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Greetings from a new mice dad.

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Greetings from a new mice dad. Empty Greetings from a new mice dad.

Post by Stickman81 on Wed 29 Jan 2020, 6:53 pm

Greetings all,

After the passing of our Syrian Hamster, Ginger, I decided to move forward with adopting a couple of female mice.  I was lucky to find a fancy mouse breeder near me, well, about an hour and a half drive away.  A bit strange to me as I live just outside of Atlanta, GA and would have thought there would be many more more choices.  I spent numerous hours over a good period of time trying to find adoptable mice, breeders and, stores, even small ones, that would have fancy mice.  At any rate, timing was right and I found a breeder.  I had to wait several weeks as first contact with the breeder was shortly after the pups were born.  

This time allowed me to modify Ginger's old habitat to something more suitable for mice.  I had built two hamster habitats (well, three actually) from Ikea Linnmon shelves as some of you may have seen on a couple of popular YouTube channels.  I used glass for the front and used a shelf piece for the top that was hinged.  On the hinged top I installed a small gas shock to keep the door in the open position to make it easier to clean out the habitat.

I removed the flat shelf hinged top and built framework to provide height to allow much more screening material for toys and climbing.

We brought the two little girls home with us last Friday.  

I have watched them begin to explore and so far, move from one hide into the timothy hay bedding area.  One is VERY outgoing.  She is the one that was the runt of the litter and was initially not expected to make it.  She is the first to head out and do mousey things while the other girl waits behind and watches.  

I was told they are in the "hopper" stage and that it should last a week or so.  It has been a lot of fun watching them explore their new surroundings.  I've pretty much left them alone and not bothered them in an attempt to avoid causing more undue stress.  I will be glad when we can start working together to where they will trust me enough to be able to pick them up.

We have not named them yet and still pondering what we may call them (besides the black mouse and the white mouse, lol).

I will try to add some pictures directly.

Thanks for the great forum!
Jim


Sadly vacant habitat left behind by Ginger the Hamster.
Greetings from a new mice dad. 20200110


Habitat topper modification completed.
Interior mods and accessories underway.

Greetings from a new mice dad. 20200112


Habitat pretty much complete shown with door open.
Greetings from a new mice dad. 20200113


New mouse house next to the dwarf hamster, Cisco's cage.
Greetings from a new mice dad. 20200111


The new babies!
Greetings from a new mice dad. Screen10

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Post by FawnWrites on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 12:24 am

WOW that looks amazing! How did you come up with the design for the top? Any chance you could post a DIY?

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Post by Stickman81 on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 8:24 pm

@FawnWrites wrote:WOW that looks amazing! How did you come up with the design for the top? Any chance you could post a DIY?

Thank you!

As far as the top goes, it was sort of a take-away from one of "Erin's Animals" videos on a slant front cage she built.  I only knew I needed something to allow more wire mesh but, raising everything straight up would have been too high.  I made the front piece (door) at a 45 degree angle and made it about one-half the depth of the cage.  The back half was built to suit the rest.  

I would be happy to post any additional pictures or try a DIY write-up.  Sometimes I tend to over-complicate things.  A fresh set of eyes may have an easier solution.  I do believe that the basic cage or habitat and base made from Ikea shelves is the shizzle, lol.


TEST FITTING THE DOOR TO THE CAGE TOP.
Greetings from a new mice dad. 20200117


BUILDING THE BACK HALF.
CLAMPING THINGS UP TO ADD BRACING IN AN ATTEMPT TO HAVE EVERYTHING LINE UP BETTER.

Greetings from a new mice dad. 20200118

Greetings from a new mice dad. 20200122


PAINTED EVERYTHING WITH A HVLP SPRAY GUN BECAUSE, WELL, I HAVE THE TENDENCY TO OVER-COMPLICATE THINGS,  Rofling
Greetings from a new mice dad. 20200121

Greetings from a new mice dad. 20200120

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Post by FawnWrites on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 9:06 pm

Wow thank you for the additional pictures! I LOVE that it's a similar version to Erin's, I watch her channel religiously and that one is hands down my favorite.

Unfortunately I've never done a project this big, or have any of the tools needed for it. Any chance I can commission one? Very Happy

How expensive was this to make, overall? And is that more IKEA furniture as the base?

I really really like the Skyline Terrarium, especially with the Servo Lift but they do not ship to the US. Sad

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Post by Stickman81 on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 10:52 pm

@FawnWrites wrote:Wow thank you for the additional pictures! I LOVE that it's a similar version to Erin's, I watch her channel religiously and that one is hands down my favorite.

Unfortunately I've never done a project this big, or have any of the tools needed for it. Any chance I can commission one? Very Happy

How expensive was this to make, overall? And is that more IKEA furniture as the base?

I really really like the Skyline Terrarium, especially with the Servo Lift but they do not ship to the US. Sad

Thank you for your kind words!  I don't watch as much of Erin's channel right now but, she is still my favorite!  

That is an awesome looking cage you posted the link to!


The base under each habitat is also Ikea TABLE TOPS (sorry, I miss spoke earlier).  
I got some castering wheels from Harbor Freight for the bases so they can be moved around easily.  
The baskets inside the lower unit are also Ikea and, three of them fit perfectly to store your animal essentials.  

Humm, cost.  Let me try to give you an estimate...

The habitat itself is built from four (4) Ikea Linnmon Table Tops.  They show on the website right now at $8.99 each.  (~$36.00 total)
One full piece for the bottom and one full piece for the top.
The sides are made from one piece that is cut in half.
The back is made from one piece that I "ripped" down slightly to sit on top of the bottom piece and, be short from reaching the top of the sides by the thickness of the table top itself.  This, IMO made a neat looking box where the hinged top sat inside and flush to the sides.

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/linnmon-tabletop-white-00251135/


I had a local glass shop cut a piece of glass to a size that I had measured out for my particular project and, how I was going to be installing it.  I had the glass made from (I believe) 3/16" thick glass.  I used the thicker piece due to the size of the glass panel.  As that was a couple of years ago, I don't remember exactly but, want to say it was less than $40.  

Instead of the glass, you could use the cutoff from the ripped back panel to make a substrate boarder for the front and use wire mesh to cover the front.  That would be little to no extra cost as you're going to buy a roll of the wire mesh anyway.

Wire mesh.  Due to the size of the top opening on the original cage I was able to get by with the smaller dimensional rolls they sell at Home Depot.  This modification, I bought the larger dimensional roll of 1/4" wire mesh.

I believe this is the wire mesh that I got from Home Depot for about $29.00.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-1-2-in-x-2-ft-x-25-ft-19-Gauge-Steel-Hardware-Cloth-308224EB/205960837


The Ikea table tops have a wide piece of wood (~4") on the ends.  The rest of the inside of the table top is corrugated paper (basically).  I had to use strips of wood on the one piece I cut in half to give the cut end some sort of structural integrity to be able to fasten it to the bottom panel.

I used construction adhesive to glue the panels together and decking screws to hold everything in place.

Liquid Nails perhaps?  ~$5.00
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Liquid-Nails-Interior-Projects-10-oz-Tan-Latex-Construction-Adhesive-LN-704/100659439

Deck Mate screws, perhaps in three inch length = ~$10.00.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Deck-Mate-9-x-3-in-Star-Flat-Head-Wood-Deck-Screws-1-lb-Pack-3DMT1/305418743

I used clear silicone to seal the edges inside the habitat.  Aquarium sealant is, to my understanding, the same but a bit harder to find and more expensive.
Silicone = ~$5.00.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-GE-Silicone-1-All-Purpose-Sealant-10-1oz-Clear-GE012A-12C/100091111

A couple of hinges for the top and some "snubbers" from Amazon.

Hinges - Something like these - 2 @~ $3.00 each - $6.00.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-3-in-Satin-Nickel-Square-Corner-Door-Hinge-14979/202558072

Gas Struts (snubbers).  Set of four from Amazon = ~$12.00.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0757GRM7J/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I'm not real good with math but, I see about $143.00 for pretty much everything.

Personally, I don't think you would need very many tools to get the job done.

Here is what the inside of the table top looks like...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vNRY6natiY

A video that may help show the initial build...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM2loA9ZH2g

This one may explain the installation of the wood filler to add structural support.
It is the build of the base which, is almost identical to the habitat build itself.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpmgcYduDS4

Let me know if you want any other info.

And sure, I can build you one.  Smile


Last edited by Stickman81 on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 10:54 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : My math calculations leave a lot to be desired, lol.)

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Post by FawnWrites on Tue 04 Feb 2020, 2:55 am

WOW thank you for the detailed breakdown. I think it still might be beyond my range of skills (maybe I can get my Dad to help, he's definitely more familiar with things like this than I am), but it's putting plenty of ideas in my head.

Do you think plexiglass would work in place of actual glass?

I'm wondering if it might be simpler (for a DIY noob such as myself!) to make a hinged lid for an IKEA detolf shelf?

Something like THIS Greetings from a new mice dad. IMG_9207bearb

But hinged, like the petri dish upgrade seen here?

https://youtu.be/i3bgxsBUSmU

Maybe I'm overcomplicating things in my head, haha. I guess I just really like the half-circle lid design. Not sure how to attach it though. Most IkEA detolf lids have handles like a bin lid. Which is fine, but I think cages like yours and Erin's just have a much more polished look.

Only $143 for a cage like that? Haha, I feel like it would cost just as much to ship it to me as it would to build! Really great design though. Heart Eyes

How are the mice ladies liking it so far?

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