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Old 05-19-2017, 09:32 AM   #1
Gimleyand Meeko
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Default DIY Toy ideas??

Hello all!

So at the moment, as part of my education we have been set an assignment to accomplish as follows:

(For many of you that may not know I am currently studying a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management which is instead of and the equivalent of 3 A-Levels! )

Its a really fun task! So we have to (much like the apprentice) design a certain product that relates with animals that can be used as enrichment! We have to pick an animal (of course, a Hamster! ) and then design this toy or whatever and then present it, once that has occurred the lecturer will pick the best whom will go into the next round and will actually get a budget and then build it! The winner and some runners up will then get the chance to use that enrichment in the animal of their choices enclosure! I WANT TO WIN!!!

Of course I am choosing a Hamster

I have a few ideas in my mind like a platform that has housing and other features because the enclosures are only one floor but I am stumped for other ideas! I have a Hawaian themed platform with a totem pole and coconut house in the lead for an idea but I can't think of anything else

Can anybody help me? The budget is 30!

Thank you!!

Gimleyand Meeko
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Old 05-19-2017, 05:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: DIY Toy ideas??

30 is a big budget for a hamster toy - you can get a whole Alaska cage for that much if you use the right discount codes!

Lolly sticks are a popular building material for hamster enrichment, but if this is meant to be a commercially viable product then you'd be better off making something similar out of plywood (optionally, this can be painted with Plastikote for waterproofing). VanillaHamHam has some really good lolly stick tutorials youtube.com/vanillahamham

Alternatively, the DIY toys from household items thread might provide some inspiration Hamster toys and accessories from recycled household items thread

Something I've been toying with is the idea of pre-made tunnel systems for hamsters (especially those like my Syrian, who is too lazy to dig but likes a nice tunnel!), which can sit underneath the substrate and hence underneath any other toys. The idea came from when a colleague had a Dell monitor delivered to the office, and some of the packaging immediately made me think "hamster castle!". Much to the bemusement of my colleagues I then rescued it from the recycling and took it home with me on the train XD It's essentially formed cardboard with a series of chambers and entrances between them. It's hard to find a good picture, but it was one of these
http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/wp-c...ackaging-2.jpg
http://www.packagingdigest.com/sites...?itok=YZ7oJjO3

I haven't left it in my ham's cage as I'm not sure what all the materials are and don't want it to be chewed, but both hams (Syrian and dwarf hybrid) will happily wander in during playtime and sometimes just sit there and have a nap!

You can also link it back to the natural environment of hamsters, as they naturally create a series of chambers in their burrows, like this http://i.imgur.com/M68zuSA.jpg

Perhaps you could make something similar from plywood?

Let us know how you get on
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: DIY Toy ideas??

Quote:
Originally Posted by InkyPen View Post
Something I've been toying with is the idea of pre-made tunnel systems for hamsters (especially those like my Syrian, who is too lazy to dig but likes a nice tunnel!), which can sit underneath the substrate and hence underneath any other toys.
Apart from the packaging you took home, what sort of materials were you thinking of to make a natural tunnel system? I really like that idea!
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: DIY Toy ideas??

I've been pondering it since I wrote this post - I'm honestly just thinking plywood as it's readily available, relatively cheap and easy to cut, but I might make a prototype out of regular cardboard first and see how I go with that...
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: DIY Toy ideas??

I would avoid plywood and always go for kiln dried pine.It tends to not be too expensive,but is still easy enough for cutting while being guaranteed safe at least for toy making and won't cause harm if chewed(which is almost guaranteed with hamsters!).
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Old 05-20-2017, 03:57 AM   #6
InkyPen
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Default Re: DIY Toy ideas??

Amity, are you thinking of something like this? Access Denied Luckily Inky the Syrian isn't a fan of chewing wood - the plywood shelves in her Alexander haven't got a toothmark on them!

It seems that the way wood is referred to in the US & UK is often quite different - as per the thing about woodshavings. Options are a bit limited around here - though we are relatively lucky to have both a B&Q and a Homebase, I don't drive, so that's about it! If the prototype works I'm going to have the joy of taking a plank of wood on the bus...
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Old 05-20-2017, 04:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: DIY Toy ideas??

How about a puzzle feeder small enough for hamsters.
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Old 05-20-2017, 04:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: DIY Toy ideas??

Wood must be specific and untreated(or kiln dried as that is safe)regardless of country.Even if a hamster seems to not be a chewer,it just isn't worth the risk to have any questionable product whether homemade or storebought in a cage
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Old 05-20-2017, 04:46 AM   #9
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Default Re: DIY Toy ideas??

I quite like the idea of having a shelf with a bottler holder and food bowl built in, and with a cute little house on top and possibly, some ridges on the floor to secure a wheel (stop it moving), meaning you could have all your necessary hamster items in one place. Kiln-dried pine is supposed to be the safest thing to build with, but lolly sticks might work.

For decoration, you can use things like Cuprinol Garden Shades and Plastikote or even make your own food colouring (there's an ErinsAnimals tutorial on YouTube) to paint or stain the wood.

Good luck! I hope you win .
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Old Yesterday, 03:30 AM   #10
InkyPen
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Default Re: DIY Toy ideas??

Following on from my previous post....

Here's the original inspiration - the Dell monitor packaging!


And the prototype (I cut in some external doors after I took this photo)


And in situ


Inky moved in there and started sleeping in there immediately So I think we can say it's a hit. I'm going to look at a more permanent version as, while I haven't lifted it off since I bought it, I'm pretty sure that she will have gone a bit grand designs on it in places, where she has decided that an extra door would be beneficial.

I thought I'd come up with something new but it turns out the Germans are already well ahead of us - Rodipet make something very similar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMB-N-UfMBI but they're quite pricey (about 32 inc. P&P) so I'll make my own to fit my cage
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ideas, animal, design, hamster, budget, platform, enrichment, pick, toy, build, mind, housing, enclosures, features, choosing, win, chance, runners, enclosure, choices, winner, meeko, gimleyand, 30, idea

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