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  #1  
Old 12-04-2018, 12:36 PM United States
Jeremiah Love Shelton Jeremiah Love Shelton is offline
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Default Cage construction and size

Me and my wife were considering getting two baby chinchillas.

We had a mini Rex and I built a three-level huge hutch for him. I was considering building a 2 ft wide 3 foot long and 6 ft tall cage out of untreated kiln-dried pine.

I did some research and found that you can use canola oil and vinegar as a natural mixture to seal the wood. I was just curious if anyone had any suggestions or reasons this would not work. Actually any suggestions would be fine LOL.

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Old 12-04-2018, 05:20 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
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The cage size sounds ok, just make sure to over lap things so they can't fall too far. As to the sealing the wood with canola oil and vinegar I'm not sure that is safe. Vinegar is the preferred thing to use for cleaning the cage, but it's used diluted and you rinse it off, you don't leave it. I'm not totally convinced canola oil is safe for consumption period and I would guess to seal the wood you would be soaking it into the wood. Any wood that the chins have access to they are going to chew on and eat.

Although natural oils may be safe for use with other rodents, chins don't/shouldn't eat nuts and seeds, they are way too high in fat. Chins lack the ability to efficiently digest fats, which can lead to liver and kidney failure over time. So soaking or coating wood in any oils would likely not be a safe idea. I would also think that it would flavor the wood, causing them to want to eat it even more, which would shorten the life of the cage.

I'm not even really sure sealing the wood is needed if you use a metal tray for the bottom, where the chins will mostly be peeing. Chinchilla poops should be dry (unless the chin is sick), so it's just the pee to deal with, and most chins pick a spot to pee. If you are lucky you can even potty train them to pee in a shaving filled litter box. If they do pee on the shelves you just scrub it down with a 50/50 vinegar/water mix, and if it's bad you can sand down the stains.
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:05 PM United States
Jeremiah Love Shelton Jeremiah Love Shelton is offline
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Thank you for your advice.

I never thought that sealing the wood might be flavoring it up, cause my first choice was using coconut oil LOL.

What would a "safe" height for one level in a cage to be above another, before it would be a fall risk.



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Old 12-05-2018, 01:39 AM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
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For kits (under 6 months) I would try to keep things under 6 inches. Kits are energetic, as well as clumsy, and go through growth spurs that don't help matters. For adults no more then a foot drop. Both of those heights are assuming you don't have something like a hammock for them to fall into, in which case a bit higher is ok. Also kits love to climb (most outgrow it), so keep that in mind as well. If the cage is an open design where they could climb all the way to the top I would try to break that up and make sure they have things to catch them.

If you want to get an idea of what I mean by over lapping, with hammock in the larger drop areas, you can check out the cage for my two boys. https://flic.kr/s/aHskqmcuvf
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:25 AM United States
Jeremiah Love Shelton Jeremiah Love Shelton is offline
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Thank you, that helps a lot.

And your cage is amazing, I think my humble cage will not be as grand 😊😊

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