cage design, many people consider a cage bottom to be an unnecessary addition. And if the cage is to be placed on the ground then, except for adding some structural reinforcement, the cage bottom serves little purpose. If, on the other hand, the cage is to be placed on a table, then a cage bottom can make the cage considerably more stable, more reliable and safer for your pigs. As an alternative, you can also fasten the cage to the table top to prevent movement or attach a lip to the table edges so that the cage cannot be bumped off.

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Categories: Guinea Pig Cages

5 Responses to “Guinea Pig Cages – Why Your C&C Cage May Need a Bottom”

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