Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pen Improvements

Whenever I'm tinkering, I occasionally (heh - often?) need to adjust my plans as I see the final product taking shape (like when I miscalculate the yardage in a sewing project -  D'oh!).  But sometimes flaws only appear once final product gets used.  I really liked my new guinea pig pen, but the cover was not as sturdy as wanted it to be.  The wire hooks would unwind and the cover sagged if a lot of pressure was put on top.  It seemed a bad idea that it was the weakest part of the structure.  I wanted to ensure that if a hawk or one of the neighborhood cats parked its butt on that cover, the pigs could taunt it with impunity.

I found a heavier gauge of wire and redesigned the hooks for the PVC so that the won't come undone.  I also added another bar to the frame so the cover has more support in the middle.  The difference was dramatic - putting a lot of weight on the cover will cause the grids to start bending before anything else budges.  Much better.

As a bonus, with a little rearranging, I can make the same cage an attached pair of 2x2 pens.  Perfect for time-out pens at the Boston Pignic.  I hope to be giving this cage a good workout on Sunday, with setup up, take down and ease of getting the pigs in and out of it.

I've posted instructions on how to make the hooks and the frames as well as assembling the cage.  If you're interested, the instructions are on Outdoor Pen How-To.

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