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Old 08-27-2019, 09:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb DIY Shelf Cage- is it a good idea?

Hi, right now I have a big cage for my hedgehog, Peggy. She likes it but I found that its bulky, and takes up a lot of space in my bedroom. I have a 5 shelf bookcase.. and I've done some researching and thinking maybe I should turn two of the shelves into a hedgehog cage. I would a add a ramp for her to get up on and as for doors, id get a glass sliding door. I always use fleece bedding and I intend to use that for this one too. I do wonder if its a good idea though.. How should I add ventilation? Will she fall off the ramp? Has anyone else done this? Thanks!
P.S. This video has the door I'm planning to use:
IKEA Hack - Hedgehog cage KALLAX Shelving unit
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The problem with those diy shelf enclosures that I’ve found is that none of the compartments end up being large enough. Since they’re very curious and active animals, they should have a good amount of flat, one level space to run around, and the 8 square feet recommendation is a recommendation per floor, if you will. Ramps are tricky, too, because if the angle isn’t right, they might be able to slide down but they might have a hard time climbing back up, and some hedgehogs have even been known to reject ramps and not use them or the secondary levels at all! This is just all something to consider, but if you can make one single compartment large enough, it would be a cool idea!
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Two shelves is too small; even connected with a ramp to a bottom two. I have a converted ikea kallax for my dwarf hamster, and I can tell you first hand that it’s a very, very narrow - it pushes it close for a *tiny* hamster, I couldn’t even imagine a hedgehog living in it - *especially* only have two sections of continuous floor space.

They’re very active animals, and need large enclosures - as already mentioned, of a bare minimum 8 square feet. The kallax is not big enough for a hedgehog.
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Vents arent too hard to add either, you'll need at two on each level, just cute out a circle or square, and then stick mesh down, this is good because you need to get probes through, so you can cut a bigger hole to fit the probe in.

The ramp depends on how steep the gap is, if its a steep gap you will want to create two ramps with like a landing between them so that its not as steep.

Heating wise is something you need to consider, heat rises so you need the heat on the bottom floor. You will need a thermostat that has two probes, one for each level and a thermometer for each level to make sure both are the same consistent temp.

I've assumed you have measured it so it has the right space. So not commenting there. I also assume that one level can fit the wheel and that you checked.
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Old 08-28-2019, 01:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you for all the tips and input! Yes, I have measured the wheel, house and food/water stations, it should all fit nicely. My bookshelf is not the Ikea one shown in the video, its wooden and each shelf is 22inches long, 14inches high and 19inches wide, so about 418sq inches. The cage I have bought right now to house her is 30 x 18 x 16.5 inches. So even if she rejects the ramp, one shelf should be a good size for her.
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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418 square inches is entirely too small for a hedgehog. Two levels connected or not, that is not appropriate housing. The recommended bare minimum is 1,150 square inches, or equivalent to 8 square feet, of unbroken (continuous) floorspace; that is, it cannot be broken up by levels.

You cannot possibly set up an enclosure size that small to be an appropriate living environment for a hedgehog. Even her current enclosure is far too small. Hedgehogs take up a lot of space, and it is not far to downgrade her (already inappropriately sized enclosure) for the sake of taking up less space in your room. They are active animals, who require large enclosures, and that's a sacrifice you have to make owning a hedgehog.

If anything, your hog needs a larger cage - not a smaller one. I recommend checking out C&C cages; theyre a pretty common housing option, and a 3 x 2 C&C meets minimum floorspace recommendations.
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have a DIY cage where I made use of existing furniture.

I see that the one you are planning (418 sq inches) is just 2.9 square feet. The minimum recommended size is now 8 sq ft -- up from the 4 sq ft formerly recommended. In either case, 2.9 falls significantly short.

There are ways to make "furniture" cages, but you just need to find the right size/type of furniture.

The good things in his video (just skimmed it) is the coroplast used to line it (and protect wood) and the led lighting. The framing/track for the doors is also well done.

I opted to go with plexiglass because I could drill holes for ventilation. With care, the plexiglass can remain in decent shape for the life of your hedgehog at least.
I also have the recommended CHE set up with thermostat and thermometers (I didn't see any heating in his?).

Bedding type is up to you. I prefer using fleece. I provide a "dig house" with strips of fleece for burrowing and a couple tunnels, etc.

The attached pics show how I used our furniture to create a 2' by 4' cage.
1st -- before removing doors and drawers
2nd -- almost complete (lacking new sliding doors)
3rd -- all done

You could check places like Craig's list for old TV cabinets. They tend to be deeper and larger.
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Last edited by Mecki; 08-28-2019 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mecki View Post
I have a DIY cage where I made use of existing furniture.

I see that the one you are planning (418 sq inches) is just 2.9 square feet. The minimum recommended size is now 8 sq ft -- up from the 4 sq ft formerly recommended. In either case, 2.9 falls significantly short.

There are ways to make "furniture" cages, but you just need to find the right size/type of furniture.

The good things in his video (just skimmed it) is the coroplast used to line it (and protect wood) and the led lighting. The framing/track for the doors is also well done.

I opted to go with plexiglass because I could drill holes for ventilation. With care, the plexiglass can remain in decent shape for the life of your hedgehog at least.
I also have the recommended CHE set up with thermostat and thermometers (I didn't see any heating in his?).

Bedding type is up to you. I prefer using fleece. I provide a "dig house" with strips of fleece for burrowing and a couple tunnels, etc.

The attached pics show how I used our furniture to create a 2' by 4' cage.
1st -- before removing doors and drawers
2nd -- almost complete (lacking new sliding doors)
3rd -- all done

You could check places like Craig's list for old TV cabinets. They tend to be deeper and larger.
This is very nice and similar to what we are making only with totes for now. What did you make/ use for a ramp or way for the hedgie to get between levels? Thanks.
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Old 08-31-2019, 05:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd&Copper View Post
This is very nice and similar to what we are making only with totes for now. What did you make/ use for a ramp or way for the hedgie to get between levels? Thanks.
Mine is all on one level.
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