Build a chinchilla cage yourself: That is important
If you want to build a chinchilla cage yourself, there are a few things to consider. After all, the cute rodents are quite active and need a home that is sturdy enough, yet cozy. A few details about the choice of material and construction should be considered. Here are tips for a practical chinchilla home that is fun for everyone involved.
Also, these cute chinchillas, like everyone else, deserve a meaningful and pretty cage – Shutterstock / yevgeniy11
So the time has come: You want to build a chinchilla cage yourself or are planning something in this direction and are getting information. No wonder: After all, the gray fur balls are suitable as pets, have a life expectancy of up to 20 years and are interesting to watch. So that the lively rodents do not feel lonely, at least two animals should be kept together. That means a correspondingly large home that will stand the test of time and cause no problems. Here are some key points to consider when designing.
Which wood for the cage body and which floor?
Both hard and soft woods are suitable if you build a chinchilla cage yourself. For the former, beech, oak or cherry are a good choice, possible soft woods include pine, larch or fir. The respective wood should preferably be untreated. OSB or chipboard are also possible. Here it is particularly important to ensure that they prevent gnawing, as both variants can contain toxins. In addition, the wood can splinter and injure your darlings. So make sure that you secure transitions and edges with wooden or aluminum strips.
Despite the litter and urinal, the bottom of your cage will still get some waste. In order to ensure that hygiene is not neglected here, appropriate protection is recommended. A drool coat in several layers is non-toxic and therefore suitable for protection. Another variant is coated wood, make sure the wood is thick enough. If you want to lay tiles on wood, it is essential to avoid gaps so that mold does not form. PVC or linoleum are also suitable as floor coverings, you should lay these materials very evenly and make sure that the corners and edges are protected from gnawing.
Which seat boards and door?
All the types of wood mentioned above are also suitable for the seat boards. If you want to build a chinchilla cage yourself that is particularly robust and lasts a long time, hardwoods are ideal. Untreated softwood is more entertaining for the rodents because it is easier for them to indulge their gnawing instinct. OSB and chipboard should only be used as seat boards if the edges are properly protected with metal strips. In addition, the infiltration of urine is to be prevented with several layers of drool varnish.
The door can be made entirely of lattice or you can use a combination of lattice and Plexiglas. Make sure that the grid is of medium spacing and decent thickness and do not use galvanizing or any kind of coating. Although the pure lattice doors are cheaper, the Plexiglas combines a number of advantages in the right places: It prevents litter or sand from falling out and protects against dust. Loud gnawing of the lattice is also not necessary with the plexi or hobbyist glass. The door should always be planned generously enough. This gives you better access and allows you to easily insert and swap out large furnishings such as rocks or logs.
Further points on security and Co.
Important if you build a chinchilla cage yourself: Make sure that you do not use any nails or other sharp-edged parts that could injure your chinchillas. Avoid seat boards or floors made of plastic or mesh. They contradict conditions that are as close to nature as possible and can pose a danger to their gnawing friends. Plan enough time for a cage construction, it often takes longer than expected.
If your cage is more than 1.80 m high, you should add an intermediate level that has one or two loopholes. Always place the boards and climbing facilities in such a way that the rodents cannot fall more than 60 cm. Find out in advance which housing conditions are important for chinchillas; and about which details can usefully complement the cage. Among other things, branches, poles, bowls, floor pans, houses, hay racks, water troughs or bowls with sand are important for the interior design. If you are looking for a quick solution, you can use the conversion of a finished wardrobe made of untreated natural wood, which in the best case is already equipped with lattice doors.
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