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Freddy 2 for a Syrian

I hope that some one might have tackled this before as I really have no idea. I had to get Turbo the mouse put to sleep a short while ago and his freddy 2 cage is sitting empty :( My plan was to get rid of it as it's past it's best and the bars are getting quite rusty, but I was wondering if it was possible to make it safe for a syrian hamster, and if so how it would be best to lay it out and break up the space. Norma craves the extra space but at the minute is in a kios, so I'd love to be able to give her an upgrade :) (I've also not introduced Norma or some others to any of you so I am going to try and do a thread on them all at the weekend :)  ) Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    edited November 2015 Posts: 1,200

    Roz, to make it a safer space height-wise, you could get a cut-to-size piece of light plywood, drill holes in the corners and use metal cable ties to attach it to the bars. Saw out a square at one or either end as an entry/exit into the upper floor and use another wide/long ladder or ramp with small hooks to attach the ramp to the shelf?

    In fact, this cage could be a three-tier cage with two upper shelves? I feel this would work better and reduce any climbing height. A bit like the Leon cage? Although if only using the one internal shelf, you could work out the height of the upper and lower floors depending on where you felt the shelf should be for access reasons as the shelves may block the door, although I imagine if you can get your hand/forearm in with a middle shelf half way across the front it shouldn`t be too bad access-wise.

    I`m sure it would make a great habitat for Norma.

    :)
  • edited November 2015 Posts: 529
    We're using a ferplast jenny for a syrian hamster at the moment, works really well and I think its a similar height to the freddy? We've gone the deep substrate and big shelves route though, Rusty loves it :D He has over 30cm of digging space because he loves his digging, but then he also has plenty of height for his wheel, a fair bit of climbing space (he also likes climbing) and no risk of big falls if he digs a deep hole anywhere or anything :)

    (Not sure I'd use plywood though, I'm always wary of that as I'm not at all sure its safe if chewed)

    I can get pics of Rustys cage over the next few days to try and give you a few ideas if you'd like?
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,200
    kyrill, I`m wondering if the wooden shelves they use in cages like the Barney and are made from a type of plywood? Some members on HC could check this I suppose to be sure. Plywood comes in different thicknesses and I know types of glue are used to press the layers together in the manufacturing process, but whether cage shelving is a particular type or just the stuff we might buy in B&Q is not known. Pine shelving can also be useful if untreated. x
  • Posts: 529
    I've always wondered about those too racingmouse. I have a few barney cages (and Alexanders and the shelves seem pretty similar) and I have noticed that those shelves look like plywood. To be honest I hope they're pet safe and basically cross my fingers my pets won't chew the shelves, although I don't use many of those shelves anyway nowadays. I just avoid buying plywood for cages as I'm sure I heard somewhere that the glue they use in the process is unsafe and don't really see a need to take the risk when I can avoid it. Rustys shelves are just your standard pine as I feel thats probably a bit safer :)
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
  • zany_toonzany_toon Mouse
    Posts: 631

    Thanks you two :) And Kyrill, that would be great if you don't mind taking photographs for me :) I have some spare shelves just now but none are big enough to take up most of the cage so I'd need to look into that.

    I'd heard as well about the glue in plywoods being unsafe for small animals, but like you Kyrill I was hoping that the ones used by the manufacturers of our cages and small rodent items have used a safe alternative. I'd actually been speaking to a neighbour though who suggested marine MDF (I'm sure it had a proper title) as he is using it for his own hamster cage - he said he'd looked into it and it was safer while also being water proof as it's used for boat building and has to be safe for aquatic life. I haven't had a chance to look into it though.
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,200
    That`s sounds like looking into Roz. I`ve never heard of marine MDF but if it exists, it could solve your problem. x
  • Posts: 529
    I'll try and get a photo tomorrow evening for you :) Our adaptations don't look amazingly fancy but Rusty likes his cage and frankly as long as Rusty is happy I'm happy :D

    It'd be great if marine MDF did turn out to be safe, is good to know something might be. We tend to make pine work well for everything but it'd be nice to have a safe alternative we could use if we needed it.
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
  • zany_toonzany_toon Mouse
    Posts: 631

    That`s sounds like looking into Roz. I`ve never heard of marine MDF but if it exists, it could solve your problem. x

    That's what I thought too April - I hadn't heard of it before but it certainly sounds good. I've only just started looking into it so if I find out it is safe I will let everyone know :)

    I'll try and get a photo tomorrow evening for you :) Our adaptations don't look amazingly fancy but Rusty likes his cage and frankly as long as Rusty is happy I'm happy :D

    It'd be great if marine MDF did turn out to be safe, is good to know something might be. We tend to make pine work well for everything but it'd be nice to have a safe alternative we could use if we needed it.

    Thanks Kyrill :) I'm of the same mind with Norma - I don't care if the cage looks like a dog's dinner as long as I know it is safe and that she would be enjoying it. Any photos you have of your own cages would certainly help as I don't really know where to start with it for Norma :)
  • Posts: 529
    Ok this isn't at all a single day later but I didn't forget, I just didn't get around to taking photos promptly either...

    Basically we've moved both of the front doors on the Jenny so that they're higher up, then we've covered the old door spaces with mesh (you can't see that bit) and put cardboard around the outside of the cage to keep a much deeper layer of substrate in. It doesn't look brilliant but it lets Rusty dig and he hasn't touched the cardboard so it does work really well for us with that cage. Then we've put loads of shelves in the cage, filled it with substrate, added toys and a hamster. The pegs over it and the cage next door are just because Rusty and Teddy (in the Alexander with pegs) are both bar chewers who'll behave and chew pegs instead if we put them in the way often enough.

    image

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    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
  • zany_toonzany_toon Mouse
    Posts: 631
    Thanks Kyrill :D Those photos really help :) I think the only thing I can't work out now is how to lay the cage out like yours as the freddy only has one large centrally placed door ;;) :-?I might take some photos and post to see if anyone has any suggestions as to where I can put the shelves - my thoughts had been to put large shelves across the width of the cage, but then the whole centre portion would be exposed and I can't have something cover the whole centre as it would limit access with the one door!! So, I hope you don't mind giving me some pointers? Please? :D
  • edited November 2015 Posts: 529
    Good point about the door, so making deeper substrate wouldn't work :( I don't see why you couldn't just do lots of shelves though. We've got plenty of tall cages in use with shelves but in the half-elegances the doors are so big we've got shelves going through the middle of the cages and we just reach above/below as needed without any real problems. We also take advantage of the Aurora having the top door with its current setup as the top door lets us have a shelf right above the front door and still be able to clean it easily.

    As far as the Freddy goes, could you maybe do shelves on each side (but not wide enough to affect the door much) and a fairly big shelf from the back towards the front? Then a shelf or two above/below the door? If the cage has a top door you could still just about access everything for cleaning. If it doesn't have a top door then the top shelf'd not work though, so that'd be about when I vote for lots and lots and lots of hammocks attatched near the front in any gaps that shelves don't fill :P

    Does any of that make sense at all? I'll have to look through old cage setup photos, we've used tall cages for hamsters loads of times before so there should be photos somewhere to help... I just need to find them really
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,200
    Your cage looks great kyrill, I like the way you have staggered the shelving to prevent any pitfalls. Overlapping shelves prevents a hamster from taking a wrong step or misjudging a step. Tall cages can be great fun if kitted out safely and with thought. x
  • Posts: 529
    Thanks racingmouse :)
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
  • zany_toonzany_toon Mouse
    Posts: 631

    Good point about the door, so making deeper substrate wouldn't work :( I don't see why you couldn't just do lots of shelves though. We've got plenty of tall cages in use with shelves but in the half-elegances the doors are so big we've got shelves going through the middle of the cages and we just reach above/below as needed without any real problems. We also take advantage of the Aurora having the top door with its current setup as the top door lets us have a shelf right above the front door and still be able to clean it easily.

    As far as the Freddy goes, could you maybe do shelves on each side (but not wide enough to affect the door much) and a fairly big shelf from the back towards the front? Then a shelf or two above/below the door? If the cage has a top door you could still just about access everything for cleaning. If it doesn't have a top door then the top shelf'd not work though, so that'd be about when I vote for lots and lots and lots of hammocks attatched near the front in any gaps that shelves don't fill :P

    Does any of that make sense at all? I'll have to look through old cage setup photos, we've used tall cages for hamsters loads of times before so there should be photos somewhere to help... I just need to find them really

    Sorry Kyrill, I missed your reply :(  The Freddy doesn't have a door on the roof so that would rule out a large shelf from back to front i think so I may need to opt for hammocks. I haven't had a chance to get photos yet, but I will try to get some over the weekend and I can try to sketch out my ideas for layouts to see what you think :) Thank you for your help :)
  • Posts: 529
    I thought you'd say that. Hammocks should work well I think though :)
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
    Thanked by 1zany_toon
  • zany_toonzany_toon Mouse
    Posts: 631
    April,Kyrill, I wanted to say thank you for your help but it doesn't look like I'll be setting up the freddy for Norma. I've had a chance to have a good look at it when cleaning it and quite a few of the bars are loose, bent or moving on top of loads of rust :( It was third-hand so i can't complain too much, but it means i will need to look for another cage for Norma now :( I've found two that I quite like but I have no experience with either - the alaska, a  Mamble and a Mini Coco.  They are all roughly the same price with little difference between the sizes *the Mini Coco is taller than the other two, but bars look thicker. I'm leaning towards taht but I'd need to check it will fit my shelving unit first), but if anyone has any idea as to what these cages are like I'd appreciate the input to help me decide which cage would be most suitable to a bouncing, bar-chewing escape artist of a ham :P
  • racingmouseracingmouse Mouse
    Posts: 1,200
    They all look quite similar except the Alaska is possibly not as tall which is preferable? The Alaska is quite popular on Hamster Central Roz although like most cages, it has it`s quirks, but they are made for Syrians. I suppose you could tweek the inside anyway and customise it for Norma. Access is said to be very good. x
  • Posts: 529
    I've got an alaska and a coco. Haven't got a mamble but thats mostly because I don't like them :P The coco might need the corners meshing even for a syrian but thats the only thing that really sets them apart for me to be honest.

    I'm sorry your freddy can't be used after all :(
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
  • edited November 2015 Posts: 529
    I don't know if you're on littlepetwarehouse's mailing list zany but I've just found an email with a code for 20% off from Friday to Monday if you decide to get a cage from them in the next day or two. (The code is BF20)
    Currently one of two pet-humans of some hamsters (syrian, roborovski, chinese and russian hybrid), mice, mongolian gerbils and a duprasi :)
    Thanked by 1zany_toon
  • zany_toonzany_toon Mouse
    Posts: 631

    I don't know if you're on littlepetwarehouse's mailing list zany but I've just found an email with a code for 20% off from Friday to Monday if you decide to get a cage from them in the next day or two. (The code is BF20)

    Thanks Kyrill :D That is very helpful :D

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