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The Jird Cage Page.

Due to the sad passing of our Persian Jirds this cage is currently for sale on eBay Click Here

Here is Amy and Eric the Persian Jird's cage page. Originally they inherited the four foot tank from the gerbils. They failed to breed in the first summer I had them so I decided that they did not have enough space. So we started generating ideas for getting them more space. It took them a while but they produced a litter last August so I guess it must have worked. This cage would also suit Shaw's Jirds or Degus.

I've recently started an Environment Enrichment page with ideas on how to keep your pets entertained. Also check out the Pet Shopping page which contain links to a number of people who make great cages that are both larger and cheaper than pet shop bought ones and also great sites for buying materials to make your own and accessories. Some of them are chinchilla and rabbit shops but many of the chews and toys suit Jirds as well.

Jird Cage Drawing. Just for a laugh I have included here the original drawing that I sent to get the cage built. I feel it is important that everyone should share the true brilliance of my drawing ability.

The idea was to build a Chinchilla Cage type structure that would fit over the top of the tank and allow the Jirds lots more climbing space.

I quickly worked out that I wasn't going to realistically build it myself as I don't really have very practical skills so I had it made by someone that made cages. It cost 80 for the cage plus 20 for delivery which didn't seem excessive since the cage had to be hand made to my specifications. Look a the Pet Shopping page for details of where to buy mesh and cages.

Here is the cage sitting on top of the tank. We have got some apple branches an put them in. The floor has strips of pine cladding across it as the mesh is too large to be comfortable for the Jird's feet.

The Jirds have an upside down bread bin with a hole in it as a nesting box but tend to use this to store food and sleep in the cardboard rolls.

A rope parrot perch from Pet's at Home is hung underneath the hole into the climbing cage which allows them to climb up. Another hanging parrot toy allows them to climb to the second floor.

It took them a little while to work out how to get around but after we took the top away for four months when the babies were small both Amy and Eric immediately remembered how to get around. They obviously have pretty good memories because Bob, the baby that we left in with them, took a while to find his way around even with his parents to copy.

Jird Cage.

Jird Cage.

Although it doesn't look that pretty and there is a bit of a problem with mess being kicked out the Jirds really like it and moved their nest out of the bottom. This was a problem when Amy gave birth - luckily she did so downstairs and we removed the top before she could move the babies up there. More about this on the Baby Jird pages.

One pretty predictable disadvantage of this layout is that they kick out a lot of stuff onto the carpet below. Still they're nothing compared to the Degus so we just run the hoover round every day. They get around the cage very quickly without ever running on the wire mesh just jumping from one solid item to another.

They also like to use one corner of the shelf as a toilet so we have to keep that as clean as possible. We have recently solved this problem by providing a metal chinchilla sand bath full of chinchilla sand - they are now very clean and just use this as their toilet area. The trick is to not clean it out when you clean the cage so that they continue to use it. When it is cleaned out I just remove 3/4 of it so that they continue to use it. The pine cladding gets chewed up but not that fast so we just replace a strip every so often. They now have all of the ceramic tubes that used to be with our gerbils and get cardboard boxes and tubes to run on.
One unexpected bonus has been that they have become exceedingly tame. If I am in the room they come flying out to see if there is any food in it for them. We are slowly getting them hand tame by opening the door and letting them come out onto our hands. You must be exceedingly careful with their feet and the hinged part of the door as it is so easy to catch toes.

Recently we have swapped over from shavings in the bottom to Megazorb (see the Bedding page). This works quite well although it doesn't tunnel quite as well. Pine shavings aren't a great idea for pets as they contain phenols that can cause liver problems.

Jird Cage.

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