:blob3: What kind of wheels are you currently using for your small animal? :blob3:
The reason I was wondering what everyone's choice of wheels is, is because I have found over the years that I have purchased practically every wheel ever made.
I started out with those teeny plastic wheels, which are generally included in the wire cages sold in stores. They were pretty expensive at the time for multiple animals only to find out that within a week, most of our critters nicely shredded them into pieces the size of peas. As well they are not generally a suitable size for anything beyond a small mouse.
We rather quickly moved on to the metal-mesh and/or rung wheels. They came in a much better variety of sizes, and only had the paint chewed off from them. The problem was by then we had 30 or so habitats that we maintained on a regular basis and when we first heard that "evil screeching noise" I thought I'd loose my mind! "Oh my God, What IS THAT NOISE!!!!" Yes, we discovered that a small spot of no-stick cooking spray would spare we of all sizes impending hearing loss, but it never failed that as I lay my head to sleep "squeeeaaallllllcccchhhhhhhhhhh!" would permeate any chance of sleep until I rose to first find and then eliminate that awful noise. We also discovered the substantially more pricey larger wheels were not very stable for the larger animals. A degu setting off for a run would rock the wheel back and forth and even bounce the frame off the glass habitat while jogging. Looking at a metal wheel after a few months of use I could see why they made such nerve shattering noises – The hole where the wheel mounted to the frame was literally cutting through the frame. Worse of all was that nasty dust. We use a very good quality aspen chip, but every fleck of dust present in the habitat was continually being stirred up and flung everywhere. Given a weeks time the lids on the habitats and everything around them looked as unkempt as could be.
For one particular species of animals, our hairless dwarfs we wanted small solid wheels and were tickled to find a wheel called the silent spinner. We fell in love with it and even bought the huge version for our degu pair. YEAH RIGHT!!! Pretty darned expensive considering the "Silent" part noted in the name of the wheel, only extended for the first month of use. Then the name needed to be changed to unbearable or your going to get a ticket for noise polution!!! Eeeeccchhhhh!!!
Onward in our search for wheel-peace we marched. We couldn't afford those metal wheels with the bearings – for 40 or so habitats we'd have to rob a bank to afford them at 75.00 a pop. The "Flying Saucer" wheels were also right up there at 59.00 a piece. Not to mention they were not ever going to fit in our aquarium habitats! Some days I have to wonder why the little guys don't count!
We did however manage to solve our 5 year dilemma. We found the Wodent Wheel
. YAY and YAY!!!!
They are quiet and sturdy for all types of animals. We've never heard a squeak since switching. We figured a way to suspend them from the tops of our aquariums (a necessity for me!), and they didn't put even 1 tenth of the dust into the air that those others did! The cost is really not much more than the metal-mesh wheels. Now I surely couldn't trust my degus with them so we did manage a happy medium for them as well. We found a solid metal wheel
that we did make work for the degus. It too has never uttered a sound and the dust mainly lay where it ought to on the floors of the habitats and my house.
I do hope in writing this that I will save someone new to the animal keeping world even part of the expense we have accrued in this long and frustrating journey. Best!