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Old 04-10-2018, 11:10 AM   #1
AprilBird4
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Default Iris Christmas Tree bin cage help/pointers/suggestions

I am to make a bin cage for my daughter's hamster (not yet here). I've done a lot of research, but I find old info and conflicting info and daughter has also changed her mind from dwarf to Syrian for the 'type' since I started and so have started again.

I have 2 Iris Christmas tree bins. One purchased specifically for this and one 'acquired' after the fact. Thought I might need it for 'something'. I am also willing to purchase other bins.

Specific questions:

1. Wire mesh. Inside? Outside? On the sides? On the ends? Both? Not at all, only on the top?
It made sense to me to put it on the outside so there was no chance of the hamster getting hurt where it was cut, but then I realized he/she could chew on the plastic where the holes were cut. I found conflicting Tutorials.
Originally a dwarf was planned. Now she is leaning toward a Syrian. I wanted to provide as much ventilation as possible and was going to cut areas in both the side and the ends. But now I know I need deeper bedding and the Iris isn't that tall to begin with. What is the best approach to provide good ventilation with this bin for a Syrian?

2. Cage depth?
The top for this cage opens in half and has the built in storage area. I like the idea of that to store things. I thought I could keep that and cut the other side of the top for ventilation. Will this give me enough depth for the larger hamster on that side? I also have the lid from the 'acquired' bin. It is all one piece and no storage area. I could make this into the top with ventilation. Back to ventilation....Is it enough to only be at the top?

3. Connected bin
Not sure I really want to connect to two Iris bins. The humans need living space also But how could I connect it or any other bin? I was thinking a connected (via tube of some sort) to provide a nice deep place for he/she to burrow. Do you suggest it?
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:21 PM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Iris Christmas Tree bin cage help/pointers/suggestions

Putting the mesh inside or outside is personal choice I think, I've heard some people say inside so they don't chew the plastic & others outside so they don't chew the mesh, I put mine on the outside & not had any problems at all but I'm sure it might depend on the individual ham as well.
I think the more mesh panels you can put in the better not just to allow for good ventilation but it also allows for more easy interaction plus you can attach things to the mesh if you want to. At a minimum I would say a large panel on the top & front of the bin, if you only have one on top you don't really get any air flow.
I can't quite imagine the way you're describing the bin for depth, sorry I need more coffee! Basically though you want to try to make the substrate deep in as much of the cage as possible, just one area doesn't really work so try to aim for at least 15cm all over, more if possible.
Connecting bins safely so they are totally escape proof is not easy, I've not tried it & wouldn't really recommend it tbh.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:13 AM   #3
AprilBird4
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Default Re: Iris Christmas Tree bin cage help/pointers/suggestions

I wasn't too clear on the 'cage depth' item. Ultimately, the depth of the bin with the lid on is 14"/35cm(only 11"/28cm with the lid off).

I changed my mind a dozen times, but I finally dove in this weekend and made some decisions. One half of the bin has ventilation cut in each side and the end(put the mesh on the outside). I cut the area up 'high', but still the most bedding depth I can have at that side is 5"/12cm. I also cut out the top out for ventilation (covered with mesh). The other half has nothing cut in the sides of the bin (so only the ventilation on the top) so that more bedding can be piled up over there.

I get that the bedding won't necessarily stay on the 'deep' side, so not really sure how well this will work. Also, not sure how I will work out the wheel. The recommended wheel size means I'd have to have almost no bedding to accommodate the wheel.

Thanks to Cypher for the thoughts and comments. I would appreciate any other ideas/thoughts as well.

Last edited by AprilBird4; 04-16-2018 at 09:14 AM. Reason: wording
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:47 PM   #4
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Iris Christmas Tree bin cage help/pointers/suggestions

That all sounds excellent! I was going to say use the lid for the extra height for a syrian sized wheel. What some people do is have the wheel at one end with shallow substrate and then "fence off" that area with medium sized bendy bridges stood on their sides (makes about a 20cm tall fence) and have the deeper substrate on the other side of the fence You'd need some kind of ramp or tunnel leading from the deeper side down to the shallow side. Some people have even had the shallow side as a sand area instead of having a sand bath.

If it is 35cm tall with the lid then you'll need to choose a wheel carefully. The 12" Silent Runner won't fit as it's 35cm tall (unless internal height is a cm more maybe?) For an average sized Syrian, a popular wheel option is the Carolina Storm Bucket wheel which is 10" in Diameter and adjustable in height - having it at it's maximum height to fit in the cage means there's some room for substrate underneath. If you have a particularly large syrian though you'd need at least 11" or 12" wheel. There are a few options that would be big enough and still fit. The 28cm trixie plastic wheel is one - I think that's available in the US.

Lucky you having 2 iris tree bins! You can't get them most of the year round except at Christmas usually. Good planning there.

This is the Carolina storm wheel (it is also silent by the way)

https://www.carolinastormhedgehogs.c...ket-wheel.html

This is the trixie wheel - it's cheap in the Uk - I think the extra cost is import. Not silent but not really noisy either and pretty quiet usually.

https://www.amazon.com/Trixie-Exerci...+hamster+wheel

If you really wanted the 12"Silent runner (that's"Runner" not "spinner" then you could cut ahole in the top of the bin maybe? But it might be an escape route then. It is 35cm tall on it's stand - also a silent wheel and a sturdy one. Or another option might be to not use the stand and mount it by drilling a hole in the end of the bin and using the separate cage mounting kit to bolt it through. Then it would only be about 12" tall plus a small gap underneath for clearance.

This is the 12" silent runner

Silent Runner Wheel 12" (Regular) - Exotic Nutrition

And the cage attachment kit

Silent Runner Cage Attachment - Exotic Nutrition

It's a good cage attachment kit with everything you needto bolt it to the side of a cage through a hole. I have that wheel cage mounted.
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Last edited by Serendipity7000; 04-16-2018 at 12:53 PM.
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bin, top, ventilation, cut, cage, iris, syrian, side, bins, hamster, provide, acquired, depth, ends, thought, make, area, storage, he/she, connected, info, christmas, dwarf, tree, connect

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