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Old 02-15-2017, 05:38 AM   #1
JLPrairie
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Default Do I need a lid?

I'm making a bin cage that will be 14 inches tall for a dwarf. My wheel will be around 7 inches. Do I need a lid, or can I just make it an open cage?
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:48 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Do I need a lid?

It's always best to have a lid, you never know what might happen, most dwarf hams need a wheel about 20cm so 7" might be a bit too small & with a lid you have the option of making levels or adding shelves.
Personally I'd never keep a ham in anything without a lid.
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Do I need a lid?

Would it be all right if I used a bin with a very smooth plastic? I'm trying to use the least amount of money (which includes trying to not buy any hardware cloth ).
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: Do I need a lid?

I did once watch Inky (while in a crate which was being used for short playtime) manage to brace her back against the Karlie Wonderland wheel stand and somehow scrabble up the smooth inside surface of the crate so she could escape.

She's now got one of the Trixie metal playpens and she managed to escape from that once, despite it having vertical bars only, because one of the corners happened to be at less than a 90 degree angle.

We love her dearly, but she can be a bit of an escape artist when she wants to be! I'm afraid I'd never put her unsupervised in something without a lid. I know you're trying to save money, but all things considered, it's not worth risking a very scary and potentially fatal escape for the sake of a few quid.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: Do I need a lid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLPrairie View Post
Would it be all right if I used a bin with a very smooth plastic? I'm trying to use the least amount of money (which includes trying to not buy any hardware cloth ).

Not entirely sure what you mean by that, sorry! Do you mean no mesh? I don't think you can make a bin cage without mesh, you need plenty of ventilation which you can only get with mesh panels on at least one side & I put a panel in the lid too.
Even with just smooth plastic sides there's no guarantees your ham won't find a way out, it always pays to be safe rather than sorry with hams!
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: Do I need a lid?

I'd definitely recommend a lid unless your cage is 4 ft+. I had a Syrian in a 50 gallon tank without a lid and she escaped several times before I became smart enough to cover it with mesh. Mesh is really cheap, you can get about 18 ft of it for just $5-10 at hardware stores such as Home Depot and lowes. If you're in the UK the prices will be a little less in your currency, and I'm not quite sure if you have those hardware stores or not. If they don't have them or the stores don't sell it, there's always amazon!
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: Do I need a lid?

Lids are definitely not something you want to go cheap on or skip out altogether!They're an investment,but it's certainly a lot better to spend extra on something and not have bad things(such as escapes or losing a hamster permanently)happen.

When it comes to hardware cloth/mesh,as long as you're buying it in bulk at a reasonable price it isn't bad.You can always use the rest later on other projects,like cages for future hamsters or DIY travel cages,so the initial cost may seem expensive but it really does work out fairly affordable once used multiple times!
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Do I need a lid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drago View Post
I'd definitely recommend a lid unless your cage is 4 ft+. I had a Syrian in a 50 gallon tank without a lid and she escaped several times before I became smart enough to cover it with mesh. Mesh is really cheap, you can get about 18 ft of it for just $5-10 at hardware stores such as Home Depot and lowes. If you're in the UK the prices will be a little less in your currency, and I'm not quite sure if you have those hardware stores or not. If they don't have them or the stores don't sell it, there's always amazon!
I just bought mesh for my hamster's cage for £3.50 at Wilko. Plenty enough to cover the entire lid of a 80 x 40cm bin with enough left over to do another cage or add side panels too.
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Old 02-15-2017, 02:00 PM   #9
JLPrairie
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Default Re: Do I need a lid?

Ok, thanks! What spacing should the hardware cloth be?
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Old 02-15-2017, 02:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Do I need a lid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLPrairie View Post
Ok, thanks! What spacing should the hardware cloth be?
Ideally you should go for 1/4 to 1/2 inch spacing, this will prevent all chances of escape
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