So there it is: you want to build a chinchilla cage yourself or are planning something in this direction and are informing yourself. No wonder: the gray fur balls are ultimately suitable as pets, have a life expectancy of up to 20 years and are interesting to watch. So that the lively rodents don't feel lonely, at least two animals should be kept together. This means a correspondingly large home that can withstand the long term and does not cause any problems. Here are some important points to keep in mind when designing.
Which wood in the cage body and which floor?
Both hard and soft woods are suitable if you build a chinchilla cage yourself. For the former, beech, oak or cherry are good choices, possible soft woods are, for example, pine, larch or fir. The respective wood should ideally be untreated. OSB or chipboard are also possible. It is particularly important to ensure that they prevent gnawing, since both variants can contain toxins. In addition, the wood can splinter and injure your darlings. So make sure that you secure transitions and edges with strips made of wood or aluminum.
The bottom of your cage will get some excrement despite litter and urine bowl. In order not to neglect hygiene here, appropriate protection is recommended. A drool paint in several layers is non-toxic and therefore suitable as protection. Another variant is coated wood, make sure that the wood is thick enough. If you want to lay tiles on wood, be sure to avoid gaps so that mold does not develop. PVC or linoleum are also suitable as flooring, you should lay these materials very evenly and make sure that the corners and edges are protected from annagen.
Setting up a chinchilla cage: creating a rodent's paradise
With a little creativity, a chinchilla cage can be set up wonderfully. But it is important ...
Which seat boards and door?
All of the above-mentioned types of wood are also suitable for the seat boards. If you want to build a chinchilla cage yourself that is particularly robust and lasts a long time, hardwoods are a good choice. Untreated softwoods are more entertaining for rodents because they make it easier for them to live out their nibbling. You should only use OSB and chipboard as seat boards if the edges are properly protected with metal strips. In addition, the seepage of urine with several layers of drool must be prevented.
The door can be made entirely of grille or you can use a combination of grille and plexiglass. Make sure that the grid is medium-spaced and of a good thickness and do not use galvanizing or any kind of coating. Although the pure lattice doors are cheaper, the plexiglass combines several advantages in the right places: It prevents litter or sand from falling out and protects against dust. The loud grating gnawing is also eliminated with the plexi or hobby glass. The door should always be planned generously enough. This gives you better access and allows you to easily insert and replace large items of furniture such as stones or tree trunks.
Other points about security and Co.
Important if you build a chinchilla cage yourself: Make sure that you do not use nails or other sharp-edged parts that could injure your chinchillas. Avoid seat boards or floors that are made of plastic or mesh. They contradict conditions that are as close to nature as possible and can be dangerous for their gnawing friends. Plan enough time to build a cage, often it will take longer than expected.
If your cage is over 1.80 m high, you should insert an intermediate level that has one or two loopholes. Always place the seat boards and climbing options so that the rodents cannot fall deeper than 60 cm. Find out in advance which housing conditions are important for chinchillas; and about which details can complement the cage in a meaningful way. Among other things, branches, poles, bowls, floor pans, houses, hay racks, water troughs or bowls with sand are important for the interior. If you are looking for a quick solution, you can resort to converting a finished wardrobe from untreated natural wood, which in the best case is already equipped with lattice doors.