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concern over enclosures for rats!

Discussion in 'Small Animal Chat' started by alan g a, Apr 9, 2011.


  1. alan g a

    alan g a Hello ev'ry body peeps. Stavross 'ere init.

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    In a thread I started yesterday I said that my rats were in a terrarium. This was cause for concern to some of you. I should explain that it is a terrarium NOT a tank. It is designed and built for the purpose by myself. The lower third is a 1/6" steel box with a glass front. The upper 2 thirds is a 1/4" steel bar framework with 1/16" steel bars welded to it at 1/2* intervals. The whole thing is divided into 3 levels conected by ramps and ropes. Both design and finished product have been seen and approved by the RSPCA. I have kept rats in this and simular structures for more than 30 years and no animal as ever become sick or injured as a result. I appropriate your concerns but rest asured my rats are safe happy and very well cared for. Thanks any way.:sleep:
     
  2. B3rnie

    B3rnie Guest

    Have you got a pic of your enclosure? I'm interested to see :)
    I must say that this statement means nothing to me "Both design and finished product have been seen and approved by the RSPCA."
     
  3. fuzzymum

    fuzzymum PetForums Senior

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    Hmm yes RSPCA approved...pah. Piccy though please? I can't picture it lol x
     
  4. Argent

    Argent PetForums VIP

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    Same lol...I googled 'terrarium' for pictures and they're all glass tanks basically. I wanna see, especially since you've built it, I like custom cages :)

    Same about RSPCA tbh
     
  5. Snippet

    Snippet PetForums VIP

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    The problem with tank and topper style cages is that there is still not enough ventilation for an animal that naturally suffers from weak lungs. Also, most tanks are far to narrow (depth wise) for rats, so if you based you cage on a fish tank then I will hazard a guess that it just doesn't have a big enough foot print for a full time home for a pair or more of rats.
     
  6. BattleKat

    BattleKat PetForums Senior

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    surely that depends on the tank itself? we have yet to actually see a photo of Alan's cage so it's hard to tell what the ventilation would be like.
    My mice live in a terrarium <link> but I leave the front off all the time so it's very well ventilated. I also know someone who has built her own rat cage - the bottom 3 inches is glass and the front is glass but the back and sides are barred. again, it is a tank style cage but there is plenty of ventilation.
     
  7. Snippet

    Snippet PetForums VIP

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    99% of the tanks I've seen did not have the depth to be a comfortable home for rats. That is aside from the fact that tanks really aren't suitable for rats. Apart from the ventilation issue, they are impossible to fit with a decent amount of enrichment. Most of the tanks I've seen set up for small furries seem to have huge amounts of wasted space in them because you're only able to hang stuff from the top.

    I personally don't see why people would potentially risk their rat's health when you can pick up a large second hand cage for very little money. Your friend's cage may well be a very nice cage if the picture I have in my head is right, but Alan's description of his terrarium makes me think of this but in a bigger size.
     
  8. B3rnie

    B3rnie Guest

    That's the cage I see in my head also :(
    I wish the OP would just post a pic to clear this up, but I doubt he will :nono:
     
  9. alan g a

    alan g a Hello ev'ry body peeps. Stavross 'ere init.

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    Yes. At least 5 times bigger.
    And also I appologise for not posting pics. I only have PS3 and the camera I have is not compatible with it.
     
  10. B3rnie

    B3rnie Guest

    Do you not have a phone then?

    I really can't picture it in my head :confused:
     
  11. Snippet

    Snippet PetForums VIP

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    But is it that style of cage? Could you find a picture on the internet that is similar to your cage and post a link to it?
     
  12. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    Personally, I wouldn't keep rats in soemthing like that link as I'd be worried about ammonia build up
    JMO
     
  13. alan g a

    alan g a Hello ev'ry body peeps. Stavross 'ere init.

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    This one is close, but the cage part is preportionatlly much bigger. It is about 2/3 of the total height, and hopefully to clear this up, the base size is 6ft by 4ft. Which I bevelive is much bigger than the recomsnded minimum size for 2 rats.
    I once again thank you all for your concern
    Ammonia build up ( or any other build up for that matter ) isn't a problem. the enclosure is cleaned at least twice a week. The little guys only live in the cage at night or if I am out. The spend most of the rest of the day with me. Some times sleeping in my pocket.( Their choice not mine. )
     
    #13 alan g a, May 1, 2011
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  14. niki87

    niki87 PetForums VIP

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    You have obviously done well in building it and you care for your rats due to the size of the terrarium. The fact is the rats have senstive respiratory systems so for healthy rats they must have ventilation and 24/7 air circulation. Ammonia (from wee) is there constantly cos they wee a lot :eek: Plus ANY dust from their bedding, food, anything needs to be able to get out easily to protect the rats sensitive respiratory system. Maybe you can take the glass panel from the from...maybe the back too if possible and put some strong mesh up? For me this would be hard lol but sounds like it would be do-able for you? It would be beneficial I can promise you :D
     
  15. xchocolatexmustardx

    xchocolatexmustardx PetForums Junior

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    Obviously it sounds like the Rats are in good conditions. They seem to have alot of free space to run around in and it sounds as if the terrarium is only used as a bathroom. I could be wrong never have owned rats before, but they sound to me like they are living in a fine home.
     
  16. alan g a

    alan g a Hello ev'ry body peeps. Stavross 'ere init.

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    I hope that I have cleared things up now. I am considering building a new cage. It's about time I put my metalwork skills to use again. It will probably not be for my current 2 rats because of the time it takes to design and build it.
     
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