Guinea pigs need lots of space on one level to zoom around and live. Sufficient space also helps reduce fights, particularly with boar pairs. We have recently increased our minimum housing size for a pair of pigs to 10 square feet.
One of the most cost-effective ways to provide an ample amount of space for your pigs is by building a C&C cage. 4 grids by 4 grids (or 8 grids x 2 grids) would meet our recommended minimum requirement to create cages for guinea pigs.
The sides are made out of storage cube grids clipped together, and the base is made from corrugated plastic used for making signs. The base can then be lined with a safe substrate, or a fabric such as fleece over towels which are washed as needed and reused, cutting down on waste.
You can purchase ready-made C&C cages or build your own – you can buy the grids from Amazon and corrugated plastic base from Homebase or Wickes.
A lot of local pet stores sell very small cages to have more shelf space. Researching online can take a little more time, but it always pays off in the end.
Larger enclosure sizes reduce the occurrence of stereotypical behaviors, such as bar chewing, in hamsters, so you should always seek to exceed the minimum requirements where possible. There is no such thing as too much space for running, socializing, and exploring! It’s fairly obvious if your piggies don’t have a lot of space, so you should be the judge of that.
Boars (the males)
While sows can successfully be kept in larger groups, boars are best kept in pairs (or a single neutered boar with one or more sows), and need lots of space to reduce the chances of fights. You should also provide two of everything to help with this – two hay trays, two hideys, two food bowls, two bottles, etc.