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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-08-2004, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Building Runs...?

I've been thinking for a long time about building breeding runs out of Melamine...just the cages...run part would actually be wire. I do have Ryerson-type runs for the Shoots Chins that I bought from Ralph Shoots, but I would really like everyone to have much bigger cages and melamine is so easy to clean and has a nice look to it.
I like runs for two main reasons...one, the males can get away from cranky females that may decide to attack them, and two, when shut off from the female before delivery and after, he can still visit with his family through the wire without worry of breedback or depression.
However, I don't like runs because of how small and dark they are. I also don't think they get enough ventilation.
So, my plan was to build 5 units. Each unit would be 3 cages tall on caster wheels so you could push them together to make the runs work. Also, I can put an end just about anywhere in the run to cut the male off from getting into another section. With the units on castor wheels, in case of emergency, all I would have to do is push the units apart and I would be able to get the male out of the run through the side. There would be ventilation holes in the sides and back of each cage to allow for proper air flow and I wanted the cages to be big enough to allow for shelves and wheels, but yet small enough to be kit safe as well.
Someone on another forum had the same type of idea, although I think she was considering building them much like the Ryerson Runs and she got bombarded with concerns about ventilation and lighting. Again, these would be bigger than typical runs, have plenty of ventilation in front, sides, and back and I think the white of the melamine would reflect light much better than the typically dark runs. What do you all think and what size do you think the cages should be. I would make the individual cages no smaller than 24" X 24" X 24"...only 1 chin per cage, but they would also have their mate in there as well when he visited. What size would you all recommend each cage to be? Typical runs are 18" wide, 24" deep and 12" high, so 24 x 24 x 24 would be a lot bigger than that. I do want them 3 cages tall too and I think our ceiling in the chin room is 8 or 9 feet high. So, thoughts, concerns, questions, and advice are all highly appreciated...I only want to build these cages once the right way if I can help it!

Chin Mom to Lila, Skye, Ty, Rolex, Calypso, Lizzie, Jax, Sam, Sage, Lorenzo, Spitfire, Holly, Dylan, Leia, Punky, Kylie, Skylar, Jetta, Oreo, Emma, Forest, Georgie, Alexis, Picador and all the kits!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 12:21 AM
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I didn't like the breeding runs because of the small dark spaces. They do make good weaning cages though. That's what I kept mine for.

Your idea sounds great. I'd give it a shot. I'd probably to 24x24x24. The ventilation should be just as good as any other melamine cage.


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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 08:02 AM
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I don't think you would want them to be 8-9 feet tall. You'd have to get on a ladder to do anything. I tried that before. I don't stack anything a foot higher than my head ^^;; And plus don't you want to see the gorgeous babies at eye level?

OK, so the run idea sounds good. Sounds like you thought it out. I'd say start doing it! You can always change things once you start, just buy extras and have patience. I always change something or other whenever i design a new cage. So your runs will be upright? I thought about that once. You'll need shelves or something and the male would have to work more to get his females

I too am building runs. Wire ones. I don't like melamine so the cages will be spaced out two inches. And I'm putting a PVC pipe from one cage to the other where the male will be. Also, instead of the usual run for the male, I am putting his run over the top of the whole cage. So he just drops down from the top of the cage. This gives the female ALOT more room. Plus it allows for a shelf across the back so the babies can get excercise once they'r older. I think the dimensions or my cages where the female is is 18" deep x 24" wide x 15" high. then the male has 5 inches on the top to move around.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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The male will not be going up to the next cage above or down to the cage below, he will be going across (just like in regular runs) to the unit next to him in that row. Basically instead of each cage being stuck to the one next to it, it is attached to the one above or below it. Each unit is stacked 3 cages high and only when pushed up against the next unit, the male will be able to use the run...does that make sense?

Chin Mom to Lila, Skye, Ty, Rolex, Calypso, Lizzie, Jax, Sam, Sage, Lorenzo, Spitfire, Holly, Dylan, Leia, Punky, Kylie, Skylar, Jetta, Oreo, Emma, Forest, Georgie, Alexis, Picador and all the kits!
Pittie Mom to Kali and Orion
Rattie Mom to Drake and Dumbo
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 04:43 PM
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Mandie that is a great idea......Darren was just giving me an idea about putting the male in the middle cage of the 3 high unit, putting shelves in the cages, and openings in the top and bottom of the cages as well as the sides, this giving him his own cage for freedom and the chance to run through all the other cages when the units are pushed together. This of course is only if you plan on breeding the male with more than 2 females (if you only had 3 cage unit). Darren said kind of like Hollywood squares it would be possible for one male to mate with 8 females (wow that's alot) and still have his own cage......I wish you luck on building your runs, I just wanted to share with you hubby's idea


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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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That's a nifty idea! With mine, Everyone will have his/her own cage...Jax will still have access to his girls, Skye, Sage, and Sam...Ty will be next to Mercedes but won have access to her until about December (she's still too young) Kir and Jetta will be next to each other, but Kir won't have access to Jetta till after the November show, and Phil will be by himself. I have 9 chins total right now, but 5 units of 3 cages tall will make 15 cages total...that way I have lots of extra cages for kits I decide to keep and ones that are waiting to go to new homes. I also have about 4 quarentine cages that I'll be hanging onto...you never know when someone will need quarentining because of illness or because I happen to come home with a new chin or two occasionally

Chin Mom to Lila, Skye, Ty, Rolex, Calypso, Lizzie, Jax, Sam, Sage, Lorenzo, Spitfire, Holly, Dylan, Leia, Punky, Kylie, Skylar, Jetta, Oreo, Emma, Forest, Georgie, Alexis, Picador and all the kits!
Pittie Mom to Kali and Orion
Rattie Mom to Drake and Dumbo
Bunny Mom to Dutchie
Plain ole Mom to Zach, Brandon and Connor!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 05:03 PM
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I think its an awesome idea Mandie.


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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 06:56 PM
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I have a custom cage made from melamine that I bought used. I really like it, it is easy to clean and the way it is built no poops can reach the other side of the room in any night activity poop fests. The two sides and back are melamine and the front is all mesh, the floor is caging material and the poops fall down through that into a drawer. It's got two shelves and the water bottle comes in from the outside of the side with a little hole that is made to accomodate the nozzle.

Now having said all that and overall I do like the cage, it is a bit dark. I compensate by keeping it faced toward the window in the room. Also it is a really heavy cage overall.

One other features I like about this cage is it is wheeled and under the poop catching drawer are two doors for misc storage. It was a bonus feature not a selling feature for me. The gal who had originally made the cage talked about it being her second cage she had built and the first one was designed to go into a corner and all the way to the ceiling. She ended up hating her design because it was too heavy/bulky to move, so in her mind this second cage she made was perfecto.

Using melamine is cool, keep us posted on how this goes.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Oh I will I ordered the jump holes and collars earlier this week, so they should be in by the middle of next week and tomorrow Shane and I are hitting Home Depot for the melamine and hardware...the 1/2 X 1" wire we will be getting from our local feed store because it is specially designed for use in small animal cage building. and we can buy in in 24" X whatever size we want for a lot cheaper...$1.49 per foot, so that isn't bad at all. Also, all the J-Feeders we can get from the feed store for about $1.50 each, so that isn't bad either. Shane also ordered a sheet metal bender and we can get all the galvanized sheet metal we want for free from a tattoo customer, so making the pans won't be a problem! They will all be solid bottom so we will have lots of happy chinnie feet I'm so excited! I want them all done already! By my calculations, each 3 cage tall unit should end up costing about $70 to make including feeders and jump holes...water bottles are the ones that came with our runs, (I have 7 of them) and the rest are glass YooHoo bottles...right now they have the old nozzels from plastic bottles on them (they fit) but Shane is ordering rubber stoppers and glass tubes for them all and making holders out of wire. I'm so glad he likes to build stuff!

Chin Mom to Lila, Skye, Ty, Rolex, Calypso, Lizzie, Jax, Sam, Sage, Lorenzo, Spitfire, Holly, Dylan, Leia, Punky, Kylie, Skylar, Jetta, Oreo, Emma, Forest, Georgie, Alexis, Picador and all the kits!
Pittie Mom to Kali and Orion
Rattie Mom to Drake and Dumbo
Bunny Mom to Dutchie
Plain ole Mom to Zach, Brandon and Connor!
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Last edited by Chinchilla_Girl; 07-09-2004 at 10:50 PM.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2004, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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I'm so excited! Shane cancelled our order for the metal bender, we found the exact same one at Harbor Freight for only $52.99 instead of the $99.99 we ordered from Eastwood! We also got an 8" one as well for making more dusting pans, the castor wheels for the units and hog ring pliers for making the latches that will lock the doors to the cages shut! In all, we spent $121.00 for ALL that stuff when it was going to cost us just a little more than that if we hadn't cancelled the order for the bender from Eastwood including the shipping! (I love getting good deals)
We stopped off at the feed store to check on the wire and J-feeders, but Shane thinks he can get the wire cheaper elsewhere and I might be able to get J-Feeders for less that 8.99 a peice with the lids on them online...I'm getting ready to check on that here in a minute. So now, we just need the melamine and hardware!! Going to Home Depot tomorrow for that since Shane had to go to work at 6PM...so, once all my own pans and dusters are made, we will probably be able to start taking orders for custom pans and dusters if anyone is interested! Pretty cool huh? I'm just getting more and more excited!!

Chin Mom to Lila, Skye, Ty, Rolex, Calypso, Lizzie, Jax, Sam, Sage, Lorenzo, Spitfire, Holly, Dylan, Leia, Punky, Kylie, Skylar, Jetta, Oreo, Emma, Forest, Georgie, Alexis, Picador and all the kits!
Pittie Mom to Kali and Orion
Rattie Mom to Drake and Dumbo
Bunny Mom to Dutchie
Plain ole Mom to Zach, Brandon and Connor!
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2004, 06:47 PM
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That is awesome Mandie. Very exciting. I can't wait to see them


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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2004, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisanne
That is awesome Mandie. Very exciting. I can't wait to see them
Me either!
Oh and I found J-Feeders at www.bassequipment.com They are rabbit stuff, but the small size feeders are $3.10 each and the lids are $1.05 each...so $4.15 is a LOT better than $8.99!

Chin Mom to Lila, Skye, Ty, Rolex, Calypso, Lizzie, Jax, Sam, Sage, Lorenzo, Spitfire, Holly, Dylan, Leia, Punky, Kylie, Skylar, Jetta, Oreo, Emma, Forest, Georgie, Alexis, Picador and all the kits!
Pittie Mom to Kali and Orion
Rattie Mom to Drake and Dumbo
Bunny Mom to Dutchie
Plain ole Mom to Zach, Brandon and Connor!
Come visit us at
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Last edited by Chinchilla_Girl; 07-10-2004 at 06:55 PM.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2004, 07:21 PM
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heck yeah... I love bass equip. They sell wire by the roll too


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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2004, 07:43 PM
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yep that's where i get my wire and cutters.

Alicyn

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-10-2004, 10:01 PM
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Mandie, you did an excellent job in planning this project! I think your breeding runs are a lot better than the ones that I have seen. A few people have complained how dark the runs were and didn't like them. I think if I ever bred again I would definitely think of doing runs. They are much easier to maintain than large cages and they are much better for the males.

I can't wait to see the final product! :blob2:
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