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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As many of us know, rodents need plenty of enrichment to stop them going insane- i do mean literally insane not 'just a wee bit bored' I've seen it happen...
but what if you find yourself owning a rodent that you didn't fully understand when you got it? now you have an animal that you love so dearly that you cannot provide for- many toys and huge cages are expensive and what not. and not everyone is creative- or need a little push in the right direction; i'm like that with technical stuff, but luckily am quite crafty as i know many of you are!

so, here is a thread for sharing those great wee ideas. it is not a place to yell at people (and i'm writing that to remind myself also. i know i sort of lost my cool a few times recently) and nobody is to take the posting of this thread in a negative way. okie dokie?

so i'll start with my latest bright idea! :D

i was in town the other day and spotted a cage in one of the charity shops... annoyingly i've became a bit of a cage collector again (and wonder whos fault that could be!) so Had to ask how much...
ten quid for an as new big fereplast rodent cage with stand and labels still attached! ker-ching!
no idea what i was gonna use it for... but... playpen for the ratties!
its on wheels, so i'm going to keep it in the kitchen in the corner (and pop a shelf up above it) then when i'm sitting on the pc the ratties can come over to!
here is how it is looking atm- i still need to check those plants are rat friendly before i let the boys investigate them, but i think its looking pretty good already if i do say so myself!



the plants were >£1 each in home-base, but i'm going to plant a little herb garden for them with a seed variety pack from pound-land- which is where the rope is from (its an unraveled dog rope)

the tube and the fun looking bedding in the corner is from the resource center as my mum is a member, so they were freebies, and i'm going back to get more things to play with for them... and the hay ball was £2 on ecf. so what you see there (not including their carrier) cost £16, and that's including the plants seen, not my £1-for-all herbs!
i'll let y'all know when the boys have tried it out as its nearly everyone's dinner time!!!

so it can be done cheaply and take up minimal space and time...

so c'mon; what playpens do y'all have!?!
 

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The playpen is my house...the blighters are taking over. Come here and experience the farm feel....rats and mice nibble quietly on millet sprays....ferrets turn every room into a war zone.

A friend recently whispered in my ear that mice love hemp seeds. Love is an understatement....sprinkle a few of those in the cage, hide them in loo roll tubes stuffed with paper and hay. Dried mealworms hidden in spots around the cages are enjoyed. Rats enjoy digging and they love to dig cress seedlings out of the little pots and devour the greens.
String millet sprays in mouse cages and watch the mice find ways to reach the awkward bits.
Use your imagination...look at nature.
Oh and rats like the hemp too :D
 

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My ratties also love the millet sprays! I have a few photos of Harley literally covered in seeds!
Cat trees are another one- can be found secondhand, bought new or made.
Also cardboard box castles- just a ton of cardboard boxes with holes cut out and stacked on top of each other!
 

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I would defintely suggest checking out second hand cages whereever yu can find them.

When I got Dita I paid £60 for a new Ferplast Mary. She now has 3 cages joined together; the mary, a ferplast jenny I got on ebay for £20, and an imac fantasy that was free - my boss saw it out in someones front garden and asked if they were getting rid!

Another free option is being more imaginitive with things you buy anyway - namely food and bedding. Most rodents are highly motivated to forage for food and nestbuild as two of their primary natural behaviours.
Instead of putting their nesting material in a house and their food in a bowl; scatter the bits of food and bedding around the cage, mix it in with clean bedding, wedge / tie bits in the cage bars, hide bits in cardboard boxes etc. Make them work for it!

Make use of vertical space. If you give your pets things like cardboard tubes and boxes you don't have to just put them on the cage floor - space is obviously most limited here especially in smaller cages - just poke a couple of holes in them and cable tie them to the bars on the walls or ceiling.
 

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Hmmm that might be a question that's already been answered on fancy rats forum but if not you could always ask on there.
 

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I never knew that about hemp seeds.
I'm sure they have them on ratrations, I will try my mice on them.

I make toys out of boxes and toilet roll tubes. You can make all sorts of play houses/dens with them and when they get chewed up you can just make more.
For hammocks I use cheap t-towels, t-shirts and old pillowcases. They mostly get pooped in, chewed and ruined so I dont feel the need to spend lots on shop brought hammocks...although they do get treated to one every now and again.

Dressing gown ties (the bit that goes round the middle and holds the dressing gown shut) are loved by my mice. You can thread it in and out the bars of the cage, across the cage and have the ends hanging down so they can climb all over it.
 

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I have lots of rotastac tubes in bright colours that I pop in for them to run around in ( the mice that is:eek: ), I do buy lots of hammocks/wooden toys etc, but I also make fleece hammocks, use plastic childrens toys, parts of other cages to make dens etc, boxes with holes cut out go down well as do dog ropes tied on the bars:)
Loo roll stuffed with shredded paper and treats hidden inside are good too:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What kind of plants are those in that cage? I mean are you sure there safe for rats?
When I checked the labels they didn't have actual names on them, so they all came out before the boys went in to play... I'm going to just use herbs in it that I know are definitely safe (and can use myself since it lives in the kitchen)!
 
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