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Old 07-12-2009, 01:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default PVC tube as a ramp (afterthoughts on p.3)

(long post ahead, feedback much appreciated )
Hi guys,

I've been stalking the forums for about a month, reading everything I can before my new hedgie comes, and my boyfriend and I are currently working on the cage.

We went with a 32" x 20" x 17" Marchioro cage and are constructing a loft. Of course it is completely enclosed so the hedgie doesn't take a spill, but we thought up sort of a novel idea for the ramp, and I'm nervous about actually using it because I haven't seen anyone on these forums use it before.

I'd like to get some opinions as to whether it's safe or not.

The setup is this:
Cut 2 holes in the side of the cage- one where the loft is and one at the bottom of the cage.
Construct a "tunnel" of 4" PVC with two elbows on either end.
Insert the elbows into each hole, with the PVC on the outside of the cage. (I can upload pictures on Monday for anyone having trouble visualizing it)
This gives you a very sturdy, enclosed "ramp" at about a 20-30 degree angle.

I chose this setup for the additional floor space (as the ramp is completely outside of the cage) and am just a little worried that it won't be okay for the hedgie since I haven't seen it before. The only real problems I can forsee is the hedgie taking a liking to being in the tube and not being able to easily get him/her out (but we have a solution for that). Otherwise, is there a major problem I missed out on?

We've already set it up, so if it's a terrible idea, we'll cap off the ends and the hedgie will have little portholes to sleep in.

My other question is:
Obviously PVC has no grip and we've been brainstorming the best way to deal with that
The best idea right now is cutting a bathmat into small enough pieces to secure inside. Easy to clean and hopefully would provide enough grip.
The alternative would be cutting grooves along the inside of the PVC (no idea how we would do this, but I'm sure we could come up with something).
The final idea we came up with is somehow attaching fleece along the tube, but I don't know if the hedgie would get enough traction, and it would probably get a little static-y and slippery.
We considered sandpaper but would be too expensive as we would have to replace it once a week.
[edit] the other idea was putting the dryer exhaust tubing we got inside the PVC. When we decided on an external ramp, we decided not to use the tubing as the ramp because of structural soundness (just hanging outside the cage) and personal preference.

Thank you very much for reading this far & I hope we came up with a novel, good idea instead of one that hasn't been thought of for a reason
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: PVC tube as a ramp?

What a lot of people here use is dryer vent tubing. It's already ribbed and easy to climb.
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: PVC tube as a ramp?

Yeah, we got some of that but I thought it might not be sturdy enough to support itself in a straight line outside of the cage. We've even thought of just putting the dryer vent tubing inside the pvc for a good grip (forgot to add that one haha )
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: PVC tube as a ramp?

First of I want to say please don't use the sand paper. Hedgie's little feet are sensitive and if he/she slips or something it could real tear up his/her little feet.

And I can't really say the best way to fix the tube, I don't have any of the PVC. One of mine has a loft in her cage and I used this as the ramp http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.j ... =Small+Pet It stretches out and it has the little grooves for "grip" as their climbing. And it's flexible.

I think I've read somewhere where someone used the PVC and put a piece of fleece inside stretched to each end and then the other piece (elbow or what have you) put on and it would hold the fleece.
Anyone know if this would work?

Oh and by the way my Hedgie with the loft and tube... stays in the tube 90% of the time.
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: PVC tube as a ramp?

I use fleece on some of my ramps and it works great. All it is is a piece of fleece that attaches at the edge of the loft and hangs down inside the ramp. It's easy to remove and clean and it gives them good traction.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: PVC tube as a ramp?

Thanks everyone Fleece was the original idea, we just weren't sure how to secure it, but since we know now we'll go with that!
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: PVC tube as a ramp?

Oh, and Shelby's Mom, we went with PVC to have something sturdy since it's an external ramp and has no real support like you would have with a ramp inside the cage (curling it, attaching to the side of the cage, etc. etc.)

We're hoping the hedgie doesn't like to hide out in the tube too often (of course, just to spite us he/she will!), but if it comes to that we'll cut the PVC into smaller pieces and add little "nooks" where we can easily disconnect the pipe and reach the little guy/girl Or just lure them out with mealies hehe.

Also- (thanks) no sandpaper then. I saw a ramp or two floating around the forums somewhere that used sandpaper, but yeah I read a lot of threads on here about how bad it was on their feet , just in general I guess I didn't put two and two together.
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Old 07-13-2009, 02:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: PVC tube as a ramp?

I think it's a good idea to put it outside the cage like that. I've thought about doing that with mine. I'm in the process of making a new cage for them, I'll probably keep one of my current cages but haven't decided which one yet.
And the reason I used the flexible tube for mine is because I already had it and the cage with the loft has a wire ramp so I attached the tube over it so she can't get to the wire.
Also these tube are more sturdy then a dryer tube. I would prefer having PVC then the one I have I just couldn't find any at reasonable prices.

Also I'd like to see pic's of your set up and of your little one when you get him/her!
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: PVC tube as a ramp?

Shelbys Mom -- I might have some good news for you in regards to the cost of PVC I actually found 10' of 4" PVC for something like $8-15 (I can't quite remember the exact cost) at Lowes. A lot more than I'll ever need, but it costs just as much as buying 2'. Either way-- TONS of PVC for very cheap. Keep some in storage They will also sometimes cut to size for you in the store, which is helpful. The guy cut mine and when we got home we realized it was too long, so my boyfriend had to get out the saw and trim it down haha.

I've found that the way we attached the ramp is somewhat difficult to remove, so I'm stopping at Home Depot on Friday to pick up some couplings so we can just screw and unscrew it from the cage. (easier to visualize - will post pics of that).

Pics of the whole setup coming soon (once Nancy's finished up my liners/accessories, my wheel comes in, etc. etc. etc.) I'm so excited, everything's finally coming together. The only thing I haven't quite settled is the heating-- I like to keep my room in the mid 70s and we don't have AC so I'm thinking that I should be able to do fine without it, but I have a heating pad (and a few hand warmers) to use in case of emergencies and a digital thermometer that I'm keeping on at all times to monitor room temps. If hedgie doesn't seem to like the temp I'll have to invest in the heating system, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: PVC tube as a ramp?

Hmm.. I might have to make a trip to Lowe's this weekend!
I don't mind cutting it myself (gives me a chance to play with sharp objects )
The local hardware store here wants $12 to $14 for just an elbow!
I'd like to get some to make them some little mazes with.
(Although they would probably just go into the pipes and goto sleep )
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