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Custom Cage Experience

 
As of February 2002, the Da-Mar's website did not provide good photos of their cages. Da-Mar's and others will make custom cages. We decided to order a cage from them that would meet our size requirements. Since Martin's Cages offers a 30" x 36" cage, we decided to order two cages, one of 48" x 30" for 10 square feet, and one of 36" x 30" for 7.5 square feet (also comparable to Martin's largest cage).

We called to order the cage on 2/1/2002. We received the cage on 2/28/2002. After the initial call on Friday 2/1, we called them on the following Tuesday to get the quote. They had decided they could not make the cages to our spec, so they were going to decline the order. They said they didn't believe the 48" x 30" cage could be shipped without damage. We asked about a 48" x 18" cage instead. They again declined to make and ship that size. We then changed the order to just the 30" x 36" cage. We also said we wanted 6" high sides to avoid the problems with commercial cage pans being too shallow. She replied back that we wanted 6" urine guards. Okay. Sounded reasonable. The price for our custom cage was $50 plus shipping. Shipped to California, we paid $69.36.

They said they had hired some new people and apologized for the week's delay in making and shipping the cage when we called. For some reason, Da-Mar's does not include directions or photos with their cages. We assume you are supposed to know what they look like and how they go together because you've seen them somewhere. We did not order a catalog as we did not want to add another week or two to the process.

The cage arrived in good condition. The wire was coated with an oil that left our hands black after unpacking and assembling it. We had to remove about 16 wire clips with pliers that were holding it together for shipping. We ultimately opted to complete the cage assembly with cable zip ties as the prospect of trying to use pliers to crimp the sides to the bottom was too daunting. We later learned that you really need a special tool to crimp the 'J-clips' properly to finish the cage assembly. The cage needs to be cleaned before putting pigs in (not sure what you should clean it with since we donated the cage and never used it).

Please visit our complete Da-Mar's Custom Cage Album for lots of photos and more details on the experience.

DaMarsAssembled.jpg (18543 bytes)Da-MarswithBuddy.jpg (21602 bytes)DaMarsPanOut.jpg (19793 bytes) 

 

 

We do not recommend this option for pet owners. As originally designed, in the smaller size, it is probably suitable for breeder's purposes. We found it awkward with very sharp edges. It was too hard to remove a pan that large and would be too awkward to clean the pan loaded with dirty bedding. It was too difficult to retrieve and interact with the guinea pigs. This style doesn't encourage petting when you walk by. And of course, the industrial look doesn't fit in with most decors and definitely not ours.

Some commercial cage vendors also sell butcher supplies to the breeders who raise rabbits and other small animals for meat or pelts. We only point this out in case you have personal concerns in supporting this practice and/or industry.