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reptilegrrl
07-03-04, 12:22 am
Tonight I started building a new C&C cage for our degus. I am very excited about this- I first saw this style of cage on eBay going for obscene amounts of money, and I thought "I bet I could build that!" Well, then I found this site, and now I *am* building it!

Degus are a smaller relative of chinchillas and guinea pigs- see here http://degus.org for more information. Our mama degu, Lucy, really really hates to be caged, but we are hoping that a new huge palatial cage will help calm her and that she wil a)be less of a bully to her mate and b)stop trying to escape!

Because degus are much smaller than guinea pigs, and they like to climb, we are making a 2x2 cage that is three grids high. We are making the roof solid and putting doors in the front and on the sides.

I am double-gridding for safety & security- the grids on cube panels are large enough for even an adult degu to get out, but double-gridded even the babies can't escape.

Another modification I am making is to place the cage inside the coroplast bottom tray, rather than the other way around. Degus (especially Lucy) are mighty chewers and if the tray was inside the cubes, Lucy would demolish it.

We are going to cover the loft levels with coroplast, but fold it up slightly at the edges, like the bottom but not so tall, to keep bedding and poo inside the cage.

I started out putting it together with the connectors, but then I decided that it works better, in our case, with just zip ties. So I removed the connectors and tightened the ties, and it's coming along beautifully.

I am so glad to find this very affordable and very LARGE cage design. I enjoy building things and I'm having a lot of fun with this, and I know it will make my degus very happy (we have seven right now- two adults and five juveniles. Four of the juveniles are going to new homes soon, though. The adults will still enjoy the extra space.)

I will upload pictures of the cage as it comes along. Thanks so much for having this site!

- priscilla

david
07-06-04, 09:45 am
That seems like a pain using two grids. I bought the grids with the smaller openings. They work great. Have a look at these threads there's information on where to find them.

http://cavycages.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1249

http://cavycages.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1672

reptilegrrl
07-06-04, 05:52 pm
That seems like a pain using two grids. I bought the grids with the smaller openings. They work great. Have a look at these threads there's information on where to find them.

Using double grids was a lot of effort, but the "kid grids" were not suitable for three reasons.

Number one, they are vinyl-coated, and thus the degus would chew on them.

Number two, the openings are too small for us to interact with the caged degus a lot. We talk to them and finger-pet them through the bars all the time, just in passing.

Number three, I think they are ugly. I'm an adult with a nice apartment (soon to buy a house) and I don't want an ugly multi-colored cage in my living room.

david
07-06-04, 08:00 pm
Very valid reasons. I had a look at your cage and it does look great.

andreacpb
11-03-04, 01:40 pm
My husband and I worked on our own degu cage very similar to this one over the weekend--this was the inspiration, actually. We went through three boxes of organize-it cubes from Target to create the 2x2x3 cage and used vinyl flooring instead of coroplast (hard to get). However, even with the double-gridding, Hector and Chewy McGee were still getting through the holes! They kept poking their heads out and trying to climb through... they never escaped from the cage, since we moved them to their old house before they could. We were worried about keeping them in there, and them either escaping or getting stuck trying. I'm wondering what I did wrong? I'd really like to make this work--besides all the money we put into it so far, it really is a better cage for the guys than the super-pets house they have now. Maybe I should try harder to find the kids cubes?

reptilegrrl
11-03-04, 02:48 pm
However, even with the double-gridding, Hector and Chewy McGee were still getting through the holes! They kept poking their heads out and trying to climb through... they never escaped from the cage, since we moved them to their old house before they could. We were worried about keeping them in there, and them either escaping or getting stuck trying. I'm wondering what I did wrong? I'd really like to make this work--besides all the money we put into it so far, it really is a better cage for the guys than the super-pets house they have now. Maybe I should try harder to find the kids cubes?
I don't know why they are getting out. My adult degus cannot escape, and the babies were too big by three months or so. My degus poke their noses through sometimes, but never their whole heads. And the openings between my bars are definitely smaller than the ones on a super pet cage (we used to use one of those too, and we still have it.)

Ok, just to be clear, your pets are degus, right? How did you double-grid, and how did you attach the cubes to one another? I did not use the connectors, because they left too big of a gap between grids; all my connections are made with zip ties.

I didn't use kid grids, and I advise against them, as your degus will chew the plastic coating.

I double-gridded mine by offsetting them so that each opening was divided in half. I did this up and down on some places and side-to-side in others, but if I was going to do this again I would do side-to-side on all of them, just because it looks neater.

Do your grids move at all? I used zip ties to make opposing tension, so the grids would not move. I have to replace those every once in awhile, when the degus chew through them.

If this doesn't help feel free to ask me any specific questions you have and I'll be glad to answer them.

- Priscilla

andreacpb
11-04-04, 10:11 am
Yes, they are degus, and they are approximately 15 months old, both male.

We did use the connectors that came with the sets, but we also cable/zip tied the ends and corners (we used over 300 cable ties on the whole thing), and the openings were small enough that they could only get their noses through them. We weren't having any trouble with the corners or connections!

First we set it up as if we were using the regular grid, so we could get the shape of it, then we added the second layer of grids. We offset the second layer so that each opening was divided in quarters instead of halves. Maybe that was the problem?

We haven't taken the thing apart because after spending the better part of Sunday shopping and building, we've been too tired! Once I buy some new bags of cable ties, perhaps we can take it down and try double gridding with halves, before attaching.

reptilegrrl
11-04-04, 12:16 pm
It seems to me that a quarter-sized hole is smaller than a half-sized hole, but it might also allow for more movement of the grids. I decided not to do quarter-sized because it seemed less stable to me. I measured theh alf-sized holes ot make sure they would be smaller than the openings on the super pet cage, and they were.

Also, one thing I did was build the entire cage, single grid, and THEN attach the next layer for double gridding. So it's all zip-tied together in a million ways, which renders the grids almost immovable.

Are the degus moving the grids when they poke their heads out? If that's what's going on, then you should use more zip ties and create opposing tension, to prevent movement in any direction.

I'm sorry I'm not more helpful- if I could get my hands on it I could probably be more helpful. But I'll answer any other questions you have.

andreacpb
11-04-04, 04:15 pm
Yes, we also did the cage single, then attached the second layer to double grid it. We'll take it apart this weekend and try again, doing the half-size holes instead.

BTW how did you make your doors? We tried using binder clips (someone here mentioned those, I forgot where I saw it) to secure the door shut, but couldn't quite fit both wires. We ended up attaching pieces of wood with hook and eyelet to the door and to the cage.

reptilegrrl
11-04-04, 06:23 pm
Our doors are double-gridded just like the rest. The hinges are made of zip ties :) We used snap-hooks to hold the doors closed. Those are the sort of hook that you open with your thumb; people put them on keychains a lot. They are very convenient for this, and what I wanted from the beginning. (These are not the thing marketed as a "snap hook" that is used to hang things on the wall.)