Author Topic: Custom Martins for degus?  (Read 4114 times)

Offline lessthansign3

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Custom Martins for degus?
« on: May 21, 2013, 10:44:25 AM »
Anyone have thoughts on this?

Here's my plan:

So, according to all of the degu forums out there, the only cage sold in the US appropriate for degus is a double CN. I don't have room for a double CN for my degus - I aleady have a triple FN in my living room, thank you very much. Martin's cages are often too narrow, plus there's the problem of the wire bottom cages - which the degu folks say is a no-no.

So, what I was thinking of doing was special ordering a cage from Martin's, because I've heard they take apecial requests. I was thinking 30x24x48, and 30 long is still not long enough by the standards of most European degu keepers but it's the space I have to work with in my house. Anyway, the cage would have no included levels from Martin's - I would make my own from wood and attach them later. This would make the cage cheaper and it wouldn't hurt sensitive little degu feets.

So, what do you think? Does that sound like plenty of room for a couple of degus? Do you think Wade and Herren would be happy with that? I've got to do something, they are destroying the plasting shelving of their current SuperPet cage, which was always supposed to be temporary. Thanks <3

Offline lessthansign3

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Re: Custom Martins for degus?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 09:20:54 AM »
Okay, nevermind then! I found a custom built cage on craigslist I'm picking up today, and I'm trading a 55 gallon tank for it. So it feels like it's free because I wasn't planning on using that tank anytime soon :D

Well, if anyone out there with degus wants to try my idea of a custom Martin's, let us know how it goes!

Offline CarrieD

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Re: Custom Martins for degus?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2013, 07:11:21 PM »
The custom Martins would have worked just fine. Mine are in a DCN, but it's divided - 3 boys downstairs, 4 girls upstairs and space is not an issue at all. Also check out Cheeks Custom Cages - I have 3 surrender girls here who came in one and WOW is it sweet for goos. There are no levels in it, just wooden shelves all over the place top to bottom. It's fairly narrow, but will fit a wheel just fine and has a large pull out drawer type bottom, with about 4" guards just above it to keep the poo flingin' to a minimum. The only thing I don't like about it is that the doors are at the end and not on the front or back, but these are custom built and you could put them wherever.

Post some pics when you get set up, I'd love to see what  you got. :)

Offline lessthansign3

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Re: Custom Martins for degus?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2013, 11:43:13 AM »
I'll post pics possibly tonight. I was originally going to put these boys in one level of an FN with hardware cloth wrapped around it, but I decided not to for fear they'd chew off the zip ties and escape. If my female rats can chew those things off, then degus, master chewers that they are, most definately can.

The Europeans on the degu boards I visited thought the single FN was still too small without significant modding (extra levels and whatnot) - and even then they were skeptical. I honestly think they have too high of standards. I am all for bigger cages for critters, but for just two degus?! A single CN or FN is plenty of space.

Offline CarrieD

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Re: Custom Martins for degus?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2013, 01:54:14 PM »
Yeah, I might be a little worried about an FN, too - I can see some of my smaller girls maybe getting out of that - and they will chew the zip ties. :) I'd agree with you that a single is more than plenty for a couple of degus.

Offline Amanda

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Re: Custom Martins for degus?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2013, 09:09:00 PM »
You could always use wire instead of zip ties. I used it when I made a homemade cage for fear of zip ties being chewed.

I'm excited to see pictures, though. I don't know much about degus and I've only seen a handful of pictures so I'd love to see yours :)

Offline lessthansign3

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Re: Custom Martins for degus?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2013, 10:13:09 AM »
Here are some pics -



You can kinda see Wade and Herren perched atop their little house there (and a cookie to whoever knows where their names come from). They totally need more toys and goodies, for sure. When I get paid next I'm going to spoil them. I'm also going to make an IKEA wheel and get rid of that obnoxious wire wheel that squeaks no matter how many times I grease it.



This is the outside - yes that's a Wii, lol. It doesn't see nearly as much use as the 360 and the PS3 though. With degus being diurnal, unlike many of our other critters, we figured it would be okay to put them next to the entertainment center as they wouldn't be disturbed by it. Also the chinchillas need to be across from it so they can see the TV in the evenings - they like to watch :P (Not even kidding.) Besides the occasional afternoon nap, I hardly ever see my degus sleeping. Energetic little butts.

Offline CarrieD

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Re: Custom Martins for degus?
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2013, 07:45:24 PM »
Very cool set up for goos - can you move the shelves around, or are they attached to the sides?

Offline *Kat*

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Re: Custom Martins for degus?
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2013, 09:46:42 PM »
don't degus chew wood like crazy?

Offline CarrieD

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Re: Custom Martins for degus?
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2013, 09:54:16 PM »
Yes, they'll chew the wood, that's why I wondered if the shelves were permanent. They'll last awhile, but will eventually need to be replaced - and they're easier to scrub if you can take them out.

Wood shelves are the best for them, though - much better than chewing plastic, which is gone before you know it. Lots of hanging toys, lava ledges and some pumice stone will help the shelves last longer. I get the best supplies for them from chinchilla places - they're close cousins and have similar needs.

Offline *Kat*

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Re: Custom Martins for degus?
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2013, 10:13:59 PM »
Yes, they'll chew the wood, that's why I wondered if the shelves were permanent. They'll last awhile, but will eventually need to be replaced - and they're easier to scrub if you can take them out.

Wood shelves are the best for them, though - much better than chewing plastic, which is gone before you know it. Lots of hanging toys, lava ledges and some pumice stone will help the shelves last longer. I get the best supplies for them from chinchilla places - they're close cousins and have similar needs.

Ah, I was worried about the doors and such though.

Offline CarrieD

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Re: Custom Martins for degus?
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2013, 10:18:30 PM »
If they can get to them, they'll chew them. Any interior wood she doesn't want chewed can be covered with finer gauge hardware cloth to prevent that, though.

Offline lessthansign3

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Re: Custom Martins for degus?
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2013, 01:33:25 PM »
I think I can remove the shelves. We'll find out eventually, won't we? I plan on adding more shelving eventually. What's in there will do for the moment. I'm also going to IKEA on Monday to get supplies to make an IKEA wheel. If you've never seen one... well, here's a link to a video that shows one - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTccQ0jLIYg . They are so neat - basically a saucer made out of a lazy susan and a place mat from IKEA and a couple pieces of wood. I absolutely love how when the degu stops running the lazy susan keeps going and the degu spins  :yelcutelaugh: I hope she doesn't get dizzy doing that!

As for the doors, they're covered in the hardware cloth, so they can't be chewed - much. But again, these are degus, so I'll keep an eye on everything and patch things up accordingly.

These types of wood cages are what many of the degu keepers in Europe use - and they've been keeping degus far longer than we have in North America. Degus are far more common as pets there, too, especially in Germany. They seem to work well for them, and it's what they most recommend to people new to degus. Plus the wood cage actually looks really nice in my living room. It sort of matches my entertainment center  :thumbsup2:

Offline CarrieD

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Re: Custom Martins for degus?
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2013, 01:43:11 PM »
If the door wire is sturdy enough, you can mount a shelf or two there, too. If there's any way at all to hang a hammock, mine adore them. To bits. lol But they really do use them a lot. I usually give them the "extra loved" from my rats, knowing they'll get the last use out of them. Girls are generally more chewers/excavators/nest builders, so your boys might get good use out of one. :)