I call this a rodent carrier because I plan to use it when my daughter buys her mice and it is big enough to take my guinea pig to the veterinarian. However, the reason I built this was to have a safe way to get my hamster home and to have a safe place to put the hamster when I clean. I based the design off of bin cages I’ve seen other hamster enthusiasts make.
Step 1: Supplies
As the kids out grow their toys, I find I’m getting organizing containers back. This one held play-doh, small puzzles, and card games. So after a good clean with my trusty vinegar and water solution I was sure it would be okay. Some may worry that the lid, where the handle is, comes completely off. I am not going to carry by the handle when a hamster is inside of it, so I think it should be just fine.
Additionally, I got some strips of hardware cloth with 1/4″ squares from my father-in-law (though it was originally mine*). Zip ties, wire cutters, (not pictured) sanding block, (not pictured) dremmel, (not pictured) duct tape, (not pictured) bedding was also used.
Step 2: Cut Out Panels
I used a dremmel to cut panels for ventilation. Now, I thought using this tool would have given me more control. Maybe if I used a different tip? Maybe if I was more used to using it? I made some ugly cuts, but they worked. Though, I felt the need to use a sanding block to smooth it out afterwards.
I’ve heard people say exacto knives or box cutters are what they use. One person heated their exacto knife up and it supposedly cut through the bin plastic easier. So there are options.
Additionally, I want to point out I did both the short sides and only one of the long sides. That way I’d have a solid side to hold against my belly as we drive home tomorrow.**
Step 3: Cover the Holes
Using the mesh, a drill bit (in the dremmel), and zip ties the holes were covered. The mesh goes on the outside, is cut to size, and then holes are drilled for the zip ties to go through and hold it in place. I only drilled one hole and used the main opening as the other hole to loop it through. I used the wire cutters to not only cut the hardware cloth, but to also cut the zip ties down.
The zip tie “box” (the part you thread the other end of the zip tie through) is better off on the outside rather than inside the bin. I had mine “inside” the hole, but had I to do it over again I’d put them on the plastic side, so they could be covered with the duct tape in the last step.
Step 4: Finish It
To keep from being pricked by the hardware cloth I finished the edges with some owl duct tape (it was a Christmas present from my mom to my daughter and my daughter let me use it). I cleaned it a couple more times just to make sure. Once dry, I put some Carefresh bedding inside (they need somewhere to pee and poo) to make it a little more comfortable.
Any DIY hamster suggestions?
*-I used the hardware cloth to make lids for my 55 gallon tank (right under finished carrier in last picture). However, when he was building my guinea pig cage, my father-in-law needed some hardware cloth and I gave him what I had.
**-January 27th is my 34th birthday and the present I want is a new hamster.