Swing-Out Front Wall for Cages on a Table
Is your cage on a table? Depending on your configuration, you might want to consider replacing your front wall grids with our custom Swing Grids. This allows for much better access and reach to the back wall and corners of the cage for cleaning and getting to your guinea pigs. You can really lean in. It's a more comfortable reach and easier on the back and also good for kids.
Here we show the 4 of the 5 regular front-wall grids replaced by 4 Swing Grids. It's that simple. You have to cable-tie the grids for security and strength, but you should have your grids cable-tied anyway. You should use the swing grids with connectors as this helps keep the swing grids level and separated the proper distance apart to be able to close without a gap. You can use a couple clips to keep them closed.
Not every configuration is a good candidate
You do have to make sure your cage setup will work with it. For example, you couldn't replace a grid that a Patio needs for its structure. It's also recommended to have some structure or grids that wraps to the front such as a lookout lounge, loft, patio, etc. in order to keep the shape. You can replace the front grids with 2, 3, or 4 swing grids depending on cage size and configuration.
You also have to make sure that you have enough play on your table-top so that the grids won't fall off and there is a bit of room for the 'swung-out' grids to rest on. For example a 2x4 cage sitting on a table that is exactly 30"x60" will need some additional support, as there is not enough wiggle room for the grids to move around much without putting too much torque on the connection and falling. So plan to have at least 3, preferably 4 inches of table space in front of the cage.
TABLE EXTENSION TIP/TRICK!
As you can see in the picture, we used a standard 30" x 60" folding table, but we added a larger 36"x75" surface piece we made and placed on top of the table to create a larger surface for the XL cage.
It's not as hard you might think to get more table-top space, especially if you only have a 30" wide tabletop. There are multiple workarounds. My personal favorite is pegboard in sections, cut to spec at Home Depot or a similar home improvement store that will custom cut sections for you for free.
You put the cut pieces of pegboard UNDER the cage and you can use your zip ties to connect them together. When not needed any longer, you can fold them up into an accordion for easy, out-of-the-way closet-style storage.
Another reason I greatly like the pegboard solution is when you are on your own and do not own a big car, getting a huge piece of wood (or anything) cut as a table-top can be very unwieldy. You can throw 3 sections of Pegboard (or plywood if you prefer) into the backseat of any car or even bring them with you on a bus. It's doable.
And bonus, you can actually tie down your cage to the pegboard if you like with zip ties, making it super secure. You can cover the pegboard with contact paper for decorative effect and still poke holes through it to secure the cage if you like. Or, with plywood, you can cover it with a table cloth, skirt or also contact paper. The decorative white marble contact paper with white grids is a pretty and elegant combo I've used many times over the years. The contact paper turns any surface into a neat, easily cleanable top.
The beauty of using a pegboard or plywood surface is that you can get it custom-cut to your own dimensions to make your life easier. As a rule of thumb, add 3 inches to the length and width of the cage for a regular wall and a bit more for a Swing-Out Wall.
For a 2x4 Grid Cage on a table that is just barely or even smaller than 30" x 60", create THREE sections of pegboard to cover a 33" x 63" area. For the Swing-Out Grid Wall, go a bit wider to 36"x63" if you have the room.
Have the home improvement center cut the appropriate wood or pegboard cut to:
THREE each of 33"x21" for normal cage walls, OR
THREE each of 36"x21" for a Swing-Out Grid Wall