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Old 07-24-2009, 02:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Modifying my Ferret Nation cage

I have a Ferret Nation 142 cage which I have been using for my 2 hedgehogs since I got them. I removed the ramp between their cages so that they each have their own cage. I have not been using the loft area in either of their cages because I am not sure how to modify the ramp and upstairs to make it safe. Today I purchased a bunch of those wire panels (cubes?) that you make c & c cages from and some zipties. What is the best way to use these to make it safe? How can these be used to block the sides of the ramp? How do you cut an opening in the cube panels for the opening at the top of the ramp so that it's not sharp? I would prefer not to use a dryer vent for the ramp because both of my hedgies like to poop a lot!

Any tips and advice would be appreciated
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Modifying my Ferret Nation cage

Lizard Girl uses a modified Ferret Nation cage. You can see the modifications here. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=71&p=577&hilit=ferret#p577
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Modifying my Ferret Nation cage

Alright, the first thing you'll want to do is take the tray that was meant for the lower part of the cage and use it in the second part. Once the trays are switched, there is no way they can get to each other.

Lisa (Luvin_Hedgies) used the wire cubes for a wall- she bent them in half at a 90* angle and somehow attached them to the underneath of the ramp. I think then she covered the ramp with fleece.

I use a vinyl dryer vent tube, and tied it to the side of the cage. Inky loves it but some hedgies don't like climbing up/down them and some decide to sleep there only.

For a wall on the loft, I used piece of cardboard and made a fabric cover so it wouldn't look so ugly. Then I just cut a hole in it to put the end of the tube through (you'd just be cutting a door). To keep this wall in place I used barbie clip thingies (I'm sure you know what I'm talking about ) and clipped them on from the top over one bar and onto the cardboard.

I can get pictures of anything if you need them. Nancy and a few other people also use Ferret and Critter Nations (though the critter nations are easier to climb up) and they might post how they do things.



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Old 07-24-2009, 03:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Modifying my Ferret Nation cage

I modified mine as well. I got a ferret tunnel (essentially a dryer vent tube) and used zip ties to attach it to the existing ramp. It has plastic end caps that had holes so it's nice and sturdy, as opposed to just the plain dryer tubes. Although, if you don't want a tunnel then I would suggest hanging the cube panels you bought down from the top of the cage with something, then attaching them to the bottom of the ramp with the zip ties to keep them in place. You may want to make a full wall along the edge of the ramp with them so he can't climb over the panels and still fall, but even then he could climb up the panels and fall down them, so maybe they need to be covered no matter what (which is why I chose the tube).

For the top level, I got these panels from a craft store that basically replicate glass but aren't glass. It's clear, sturdy material. I used a utility knife to cut it to the right shape, then used the 3M brand of hanging hooks to attach them to the cage. I hooked it to the top of the cage, as well as the second level edge so it stays put. I can remove it easily to clean, and it can be sterilzed. I like that it's clear because I can see right through it. You do need to cut a nook for the ramp/tube whatever as well.

Sorry I don't have pics at the moment, maybe soon though
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Modifying my Ferret Nation cage

Thanks everyone.

I am working hard at this right now. So far I have put the shelf loft area in and made a wall up to the ceiling with the cubes with a cutout for the ramp. Now I'm stuck! I don't know how to go about making walls for the ramp? Lucky for me neither of my hedgies are climbers, but just in case I will weave a place mat thru the squares so they can't climb up and fall.

Any ideas how to use these cubes with the ramp? I tried to bend them but I'm not strong enough

I do have wire cutters though, so I can cut, just not bend.
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Modifying my Ferret Nation cage

Try cutting each cube in half, in the middle of one of the rows of squares. Then take the pliers and bend the little bit of wire back. This will make kind of a ledge that you can use to stabilize it when you attach it to the ramp. Attach each panel to itself, and the bottom of the ramp (you have to line the ramp anyways, so the hedgie will never be in contact with the cut cube) and to the barrier you made on the ledge of the second level. You may also need to attach it closer to the ramp bottom (somewhere on the side of the cage?) to keep it up and stable so it will not fall. Hope this makes sense
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Modifying my Ferret Nation cage

Forgot to add: you probably can't bend a whole cube, but when the wire is cut it should be really easy to bend each little wire with a pair of pliers
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Modifying my Ferret Nation cage

Thanks for the great ideas knitfreak. This is what I did. I walled off the upstairs and cut out a hole for where the ramp goes. Then I made walls 3 squares high for the sides of the ramp and attached those with zipties. Then I put a roof on this and attached the whole thing to the upper level and the ramp. The ramp "tunnel" starts about 1/3 of the way up and then on one side there is the side part but not the roof part from there down leaving an opening at the bottom on the one side only.

I will take some pics tomorrow and post them. I would like for anyone to point out any potential safety issues that I might be overlooking.
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Modifying my Ferret Nation cage

Here's my Ferret Nation modification. The top level is divided into two separate cages.

The bottom level is raised with storage underneath and I could very easily move the whole level up to the middle. The only problem is, then it really limits my wheel sizes. It would be fine with flying saucers.

The ramp have stiff plastic wove in and out and then a piece of fleece hangs down for good footing and to keep the ramp clean. I used resin hardware cloth as the arch over the ramp only because I had it. Plastic canvas would work well too.

I used two of the sections of 9" playpen as the full height loft barrier. It was easy to work with and easier to cut than the cube grids. I also initially used a piece of it for the arch over the ramp but Ellie is a big gal and one length wasn't quite high enough for her.

I could easily turn the top cage into one great big cage by adding an opening in the second level and adding another ramp.

Ellie is at the very top two level cage. Yuri is right below her. Bella and Daisy J are at the bottom.


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