Building your own chinchilla cage can save you a couple of hundred dollars. Any animal cage will cost a serious amount of money and despite the size needed for chinchillas you can still pay out a lot of money. For a few dollars you can purchase the materials to make your own.
Step 1 – Preparing
Lay out each piece and measure the size of cage you need. You will be using the large litter tray as a marker, as it will be the cage bottom. The wire mesh and cage frame will be built to fit that.
Step 2 – Wood
Cut 16 equal sized pieces of the untreated pine (other woods contain toxins which can harm your chinchilla). Cut their length to 18 inches. Take 2 pieces of the cut pine and screw them together, with one edge laying across the flat side of the other as a butt joint. Repeat this with the other 6 pieces of wood. You should end up with 8 long "L" shaped corner pieces, around 18 inches long.
Step 3 – Braces
Cut 8 braces from the wood. Two pieces measuring the length you require and 2 measuring the width of your cage. Stand the "L" shaped pieces on their edges and nail or screw 4 of the braces across the tops of each of the 4 "L" shaped pieces, corner to corner. This should make what looks like a table frame without a top.
Step 4 – Mesh
Turn the frame over so that the braces are flat on the work surface. Cut enough mesh to line the underside of the frame and use the U clips and hammer to fix the mesh to the braces. Cut enough length of mesh to fill in just three of the sides of the frame to make a wire cage. Hammer down any sharp metal edges or pieces of wire so that they go into the wood and not protrude.
Step 5 – Bottom of the Frame
Use the 4 leftover 18 inch "L" shaped pieces and 4 more braces to make the bottom. Use more "U" clips to fix those in place. The gap you left from the mesh frame will serve to give you space to hammer those in.
Step 6 – The Door
With the open side facing you, slide the litter tray into the cage and cut a piece of mesh that reaches just below the lip of the tray. Before attaching the fourth side, cut a door from the mesh and use the wire hinges to attach it back when it came from. Cut any extraneous edges with the wire cutters to leave a smooth edged door and opening. Attach the clasp so that the door will stay locked.
Step 7 – Comfort
Fill the litter tray with the right comfort bedding for your chinchilla and place bowls and food inside. You can make a little step ladder or toys from the remaining wood.