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Hi guys,

Our current situation: My husband and I have a 2.5 year old female who has been with us since she was 7 weeks old, living happily in a Marchioro Tommy cage. We've had zero problems with it and I'd recommend this cage to anyone. However, we are preparing to add a second baby girl to our family in about 4 weeks. We are considering the Ferret Nation cage for both girls to move into in order to save space (we are in a 2-bedroom apartment) while giving each hedgehog a separate cage, her own CHE, and ample living space (the older girl would actually get an extra 1+ sq ft from what she's in now). I love what I have been seeing and reading so far about it, but I have one question left that I haven't found an answer for so far.

Does anyone have experience with the Ferret Nation Double (Model 182) versus the Ferret Nation Single with the add-on unit attached (Model 181 + Model 183)? I was planning to do the double plus an extra solid pan to remove the ramp opening between the levels and create two completely separate cages, but it appears the single + add-on is far less expensive. I can't identify any difference in the two finished products, but the price difference is significant enough to make me concerned. Does the add-on with the single present any complications to using it as two separate cages? Would it be any more / less safe or convenient than the double? We would of course make sure each level had a solid bottom without the ramp cutout.

Before making a final decision, we just want to be sure that what we get will be safe and worthwhile for our girls. It's also a big expense and we'd like to make a smart financial decision while we're at it!

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
 

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My understanding is that a 181 + 183 basically is a 182. You can buy a 181, and add a 183 to it at anytime to make a double unit that functions like a 182. Usually the 182 is less expensive, so I'm impressed you found it cheaper the other way.

I purchased two of the older style (142) double units for my quilled ones back in, uh... 2008? They work wonderfully. Very happy with my decision to switch to them. I have a Marchiorio I use as a quarantine cage, and it is a nice cage, but to be honest, the FN is better. For me its just easier to access the entire cage. I also like the fact I'm reaching in to pick up hedgehogs instead of above them.

A tip for you. Your cage is going to have a shelf at the bottom. Its wire and unless they have changed it. Its identical to the wire floor that goes in the bottom cage. The top section's bottom (the wired bottom) has a cut out to allow ferrets to go between the top and bottom. Instead of using the cut out bottom, use the shelf instead in the top section. Then you have a solid bottom in both sections and can use the one with the cut out as the shelf. More stable surface that way.

I also upgraded the pans in mine. I don't like the plastic pans that came with it. The sides are very low. Instead I purchase Bass pans.

http://www.bassequipment.com/foundations/store/scresults.asp?category=230*Cage_Pans

I love the taller sides, and prefer the metal pans. They have stood up very well over the years. Between the wire bottom and the pan I added a double layer of fleece. The fleece serves as insulation to help keep the cage floor warmer.

The FN also has some challenges. Heating takes a little different approach. With the wide open, great ventilation, it can get a little touchy to heat in winter. I have a couple of old vellux blankets that I throw over the top, and drape down the back and two sides during the winter to help keep heat in and drafts out. It does help significantly. I've also just tied fleece to the sides to help keep heat in.
 

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Other than Nikki on here, I have no idea. I make my own liners. If you don't sew, you can buy fleece and cut it to fit the pan. Works ok, not nearly as neat as sewn liners, but it works just fine.
 
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