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I am one frustrated mommy. I got my new baby Rose when she was 5 and a half weeks old. I planned on putting her in my prevue 465 cage with my two boys. Intros went perfectly and everything would've been great except one problem...Rose could fit through the cage bars! She was so tiny she could squeeze through the bars easily at her whim. I bought hardware cloth and spent 3 hours fitting it around my entire cage. Well it's been a few weeks so last weekend when Rose was 9 weeks old I was sure she was big enough to not be able to fit through the bars. i didn't want to take all the wire off though and have her get through again. So i took off the amount of wire for the front doors of the cage and left it off for the weekend to see if she would come out. She stayed in the cage for the whole weekend so I thought oh good she must not be able to fit! I took off all the wire that night and put them all in the cage for bedtime. It was about 3:30 am at this time and I was very tired. It was like 15 mins later and I thought I saw a shadow on the wall but then it disappeared. Well sure enough a few minutes later Rosie pops up from under my covers in bed like hey mom! Thanks for opening the cage bars up! That was super helpful! i'm just gonna knock everything off your desk while you sleep! I let her play on my bed for a while until she did eventually end up climbing on my desk where she isn't allowed and then I put her back in the cage and told her to stay there! I went back to bed and 5 mins later guess who's back in my bed again...Rose. This continued a few times and i was like I don't know what I am going to do with you. It was 4 in the morning and it took several hours for me to do that wiring the first time so that wasn't an option and I was also out of zip ties from the first time. So i ended up blocking off the bottom half of the cage since they don't use that except for the litter box anyways and I duct taped the wire back onto the top half of the cage and moved the litterbox upstairs. I didn't get to bed until after 5 am and now they will all be confined to only the top half of their cage until Rose is big enough to take the wire off. I cannot believe that she is now 10 weeks old and still fits through the bars. Yes she is a bit skinny yet but she has grown a lot and Idk how she manages to squeeze through there...the bars are just about an inch wide. How much longer is this going to go on for!? I was told she would for sure not fit by 8 weeks old? Does anyone else have a better estimate? I'm shocked she's even still this tiny to be honest. my boys were so much bigger when I got them and they were probably about 4 months old at the time so it's hard for me to judge. Should I hope for her being big enough to take it off by 12 weeks? She's lucky she's so darn cute cuz man was that frustrating!
 

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LOL She sounds like a character!

Well I hate to tell you this, but my girls are 5 months old and can still easily escape 1" wide bars. I bought a second cage to use for when I'm cleaning the big cage and it had 1" bars and every one of them could get out. I just sold that cage and got one that has 1/2" wide bar spacing. It's my understanding that some females can always squeeze through 1" bar spacing, so she may never be big enough to stay in. If their head can get through, they can get their body through.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
oh dear God...I certainly hope she's not going to be this little when she's 5 months old! I do feel bad for you though. That's rough. My boys can't fit through cuz their heads don't fit. They are fancy rats and are twice the size of rosie right now. When i got rose she was 3 times smaller than them so she's definitely growing. And she's a dumbo rat so I am wondering if she might actually turn out to be bigger than them in the end. it is possible but idk how it will play out since she is female and they are male. I just compared her head size to my boys though and her head is actually not that much smaller! Which is why i took the wire off in the first place, cuz i thoguht there was no way her head would fit through lol so I would imagine if her head is almost the size of my smaller boy's head already by the time she is 4 or 5 months old she will have to have at least the same head size as him and I know his head doesn't fit through. So I guess that is what I will use as a measuring tool from now on. I will just continue comparing how big her head is getting in comparison to my boys lol and I can just hope her head keeps growing...otherwise I guess my wire would have to become a permanent fixture if mine turned out like your case. The cage looks so much nicer without it though and I can see what's going on inside the cage which is what I like about the wide bars and I don't like the wire cuz it is sharp and dangerous where it is cut and I don't want any of my rats to get hurt.
 

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I had the same issue when I upgraded my cage this summer! But the reason I decided to upgrade was because my girls were jumping off the counter their cage was on and running around my room in the middle of the night. I guess part of that is my fault because I left their cage doors open so they could explore on the counter at night but then they started to jump and climb into bed with me. I can't tell you how many scratches I had from the wire going around the cage, it was awful
 

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My 3 grown girls can go through 1". (6 months, 7 months and 11 months.) I wanted to use an old ferret cage I had, which was very nice. So girls are in the dcn, now I'm just waiting for all the boys to get big and hoping we don't have any little runty boys that can get through 1" :)
 

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new_rattie_mommy- It was no big deal for me because my girls are in a DCN and that was just a secondary cage. My girls are also dumbos and I don't think that's going to make any difference in how big their heads get. Their ears may stick out more, but that won't prevent them from squeezing through small spaces.

I'm sorry that it appears you may have to keep the wire on indefinitely. At least now that you know, maybe you can come up with a better looking solution that you can live with long term.
 

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Most girls will always be able to fit through 1inch bars from what I've heard. They are just so much smaller. I'd look for a smaller space cage personally. I hate the look of hardwire cloth over a cage so we have our girls in DCNs. Perfect spacing even for the babies.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Man...If I had realized how wide the bars were actually going to be when I bought the cage I may have saved up a little more for a critter nation or a different cage on amazon that had smaller spacing. There were a few other options that were similar styles and price that may have had smaller bar spacing. But I am very short on money and this cage was almost half the price of a critter nation and honestly the only downfalls really are the fact that only one side of the doors open on the front and the bars are wider. So I figured I could only afford to buy this one. I definitely don't think I can afford to upgrade to a dcn after just buying this recently. I guess I might consider it if in a few months when she is full grown, 6 or 7 months old and she can still fit through, then I will know whether this is a permanent situation or not. her head really is not much smaller than my boys' right now though and she is still pretty young so I would think that at least in a couple months her head is going to still grow some. And even if it only grows a little bit i don't think it will fit through the bars anymore. And she was also the biggest baby out of 23 in the two litters I got her from. So i think she'll be a somewhat big girl. I can hope! I will wait a few more weeks I think and then see. If she still fits I'll wait a while longer, otherwise I may be coming back for some advice on a more permanent solution. I honestly could probably buy some regular wire and fit it in between the bars and it would look nicer. That would be a possible option if this is going to be long term. Thanks for the advice though guys! I really had no idea how long to expect!
 

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If you do decide to start saving for a different cage, keep in mind that you can sell the one you've got to get a good portion of your money back. You can list it on Craigs List and it'll sell in a couple days.
 

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oy >.< I feel ya on this one. My girls, ranging from 4 months to 1 year, can all fit through the bars of my DFN. Luckily the eldest has no wild streak in her and is more content just guarding her little dragon hoard. I'm pretty sure my boys (4-7 months) could have all fit through too when I got it, but they're so lazy that they were content with just lounging in all their baskets lol now they're all fatties and couldn't fit if they tried. I still need to put hardware cloth over the top portion so that my girls can live up there. My second youngest is still the size of an 8 week old baby >.< she goes through the bars like they're not even there.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Didn't think about selling my cage on craigslist. I've never tried selling anything of my own like that, although you would think I would, cuz i considered buying my cage off of craigslist lol. But yeah, I could probably get a lot of my money back on it cuz it is in good shape. I definitely didn't break anything. But i'm not sure it would sell that well in my area. And it's definitely going to be months before I can afford to buy a new cage cuz i'm currently a college student looking for a job and I owe my parents somewhere around $1,500. So it's going to be a while on the whole savings thing...lol I will have probably come up with a much better solution by then. The wheels are already turning in my head on things I could do with wire and such to make the bar space smaller. I have watched her try to squeeze her head through through some open spots though where my hardware cloth is falling off and she was having trouble. So over the last 2 weeks she may have grown enough that it's getting hard or she might have just had a bad angle. But she was definitely struggling.
 

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Just be careful and get that hardware cloth on good. If there are spaces where she can try to squeeze through, she could strangle herself if she were to get hung up. And if it happens while you're not home, you could come home to a dead rattie.
 
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