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Old 11-24-2017, 08:36 AM   #11
astrid
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Default Re: Barney cage for a syrian hamster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypher View Post
You could try putting cardboard around the base of the bars to deepen the base for substrate & lessen the height & fall risk.
You can buy bolt on shelves or free standing shelves that you could use to make levels.
Ranch house cages sell a variety of shelves.
It's quite easy to make a free standing shelf yourself if you just get a piece of wood the size you want then using a ham safe strong glue fix some dowels to the base for legs.
Thank you for the advice! I will probably go for the Hamster Plaza then
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Old 11-24-2017, 08:50 AM   #12
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Default Re: Barney cage for a syrian hamster?

Tell me about it! I spent months making a decision what to upgrade our Syrian to from his 80 x 50 cage because I couldn't find the ideal cage. My ideal cage would have been the Barney with a large front opening door. The SAvic Plaza wasn't available then. It's nearly just right, but as you say it's taller. April Pearl has it and I think she measured it as 48cm tall, so it's about an inch and a half taller than the Barney. Extra shelves can be a bit of a pain working out and also the extra cost.

Now I have the Barney I don't have a problem with the small front doors. Because our current hamster went straight into it, he knew nothing else and automatically came to one of them to come out. I find one hand through a front door and one hand through the top works quite well for doing things in the cage. And a lot easier than just doing everything through the top.

The Savic cages do tend to be made a bit better and have a sturdier base. I would be tempted to try and have shelving in a similar way to the Alexander, which is about the same height (also a bit less than 50cm). Like a kind of racetrack with just a hole in the middle where there's a height issue and you could have a mound of substrate under that area and hard toys under the shelves.

To be honest I still felt the Barney was quite tall and have an extra shelf in mine for that reason.

The advantage with the plaza is you can use the roof. I had a "roof run" in the barney previously when our last hammy was old, which helped block certain parts of the roof so he couldn't get to them or fall from them.

So the Barney shelf is on the left. Next to that at the back is the Wheel mounted on the bars so it is almost to the top of the cage and can't be climbed on/over, next to that is a long narrow shelf along the back which overlaps a large flat house roof on the right which is raised on legs to be a good height for a shelf. Next to the Barney shelf on the left at the front is a rat sputnik and between the rat sputnik and the long back shelf is a large rat tube tied to the roof. So it gave a route from one side to the other along the roof as well as at floor level. There were very few exposed areas for a fall from the roof and nothing hard to fall on.

P2040939 (2).jpg

However this worked out expensive as the house was expensive and so is the cage mounted wheel - and there may be easier ways. Also as our hamster was old I thought it very unlikely he would actually monkey bar across the roof - but having the tunnel at roof level tempted him into it anyway so he was less likely to want to climb on the roof.

It did make the set up quite interesting for a hamster but wouldn't fully avoid fall risks in a tall cage.

If I was choosing now it would be difficult. I do like the extra floor area in the Barney - it makes quite a bit of difference for fitting a lot of stuff in - but it depends - it's not really necessary and does make the cage bulkier - it sticks out further.

I think if I was getting one now I would get the Plaza and fork out for extras and shelves. However that isn't cheap and if you're considering upgrading later, then the Barney is a much cheaper option - and why I ended up going for it in the end, after going round the houses (also thought about the Eco Habitat but the roof needs meshing too and I didn't fancy that).

The Barney is an easy option - it's not that expensive, comes with a good shelf and house, and fall risks aren't much of an issue as you can put a fair bit of substrate in and avoid having hard floor toys (they can go on the shelf). I currently have two large cork logs as floor toys. Because they are tall there isn't that far to fall on them and they're quite light so don't sink into the substrate. They also make a ramp up to a shelf.

But a front opening door is a real good thing to have! Unless you're used to a cage with small doors and then it's not such an issue.

Personally I don't think you will feel the need to upgrade from a 100cm cage. Unless you have a masterplan for a huge natural set up or something, or unless you have an extremely maverick hamster. Even so the Barney has a lot of scope for enrichment and extra levels etc.

This is my current set up for our Syrian in it, with one extra shelf

P7090574.jpg

Overall, personally, I would prefer the plaza. But for the price difference you could get a lot more enrichment toys, a better wheel (the silent runner can be bar mounted but costs about 25 and another 5 for the bar mount attachment), so it really comes down to access - what kind you prefer and cost.

And I have to say, finding good shelves is a pain. I have has some ranch house cages ones - you can get them in virtually any size, but they are quite heavy, being solid pine. I have one I really like that I got on Amazon.de but it's hard to find a seller who ship to the Uk. Getzoo sell some excellent platforms with 21cm legs (so tall enough to sit above substrate but they might need a bit of doctoring to fit with a curved base.

https://www.getzoo.de/kaefigausstattung/etage.html

So there still isn't an ideal cage! The Plaza should have been bit lower and only needed one shelf.

The Barney is easier for access than the Alexander I think as the shelves are great in the Alexander but top access is difficult to see under them.
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Old 11-24-2017, 08:59 AM   #13
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Default Re: Barney cage for a syrian hamster?

Final thing! I was trying to choose between the Barney and Alexander in the end - when no Savic Plaza available. After much thinking I decided on the Alexander but it was out of stock so got the Barney.

One of the pluses of the Alexander is - although it costs more it comes with just about everything except a wheel and toys. No shelves to find, and the big long built in house is popular with hammies. Lots of space and the extra level of shelves makes it have loads of space and enrichment. With the shelves and the sloping top fall risks are lessened - there's just the gap to think about and hanging something over the ladder and part over the gap can help. An awful lot of Syrians have been happy in the cage. Shame the plaza doesn't come with shelves like that! Access isn't everything. The downside is you are limited to where you put a large Syrian wheel without messing up the shelf layout or having lower substrate - and for that reason the barney is a bit easier to set up. You can put the wheel wherever you want.

If you could find some good shelves, I'd get the Plaza. Sorry I'm not being much help here with the decision making!
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:06 AM   #14
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Default Re: Barney cage for a syrian hamster?

Best bet for shelves is probably Ranch house cages. Here's their selection - it takes a bit of working out which ones you'd need to achieve a layout. I would go with something like one either end and one at the back, with space for a wheel. Depending on what kind of house you're going to get/use - they need a good sized house/nesting box.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/m.html?_o...shelf&_sacat=0

It's a fiddly option and not the cheapest. But could be very nice once done.
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:18 AM   #15
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Default Re: Barney cage for a syrian hamster?

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Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Final thing! I was trying to choose between the Barney and Alexander in the end - when no Savic Plaza available. After much thinking I decided on the Alexander but it was out of stock so got the Barney.

One of the pluses of the Alexander is - although it costs more it comes with just about everything except a wheel and toys. No shelves to find, and the big long built in house is popular with hammies. Lots of space and the extra level of shelves makes it have loads of space and enrichment. With the shelves and the sloping top fall risks are lessened - there's just the gap to think about and hanging something over the ladder and part over the gap can help. An awful lot of Syrians have been happy in the cage. Shame the plaza doesn't come with shelves like that! Access isn't everything. The downside is you are limited to where you put a large Syrian wheel without messing up the shelf layout or having lower substrate - and for that reason the barney is a bit easier to set up. You can put the wheel wherever you want.

If you could find some good shelves, I'd get the Plaza. Sorry I'm not being much help here with the decision making!
Thank you for such detailed and considerate answers! There's so much to take into account, I think I'll try and resist buying anything just yet and try and weigh up my options.
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:25 AM   #16
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Default Re: Barney cage for a syrian hamster?

Sorry I posted without seeing Cypher's post. That is an option to not need lots of extra shelves. Putting cardboard round the inside and having deeper substrate.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:11 PM   #17
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Default Re: Barney cage for a syrian hamster?

If you go for the Slavic plaza. You could put a full level inane have a small acces hole and a ramp.
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Old 11-25-2017, 10:06 PM   #18
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Default Re: Barney cage for a syrian hamster?

Once again, thank you to everyone who commented! After lots of deliberation (and reflection to your feedback), I've decided to stick with my original plan and ordered the Barney cage (a deal on zooplus also helped to confirm the decision).

I will be upgrading in the future though. I found these two guinea pig/ hedgehog cages (120cm x 60 cm) on Hamster Homes website and was really impressed with their size and design. Now, I just need to decide, if I want a mesh or perspex front for the cage (not really great with decision-making ) and save up a little.

Even when I get the bigger cage, I think the Barney will still be great as a temporary housing, if I ever get someone to look after my hamster when I go away for holidays (as the wooden cage isn't quite as mobile) and/or if I ever decide to get another hamster... I need to be careful not to get carried away
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:19 PM   #19
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Default Re: Barney cage for a syrian hamster?

lol! it's easy to get carried away
The barney will make a lovely home for your ham, hamster homes do make some lovely things so that will be great too if you decide to upgrade at some point.
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Old 11-26-2017, 05:56 AM   #20
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Default Re: Barney cage for a syrian hamster?

The Barney is a great option if you're considering upgrading. Those cages on Hamster homes are amazing - I was tempted myself by the 120 by 60 I would go for the perspex front myself - a lovely view of your hammy and no mesh to chew at the front.

The other thing about starting off in the Barney is you'll find out whether your hamster is a big chewer or not. If you end up with a hamster that chews his or her way out of a Barney or bar chews a lot it may help decide whether a wood cage is suitable or not. I don't think you will have a chewing issue in the Barney though unless you clean out too much, which can stress them.

You probably already know this but best not to do any clean outs or change things in the cage for the first two weeks - after that spot cleaning mostly and "big" cleans infrequently is a good option. Plus a litter tray so the cage stays clean mostly.
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