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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Heya!

So I have my current cage which I got off of kijiji for about 20$. It is pretty decent quality and has enough rooms for the boys. Right now.

Talking with some people I'm starting to think that my current cage will be way too small when the 3 boys get too big. I've been looking around at cages, especially the critter nation ones, but for my living situation and current budget, I don't think those will be options. One thing I've been mulling over and chatting about with the nice gal at the pet store (she and her father raised rats for years) was about converting a bird cage into a rat cage.

Locally there seem to be tons of larger bird cages available for much cheaper than rodent cages. Both the boyfriend and myself are very crafty and feel confident we would be able to build the insides we would need to build. While these guys are babies we have lots of time to figure the next cage situation out, but I think they will outgrow this one.

Anyone ever tried this, or seen someone try it?
 

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Yes. My sister used a good-sized bird cage with baskets zip tied to the sides for shelves for several months. She eventually graduated to a CN. But a large bird cage is definitely doable.
 

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Bird cages work very well, but a lot of them have vertical bars. Try to get one with horizontal bars that your rats can climb up.
 

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The cage I bought, whilst being marketed for small animals and birds is clearly a bird cage with some shelf additions. My rats have no problem climbing the cage despite the bars being vertical.
 

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I agree that vertical bars are not an issue unless your rats are older and less mobile. I have a DFN and another similar cage that both have vertical bars and my rats get around just fine; I don't even include ramps in my cages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wonderful, thanks for the replies! I think since we easily have 4-6 months before the cage we have now is too small. Just considering options. Also means I have time to lurk Kijiji for something new. Not that it matters much now because the boys only explore the cage after we handle them for a while, UGH >_<

But I'm glad for the positive responses. Patrick loves the idea of designing a cage, and considering the way he designed his fish tank, I'm happy to let him do it :D
 

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Bird cages are a great idea, for sure!

This is my current set up right now:

Room Property Furniture Product Cabinetry

They love climbing all over their bird cage... Obviously, yeah. You may need to get a bigger one. But I suggest is, for sure. ^_^
 

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I used a bird cage for my 4 boys. It was a large flight cage, two big doors in the middle of the cage, one on top of the other. I used wire storage cubes (the kind used to mke c&c cages) to make a middle layer in the cage, I just zip tied it in place. Then I zip tied baskets in other places for ease of climbing. It was a nice cage, and was very similar to a DCN, although not quite as large. Definitely provided a good amount of space for my boys, it was simple to clean (the bottom had a pull out tray!) and my mom gave it to me free after the last of her Zebra finches passed. (This cage was a home to a flock of finches, about 14 of them and gave them plenty of flying space, it was pretty large)
 

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Depending on the width of the bars, you may need to use chicken wire. I used one for quite a while with no incident, and then all of a sudden I wake up one night with one of my ratites violently licking my lips. She got out and couldn't get back in, so she was thirsty xD

But once I added the wiring it was fine, and was a decent sized without taking quite as much space as my DCN does now.
 

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My girls started in a bird cage and it worked awesome. I too ziptied shelved inside the cage. It had vertical bars but those little shits climbed those bars any way! It was like watching lil monkies! They sadly outgrew it too fast and I went to a big cage.
 
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