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The Ferret Nation Club

hobbit721

I love furries
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
71
Location
Seattle
I have my two girls in an FN, at last! So excited to finally be part of the Club :-D

For now, they only occupy the lower level, they will have access to both levels when they are more grown - they are almost 4 months old at this point.

 

CrazyForChinchillas

Chinchilla maid ;)
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
694
Location
Central NY
I just ordered my first FN cage. I got the 182 with the add on unit 183. It's for my pair in case they need to be split up. I am also getting 2 new chins (both about 6 months old) next Monday and they will either go in the spare cage or the cage my other pair is using now. I actually can't wait to decorate it when it comes. I need to order fleece pillow case style liners, but I have to know the pan measurements for all the parts of each before I do that.
 

hobbit721

I love furries
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
71
Location
Seattle

Siphonophorae

Member
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
12
I'm actually a little concerned with the unbridled praise that Ferret Nation cages get, and I'm not sure I'm comfortable with this exclusive fashionable 'club' status that their ownership seems to produce.
I got a Ferret Nation cage this afternoon as my two chinchillas had outgrown their current one.

Right, :popcorn:

Firstly, the shelves are appalling. I followed the assembly instructions to the letter and they are infuriatingly crooked. One side is over an inch higher than the other, with the pan perched precariously on top, making it look cheap, flimsy and poorly built -(I built it properly!).

Secondly, the pans are plastic. No animal can consume plastic safely, yet all of them, even human babies are apt to try. Any animal owner can attest to the fact that if plastic is present, said animal will at some point nibble. Nibbling soon turns to gnawing, and gnawing eventually becomes consumption. So why on earth do these cages come with 'durable' plastic shelves?

Oh, and shock horror, Midwest sell special (separate) fleece linings for the shelving so your adored animal wont chew the plastic. What a convenient way of squeezing out even more cash from the customer. Plus, it's almost impossible to get customized metal pans in the UK without having to spend a king's ransom on P&P. I would gladly spend a little extra to have safe metal pans so that the cage could be used 'fresh out of the box' so to speak, without this added expense.

The instructions did allude to the possibility of a mallet being required to nudge some of the joints together, which is not wholly unexpected. However, after mindlessly hammering away at a warped piece of cold rolled steel like a demented chimpanzee, trying to get it into the correct shape, I started to wonder if the blasted cage was really worth the bother.

There a lot of rough edges to the cage floor metal mesh, underneath the pans, and jutting out metal. Lots of it is extremely sharp as one of my fingers would tell you if it could talk. My own blood, I am fine with, and obviously, my chinchillas are not going to be in the cage as I clean it out, but I do wonder how many times I'm going to scrape my poor hands along the exposed metal when pulling out the pans.

Alarmingly, I noticed that Midwest are trying to get a patent for their cages. I'm not sure what that would cover, but potentially that could mean that every cage will be flying under the Midwest overpriced banner, and don't forget, if they are the only suppliers of an easy clean cage, they'll be free to change as much as they like, since we, the consumer, will have nothing other than their cages to buy. Once again, alarming.

Don't misunderstand me, I genuinely like this cage and think that the outer shell at least is (mostly) fantastic, sturdy and solid. It fitted together well eventually, and looks high quality and very capable of lasting. But there are cut corners and little irritations that make me feel like the designers got bored half way through and let a thrifty temp finish the job. I worry that people will be lured by the heard instinct (as I was) and miss cheaper alternatives that would do the job just as well. I am also extremely tight with money, so most likely I would overlook these issues if I hadn't spent over the equivalent of $300 on this dratted metal pest, but there you have it. Opinion expressed, discussed and effectively rescinded. Feel free to ignore me, just passing though. :facepalm:
 

CrazyForChinchillas

Chinchilla maid ;)
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
694
Location
Central NY

hobbit721

I love furries
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
71
Location
Seattle
And I just put in an order with them. :) 3 different fleece patterns. Yay.
Sounds great! Yeah, the ones I ordered with the cut out for the top level have done just fine, and held up in the wash so far, too.

Siphonophorae said:
I'm actually a little concerned with the unbridled praise that Ferret Nation cages get...
I understand the concerns you raise. There are a few threads floating around here with some similar concerns, especially about trying to fit the warped metal together. My understanding is that there is an "old" model and a "new" model... people with the older version (one that required tools to assemble) are very happy with it and find that one more strong, sturdy, and reliable than the new "no-tools required!" version. I have one of the newer ones, but my particular unit was pretty easy to assemble. However, the plastic pans mine came with both had big cracks in them. I called Midwest, they shipped me new pans.
I think they've changed their models and the new ones just aren't as good. But that being said, I'm still very happy with my FN. I think it's still the best option among all the different styles of chinchilla cages, and certainly the easiest to clean with its full-open doors. :)
 

CrazyForChinchillas

Chinchilla maid ;)
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
694
Location
Central NY
My first fleece order finally arrived and Jack & Astro got to move in to the new FN. The third level is empty until we get our new blue diamond baby Orbity in April.




 

CrazyForChinchillas

Chinchilla maid ;)
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
694
Location
Central NY
Jack & Astro love the FN! And I love the FN too. Wish I had bought these cages a long time ago. I may be getting a 2nd one soon. They're just so nice.

 

Minccino

Chin-sational
Joined
Nov 17, 2014
Messages
575
Location
NB
Jack & Astro love the FN! And I love the FN too. Wish I had bought these cages a long time ago. I may be getting a 2nd one soon. They're just so nice.

Awesome! I love what you've done so far. I love the fleece you chose, and the cute little name signs. :)
 

CrazyForChinchillas

Chinchilla maid ;)
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
694
Location
Central NY
Thanks. :) I don't think there's much more I could add besides lava ledges. There isn't too much room left with all the ledges. I love the name tags. They're from twilight chinchillas. I love her work. :)
 

lizcschwab

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2014
Messages
13
Location
Columbus, Ohio
Quadruple Ferret Nation Cage!

Hey Everyone,
Here is a picture of the cage setup I have for my three chin boys (Alvin, Simon, and Theodore) that I adopted in May 2014. I connected two double ferret nations cages together for them. Since I took these pictures I've also added a wheel and will be getting bass pans soon. Don't worry, I don't leave the dust bath house in there, it just happened to be bath time when I took the pictures. Also, the wire in the first picture is way out of their reach even though it doesn't look like it. What do you think? Any suggestions?
 

Attachments

Chip

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
11
fleece not shavings?

I see people in these photos using fleece not shavings. Why? Pros, cons? What is mainentance like for fleece? They on the stuff I assume, how often do you change/wash it? Does it smell, I thought shaving keep the smell factor down. Would love to hear about why one vs. the other. Thanks!
 

danakscully64

Chinchilla Mommy
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
351
Location
California
I see people in these photos using fleece not shavings. Why? Pros, cons? What is mainentance like for fleece? They on the stuff I assume, how often do you change/wash it? Does it smell, I thought shaving keep the smell factor down. Would love to hear about why one vs. the other. Thanks!
Fleece is a bazillion times more amazing than shavings. Shaving are strong in odor, get everywhere, and have to be purchased regularly. I sewed my fleece liners in 2009 (I believe) and 6 years later am finally making new ones. The old ones are just starting to wear, but I could easily use them for another year or so. I wash them in hot water with some natural soap (Nellie's or Charlie's) and dry them in the dryer. The washing machine gets a little dirty, but it takes 15 seconds to wipe it out. I just make sure I shake the fleece out on the porch before washing them, to get the dust and hay off. The smell is minimal with chinchillas in general. Truly, best money I spent.
 

danakscully64

Chinchilla Mommy
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
351
Location
California
I'm getting ready to move, so my house is crazy right now. I wanted to post a few photos.


Boys (Midnight and Shadow) Cage (flash)





Twilight's Cage (No flash):


Just wanted to say that my cage is still going strong! The wheels broke off during my many moves and there is a little rust from pee spots (corners), but overall it's in great shape. I hope to hose it down next month after my move to Iowa. All 3 chinchillas are still happy and healthy. I'm about to replace the fleece liners, but they've been amazing so far.
 

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