Author Topic: playpen recommendations  (Read 1130 times)

Offline *CARRIE*

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playpen recommendations
« on: January 30, 2009, 09:47:49 PM »
I did do a goosemoose search for playpens and read ath 1st few pages, but I wanted a more of a discussion, so I'm making a new post.

We have female rats.

We've been letting our rats out in a bedroom.  They went behind my son's loft bed (closet-type) and also chewed on it (brand new) so they've been in my daughter's room.  Unfortunately, they are becoming much too destructive, so we need to contain them more with a playpen.  They chewed her dresser, her clothes, etc.  We also haev 2 cats and ironically, a rat terrier (I don't trust any of them!)

The room is large - about 15' X 15', and I'd like to give them as much space as possible.  I don't like the round playpens because it seems like they could easily climb out or squeeze out -  the bar spacing is large (or the ones with small spacing are too short). 

The Martin's playpen looks nice, and would be wonderful for playing without a human but I would love if my kids could sit in the playpen with the rats and play with them sometimes.   

What suggestions do you guys have?  I cannot have a structure that cannot be collapsed in some way because we don't have the space.  I think I'm leaning towards hardboard, but DH doesn't finish projects :-( and I have no skills in anything resembling carpentry.

I seem to vaguely recall some sort of flexible plastic playpen.  Does anyone know what I am talking about?

Offline arumberg

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Re: playpen recommendations
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2009, 09:58:14 PM »
Definetly get a Martin's! If you wanted to, you could not attach/unattach (I don't know how it comes, I didn't buy mine new), and put the open end against a wall to make a 5 sided playpen instead of 4 if you wanted to give yourself more room inside to sit and play with the rats. Of course, you couldn't use the lid with this option. I have a Martin's and it's so convenient to use when I'm doing a cage cleaning. I don't always have to be watching them.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure the play pen is high enough. Some of the playpens out there are so low that all it would take is a nice leap to make it to the outside.

coliekumar

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Re: playpen recommendations
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 10:18:43 PM »
I have a 28" high Marshalls play pen and both rats and ferrets can climb out (little girls just squeeze through bars).  One product to watch out for... ::)


Offline RatStars

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Re: playpen recommendations
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2009, 02:12:13 AM »
Have you considered a raised play area? When I get my girls out for playtime, I put them on my double bed with toys. Plus, I can get on the bed and read while they play. I make sure there is nothing within jumping distance. My girls love to tunnel in an old blanket. Plus, they can very easily tempt me into whatever game they want, since I am their favorite toy! This also means I can do some work on my laptop and still be right there with them.

coliekumar

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Re: playpen recommendations
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2009, 02:16:56 AM »
Have you considered a raised play area? When I get my girls out for playtime, I put them on my double bed with toys. Plus, I can get on the bed and read while they play. I make sure there is nothing within jumping distance. My girls love to tunnel in an old blanket. Plus, they can very easily tempt me into whatever game they want, since I am their favorite toy! This also means I can do some work on my laptop and still be right there with them.

Yes!  This is what I do and it works wonders.  I just roll over their cage and they can come and go out of it as they please.

Offline Mayday

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Re: playpen recommendations
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2009, 04:52:50 AM »
We had the hardboard cut to the right size in the store, and right now, the panels are just duct taped together. There's a small space between each panel so there's room for bending. You could do something like that. If you or your husband could use a drill, you could just quickly drill a bunch of holes in the sides and zip-tie them together (with enough space between so you can fold it up for storage). I like the hardboard because there's absolutely no way they can climb it!

Offline javakittie

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Re: playpen recommendations
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2009, 06:45:16 AM »
You can do the same idea with coroplast [corrugated plastic sign board] as you can do with the hardboard. It's much lighter and not as DIY intensive. You just duct tape the sections together and then fold it all down when you're done.

You can put your location in on this Guinea Pig page and it'll give you a list of places where people in your area got the coroplast from, as well as a rough idea of the costs. For a playpen, you'll want the sides to be atleast 2' - 2.5' so you would be better off getting a couple of sheets from a sign shop rather than trying to build it from smaller art supply stock. Many sign shops will even cut it to size for a small fee or even for free.

I'm still a really big fan of the Martin's playpen, though. I feel it's one of the safest and sturdiest options, especially when you're not able to supervise them the entire time they're in it. You could just take the top off of the cage when you/your kids wanted to sit in and play with them, but they would be able to crawl up and out during those times. I'm assuming you supervise the kids when they're with the rats, so if you feel you could run border patrol on the pen, it would work just as well.

Offline Schrute

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Re: playpen recommendations
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2009, 07:56:00 AM »
I have the large playpen, and I sit in there sometimes. :) If you have kids that want to sit in there, it shouldn't be an issue... just be sooo careful when actually putting your feet in, sitting down, and getting back up, as to not squish anyone! I love sitting in there with them. It's definitely not impossible. :)

Offline caleppert

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Re: playpen recommendations
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2009, 10:57:06 AM »
Using the bed as a playpen is all well and good, until your fearless rat figures out that she can slide down the sides to the floor.  Unfortunately, that kind of set up wouldn't work for me.  Someone was trying to tell me that rats can see well after 3 ft, so they won't jump off anything they can't see.  Obviously they've never met my rat Noam, who frequently flings herself off of objects and hopes for the best (ie I catch her ).

Offline RatStars

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Re: playpen recommendations
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2009, 04:27:31 PM »
One of my girls is fearless and she is very tempted to climb down the sides of my bed at times. I have had great success with teaching her the boundaries by squeaking at her if she starts leaning over the edge too much like she's going to climb down. I just squeak at her and tug the blanket she's on a little bit so she's not right next to the edge any more and she has learned that the bed is her play area and the edge is the boundary. They're very smart and easy to train. I wouldn't leave her there unsupervised, of course, but that shouldn't happen anyway. Hope this is helpful!
 :rattysmiley:


Offline Leslie Marie

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Re: playpen recommendations
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2009, 04:46:45 PM »
I do the bed thing too. I have a queen size bed, so it's plenty of space for play. I usually just remove my pillows and put a blanket covering the entire bed for them to run on. Then add lots of boxes and toys. They love it, and always stay on the bed.  ;D