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Discussion Starter #1
i haven't tried this myself, its just an idea if you need a temp cage for babies that are too small for a big cage and you don't want to use a tank, or it could easily be expanded into a cheap alternative for a couple of rats.

here's the idea. we've all seen the storage bin cages (commonly used for travel cages) with a hole cut in the top and replaced with hardware cloth. well i've been seeing these HUGE bins and i was thinking, cut windows in the sides as well and replace with the hardware cloth. there's one i saw that fit a regular sized horse sadle, so as a temp cage for babies this would work great. you could attach water bottles and hammocks to the mesh in the sides and everything. then the whole top can lift off for easy cleaning and such.

if you wanted to you could get two of the huge bins and attach one on top of the other. simply cut a hole in the bottom of one and the lid of the other to let the rats get in and out through there. then attach the lid to the bottom of the one your going to use on top. do the same thing to sides as before and of course to the top lid. theoretically you could continue doing that until the cows came home if you could find a way to secure it from toppling over.

the only thing is you'll want to make sure you get a bin with hard or firm plastic so th weight of the hardware cloth doesn't crumple it. i think this is a better alternative to tanks as there is better air flow and are cheaper to come by. also, i think if you got a big enough enough bin(s) it would be a better alternative to some bookshelf or grotto cages because the plastic won't hold odor like wood would.

anyway, that's my idea. perhaps others have had it before, but in case you haven't here it is. if anyone tries it please post pictures and a story of how it worked out.
 

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I have one of these as my cleaning time cage. I don't think they would be the greatest though as a more long term cage, as the plastic tends to absorb odors. I sure love it though for transport, keeps them free of drafts (I only have mesh over a little less than half the top).
 

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i think the odor absorbation would depend on how hard the plastic was. if its of a softer plastic then the odor would be absorbed probably as much as wood, but if its a harder plastic, like what our trays our made of or vari-kennels are made of, then i think it would be better then the wood. the softer the plastic the more porous it will be after all. i haven't done tests to prove this though. it would be something to look into. but i still think it has at least one up on the wood, even if you use a softer plastic, wood can not be washed like plastic can. i think you could keep the plastic cleaner and so less odor absorbtion
 

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That is a very good idea.. The bins are expensive tho anyways arent they? A plastic tote/Bin around here is 15-20dollars and the hardware cloth is $10 for a 2ft X 10ft and $15 for a 3ft X 10ft.. I think this might prove to be a bit pricey for what it really is...

Good way to think outside the box tho.. =)
 

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i think you would have to price match stuff. lumber and tools can be expensive too and then you have to decide how much your time is worth. i think the wood would take more time to make then the bin. but like anything else too, a bin bought at walmart may be pricer then a bin bought at canadian tire or vice versa. basically what i'm saying is that i don't know for sure if this way would be cheaper or not because i have not tried it myself but it is possible that it could work out that way.
 
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