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Old 08-29-2016, 10:56 AM   #1
Harebell
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Default Making the Falco Syrian appropriate

So after doing the costing for my DIY ideas, and then cursing like a sailor at the realisation that (purchase cost, man power, etc. considered) I was easily looking at £100-150 I decided to just grab something premade which fit most of my specifications

The Falco isn't as deep or wide as I would have liked, but it does offer a good height in the lower section and nearly every review comments on how well made it is.

*But* having searched the forum it seems people have a few concerns regarding the potential drop from level to floor. I'd be filling the base ip as deep as possible (and adding structures to it to, hopefully, minimise the risk of future hamball burrowing to the far corner and the burrow collapsing on him), but how should the falling risk ideally be minimised?

I don't want to compromise on roaming/wheel space by filling it up too much, but I don't want to leave wide open spaces either. From past experience I know that sometimes when given the option to walk across a platform or do a flying leap Syrians can, for reasons unknown, go for the leap, and I'm slightly worried I'll be buying a death trap by going with the Falco...

Hamster Cages: great selection at zooplus: Small Pet Cage Falco

I did do a search, but I'm not sure I used the right keywords.

Last edited by Harebell; 08-29-2016 at 10:59 AM. Reason: adding link
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Making the Falco Syrian appropriate

Honestly you might find by the time you add levels and other necessary things to a tall cage you're not really saving much,plus overall considering the actual floor space given DIY cages would be cheaper than a lot of storebought cages as long as they are built largely(over a square meter).
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Making the Falco Syrian appropriate

Are you ordering from Zooplus? If so, then they have a Barney cage on there for £50 which is 100x50cm and only 40cm tall, which is a far more appropriate height
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:04 AM   #4
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmityvilleHams View Post
Honestly you might find by the time you add levels and other necessary things to a tall cage you're not really saving much,plus overall considering the actual floor space given DIY cages would be cheaper than a lot of storebought cages as long as they are built largely(over a square meter).

Everyone keeps saying that, but after I factored everything in the DIY option came to about the same cost for the same result. For it to be significantly worthwhile there would have to be a lot of luck involved; knowing someone with the right tools, finding the right item at the right price, getting the time to put it together, not having it look like a bodge job.

There's a lot to be said for DIY, but I am not sure it is something that would work out in my particular situation. Perhaps it's just the suppliers I can use in my local area, but it just wasn't cost effective, even for a larger cage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freyashamsters View Post
Are you ordering from Zooplus? If so, then they have a Barney cage on there for £50 which is 100x50cm and only 40cm tall, which is a far more appropriate height
It's the substrate depth I am most interested in, I am not sure how comparable they are? It looks like I could provide a very deep layer of substrate which (from brief looks at the customer photos) exceed the Barney, but maybe the clear glass is misleading me?

I did consider tracking down a cheap second hand aquarium and making a topper, but in my area they all seem to go for £200, even leaky ones.

Last edited by Fluffagrams; 08-29-2016 at 01:10 PM. Reason: Consecutive posts
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Making the Falco Syrian appropriate

Considering you can make a DIY for around the same price as the Falco,that would be a much better choice in my opinion. Yes,it is more work,but there are a lot of things that are so much better about DIY cages.

You can customize it to have anything you want,be it more ventilation or less all the way up to something like a locking door or lid,where a storebought cage is only ever going to be what you buy.The Falco in particular is half the size of what you could build,and it costs just as much,so it really wouldn't be a good option anyways in the economic sense.

By the way,DIY is far less complex than it seems.Using the right materials does make it look much better,for example melamine gives it a nice modern and very clean look

Another thing about the Falco is you wouldn't likely get the full use out of the bottom section,you'd have substrate up to the ventilation grid and then a lot of hard to fill space due to it being a tank style bottom.However with DIY as mentioned you can really do anything you want,and could even have far better substrate depth.

Barney and Alexander type cages generally provide about 6 inches of substrate,which isn't really that great compared to what DIY cages and even tanks can hold.

Last edited by Fluffagrams; 08-29-2016 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: Making the Falco Syrian appropriate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harebell View Post
It's the substrate depth I am most interested in, I am not sure how comparable they are? It looks like I could provide a very deep layer of substrate which (from brief looks at the customer photos) exceed the Barney, but maybe the clear glass is misleading me?

I did consider tracking down a cheap second hand aquarium and making a topper, but in my area they all seem to go for £200, even leaky ones.
Yes, it looks like the Falco does have a deeper base than the Barney - however that doesn't mean the Barney has a shallow base. The base is 17cm high, so when filled with substrate, you'd be providing almost 7" of bedding!
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Making the Falco Syrian appropriate

Okay,this might sound like a bit of a silly idea,but why not try and get an Ikea Detolf but instead of just making the Detolf itself with the same dimensions as always just get a sheet of melamine cut to make it a square meter or so?It would be cheaper than acrylic and at that point you'd just have to make sides(get a large sheet of melamine and this can be all one sheet instead of many and you could save a lot of money doing so!)and a lid,so nothing fancy.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: Making the Falco Syrian appropriate

DIYs aren't always the best solution for everyone. Aside from the money, it's access to the tools and materials as well as the skills needed to (or knowing someone that can) make a safe cage. I personally am not sure I'd want to faff around with something that I'm not convinced I could make better than something I could buy. Also, I've not been lucky enough to a have a ham that will pee in their sand 100% of the time so, as a lot of DIYs are based around wood or chipboard coated with something, I'm not sure I'd trust any of my hams not to soak the wood and ruin it before too long.

However, this thread is about making the Falco safe from falls, not debating the merits of bought versus DIY so if we could help Harebell by keeping answers to that, that'd be great.

Last edited by velma; 08-29-2016 at 02:35 PM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 08-29-2016, 12:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Making the Falco Syrian appropriate

The idea of having such a depth of substrate in the Falco is appealing but tbh it really isn't a practical cage for a hamster & the average 17cm in most barred cages from Zooplus like the Barney or Alaska is perfectly adequate, so if you're still open to alternatives I would go for one of those or something similar.
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Old 08-29-2016, 01:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Making the Falco Syrian appropriate

If you get a lower cage with more floor space you can still have a digging area with deeper substrate in one part of the cage.

Toys etc need positioning so if a hamster falls the only land on substrate. Which is harder to do if the cage is tall. Unless full levels are added.
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