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!