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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the bar spacing? Also how do the doors lock? Are there bars under the plastic pans? I've hared it's upper easy to clean an I would love to see my babies having fun in it but I'm worried about an escape attempt. My Nibbler and Stitch ate through the plastic bottom in their old cage and got out. luckily I found them both before they got hurt . Don't want to relive that heart attack.
 

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I would go more towards a double critter nation for your rats. Ferret nations have 1" bar spacing, if I remember right, and critter nations have 1/2" bar spacing. I have a CN and there are bars under the pans, and the door lock using pegs that go into hollows in the top of the cage. It's very secure and there's no way for a rat to get out through the doors without the doors not closing or a problem with the cage. The locks are done by springs that keep the pegs in place until you press the two silver knobs together: :3
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sounds like that's what I want then :) No more escapes! For now my dad is going to fix their old cage with aluminum. They're in the small cage I put them in on cleaning days until it's finished. It will hold them but way too small for them to be happy in. I have another cage with my other two girls, but they don't get along so no good putting them together. still have bit of saving to do, but can't wait o see them enjoying their new cage
 

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My son put FNs and CNs together with out any help. It shouldn't be too difficult, and even easier if you have someone to help you.
 

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If you get the DFN, you can cover the bars with 1/2x1/2" ware mesh that you can get from Home Depot or Lowe's.
 

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Between other cages and the CNs, my sister and I both had FNs because at the time they were the best option in our opinions. CNs weren't available yet. Getting hardware cloth, cutting the wires at the right size every 1/2 inch, fitting the wire to the cage parts, attaching, making sure the attachments are close enough together to prevent any rats getting caught between the cage bars and the hardware cloth, checking weekly that none of the zip ties had been chewed off and needed to be replaced - save time and trouble by getting a CN if possible, unless you get a deal on a used FN that makes all that seem reasonable.

Depending on the number of rats you have, you could start with a single level CN and buy a second level later. I did buy a second set of shelves so I have 2 shelves on each level. With rats there is plenty of room.
 

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I have a DFN and I wish I had gotten a DCN. I have hardware cloth on all the sides of my DFN and it is such a pain. I have the cage in my room, and the space around it is a little tight, so every time I want to reach around it to grab something my shirt gets stuck on the wire or I get a scratch from the wire (very difficult to remove all the sharp edges). Honestly I don't think a DFN is a good idea for rats, it's just such a hassle to make it escape-proof.

As far as I know the DFN and DCN are exactly the same other than the bar spacing, I've never seen a DCN in person but from pictures they look pretty much the same. If you only have a few rats to put into the new cage you could probably get away with a single CN. If I remember correctly it has enough space for 5-6 rats, but 6 would be pushing it. Once my current rats pass I think I'll sell this DFN and use the money to help pay for a DCN. I got the DFN because I had ferrets at the time, but now I realize a DCN could also be used for ferrets just as well, along with countless other species I may want to try in the future.

As far as putting the cage together, I'm 5'3 and weigh around 100 lbs and I can put one together myself. Having someone help you is always a good idea but it is doable alone. Just make sure you have a hammer or something similar, it is likely that some of the pieces will be difficult to put together, and having a little extra force is necessary.
 

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When I was buying my cage, I was torn between the DCN and the DFN. Originally, I was going to get the DCN, but then I heard that the bar joints were weak and the bars would break off - especially in places where wheels were mounted.

If you get the DFN, mount the hardware cloth on the INSIDE of the cage BEFORE you assemble it. It's a lot easier. This thread has the measurements if you want to pre-cut: http://www.goosemoose.com/rfc/index.php?topic=4021985.0

The DCN looks cleaner without the hardware cloth, but I wasn't a fan of the possibility for the weak bar spacing and having broken bars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sounding more and more like the DCN is what I want except for the weak bar joints. Has anyone else had that problem? I'm not very handy so I don't think I'd be good at arranging the hardware cloth and everything else if I got the DFN. Catten, I have four females now, but two are very old and for some reason we could never figure out much smaller than an average rat. I raised the litter from birth and not even the biggest boy was anywhere close to the size of the mother. So I don't want them together and fighting. I have promised myself no more rats until all of Nippy's litter have passed, but someday I'll rescue again. Probably don't need the DCN yet but I figure if I end up needing to take on another rat in an emergency I'll have the space:) But now I'm worried about getting either cage. Is there a way to be sure the bar joints are ok?
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I have had my DCN for 5 years now without issues with the bars at all. Though whichever you get, I suggest getting heavier duty wheels. The wheels are the only thing on my DFN or DCN that ever broke.
 

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I have broken 1 bar joint. It still needs to be glued back on, but it's an easy fix and it stays shut since the other side of the bar is just fine. I only broke it because I shoved the water bottle through the bar without much care and it hasn't happened since. I love my DCN.
 

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I have a DCN and a CN (previously a TCN). I put it together myself, it took about two hours if I recall correctly. It does require some force as it doesn't fit perfectly but it's good metal that takes a beating without wearing. I've had it for over a year now and nothing is broken, and I've moved it twice. If the discount online is more than twenty dollars, just suck up building it as an assembled DCN will be quite heavy and hard to maneuver. The biggest downfall to a CN is the hang points can be a little weird.

I would disagree and say if you get a cage you need to Hardware cloth, you need to put that cloth on the EXTERIOR. You shouldn't risk injuries to your rats by exposing them to the sharp points. It'd also be easier for them to remove or get past the hardware cloth on the interior - a snip here, some bending there... But then again I heard they weren't selling ferret nations anymore.

I will say, at four girls you can just get a CN and get an add on later if you want more girls.
 

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If you get the cuts of the hardware cloth right, there are no sharp points because the mesh will be flush to the frame of the cage.
 
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