Is chicken wire okay to use for a homemade rat cage?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by sunny & the 5 egg layers, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 29, 2011
    I have a few left over rolls of chicken wire that I didn't need for my coop and I was thinking about using that for my rat cage. Is chicken wire ok to use? Will they chew through it?
    Thanks in advance. [​IMG]
     
  2. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    they can chew through it. When we were growing up, we bought a fixer-upper house in a run down area of town. This house had RATS!! Big scary ones. We tried putting hardware cloth over the holes to keep them out and they chewed through it overnight. we even packed cement down the rat holes and they chewed through that too (before it was set up). chicken wire is pretty thin gauge and it would be pretty easy for a rat to chew through it. Plus the holes are big enough I'd be scared a rat would try to stick his head through and possibly get hurt.
     
  3. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Stonington, illinois
    No they will go right through that. Use hardware cloth. Also they can squeeze through almost impossible places. They will squeeze right through chicken wire if they dont chew it up. We have 18 rats right now so we have learned through trial and error what they can get through.
     
  4. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Outside the Boundries
    1: theyll chew right through it
    2: watch for heavy metals in wire...
    3: young rats can squeeze through the 1" openings.

    id personally suggest 1/2" hardware cloth if your going to build but rememebr they will also chew through wood so it would have to be a frameless (look up martins cages for some ideas, the RUDD is a wonderfull cage.
     
  5. OtneyPrice

    OtneyPrice Out Of The Brooder

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    I have watched rats run right through standard chicken wire on my chicken run. The general guide is that a rat can get through a quarter-sized hole.
    We did have a pet rat when I was a kid - we kept it successfully in a large wired bird cage.
     
  6. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pet rats act much differently from wild. Most pet rats see their cage as home, and are not trying to chew through wires seen as an obstacle to chickeny goodness like wild rats. My main rat cage right now is a converted wooden bookshelf with a glass front knocked out and replaced with hardware cloth. I'll post photos when I can. I haven't had any problems with four rats chewing on the wood, and the wire holds up to their light FEED ME DINNER nibbles when they hang on the wire door. [​IMG]

    That said, I know people who kept pet rats outside, and they will chew and escape. It's the inside rats bonded to people that don't seem to be too interested in chewing, especially if provided with lab block and toys. The point made above about heavy metals is a good one!
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  7. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    theres a big difference between hardware cloth and chicken wire though.
    chicken wire doesnt require "chewing" a single bite from a rat goes right through chicken wire. my first ever rat had been kept in chicken wire...very sweet little girl, she might as well have not had a cage, shed bitten so many holes through the wire that she could come and go form the cage as she pleased. she did happily return to her house, but it certainly was no longer a safe space in which she could be put when her people wernt around to keep her safe in.

    once i got her i made my own cage with hardware cloth and no problems...she still loved her house, but i could leave her in there safe and sound when i couldnt be around to supervise her.
     
  8. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    theres a big difference between hardware cloth and chicken wire though.

    Agreed (I use hardware cloth on my cages), but people still have problems with wild rats going through that, and as one person mentioned, cement! Just mentioning that pet rats tend to not exhibit the same level of destructiveness so the OP doesn't get turned off making cages. [​IMG]
     
  9. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh that i aboslutly agree with [​IMG]

    ive found with pet rats it realy depends on how much time their person is willing to spend with them as to how destructive they can be...
    someone who has their ratties out most of the day is going to have much less of a problem with chewing ect than someone whoonly plays witht heir ratties for an hour or 2.

    also providing them with surfaces they can chew on...mine loved pesticide free apple tree branches [​IMG]
     

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