Chinchillas differ from other rodents in activity. The animals are in constant motion. In order to diversify the pets’ everyday life, many breeders buy a variety of toys in a cage: ladders, hammocks, shelves, labyrinths and running wheels.
For chinchillas, which are contained in not very large cages – running wheel is a necessity. It provides the animals with good exercise and physical activity.
Choosing a running wheel.
When choosing a wheel for your pet, you should pay particular attention to the safety of the toy.
Regardless of the material, the wheel should not have any sharp edges and protruding parts, do not contain traces of paint, do not have cracks and chips. You should also be careful with the choice of size. An adult chinchilla is recommended to buy wheels with a diameter of at least forty centimeters. For young stock fit a smaller size – thirty or thirty-two centimeters.
The most convenient and practical are plastic wheels. They are more durable, durable, easy to wash. Plastic does not look attractive to the animal, so chinchillas usually do not gnaw it. However, most often plastic wheels are produced of small diameter or they are quite expensive.
A good alternative to plastic is metal. Metal wheels are available in two models:
- With mesh
- With horizontal crossbars.
Many owners prefer the option with crossbars. In the mesh, the legs of the animal may get stuck, which will lead to injuries. The wheel model with crossbeams can also sometimes cause injury, so it is recommended to sheathe the wheel with thick denim.
Wheels made of wood often have a small diameter and are suitable for young animals.
The downside is that the animals will gnaw on wooden parts and the toy will quickly become unusable.
Making a running wheel.
A toy for your pet can be made independently. Usually, homemade models are made of wood: the material is eco-friendly, affordable and allows you to make a wheel of the required size. Even taking into account the fact that the animals will gnaw wood – this option wheels in many ways more economical than buying. Optionally, you can sheathe the outside of the wooden case with metal – this will prolong the life of the race wheel.
For manufacturing it is necessary:
- A sheet of plywood, no more than a centimeter thick,
- Electric jigsaw,
- Bearing or tensioner on the engine from any car,
- Self-tapping screws
- Small planks, three centimeters wide and about fifteen centimeters long.
In order to cut an even circle – a small hole is first cut with a jigsaw in the center of the plywood sheet. The required radius is measured from its center. The jigsaw is bolted to the table through the hole made. During sawing, plywood is rotated around its axis along the intended circumference. The result is an even circle of the required diameter.
Next, you should cut a ring with the same outer diameter. The boards are mounted inside the wooden ring with thin screws. You should first drill holes with a drill and a 1.5 mm drill bit – this will prevent cracking. The ring is attached on the outside of the plywood wheel to give greater strength.
The next step is the rotation and fastening assembly. A bolt of at least fifteen centimeters is used for fastening. A steel washer is put on the bolt with a diameter more significant than the bolt (so that it does not press into the plywood). The bolt is inserted inside the resulting structure, and the outside is fastened with a similar washer. The tensioner is put on the bolt and fastened with screws to the wooden plank. Advantage – plastic holder tensioner does not produce noise during rotation. The toy is ready!
Ways to install toys in a cage two. The entire structure can be attached to a wooden plank or plaque with one or two self-tapping screws and installed on the floor of the cage. The board must be wide enough – at least 10 cm. Otherwise, the animal will easily turn the toy. In a second way, the bar, to which the tensioner is bolted, is fixed with the help of wire on the cage wall. This option is more convenient – the toy is fastened more reliably, and even very active rodents are not able to turn it over or move it.