safe to build with???

Help Support Chins & Hedgies:

Agroeve

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
Messages
18
I really want to build my chin a cage but am looking for the cheapest option for me. I have a greenhouse that i am not using and was wondering if i could use the aluminium frame to make a framework for a cage. Should i just frame with wood then cover either frame with 19g wire mesh internally. My thinking is that the mesh will stop escapes but all shelves and hideaways would be attached to the framework for strength. Any input greatly appreciated
 

Amethyst

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
May 7, 2012
Messages
2,757
Location
Alberta
I'm not sure how strong a greenhouse frame would be, the taller the cage you make the more sturdy the frame needs to be, which is why cages are normally made with steel or iron. Also is aluminum painted or coated with anything? Any kind of paint other then powder coating, like the use on cages and wheels, is not safe. Another issue I see is if the chin chews on the aluminum, aluminum is a soft metal, and chins can, and although rarely, have chew though aluminum running wheels and scatter guards if they put their mind to it. If it's a thick heavy aluminum frame that is just aluminum not painted or anything it might work.

Wood can work, but it's not really advised. Again keep in mind that the chin will likely chew it, and if they pee on it it can be hard to clean the pee off, shelves you can spray down and sand down to remove pee stains, and even replaced if the stains are bad, but a cage would be hard to do that. As well as if the chin ever gets a fungal infection all wood, including the cage itself it made of wood, will need to be thrown away. If you are ok just building a new cage every few years that can work, but it wouldn't be cheap unless you have access to cheap lumber.
 

Agroeve

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
Messages
18
Yes its just plain aluminium, i was only considering it as i have it handy but was concerned about weight also as i want it as large as i can get it but movable. My chin does not chew metal thankfully but i did wonder if she could chew through it.

As for the wood....it would literally be a frame for strength with no chewing access as it would be covered with the mesh. The only chewable wood would be the perching shelves, hideaways etc that i would make which would of course be replaceable. Luckily she only pees on the seagrass mat currently at the bottom of the cage i use to cover the wire floor but accidents do happen i suppose.

Dont get me wrong the cage i inherited is more than adequate, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cozy-Pet-Chinchilla-RC01-Highlands/dp/B0719L892Q/ref=sr_1_6?crid=1K28PI3B6F2O4&keywords=chinchilla+cage&qid=1642491148&sprefix=chinchilla+cage,aps,1946&sr=8-6&th=1 the doors are not big enough to put things in or move about sadly. I even have to split it in half to clean it thats my only negative about it but I guess i want to build something for her that i just cant buy. Got an image in my head that i just want to spoil her with. I've not had her long but looovvveee her so already. I let her out daily in a large room to run, jump and play but thought she deserved more.
 

Amethyst

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
May 7, 2012
Messages
2,757
Location
Alberta
When I've seen cages made of wire like that I think people normally use welded steel mesh, it comes in rolls not panels. 1" is is fine for adult chins though, so those size would work. Galvanized isn't great though, it's coated in zinc to prevent rust, so if the chin chews on it they will be ingesting zinc which is toxic if ingested. I think the type of galvanized steel that is safer to use is galvanized AFTER welding, I think it has to do with about being a better coating, it will also take longer to rust so you wont need to replace the cage as soon. The safest option, but also more expensive, is just going with stainless steel though.
 
Top