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Post by jmchenry729 Thu 28 Jan 2021, 8:41 pm

The below picture has the dimensions drawn on it. Sorry about it being difficult to read. The cage is on its side the open section is the front I am going to use a plexiglass front and a wire mesh top. I know I could use Plastikote as a coating but a rough estimate would put me at buying two containers per board for two coats on the interior.

I am looking for an alternative that would still be safe since that would cost me $40/board not including adding in a second shelf for them to climb to.

The dimensions are 4ft wide 2ft deep and 3ft high so very big. I was not expecting it to come out so large.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Post by River Thu 28 Jan 2021, 9:49 pm

How nice!! I watch ErinsAnimals DIY builds all the time on YouTube and she seems to use non-toxic water-based acrylic paint to seal wood. Might be cheaper? I plan to use it for a few shelves. Smile

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Post by jmchenry729 Thu 28 Jan 2021, 10:02 pm

Thanks, I feel like I went overboard on the cage size by like twice what I was wanting for a starter for her. I am not sure about ventilation on the front of it either. Whether I should drill some holes in the plexiglass or if the top screen will be enough due to the size of the container.

I would also be concerned about chewing on the plastic even with small holes.

I do have some Behr Ultra I was going to use to paint in my house and it is 100% Acrylic but I am not sure about the non-toxic. I will have to do some more research Thank you so much for the suggestion.

P.S. When we are finished with the Mouse House/Mansion I will post the picture. If you guys want it in stages than I am happy to do that as well.

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Post by River Fri 29 Jan 2021, 2:20 am

You can also cut larger 'windows' in the wood sides (high enough to put plenty of bedding) and then attach 1/4" mesh to the inside of the cage. Sand the edges of the wire down and it'll prevent chewing, since they'd have to get through the wire to get to the wood. Smile 

Big cages can seem a little daunting at first, especially when you get to decorating them! Once you adjust, though, I think decorating can be fun. And my favorite plus: they need a little less frequent clean-outs. Laughing


Last edited by River on Fri 29 Jan 2021, 2:27 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by River Fri 29 Jan 2021, 2:20 am

Edit, this posted twice for some reason. Laughing Sorry!

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Post by jmchenry729 Fri 29 Jan 2021, 9:28 am

The Windows are a great idea! I want to clarify when you say to sand down the edges you mean to sand the cut edges or the facing edge of the mesh?

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Post by River Fri 29 Jan 2021, 6:05 pm

The cut edges, they can be pretty sharp! I'd just make any sharp bits smoother so they won't get cut.

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Post by jmchenry729 Sat 30 Jan 2021, 10:43 pm

Thank you I figured that's what you meant I just needed to make sure.

The lower windows are cut out now they are 2in circles two on each of the sides and three in the back. My question on that is should I make them larger? I planned on doing the same thing on the second level.

The paint is non-toxic water-based arts and craft paint. We are hoping that when it fully dries we can wash it without it coming up. Testing that tomorrow evening, fingers crossed.

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Post by jmchenry729 Sun 21 Feb 2021, 9:25 pm

Okay, so updates...sorry I haven't been on in a while had to wait for some money to get back to this project. The paint we used soaks up with a wet sponge no problem so urine would cause more problems with it being soaked into the bedding and the wood then could soak in the urine. So we decided to use some plexiglass for a bottom to make the cleaning easy and hopefully we will be able to seal it.

We were thinking of using silicone to seal the edges then whipping up any overflow. I was also going to use superglue in the middle between the silicone to make sure the plexiglass holds to the base. Any suggestions? Would this be safe?

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Post by jmchenry729 Sat 27 Feb 2021, 9:40 am

Almost done we need to drill the upper ventilation holes for the habitat, make the topper, mesh the ventilation holes, and put the plexiglass on the front. Sorry about my son being in there he had to help make everything. Two more pictures coming.

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Post by jmchenry729 Sat 27 Feb 2021, 9:42 am

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Post by Malcolm Thu 04 Mar 2021, 12:08 pm

Looks to be very of very sturdy construction. Maybe you could just use polyethylene plastic sheeting drop cloth costing $2.00 at Home Depot. Make sure you cover the corners and go up the side walls a few inches. The mice will get debris everywhere eventually. I won't use any kind of coating. The smell would worry me, and it takes a long time to disappear. Then cover this sheet with a few layers of newspaper or other large paper. You could also put a cardboard floor on top of the plywood and cover that in plastic and paper, or just paper alone. Corners still should be dealt with. Our mice all tear up the newspaper from time to time, but just in certain locations, not everywhere, and they stuff it into one of their many houses. They chew almost no cardboard, and they chew very little of brown grocery bag paper, it seems to be too much work when there is plenty of newspaper available. You can make more levels out of cardboard and they will last a long time. A bunch of female mice will make a lot more waste than one male mouse. The females pee in puddles that soak down, the male will make almost no puddles, but will coat everywhere with small droplets of pee. An ultraviolet light will show the patterns. Eventually the most used locations will have to be replaced with new material as the pee residue builds up. Every where else also has to be replaced once in a while also. Other types of cage bottom material can also be used like Carefresh on top of the plastic. We tested Carefresh, aspen shavings, fabrics, toilet paper, paper towels, and some other pet store type stuff. The mice kicked everything besides the cut up newspaper out of their house. On the cage bottom they traveled the most on the path covered with sheet newspaper. Much easier for them to run fast on than lumpy stuff. But they would still go on the other materials to, poking around.
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Post by jmchenry729 Thu 04 Mar 2021, 12:37 pm

Thank you I will have to try that for the sides and top we already used plexiglass for the floor and sealed the bottom with silicone. I will use the cardboard and drop cloth to cover the sides and the second layer when we get our mice. For now we are working on the cage in our spare time since we are moving to Michigan soon from Kansas transport would be hard with any cage.

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Post by Malcolm Thu 04 Mar 2021, 5:03 pm

You don't have to do anything with the side walls. I said go up a few inches just for convenience of building it. The mice won't pee on the side walls. I was concerned with stopping the wood from getting wet, as it cannot be thrown out every couple of weeks like the paper. Females will need more often changes in the areas they get wet. I was preventing capillary action from wetting the side wall transferred from the bottom having a puddle near the joint. But if you sealed with silicone that will stop it happening anyhow, so you don't have to protect the sides at all.

Also you don't really need a front piece of glass, and you can give them access to the top cover if you have one planned. You can have the floors much closer together. Otherwise ramps between floors get real steep, and older ones don't want to go up and down as much, or they can't get traction of some materials. Leave enough space on one floor for a 10" diameter wire mesh running wheel. The mice like having the ceiling not to far away. As long as the cage and any object they can climb onto is a few feet above the ground or other table top, they will never jump off. In the beginning for a few weeks they will look over the edge and study it. Then they mostly stop looking. I have either no edge wall or 3" tall side walls all around. The 3" wall came about because the mouse I have pictured elsewhere got really old. Then one day after particularly enormous yummy meal he fell asleep right near the edge. Eventually he fell 50" to the under-padded thick carpet floor. And then got stepped on. He made a squeak. I scooped him up and put him back on top near his current house and he ran back into it and looked out. I gave him something to eat and he seemed fine. He was on the floor for several hours but he basically was within a few feet of where he might have fallen from. He happily lived another 12 weeks with no sign of injury.
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Post by jmchenry729 Thu 04 Mar 2021, 8:25 pm

My concern giving them access to the top would be the fall along with access to the front my son would reach in. With them falling they are too small for my son to play with them yet. That is a great idea for when he is older as it will allow me better access and more airflow.

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