Thursday, November 19, 2015

Landing Pad

Behind-the-cage ramp.  It looks steep!  (but it's not)
A little over a week ago I moved Cannoli and Boadicea's free-range ramp to wrap around the back of the cage.  It's out of the way, far more secure than the prototype and no longer needs to be removed when I want to keep them in the cage.  Even with the improvements, I was a little sad:  I can't watch guinea pig goofiness as they run up and down the ramp.  However, I can hear when they use it, which is entertaining.  The sound tells me which pig is on the ramp:  thump-thump (Boadi), burble-burble (Noli).

I am happy with the location and overall design, although the landing needs more work.  It blocks some of the light into the cage in the evening.  Not much I can do about that.  The landing also needs different bracing and a fitted fleece cover.  Projects for another weekend.

This is our new favorite spot!
But there are a few other issues I hadn't anticipated because I was thinking like a human and not a guinea pig.  First, the landing has exposed some delicious new spots to taste test.  I hadn't considered this until Boadicea started to sample the coroplast and wooden dowel brace.  I'll need to pig-proof or otherwise discourage that. 

It's also the place to hide.  Cannoli is nearly impossible to catch while the cage is open for free ranging.  She knows when it's medication time and makes a beeline to the ramp.  She then stays out of reach from either end, no doubt laughing at me the whole time.  I quickly learned not to open the cage until after I doled out her morning meds.

Closed off ramp

Both Cannoli and Boadicea enjoy loitering on the ramp and landing.  This is supposed to be passage from cage to floor, not a hangout.  Neither pig is inclined to leap over barriers, but if the landing becomes a desired piece of real estate, scuffles may occur.  I'm hoping their interest will fade, but have started to design an enclosure, just in case.  Regardless, their lollygagging on the ramp means the fleece/towels on the ramp will need regular cleaning.  More laundry!  Ugh.

Obviously, it's a work in progress.  A successful one, so far - they make several trips to the floor each day.  Noli is pretty funny when she comes charging down the ramp demanding to be fed.  When it's closed, I've caught them staring at or chewing the bars, hoping I'll open it up.  I'm pleased they're actually using it to get out and enjoying the added freedom.


  1. Interesting wraparound design! I like your landing/door solution. I can see why they love it too, relatively cozy AND difficult for humans to reach. Instant pig hit.

  2. This reminds me of designing the Chute To New Adventure for my goats a few years ago. Fortunately no fleece covers required :)


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