Breeding run housing

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Mandy

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Dec 11, 2010
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I have been thinking about my housing lately.
Would it be wrong to keep pet-only chinchillas in runs? (closed holes of course)
I have 7 chinchillas and all but two live alone.
The ferret nations take up a lot of room and it is and is a lot of upkeep when the chins jump around a bit, but for the most part are always in their tunnels/huts.
Not that I mind the upkeep, but I'm just weighing my options and have been looking to downsize the housing. I wouldn't keep my pair in the run, I have an extra cage that's big enough for two to live happily in.
I've never seen the runs in person, but are they big enough for something like this?
I'd also look into purchasing a playpen do they could run and play in the evenings and longer on cleaning days.
 

jags

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There are several different ways to make run type cages. Some that I have come across over the years do not even have the run in them. Some are made as holding cages with three holes in a 4 foot section and some are 2 or even 4 holes depending on your needs or wants. I have several here not in use that are the 2 hole type with no run in them.
 

Mandy

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Is there anyone currently offering the cages you are describing, Jags? I'm not certain I've heard of this before or quite understand.

I have been looking at the option of also building. I did see on sunset chinchillas website how they used steel shelves and made cages out of them. I could possibly do that do long as the wire wrapping around is sturdy enough to hold them and also a shelf or two without breaking?
 
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Dreamlite

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Runs aren't usually large enough to put shelves and toys in. They are pretty small. The holding cages the JAGs is talking about are the same size as the runs but doesn't have the 'run' in the back. The wire spacing is usually larger on those, not baby proof on the ones I've seen. Most pet people don't use runs. The holes in my breeding runs are 12 high by 14 wide by 16 deep. The varry depending on who makes it and how old they are.
 

Stackie

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The runs aren't going to hurt them but I honestly do not think it's fair to keep pet chinchillas in something the size of a run hole. They are pets and IMO they should have more space than that.

I don't have a problem with using runs for breeding as they offer safety in various ways...but what's the point of having chins as pets if you're just going to confine them to something so small that they have hardly any space in for playing, toys, fleece tubes, etc? IMO the point of having pets is to spoil them. I don't think they should all have 5 foot cages full of everything ever made for chins, but I definitely do not think they should be kept in something as small as a run either. If you don't want to deal with the clean up or space used then maybe you should think about downsizing the amount of chins you have. The space and upkeep is something that should be taken into consideration before adding more chins in the first place. It's not fair to them.
 
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Mandy

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I wasn't aware of the size of the runs, I was trying to figure that out as well.
The chins are definitely spoiled as it is, I love them and could never part with them. I wasnt really looking to make their lives boring. I think I'm more of looking for stacked cages or cages that are set up the way the runs are. (as in one big shelf-like unit to have them one on top the other and side by side.) I seem to have cages in an L arrangement around the room... and it's a mental issue of thinking it's unorginized..which then stresses me out. (and yes, I do this with a lot)
I'm looking more into building what I'm thinking. I just need to figure out what wire will be suitable and strong enough for the ledges to attach to.
 
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Spoof

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You can use steel shelving units and just make each shelf it's own cage. The shelves are usually adjustable so you can select how high the cage is. I had shelves in all of mine because they were 18" tall.

If you used one of those muscle racks that are 4 foot wide with 18" in between shelves and 24" deep you'd have the same square footage as the top of a ferret nation, but four cages would be in a 4' x 6' area. Or you could make it three cages at 24" high. Granted, you would need to put it on wheels to move it...

Really, it's more about finding something that works for you. I saw some awesome old used gym lockers on that gov auction site for $15. They would make awesome cages.

My breeding runs currently have shelves in them, but they are older ones that are much bigger than the ones made today.

The sky is the limit when cage building, and it is fun to experiment. :))

p.s. those shelving units did work for two years but I didn't have pans built and the urine ate through the shelves.
 

VolunteerChin22

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Melamine cages are pretty flexible to build with - they are HEAVY though. You can use hardwire cloth on the doors and leave the other sides solid if you want. Melamine board comes very long so you could theoretically configure probably 3 cages out of the height of 97 in (8ft) - they'd be tall so you might need a step stool to get to the top one and would probably want to affix it to a stud in the wall somehow so it didnt fall over (unlikely since it's so heavy but you never know). But if you did two of those side by side you could get 6 cages out of a 4ft x 8 ft sort of area (assuming 2ft x 2ft x 2ft cage, which IMO is fine sized). You'll need tools so not sure how handy you are :)

Here's what melamine looks like if you aren't familiar - http://www.homedepot.com/buy/3-4-x-...mally-fused-melamine-461877.html#.UNtWf6XdJUQ

Now to build with it you need to take some precautions - chins must never be able to chew on the edges of the melamine so that means right corners and recessing doors made of pine frames and hardwire cloth, so they can't reach the edges. Done properly you shouldn't have an issue with them chewing. You'll also need pans (Bass Equipment can custom make them) as the urine will bubble the melamine.

Something else to consider, is that if you have solid sides everywhere but the doors you'll be limited in switching around things like wheels, hammocks, tubes. You can certainly put all those in there you'd just need to plan your screws carefully as you don't want them exposed (chewing).
 
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