Breifly known as "Football", fuzzball enjoys the palatial spread we constructed for him.

Hog Pen

A while back my oldest son wanted a pet and we decided that he was ready for the responsibility (or at least learn about the responsibility) of keeping his very own living, breathing entity.

I now flash back to age 3, and his first pet. A goldfish. Guess. It’s name was Dorothy. She was found…uhhh…“sleeping with the fishes” after his bowl became all too crowded with those wooden letter blocks that mysteriously appeared one morning.

“Dorothy’s not swimming”

So this time my requirement was that it was something small, and not a fish…or a cat.

I’m allergic. To. Cats.

So, something difficult to kill. Either by nature it’s a quick animal as to escape the grasp of relentless handling by an eight-year-old, or its appearance is somewhat threatening discouraging adolescent hands from touching all together.

“Dad! Dad! I gotta GUINEA PIG!”

I hadn’t even formed a mental list for consideration and Star and the kids come home from the pet store with Bob. Bob the guinea pig.

“Bob?”

Uhhhhhhhhhhh. I name stuff all the time at work, and naming a guinea pig woulda been fun.

Well, I should cut to the chase.

A guinea pig needs like 7.5 square feet of living space. At a minimum. So most of the cages they sell at the pet store are akin to you living in your car…all the time.

Know how much space TWO pigs need? I do. Cause they came home with another one.

Football. Then the name randomly changed to fuzzball.

I liked “Football” better.

Two of them need 10.5 square feet to run and jump and eat and squeak and do their business. At a minimum.

So I built a cage after looking around online. So this isn’t an original idea, but it worked really good.

And Forrest calls it…

Guinea Pig Acres.

Awesome.

Materials:

  • Some of those metal/plastic grid cube things that, in my mind, teens and college kids use to store stuff
  • A sheet of corrugated plastic (coroplast)
  • A few wire ties, plastic like electricians/car audio people use to bundle wires

I won’t step-by-step this one. Look at the pics, search the web, you’ll find stuff.

Here's the new spread. It took about an hour to build.

Here’s some tips though. In the event you are building your very own guinea pig palace.

I used an Ikea Expedit bookshelf on its side as a base and to provide some storage for food and such. I extended the depth by adding a 1”x2” ledger on the wall and attaching a sheet of Masonite.

I assembled the cage sides first using the supplied round compression fitting things. And some wire ties when the round compression fitting things didn’t work so well.

The “tray” is formed from coroplast, the stuff all those signs on the side of the road offering to buy ugly homes or websites for $299 are made from. Call a signshop for this stuff. I got a sheet for $20. It was a full 4’x8’ sheet.

I scored the underside of the coroplast with an x-acto knife to form walls about 5-6” high. I used plastic rivets to hold the corners together (the kind used on automotive bumpers, fenders and stuff).

We got all crafty and created a mezzanine level for the pigs to lounge on.

The lido deck. It's like an awesome treehouse for what, in some countries, comes cooked on a stick.

Well, both Bob and Fuzzball are loving it. And they lounge. Like all stretched out, like a dog lays. Weird.

3 Comments

  • Emily

    This. Is. Great. I love how it’s so naturally incorporated into the IKEA furniture.

    Reply

  • mlaiuppa

    You’re lucky they both get along. My sister has two and has to have two separate very large cages.

    Of course both of hers are males. I hoped you checked to see that Fuzzball isn’t really a PomPom.

    Have you considered a merry go round or wheel for them to run on?

    And what about a top? Don’t you need a ceiling to make sure they don’t decide to vacation in the dryer or something?

    Reply

  • Laura Madere

    Wow that’s pretty cool! What about a top though? Ours jumps so I would think they could get out. My 20 year old decided she was lonely at college without a pet so we ended up with Autumn, and she has cost a lot of money for such a little creature let me tell you. The most expensive pee you will ever hear of I bet. We got her a brand new super expensive Apple computer with tons of film programs and everything extra for school she needed and ever wanted. Then one day she was online most likely Skyping with her boyfriend and playing with the pig at the same time. The little piggy ran across her keyboard and you guessed it, she peed right inside the keys. FRIED the whole dang thing within seconds. We took it to a repair shop & were told it would cost more to fix then replace, so needless to say she ended up buying a used Apple without as many charms.

    Reply

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