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Discussion Starter #1
I've been thinking about getting a ferret nation, but I've got a couple of questions about it.
First of all, I have 2 males and 2 females. I know you can seperate the top part from the bottom, but has anyone had an escape artist get from their part of the cage to the other? Also, while I'm talking about the number of rats I have; I put the dimensions through a cage calculator and it said each part of the cage can hold 10. After looking at the cage again it seemed like 10 was a little too many. How many do you guys keep/think I could keep in it?
The wire spacing is 1 inch? That's what I've been seeing on the website but I just want to make sure. The girls will have to wait a while to get into the new cage as it is because they're still just a few months old. And knowing them they'd be out and into the mouse cage the first time I leave the room.
And since I'm going to have to use towels on the bottom of the cage does anyone know where I can get some for cheap? The last ones I looked at for between 6 and 8 dollars each 8O That's a little more than I wanted to pay since I'm going to have to buy quite a few. And hammocks too. If anyone here makes those is willing to give a discount if I buy a bunch at once I'd love you forever. And give you dozens of pictures of my ratties enjoying them. :D Or if you can direct me to a place that sells them for a decent price or where the little extra I pay goes to a good cause that would be just as good. My current hammocks were around $11 and I'm not really a fan of them.
And please share your experiences with the cage, good or bad. I'd like to know exactly what I'm getting into here and if I should be thinking about another cage instead. Sorry if some of this is hard to read, I've got a naked rat trying to get into everything she shouldn't so I've been a little distracted. lol
 

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I made one hammock out of a washcloth and lanyard hooks. It's worked well so far... :lol:
 

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Yep, the wire spacing is 1"

If you've got a PetSmart nearby, you can go check the cage out to get a feel for it.

As far as bedding, I just bought fleece blankets at Family Dollar for $3/ea., and they will make two pan liners and 5-7 hammocks. I see sales for towels regularly at places like Sears & J.C. Penny for $3 each, and the Family Dollar and Dollar General type stores usually sell towels for around that price. You can also try places like CostCo, Sam's Club, your local thrift store, and garage sales. I just bought ~5 yds of patterned fleece at thrift for $2, and I saw towels for $.50-$.99 each.

I also just made a hammock by cutting a square of fleece and sticking four metal shower curtain clips through the corners. You could reinforce the holes with grommets (you can buy those at the fabric store, WalMart, or Hobby Lobby type places) to make them last longer.

There are also tons of threads on hammocks, Ferret Nations, and bedding. Just click on the search button and type in one of those keywords to get more info.
 

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I put the calculations into many calculators, and I got an average of 9, so I guess 10 would be pushing it.

I don't own the two-story one, so I can't help you there.

I found that the bar spacing varies, but it's around 1 inch.


I love my cage. Despite the setbacks(one of my grls can slip through) it's amazing because the good pints greatly outnumber them. I have my boys in the FN right now, waiting to get enough money to neuter them and put in the girls in, they always have amazing room, they zoom around and chase each other and settle down to wrestle or box.

The FN is the greatest unless you have a horrible chewer, the bottom pan is eaasily destroyed. Other than that, I'd say buy the FN, there will be few things you'd need to customize to make it perfect for your ratties.
 

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Actually, most cage calculators I've come across say the double FN is able to fit a total of 12 rats.

The ramp that you pull up and hook in order to separate the two levels is completely immobile once you do that. But, in order to make the cage 100% safe, I would order a second full-size floor pan from Midwest (just email them for it), one that doesn't have the ramp hole cut out.

I make and sell hammocks for small animals :) You can check out my website (Chelsey's Cozies), email me what you'd like, and we can work something out. Currently I'm having a sale where standard (no pocket) hammocks are half off, and corner/pocket hammocks are buy 2 get 1 free.

The FN is the best cage ever. The only thing that can ever surpass it is the Rat Nation, which thanks to many of us rat owners who emailed Midwest, is in the works! Here's my double-wide FN:









I get all of my big bath towels (which I use for main floor liners) from Target. They're absolutely wonderful - soft, bright, and cheap! Only $4.99 each :)
 

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Night, or anyone else with a FN, I suppose... I've been thinking of getting and FN for a while now, it looks fabulously easy to clean, but how do you hold the liners in place? Tiedowns? Binder clips? :?:
 

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Someone showed me a very nice photo where they'd used binder clips. She said it worked very well, as long as she clipped them at regular intervals.
 

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With the half shelves, I feed the fleece under the wires which are at each corner; though, if I use thicker things for the half shelves like full baby blankets, I'll use binder clips to hold them down. As for the main levels, the towels just sit in the pan - I don't have anything holding them down. With my rats, the more I try to anchor something down, the more interested they are in ripping it up. I just resituate the liners anytime I see that they've been moved. They usually don't mess with them too much :)
 

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That might work... My boys aren't chewers, in general, but they do so love to use liners as bedding, no matter the sort. :roll:
 

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I use binder clips, because my boys LOVE to get under anything fabric. They work okay. I think I'd rather have bigger liners and fold them over for the big pans, but the binder clips on the shelves are PERFECT. :)
 

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I want a FN desperately :( As soon as i'm living somewhere where pets are allowed i'm upgrading!
 

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Midwest is making a Rat Nation cage with smaller spacing and rat-focused design - I'd wait for that. Apparently it's coming out at the earliest in August.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Night, your cage is amazing. I come from an area where some people shoot their dogs instead of taking them to the vet and light living mice on fire just for the fun of it. So seeing how great your cage is makes me especially warm and fuzzy inside. People around here should care that much about their animals. If I had a cage like that I don't think the rats would ever want to come out! And I think it was a picture of your cage that made me want to get a Ferret Nation in the first place. They should pay you for advertising :D . I've also got your site bookmarked for easy shopping when I get back from class.
Part of me says to wait for the Rat Nation but I probably won't. The only things that I can think would be different are the size and bar spacing. But since Godiva and Roxy are small they would probably be better off in that. When it comes out I'll look into getting it for the girls so they've got something I know they won't be able to slip out of. Though I should also think about getting more rats because 2 in each big cage seems like it might be a little silly.
Right now I'm off to do the class thing but when I get a break I'll run over to the dollar store to see if they have any of that fleece or towels. I won't be able to order the FN for another week but it won't hurt to stock up now.
 

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2manyrats said:
Midwest is making a Rat Nation cage with smaller spacing and rat-focused design - I'd wait for that. Apparently it's coming out at the earliest in August.
I was interested in this Rat Nation, so I e-mailed Midwest to see what they had to say about it. Here is the response (Which I got very promptly, by the way):

"Hi: thanks for e-mailing and your interest in our prouducts. It is true that we are "considering" manufacturing a Rat crate but a decision has not been reached as yet. When it is decided - we will then set a date for completion and availability......."

So it looks like this thing might be longer in the works than we think. I don't think I'd personally hold out for it for now.
 

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I originally posted this under my Rat Grotto thread, but it makes more sense to have it here, if I may ride DarkDesire's coat tails.

Now that I've been around these forums longer and am about 100 posts wiser, I'm beginning to wonder if I should just get the Ferret Nation instead of building a rat grotto. That seems to be the end-all cage that everyone ends up getting, and I've never heard a complaint.

I'm estimating the cost of building a cage to be $150. This is $40 more than the original Rat Grotto maker's cost, but I'm assuming my cost will simply end up being higher than whatever I think it is. Though I need to make a trip to Home Depot to get a more accurate estimate.

So here's my question. Is it reasonable that I should be able to get a Ferret Nation for $150 or less? I noticed PetSmart is selling it for like $220, but I've heard you can price match online in another thread. Is this true? Has it worked for anyone here? What did everyone else pay for their Ferret Nations?
 

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I price-matched my FN 2 weeks ago, and got it for $138. There's a thread on Goosemoose that explains the whole process, so read that if you're planning on doing it. If the person who answers the phone won't give it to you, then call back and try with someone else. Also, you could try price-matching at your local PetSmart, too.

Here's the Goosemoose thread. http://www.goosemoose.com/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,118/forum,rat/topic,4020244.0


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cjschrader, thanks for the update on the RN. I wondered if the thread on goosemoose was too good to be true. Hopefully they will decide to make one! But I agree, holding out for one would be a gamble.
 

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I'm holding out hoping for a Rat Nation, but I had already decided not to purchase a Ferret Nation. I have 250 gram females that could easily (and would love to!) get out of a FN. And I have no desire to modify a brand new cage with mesh... not my thing. The point is supposed to make cleaning easier for me, not harder which is what that would do for me. So I will stick to the Martins cages for now and just keep hoping and praying the they will decide it is worth it and cost effective enough to build a cage to market as a Rat Nation!
 

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I've been doing the math (went to Home Depot and got the prices of everything I'd need), and I think I can build my own cage for $130. This doesn't include anything going wrong, so I think my $150 estimate is pretty solid.

On the flip side, apparently I could get a Ferret Nation right now for $145 if they'll price match online. And the Ferret Nation is a little bit bigger than what my design would have (FN is 25 cubic feet, my design had 22.5 cubic feet of room for the rats. Though my design has some decent storage space too).

Point is, it looks like the Ferret Nation may be the way to go. It'll be a lot more portable (If it can be shipped, I assume the whole thing can be taken apart if necessary). Naturally, there's also the time saved by me not having to actually do the work to build it.

I read that Goosemoose thread, and it looks like they don't price match in the stores, which is a shame. Do I need to get this ordered while there's still free shipping on PetSmart.com? Does the site I'm price matching from have to have free shipping too?

I'm not ready to purchase yet, but I'm looking forward to it for sure.
 

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I pricematched to a website that isn't really even legit, but they did it anyways. Follow the directions on Goosemoose, and then keep calling until you get the deal. That's how the people on the deal sites do it. ;)
 

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Since I have all females, is the cage bar spacing going to be an issue? Do you guys have any issues with females being in an FN?

I know I can add some hardware mesh on the outside of it, but if I *have* to do that then naturally I need to add that into my price estimate.
 
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