Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
You may be on this page because you read my blog regularly, or you may be a new hamster owner who is looking for an affordable way to provide your hammy with a well-sized home.
In the past we’ve tried to house Twitch in a 10-gallon fish tank, but after making this expensive purchase she actually escaped! Given, makeshift textbook lid we gave her wasn’t the smartest idea on our part, we should have expected it. So, we put her back in her tiny little cage during the night to make sure that she would never escape again.
About a week ago I thought to myself… why not use one of those plastic bins for an enclosure? They’re much bigger than 10 gallons, and they also come with their own snap on lids! So here’s what I set out to do and what we’ve currently got twitch in!
What You Need:
- A Large Clear Plastic Bin or Tub
- A Drill
- Sandpaper or File
- A water bottle with wire attachments
- A Wheel
1. Start off by Drilling Air Holes
It’s important that you drill as many air holes as possible into a plastic bin. Unfortunately, plastic bins heat up pretty quickly, so if you don’t want your little one to fry in the heat you’re going to want a healthy amount of holes in your bin. I drilled about 14-holes at the top and bottom of each side of our bin and
about 100 on the lid. Each of our holes is about 1cm in diameter.
*Note: If you don’t have a drill bit that is big enough you can lightly make circular motions making the holes even bigger. I wish I knew the measurements of our bits, but honestly… I’m not a very handyman and was surprised we even had a drill hanging around our house!
This process is super simple and easy, and anyone can do it (Especially if I can do it.) Just please be very careful with the drill as it can hurt you. If you’re a kid, please make sure an adult is around to help you!
If you’re more adventurous than us, you can also cut large rectangular holes on the lid and attach some wire mesh. This will make sure you have enough air in your enclosure but can get pricey dependant on where you buy it.
2. Sand down your air holes
This is super important, so please don’t miss this step! Sometimes drills leave plastic bits sticking out. Make sure you get rid of all of these as they can cause a choking hazard or an intestinal blockage for your little one. You can do this by gently rubbing the inside of the bin. I used a nail file for a lot of it which gave me access to the inside of the holes. (This may not be necessary depending on how thick the plastic is for your bin.)
3. Set Up Your Wheel
If you don’t have a stand-alone wheel (which we haven’t been able to invest in yet) get a wheel that has a long attachment that can go through the plastic. Draw the measurements of the attachment onto the box to make sure you drill a hole that is big enough for the wheel to fit in. This is one of the trickier parts of the process as it needs pretty exact measurements, but if you have a fastener that has a large surface area (like we do), drilling a bit too large shouldn’t be an issue.
It’s always better to start small and then go bigger! Especially since you expand the holes with a circular movement!
4. Add Your Water Bottle
This part may also be tricky for you. I recommend attaching your bottle to the outside of your bin to provide you with easy access when changing the water. You can do this by drilling a large hole in the side of your bin and attaching it with the fancy wire or coils that come with your water bottle. Make sure you properly measure the height of the wire and mark your bin before doing any drilling. When it comes to setting up the wire you can also make holes that are bigger than the size of the wire as it will just be hanging off the side of the bin. The tighter the holes though, the less chance the bottle will shake around as your little one tries to drink.
5. Add your bedding and other supplies
Now for the fun part! Make sure you have enough toys and enclosures for your little ones. Some of our favourites are Whimzees, Pretzel sticks, Wood Chews and Loofas! Make sure they are all hamster safe as you don’t want your little one chewing on toxins!
And there you have it! A cheap and affordable hammy home!