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Hi, I am going to be getting two prairie dogs this spring and am planning to build a cage. I have formerly cared for two prairie dogs while my friend went abroad for nine months. The cage I am planning will be a three level cage with the top two levels being enclosed with wire mesh. The footprint of these will be 48"L x 24"D and the access between levels will be either pvc pipe or drainage pipe so there are no ledges. I am thinking of enclosing half of the top level as a sort of "hay loft" where I would always have free choce hay and they could have a place for privacy. The bottom level would be a tall dig box with either a glass or plexiglass front.

Some questions I have:
What size wire mesh would be best; 1/2", 1/4" or 1/8"?
I was thinking of using an FRP panel as the back, any thoughts on that?
What medium would be best for the dig box, sand or dirt and what kind?
What height should the levels be, ideally?

Any help or ideas would be much appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Zoo Keeper
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I dont know about prairie dogs But i know about burrowing shavings mixed with dirt and hay can be great it gives the structural support they need. also I trust 1/4" mesh( its what i use for my hamsters one an extreme chewer) the best but 1/2 would work the best for you i think.
 

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Hey there.. We are planning a similar dig box for our prairie dogs and don't know what kind of dirt to get either. Did you have success finding a safe dirt? We read some horror stories about various landscaping dirt. Full of bacteria and parasites... Scary stuff!
 

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Herp Nerd
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I would go with as narrow of a mesh as you can get. They will rub their noses on it, and if they have a larger hole that they can get a part of their nose or face through, they'll end up rubbing the fur off their face and maybe even irritating the skin.

I've never used FRP, but I have used pre-made counter tops as the floor of most of my homemade cages. They will chew up anything that is soft enough to get their teeth into, even if it seems like a flat wall. Make sure whatever adhesive you use to stick it on with has plenty of time to ventilate and dry. Any edge they can get their teeth on will be chewed up. So design with that in mind.

I've never found a particularity good mix of commercially purchasable soil/sand for a dig box... something organic mixed with play sand. Avoid anything with a fertilizer or mulch in it. You want an actual sandy soil, something more intended for fill, instead of something intended as a potting or plant mix. You don't want anything with too much organic material in it that is going to rot, collect bacteria and fungus, and stink.
 
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