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Old 06-08-2021, 04:42 PM   #1
Imogen
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Exclamation Hamster enclosure upgrade, NEED HELP.

Hi there,

I own a male Syrian hamster called Remy, I got a wheel (the TRIXIE wooden wheel) two days ago which fits lovely in his enclosure but had to take a fair bit of substrate out so it can fit well.

Although, I'm not overly happy with how much I had to take out since I want to be able to give my hamster a nice big substrate depth throughout and be able to place the wheel on one of those wooden chamber boxes but can't as it's too shallow for that.

My nan (who I live with) isn't overly happy with the idea of me purchasing an ikea detolf shelving unit to flip on it's side just for "one" hamster.

And because of her age, she thinks it's still ok to keep a hamster in a critter trail like cage because she doesn't want to "give in" and accept that we now know more about hamsters and that they need a good size enclosure to be happy. She doesn't even like the big bin box which is 709 sq inch that I have now. She thinks it's overboard and stupidly big for such a tiny creature.

Anyway, is there any other kind of thing I can get to make a good size enclosure? It's mostly to make me feel satisfied over the wheel being able to fit in nicely and still give my hammy a lot of room for toys and burrowing.

The IKEA detolf shelving is COMPLETELY out of the option, she just is not ok with it: "it's too heavy" "it's too much glass" "it's not needed for a hamster" etc.

I need something that isn't more expensive than the detolf shelving unit (60), if cheaper that'd be great. I'm not good at the DIY stuff and would need a lot of help and advice on knowing how to make a DIY wooden cage such as good and safe glues, as well as what type of wood to use that's safe for hamsters and more.

Does anyone have any good ideas for how to make a wooden enclosure? Obviously the front can have glass, I wouldn't like mesh since I wouldn't be able to put a deep substrate due to all those holes.

The bin box I have now will probably be used for a dwarf hamster since their wheels are a bit smaller than a Syrian, therefore it would be great to be able to add a new family member to my home.

Many thanks!

Here's the enclosure I like by Victoria:


Here's my hamsters enclosure now (slightly outdated since the wheel is different and the green "box" has been replaced with an actual hamster toilet):
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Old 06-08-2021, 05:00 PM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Hamster enclosure upgrade, NEED HELP.

Hi there. What size is your bin length and depth? Because tbh it looks fine to me! I wouldn't worry about having deep substrate in every part of the cage. It is often necessary (when fitting a 28cm wheel in) to have no substrate under the wheel and shallower substrate near it (I used to slope the substrate away from the wheel. As long as you have deeper substrate elsewhere in the cage. Some hamsters aren't even bothered by deeper substrate or aren't diggers.

It looks like a really good sized bin cage to me. So don't worry too much about the wheel area having less substrate.

The only way you could have the same sized bin or cage and still have substrate under the wheel, would be to have a taller cage/bin and have the wheel on a platform. Taller bins aren't that easy to find. A detolf is a good size, but again the wheel area has to have virtually no substrate as the detolf is quite low - although you do have a lot more cage space for deeper areas.

One bin that is seen to be a really good size for a Syrian is the RUB 145 litre bin. Which is 81cm by 62 cm - so has a good depth - deeper than most cages. It's 43 cm tall which "might" be tall enough to have a 28cm wheel on a platform allowing for the depth of the lid.

But I'm not sure it would give more floor area than you currently have.

Go Shopping - Really Useful Boxes - 145 litre Really Useful Box

The main thing is he has a good wheel to run in now, plenty of floor space and some depth of substrate in some areas. I think another important thing is a good house and possibly a shelf or platform - that really adds to enrichment.
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Old 06-08-2021, 05:08 PM   #3
Imogen
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Default Re: Hamster enclosure upgrade, NEED HELP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Hi there. What size is your bin length and depth? Because tbh it looks fine to me! I wouldn't worry about having deep substrate in every part of the cage. It is often necessary (when fitting a 28cm wheel in) to have no substrate under the wheel and shallower substrate near it (I used to slope the substrate away from the wheel. As long as you have deeper substrate elsewhere in the cage. Some hamsters aren't even bothered by deeper substrate or aren't diggers.

It looks like a really good sized bin cage to me. So don't worry too much about the wheel area having less substrate.

The only way you could have the same sized bin or cage and still have substrate under the wheel, would be to have a taller cage/bin and have the wheel on a platform.
I do love the bin, it's a lovely one and I'm happy with it but also not really happy with it. I hope you can understand what I mean by that haha!

It would be nice to move Remy to a DIY wooden enclosure though since I already plan on getting a desk to put his bin on. With this, if I can find a good ikea DIY thing that I can turn into an enclosure (besides the detolf) I'd be able to use the bin for dwarfs (one at a time of course). I brought Remy from the petshop before ever considering rescuing, so I could use the bin to rescue a dwarf and after Remy start rescuing Syrians which would go in the bigger DIY cage because the height for the wheel.

The size of the bin is ...
(H)x(W)x(D):
49x110x41

It's the 134L really useful box
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Old 06-08-2021, 09:14 PM   #4
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Hamster enclosure upgrade, NEED HELP.

You could look into the ikea komplement

IKEA KOMPLEMENT | DIY New Hamster Cage Tutorial + giving my hamster the life he deserves 🐹 - YouTube

Not sure how tall it is or how much it works out price wise, although seem to remember it is about 1 third of what my marrakesh cage cost.

Lindsey also has enough ikea hack cage on her channel you mihht want to check out too. I havent seen anyone else do these cages.

I will leave a link to my video that shows a few ikea hacks with all the links in the description to build videos

Bin, Aquarium, DIY, IKEA hacks Hamster Cages | Cosmic Hamsters - YouTube

Although I agree with Serendipity your cage already looks great, most people have to have a thinner layer of substrate where the wheel is
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Old 06-09-2021, 12:34 AM   #5
VOESSY
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Default Re: Hamster enclosure upgrade, NEED HELP.

If you're tight on budget you could look on Gumtree (or similar for your area) and find free wooden cabinets/bookcases that are deep enough and you lay on their back to make it into a 'box shape', and take out any and all shelving. If you're not in a hurry to put glass or plexi in the front (when someone could help you out), that could be a good solution.
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Last edited by VOESSY; 06-09-2021 at 12:37 AM. Reason: Added a few words
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Old 06-09-2021, 04:01 AM   #6
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Hamster enclosure upgrade, NEED HELP.

It can work out quite expensive doing diy cages unless you know someone with a lot of tools!

One thing I looked at once was the IKEA stuva toy box- it’s 100x 50 x 50. It’s now been replaced by Smastad which is 90 x 50 x 48. I thought maybe less diy involved as it already has three sides. If you turn it upside down you would have a floor and two ends. Half a back or front (the other half could be meshed). Then just needs a mesh top making. Oh and a front of some kind - either Perspex or mesh. Perspex is more expensive and could be fiddly. The top lid could just be similar to the detolf lids. Strips of wood with mesh (and maybe hinged).

SMASTAD Bench, white, 90x50x48 cm - IKEA

It’s not as long as your current bin but deeper so about the same probably and a good size.
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Old 06-09-2021, 04:19 AM   #7
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Hamster enclosure upgrade, NEED HELP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
It can work out quite expensive doing diy cages unless you know someone with a lot of tools!

One thing I looked at once was the IKEA stuva toy box- it’s 100x 50 x 50. It’s now been replaced by Smastad which is 90 x 50 x 48. I thought maybe less diy involved as it already has three sides. If you turn it upside down you would have a floor and two ends. Half a back or front (the other half could be meshed). Then just needs a mesh top making. Oh and a front of some kind - either Perspex or mesh. Perspex is more expensive and could be fiddly. The top lid could just be similar to the detolf lids. Strips of wood with mesh (and maybe hinged).

SMASTAD Bench, white, 90x50x48 cm - IKEA

It’s not as long as your current bin but deeper so about the same probably and a good size.
That's why I like Linseys videos (that I linked to) of her Ikea hacks - very little DIY and no expensive tools needed. The Komplement even comes with it own glass panel already framed.
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