Taking the middle out of the Explorer

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RattyRenton
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Taking the middle out of the Explorer

Post by RattyRenton » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:58 pm

Hi all

I've decided to take the plunge and remove the middle from the Explorer. Oh the boys are not going to be happy :lol:

I know a few of you have done this and just wanted to see if had any tips or pitfalls to watch out for? As you lose a whole ceiling to attach hammocks to how to you ensure there's enough hammocks in the cage? I think I'll be leaving both small shelves in the cage, at least for the time being, so I can hang hammocks underneath them and between them and the sides of the cage. I've bought loads of ropes. The problem is I have a couple of hugely overweight boys (hence the cage revamp), has anyone found that lazy fat lads simply won't bother climbing and just stay at the bottom where the food is?

I have got any lava ledges or small wooden ledges, are these essential? I know it's important to break falls, and there will most definitely be falls :roll:

Any tips appreciated. I'll post pics when it's done.
Heather x
and the Ratties; Marley, Dylan, Ewan, Charley, Dale, Mitch, Milo, Timmy, Archie, Arthur, Bruce and Basil

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MistressSadako
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Re: Taking the middle out of the Explorer

Post by MistressSadako » Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:16 pm

How manty hammocks are you planning on putting in? I have half a srs with half an explorer as one open cage and I have 2 hammocks in the whole thing. Much more fun to fill it with ropes and things to climb on that just with hammocks :)
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RattyRenton
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Re: Taking the middle out of the Explorer

Post by RattyRenton » Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:22 pm

I won't be overloading with hammocks, although I've read some people put in as many hammocks as there are rats plus one, and I ain't putting in 10 hammocks! I guess I was just going to put a hammock where there was a space for one, mainly to break up long falls. Most of the hammocks will obviously be attached to the ceiling. When I say hammocks I also mean snooze cubes and those hangy net things from Ikea.

All excited about the big revamp! I keep staring at the cage trying to work out what can go where.
Heather x
and the Ratties; Marley, Dylan, Ewan, Charley, Dale, Mitch, Milo, Timmy, Archie, Arthur, Bruce and Basil

:rainbow: Thorston, Si, Dave, Roger and George :dumborainbow:

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ScattieMcRattie
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Re: Taking the middle out of the Explorer

Post by ScattieMcRattie » Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:39 pm

i've done this to my explorer and i absolutely love it this way and so do my rats. but then mine are girls and not too into lounging anyway. they've only ever known the explorer without the middle section but big cage changes can be a big shock to the ratties and take a while to get used to. when i bought the explorer originally i had boys in a furet tower and they preoper sulked for near a month i swear. lol.

anywaysmy advice in layouts for the exp without the middle is to take full advantage of the hight, dont get bogged down with sticking to making the cage in layers side to side. i have a things running top to bottom a vertical tube the full hight of the cage which the girls absolutely adore and use all the time. garden trellis is another i have used to make use of the hight of the cage. as for hanging things with the exp as you know you've already lost the front of the cage because of the doors and loosing the middle does take a bit of getting used to bu t like hobbit stealer i dont give my girls too many hammocks at all. in fact if i gave them a cage full of hammocks they'd look at me in disgust. i have five girls in my explorer currently and there are never more than two hammocks in it as a rule, and never more than 5 differnt beds. the rest of the cage is filled with ropes, cargo nets, things to climb, destroy, eat, play with rustle and generally explore. i love coming up with layouts for the cage. i have a few pictures of past layouts i may be able to upload for you later. i do have shelves in the cage i chose to use the ferplast corner shelves at differnt hights they create nice areas and walk ways without taking up too much space

this weekends layout is "very rope intensive" my girls are very agile and like to climb vertical ropes and walk on balance beams they are also cronick chewers. ther is currently one hammock in the cage. one ferplast shelf is covered in vet bed and is their favourite sleepy spot. they have one shredded paper filled house and a sputnik base. so thats five rats and four sleeping areas. the rest of the cage is mostly ropes and tunnels and ledges.with lots of chewables
" and the muttering grew to a grumbling; and the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling; and out of the houses the rats came tumbling,"
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indigoj
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Re: Taking the middle out of the Explorer

Post by indigoj » Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:58 pm

I'm considering this as my girls are getting a little tubby as they hit middle age, is it easy to take it out? (I'm all alone here LOL)

Loving the layout ideas!
9 Roans-Comet,Luna,Selene,Twinkle,Hobbit,Evey,Echo,Flash,Splash.2 Black Berkie-Elara,Perdita,2 Black Rex-Lola,Sofia,1 PEW- Tinkerbell,2 Siamese-Saffron,Daisy,2 Half Wild- Indigo,Imbrium, and 2 Parkies-Mink Dumbo-Atomic,Rapture

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ScattieMcRattie
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Re: Taking the middle out of the Explorer

Post by ScattieMcRattie » Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:51 pm

its really easy to take the middle out and personally i havent regretted it at all. i've also taken it off the stand and put the wheels/castors straight into the bottom of the cage....i'm very pleased with the end result

just unscrew the doors top and bottom leaving the other sides top and bottom still together (you can even leave the top and bottom doors joined together as one). pull the middle grid out and then screw the doors back on. takes a few minutes..i did it by myself no bother.

if anyones interested in pictures let me know x
" and the muttering grew to a grumbling; and the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling; and out of the houses the rats came tumbling,"
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Re: Taking the middle out of the Explorer

Post by indigoj » Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:07 pm

Thanks and yes, PICS PLEASE :D
9 Roans-Comet,Luna,Selene,Twinkle,Hobbit,Evey,Echo,Flash,Splash.2 Black Berkie-Elara,Perdita,2 Black Rex-Lola,Sofia,1 PEW- Tinkerbell,2 Siamese-Saffron,Daisy,2 Half Wild- Indigo,Imbrium, and 2 Parkies-Mink Dumbo-Atomic,Rapture

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Re: Taking the middle out of the Explorer

Post by ScattieMcRattie » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:07 pm

:D i was hoping you'd say that lmao

bear with me a while as i upload some guff to photobucket :D
" and the muttering grew to a grumbling; and the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling; and out of the houses the rats came tumbling,"
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Re: Taking the middle out of the Explorer

Post by ScattieMcRattie » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:46 pm

ok here is this wekends layout; **sorry to pic spam the thread**

as i said it is particularly "rope intensive" there are 7 different ropes criss crossing up down and around the cage as walkways to the variouse levels, and features. there are 5 ferplast shelves in the cage all at the back. these are a semi permanent feature and will stay as they are until i get fed up with them as will the verical tube. everything else gets changed weekly. the very top shelf is their sleep ledge and is covered with vet bed. this is ther favourite place to sleep as a group regardless of how many beds/hammock i put in the cage they like to sleep out in the open on the shelf. there are now two hammocks in the cage as one was a gorgeouse gift from a friend that visited today. other features are of course the full hight vertical tube. with doors cut into they run up and down he tube to reach the differnt level ferplast shelves. there are some other tubes a home made(by y 10 year old neice :love: )s cargo net some crunchy paper bags they like to rustle around in tear up and hide in. wooden perches and ledges that run up ther door and they love to sprint up these. i cant think what else to say about it...so here are some pics; you can make your own minds up what you think. its not perfect and am going to put another cargo net in lower down under the rops to catch any fallers but it was in the way of the door for access. oh yeah and talking of acces i only use the doors on the right side of the cage for access this allows me to attach things to the front of the cage. its not a hinderance at all i can actually reach the far back corner through the oposite door.

Vita and Rea modeling the ropes
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arial veiw
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akili smiley faced exiting the loo,
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she was quicker than the camera but this is Naula just exiting a vertical descent down the tube
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other pics
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past layout
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and just for the Cutes
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" and the muttering grew to a grumbling; and the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling; and out of the houses the rats came tumbling,"
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Re: Taking the middle out of the Explorer

Post by msmara » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:14 pm

ScattieMcRattie wrote:i've done this to my explorer and i absolutely love it this way and so do my rats.
Ditto! my rats seem much happier & I much prefer my explorer without the middle. I had a tower cage before, so had gotten used to taller layouts & I find layouts much easier. Also I have 14 boys, some of whom are extremely lazy & even they have been climbing more. I say go for it!!!

It's not too hard to do either, I did it with minimal help from my OH while I had a finger in stitches etc x
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Re: Taking the middle out of the Explorer

Post by HereticPr1me » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:31 pm

:o Scattie youre a design genius, do you do living rooms also ? :lol:

I had considered this myself when I rebuilt the explorer a couple of months back. I just love that vertical tube / periscope thingy !
I'll have to "explore" this too and have a plan ready for my next week off.
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Re: Taking the middle out of the Explorer

Post by myzoo » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:01 am

:D wow !!! thats cool given me loads of ideas for mine even though i cant split mine untill i move got girls in top boy in bottom but would love to split it as the sections seem quite small with the middle and the shelves.
where did you get those plastic coloured ring things that you have around the ropes and holdingthe pink hammock up.they look cool.im going to get some more ropes i bought some dog ones but cant get these ones undone usually i just fiddle and losen it but these are solid.was going to order some of the flexi ropes like your multi coloured one i like the look of theose and they look sturdyer.
love your layout your so clever :D

oh and your ratties are very lovely as well they look very happy :love: :love:

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Re: Taking the middle out of the Explorer

Post by ScattieMcRattie » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:28 am

aw thanks Am glad you like it :D That pink hammock was a fantastic gift from a friend today i couldnt wati to get it inthe cage and the girls were all over it before i'd even finishhed hanging it up. they are not used to such finery, they are used to my dodgy home stitching lol

i have white shower curtain C hooks and the coloured ones are the same C shape but the coloured ring things are from babies teathing rattles :oops: .......you know the multi coloured rings that all join together for babies to chew on and clack together. i bought about 6 packs for 99p each from a cheepy shop and took them apart they make great cage clips or join together in a long chain. they also go round the thick struts of the cage. i've also found that my ratties like to play with them pick them up and carry them around the cage. chew on them and i sometimes just randomly hook spare clips to the cage bars and they spend ages spinning them round and round pulling and chewing on them. the ropes i have there are all dog ropes things i bought for 99p again and unravelled. the people in my local £1 think i am a crazy person as i keep buying all of there washing lines, dog ropes and shower curtain clips etc
" and the muttering grew to a grumbling; and the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling; and out of the houses the rats came tumbling,"
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Re: Taking the middle out of the Explorer

Post by myzoo » Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:43 am

ScattieMcRattie wrote:aw thanks Am glad you like it :D That pink hammock was a fantastic gift from a friend today i couldnt wati to get it inthe cage and the girls were all over it before i'd even finishhed hanging it up. they are not used to such finery, they are used to my dodgy home stitching lol

i have white shower curtain C hooks and the coloured ones are the same C shape but the coloured ring things are from babies teathing rattles :oops: .......you know the multi coloured rings that all join together for babies to chew on and clack together. i bought about 6 packs for 99p each from a cheepy shop and took them apart they make great cage clips or join together in a long chain. they also go round the thick struts of the cage. i've also found that my ratties like to play with them pick them up and carry them around the cage. chew on them and i sometimes just randomly hook spare clips to the cage bars and they spend ages spinning them round and round pulling and chewing on them. the ropes i have there are all dog ropes things i bought for 99p again and unravelled. the people in my local £1 think i am a crazy person as i keep buying all of there washing lines, dog ropes and shower curtain clips etc
cool :D im going to go hunting in babyshops poundshops for them rings .i wouldnt trust my girls with anything nice like that hammock mine would just eat it lol.my boys are okthey keep things nice well apart from their fuzzbuts cube i was gutted 24hrs and a corner missing :( . i usually get budget hammocks because iam rubbish at making stuff i bought a sewing machine and have used it once with not much luck i spent more time threading it :oops:
wish i was as creative as you it makes my cage feel realy boring lol :)

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Re: Taking the middle out of the Explorer

Post by HereticPr1me » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:18 am

Thats a good tip about the baby rattle rings, from the pics I see they go around the double-frame part where the middle level of the explorer would have been. Im know my current chin-clips wouldnt fit around that so thats fab.
A question about the vertical tube... what is it from and what diameter is it ? I expect if they shimmy up the inside it must be about 4 inches wide ?
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