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  #1  
Old 03-23-2019, 07:25 PM United States
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Default Chinchilla Cage Help?

Hello,
I am brand new to this site and was hoping to get some advice from some seasoned chin owners. I am going to be getting my very first chinchilla in the next 4-6 weeks. The chinchilla is going to be about two-two and a half months old then. I am looking at cages on Amazon and I came across this Yaheetech 52 Metal Ferret Cage Indoor Outdoor Small Animals Hutch with 3 Front Doors/Feeder/Wheels for Guinea Pig Chinchilla Large Rat Black https://www.amazon.com/Yaheetech-Ind...gateway&sr=8-4
I have heard really good things about this cage, but I have heard good things about the Ferret Nation/Critter Nation cages as well. I do know that chinchillas can have NO PLASTIC whatsoever, so I would be replacing the ledges with wood and getting rid of the stairs. I also do know that I will have to get some type of either cardboard or wood for the bottom of that cage or even a marble type slab for them to cool off on since it is just wires(which is not good for them to walk on) I'm not really concerned with the price difference, just wanted to know if this was a good cage or if it's worth the extra $$ for the Critter Nation/Ferret Nation cage. Thank you!
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:10 PM United States
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Update: I was also wondering if a cage like this might be better for a while until the chin gets older? https://www.ferret.com/item/ferret-n...e-unit/650428/
I figured I could just add another addition onto it once he got to like a 6 month age? Any advice is greatly appreciated
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2019, 10:03 PM Canada
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The Yaheetech cage you link might be ok for a full grown adult chin, but I see a ton of things that make the Ferret Nation is a much better option, or rather a Critter Nation since the chin will be little. A kit can squeeze out of the 1" FN bar spacing for the first few months of it's life, the CN bar spacing is kit safe at 1/2". I don't know what the bar spacing is on the Yaheetech cage but it looks 1" wide. The second cage you linked is just the single unit FN cage, fine for an adult or a kit at least a few months old, but at 8-10 weeks I wouldn't count on it being kit proof. The only difference between the FN and CN is bar orientation and spacing.

So the reasons the CN would be the best option is, the doors open each level fully, each door opens half the level, allowing full access to the cage rather then trying to fit everything through small doors. So adding shelves, perches, ledges, toys, and even getting the chin itself out doesn't require being super flexible or require dismantling the cage. That is especially true if you get the chin a wheel later on, they don't really fit though smaller doors.

As I mentioned the bar spacing for a kit I would say under 4-6 months should be no bigger then 1/2" or they can escape, or worse get stuck and/or strangled trying to escape. There are no wire floors to deal with in the CN however you do need to either replace or cover the plastic pans. You can get metal replacement pans for the CN from Bass Equipment, they have bottom, middle, and shelf pans. The Yaheetech cage the wire floor would have to be removed or covered completely, unless it's very narrow spacing, like 1/4" it's a hazard, aside from being hard on their feet it could catch a leg, foot, or toe and break it.

If you want to go with a single unit CN, then upgrade later I suggest just buying the double unit if you can afford it. It's cheaper then buying an add on unit later, and you can either block off the cage to a single unit (the middle ramp acts as trap door that can be latched up to split the cage in two), or simply have the second unit off to the side and put it on later. A single unit is good size for a kit and an ok size for a single adult chin though, so if you can't afford the double unit right now that's fine. A single unit CN size cage is actually advisable for a kit anyway since kits are clumsy.
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Old 03-23-2019, 11:47 PM United States
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Thank you! That was very helpful. I just ordered the Critter Nation cage just now. I am on the Bass Equipment site now and found this https://www.bassequipment.com/Shop/F...TION-PANS-1425
I'm looking at the FERRET NATION 2 1/2" DEEP PAN (FP1) ($22 option) - I think that is the right one? And I'm assuming I would need to put a fleece over it since that will be where the chin goes to the bathroom..? (I'm sorry I am asking so many questions, just want to make sure I do everything I can before I get the kit)
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:40 PM Canada
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That pan is good for the bottom of the cage, the stainless steel ones last longer from what I hear, but are also a lot more expensive, just keep it clean and the galvanized one should be fine. The 3" deep pan option is better if you are planning to use wood shavings, or if you are really worried about containing as much mess as possible.

I personally prefer fleece liners over shavings, but, although fleece is considered the only safe fabric it's only safe if the chin doesn't eat it, it doesn't shred like other fabric so you can remove it before they eat too much. Also with fleece you will need to change the liners a couple times a week unless you manage to pee train the chin to pee in a litter box (a glass or metal baking pan filled with shavings works well) or the cage will stink of pee. If the chin is not pee trained liners will need to be at least 3 layers thick, two layers of fleece with either more fleece (what I use) or other absorbent layer (towel, quilt batting, etc) in between them.

I haven't gotten metal pans for my chin's cage (FN), I just cover the plastic pans in fleece shaped like a pillow case. The shelf pan has a double thick fleece pad (it's like a pillow without stuffing) inside, the bottom I put a double thick fleece pad on top weighted down by tiles in the corners. I make my own liners and was experimenting with making different kinds and that is what I ended up with. I do want metal pans eventually though, just where I live my options are limited and expensive. The plastic pans that come with the FN and CN cages are very shallow so poop and hay end up all over the floor around the cage, easy to sweep up but even easier if I didn't need to, lol.
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Old 03-24-2019, 01:06 PM United States
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I was thinking about getting a fleece cover for it (probably two so I have a back up when I wash it), probably will be off of Etsy...since I am not the best craft person. I have heard really good things about fleece, but just do get concerned if my chin would be one that eats fleece. I am going to ask the breeder closer to the time I get them (since they were just born and probably don't know anything for sure yet) I just wasn't sure which is the safest to use for them bedding wise.
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:43 PM United States
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Chin urine is acidic by nature. Of time that urine can start to eat away at a galvanized pan. Mine looks horrible right now because i had a few chins that didnt want to use a litter pan any more and would pee right on the pan. That being said, iv also had it at least 8 years.
Bass has told me that this should not happen with the stainless steel pans.

The stainless steel pans are much more smooth then the galvanized as well. But easier to clean from what iv seen so far. The stainless steel pans are also made from a non magnetic steel generally. (At least the last time i inquired about it.) But they say they can make it form a magnetic kind if you ask them.

If your buying new pans, id suggest the stainless steel ones if you can afford it.

You can put fleece over the pan if you want or need to. But the best/easiest option is if you have a litter pan of some kind that your chins use to pee in. Put some aspen shavings in just the litter pan, and then change that out as needed. - If it works, then you dont even need to bother with fleece liners. (And they can be a pain to clean some times; depending on the set up.)
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:32 AM United States
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Thank you for that information. I do think I will end up getting the stainless steel one. Is there a recommended bedding for Chinchillas? I know for wood they should have kiln dried pine..but wasn't sure if there is one most use? I see a lot on Amazon, but a lot of some good and bad reviews. I was also wondering if this was good hay for the kit chinchilla and also for an adult chinchilla - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...DBKAHEHW&psc=1
And I have also looked at the best rated pellets, and came across this? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...0GRSJDW5&psc=1
---
Thank you all so much for your information. I am very excited to get the little kit soon. I want to make sure that they have the best life possible.
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:42 PM Canada
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For litter you can use either kiln dried pine or aspen, brand doesn't matter, chins don't nest, it's just to absorb their pee but look at the shavings if it's mostly sawdust get a different brand. The advantage of the pine is it masks smell better, but can be dustier and can trigger allergies in humans and chins.

For a kit you want mostly alfalfa hay with only some timothy, kits need the extra calcium, protein, and other nutrients in the alfalfa for growing. I'd ask the breeder what kind she is feeding since chins can be super picky on brand. The best brand is what your chin will eat. I currently feed my guys mostly Oxbow hay and local hay (farm fresh horse hay), you may have to try out different brands to see what your chin likes. Once the chin is an adult you'll want to feed mostly timothy hay, or other grass hay (like meadow, orchard, brome, bermuda, etc). Legume hay (alfalfa) and grain hay (oat, wheat) can be added as an additional, non primary, hay.

The Oxbow Essentials is one of the best pellets, it's what I feed my guys, I wouldn't get a 25lb bag though it'll go stale before you use it all. My two go through a 3lb bag every few weeks (they only eat about 2tb each a day), so a 3lb bag should last your one chin over a month. Some other good brands I can think of off hand include, Mazuri, American Pet Diner, and Hubbard Life (use to be called Tradition). Once again though I would check with the breeder to find out what she is feeding, you don't want to switch foods too quickly or it can upset the chin's stomach.
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3 Dogs: Bear, Loki, and Blaze
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:16 PM United States
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Those are very good points. I will reach out to the breeder to find out more information before I purchase any of the food. As for the bedding, I am still debating about going with the fleece option and the smaller pan. My biggest concern besides the chin possibly eating it (which I can just watch and see and always switch it out), is to make sure the chin doesn't get under the fleece. I found someone on Etsy who said she has fleece that she can custom make and either close it in with velcro or wooden buttons. She said she has had one customer state the chin ate the wooden buttons off and she wasn't sure how. I do think velcro might be a better option, just wasn't sure about what is actually better for the chin (velcro or no velcro) or if anyone else has ideas of how to close the fleece once it's attached to the pan? Thank you again!
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