You’ll no doubt find that prairie dogs generate a lot of debris that will inevitably escape the cage and end-up in the surrounding area. This includes hay, chewed-up cardboard, bedding, feces, etc.. Even if it doesn’t push it’s way out, the dogs will tend to dig and kick it out and the shallow pans that come in larger cages (like Ferret Nation) will do little to block it. Plus, the dogs will tend to chew-through the [plastic] pans. So, what doesn’t go through the sides will fall through the bottom.
Even cutting and attaching wire-mesh to the sides tends to not be able to withstand constant assault by the dogs, and will largely get torn away, leaving ragged wire edges.
A really good way to curb the amount of junk that you have to clean-up is by replacing the factory pans in your Ferret Nation cage will the stainless steal ones manufactured by Bass. Not only are the stainless steel ones strong and rust-proof (unlike the galvanized ones that they sell), but they also have a two-inch lip. The prairie dogs can’t chew through the material, the debris will have to substantially build-up to fall over the side, it’ll prevent much of the kicking-related mess, and it’s also heavy enough that it will discourage the more rambunctious dogs from banging against it with their noses (causing it to slam down against the cage).
There are two different types: one complete, rectangular pan and a variation with a hole cut-out in the back-right for the entrance from a lower cage. They’re about $45 each. I only wish that they would produce a replacement for the smaller pans that are located mid-level in the cage.
5 thoughts on “Controlling Cage Debris”
I have 2 wonderful prairie dogs and have had them for 3 and 4 years. They’re the center of my world! Over the last several years I’ve learned through much trial and error different ways to keep the cage debris to a minimum.
The best I’ve come up with so far is adding plexiglass to the outside of the cage. I have a two story cage and because it’s filled the majority of the time with hay which constantly falls out, I had to come up with a way to keep it to a minimum. I had Lowes Hardware cut the plexiglass to fit all 4(8) sides. Then when the PD’s were out during supervised play, I glued them (with E6000 – quick drying and excellent) to the outside of each side. This has reduced the cage debris from falling out by 80%. It does still fall out when you open the cage doors but what are ya gonna do? I’m happy with an 80%improvement. 😊
My problems with plexiglass were that 1) I was afraid it would affect circulation, 2) I would not be able to touch them through a large part of the surface area (thereby making it even more of a prison), and 3) there seemed to be a premium attached to plexiglass at that time. Plus, three of my prairie dogs will [attempt to] chew through anything, and they’ll even unwind steel wire. I don’t want to give anything that either they might ingest or might dissolve in their mouth.
I completely understand your concerns. The plexiglass only covers the bottom half of the cage on both levels so circulation isn’t effected at all and it’s on the outside of the cage so they can not get to it. Believe me, I know, those little guys can chew thru all kinds of things! But as I say to my son all the time, “my number one concern is your safety”. I feel the same way about my PD’s.
I just want to add that Bass Equipment now sells the metal pans for the half-shelves for the Critter and Ferret Nation cages so anyone interested in replacement pans for the half-shelves can now purchase them by visiting http://www.bassequipment.com. FERRET NATION SHELF PANS | Item Number: FP4-00
That’s terrific. Thanks for sharing.