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We have two identical large cages for our chinchillas, plus two smaller ones. They are actually office filing cabinets, with the sliding doors removed. If you add a wire mesh front, and slide-out litter trays, the result will be perfect.
The big ones are 1.50 meters (4″11′) wide, 1 meter (3″3′) high, 0.5 meter (1″8′) deep.
We feel this type of cage has the following advantages :
- The mess the chinchillas make is better contained inside the cage, compared to one that is completely made of wire mesh.
- They are much easier to clean.
- Our chins feel safer inside this cage. Their instinct still warns them of all movement around them, and this way they don’t see as much.
- Because they are attached to the wall, we can easily stand in front of the cage and lean inside, allowing them to play on our head and shoulders.
- And with a simple board of wood, they can still climb down and run around on the floor.
And now for the pictures :
The cage is not completely done yet. We want to add a big branch from a fruit tree or whatever. The mesh panel in the center is a door, so we can easily access every part of the cage for cleaning or to pick up one of the chinchillas. The sleeping house has two openings. I did this, because they used to fight a little in their old house about who could sit in front of the one opening that one had.
As you can see, the cages are attached to the walls, so we can look the chins ‘in the eye’. The piece of wood you can almost see in the back of the room is ‘the ladder’ they use to climb up and down if we let them run free.
And here is another silly picture I found : a detail of the sleep house. Even with two openings, it can be hard to get out of the house ! Note the depth of the litter pan.
And this is the third and smaller cage. We use it to house a couple of chins we want to breed or if the female is getting close to giving birth. This picture also shows how we clean the litter trays. The wire you see was part of the Christmas decorations and is not a permanent setup.
I got a lot of email from people asking me to show more constructional details. OK, for those interested…..
This is another overview of one of the chins cages, giving an idea of the size of it. Note Sammy getting out of the last cage to go for a walk.
Having suspended cages opened the need for an alternative way to let the chins run free. This works well for us. We always send the cats out of the room when the chins are released, we never trust them near our furballs.
Article & Photo Credit: Rene and Bernice, Thank you both!
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