Monday, April 30, 2012

Scalloped Edges

Yo!  Mama! (about to take a chomp)
Bertie gets attention for being a bad rodent.  I think Pinniped took notice of this and found it unacceptable.  Since Bertie has been concentrating on chewing the bars, Pinni has begun to focus on the coroplast.  Unfortunately, coroplast doesn't withstand teeth as well as the bars do.  So I have a problem with Pinni's new hobby.

She does this to get my attention.  Pinni will wheek and chortle while running around the cage, but if I don't acknowledge her at some point, she'll come to the wall that is closest to where I am, stand there for a moment, then chomp on the coroplast.  It's guaranteed to get an immediate reaction from me:  Bad rodent!  Stop that!  Pinni hopes that veggies will be forthcoming, but often the only attention she gets is an unwanted wuzzing.

Top: Scalloped edges from Pinni's hard work
Bottom: Binder spine for protection

I've had a number of pigs that have taken the occasional taste-test of coroplast.  The old cage had plenty of small chew marks here and there.  I suspect there is something about the texture of coroplast that numerous guinea pigs find irresistible.  It's also fairly easy to chew through (unlike metal bars or wooden houses), so it doesn't take long to make some serious progress.  I have seen photos of cages with intricately scalloped edges carefully crafted by an artistic guinea pig (often to their owner's dismay).

Report covers and binder spine
Coroplast may be delightful to chew, but I have discovered that not all plastic is the same.  Turns out that plastic report cover spines are a great deterrent.  A long time ago, you could buy the spine separately from the report covers.  Now, I can only find them as a package deal. 

They fit perfectly over the edge of the coroplast.  It just slides on and stays put with tension.  Installing the spines requires a bit of a gentle touch:  stretch one too far open and it will split right down the middle.  But they are rugged once they're in place.  Wherever I have put them, the chewing has stopped.  The spines can even hide any shallow, ragged, gnawed-on edges.  I've used binder spines for years, covering a few of the most chewed edges in their cage.

What makes Pinni so bad is that she's purposely going for the exposed sections right next to the protectors.  I have no more spines.  Even if I did, they won't fit over the double width (folded over) coroplast in the corners of the cage.

A combo of fleece and report spines

So I'm trying out a new solution:  I've draped a bit of fleece over the raw edges of the coroplast and binder clipped it into place.  It might not slow down the most determined chewer, but I am hoping it will dampen Pinni's interest.  I guess it depends how closely she's following in Bertie footsteps.  I could be facing another uphill battle.  Time will tell!


  1. I also drape the fleece over the edge and secure with binder clips. It works 99% of the time, except when my pig is feeling extra feisty and pulls at the loose fabric between each binder clip!

  2. I've been draping layers of paper towels with binder clips, but my piggies often get balled up paper as a toy in their cage, and they just treated the paper toweling like a new toy, tearing it to shreds. This only encouraged more chewing. Fleece sounds like a great plan. :)

    Also...a google search discovered these which might help too:

    I know you have to buy a ton at once, so it may not be the best of plans.

    1. GeneQueen - Those are it! I used to be able to buy them at 10-cents apiece at the college book store, which was perfect. You're correct that a box of those would be overkill. Although... might be worth buying then reselling on eBay. A 2x3 grid cage only needs 8-12 of them, total, depending on how adamant the pigs at chewing any uncovered edge.

  3. I also use the fleece and binder clip method to deter chewing. It has worked pretty well!

  4. I tape the whole top edge of the walls with fabric tape. I also use the fleece and binder clips method. Works for my piggies.


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