Why build your own snake or other reptile cage?
By: Mark Chapple, Fri Dec 9th, 2005 08:00:12 PM

When I first started my interest in reptiles I was only young. At that
stage of my life I had little or no skills and did not understand the
requirements of the wonderful creatures so I did not keep them
effectively. We just kept the local lizards, so the cage temperature
was not an issue.

I rekindled my desire later in life but I also had mortgages, the cost
of raising a family and the daily costs of living to contend with. A
reptile was expensive enough, without adding the costs of retail
cages and accessories. So I built my own. It saved me a lot of
money.

You do need some basic tools but the money you save by making it
yourself will allow you to purchase some of those tools that help
make the cage. The remainder can go into accessories so that for
the cost of a basic cage with nothing else you can make a cage,
get some tools and the cage accessories and still have money left
over. That's a big difference.
Many people have materials about the house. If you are going to
make your own cages you can save even more money by using
bits and pieces or timber you may already have, screws, old glass,
hinges, light battens etc. that you already have in the basement or
garage.

When upgrading one of my cages recently, I was able to reuse
some of the materials and the fittings for use on the new cage. This
saved me having to purchase new accessories and materials.

Another benefit is the ability to maintain your own cages. Many of
the plastic or moulded cages cannot be fixed once they are broken.
With a cage you made yourself you can usually fix broken locks or
replace doors (I haven't had to do any of these yet as they are very
sturdy).

When you build your own cages you decide how strong it will be
and what quality of fitting, glues and materials you will be using.
The higher the quality of materials and accessories you use, the
better the final cage product. You are not at the mercy of
manufacturers saving money by using inferior materials and poor
quality fittings.

Another benefit is the ability to customise you cages to suit your
purpose. One of my earliest cages was built as a normal cage but
by placing a removable divider in the middle it allowed me to re-use
the cage when I shipped one of the snakes out. This divider was
fitted over the middle of a heat mat, allowing for two reptiles to be
housed in the cage. It also had two doors. The cage is now used
for another purpose but will soon be empty. The divider can still be
placed back in the cage for another small snake and then simply
removed as the snake gets larger. Tis snake will finally be moved
into an arboreal cage. To purchase a plastic cage with divider that
will only be a transient cage before the snake goes into a final cage
is an expensive exercise.

If you do need to upgrade again, you have the time to build the
final cage as the snake grows.

Making your own cages allows you to build and maintain your
reptile cages in a cost effective manner while keeping them
comfortable and healthy. You can also expand your collection in an
affordable way, making more money available for the reptiles while
still getting quality cages.

About the author: Mark Chapple is the Author of "How to build
enclosures for reptiles" Find out how to build these cages as well
as arboreal cages.Full co lour pictures, detailed diagrams and easy
to follow, step-by-step instructions.
http://www.reptile-cage- plans.com
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