Screen cages allow more ventilation than aquariums and both glass and wood reptile cages. They are often used to keep reptiles and amphibians that don't tolerate stagnant air well. Some species of reptiles, such as true chameleons, can often only be kept successfully in this type of cage. In December of 2002 I built a screen cage for my female veiled chameleon. Below are photographs of the cage that I built along with step by step instructions. The materials for the entire cage cost around $100 and constructing the cage took only a few hours. Recently I found that aluminum window screen framing can be purchased from hardware stores at a much cheaper cost than pre-assembled window screens. Building your own window screens could cut the cost of building this cage by over $30. All measurements are in inches.
1 Piece of particle board 21x21x1 or larger
- 4 Pieces of oak or other hardwood that measure 1x1x42
- 2 Pieces of oak or other hardwood that measure 1x1x21
- 2 Pieces of oak or other hardwood that measure 1x1x19
- 1 Roll of 1/8 inch aluminum screen
- 4 Aluminum window screens that measure 22x1/2x44
- 8 2-inch long screws
- 48 5/8=inch long screws
- 2 Hinges
- 1 Small screw-on handle or knob
- 4 Self-adhesive linoleum floor tiles that measure 12x12
- 4 Right-angle brackets
- 2 Safety clips that are made for keeping screen covers on aquariums
Screen Vivarium/Cage :
1- Building A Screen Cage Step By Step
By Devin Edmonds
courtesy to : www.Amphibian care . com
Vivarium Design and build ..
Tools Needed :
- Drill and drill bits
- Screw driver
- Mat knife or carpet cutter
- Staple gun and staples
- Measuring tape
Step One: Cut the particle board into a square that measures 21" by 21". This will be the bottom of the cage and will support the wooden frame.
Step Two: Create the top frame that holds the cage together. Use the right angle brackets to attach the 21" and 19" pieces of hardwood together to make a square frame. The final frame should measure 21" by 21".
Step Three: Drill holes through the sides of the aluminum windows. A regular drill bit will work. Drill 5 holes down the 42" side and 3 holes along the 22" side. These holes will be used to screw the aluminum windows onto the wooden posts.
Step Four: Screw three of the aluminum windows to the four 42" long upright pieces of wood. You may need someone to help you hold the window and wood together while you attach them. Make sure to leave room for the top wooden frame to sit on top of the uprights and leave room for particle board on the bottom. If you do it correctly an inch of the window will overhang both the top and bottom of the upright.
Step Five: Screw the top frame onto the four uprights. Then screw the top of the windows to the sides of the frame.
Step Six: Attach the linoleum sheets to the top of the particle board. Trim the excess linoleum with the mat knife so that it is aligned with the particle board on all sides.
Step Seven: Screw the particle board/linoleum base onto the four uprights. You now should have a cage with three sides and an open top.
Step Eight: Attach the fourth window to the frame. This last window will become the door. Use the small hinges to secure it to the rest of the cage.
Step Nine: Put the knob or handle onto the door. I found a cool frog knob at my local hardware store. I wish they had a chameleon one.
Step Ten: Cut the roll of aluminum screening into a piece that measures 22x22. Staple this piece of screening to the top frame of the cage. Make sure that you don't leave any gaps or loose areas so that crickets don't escape.
Step Eleven: Decorate the cage. Make sure to include perches, climbing areas and basking sites if the animal in the cage needs them.
2-Constructing an Outdoor Turtle Pen
courtesy to : www.amphibian care . com By Devin Edmonds
Turtles and tortoises benefit greatly from being kept outside. Outdoor pens and enclosures generally offer more room than those used inside, and allow turtles and tortoises to be exposed to unfiltered sunlight. Being exposed to the ultraviolet rays that sunlight contains allows turtles and tortoises to process calcium in their diet; a critical part of their care. Although generally turtles and tortoises do better when kept outside than when kept inside, some environments might not be suitable for an outdoor enclosure. It’s important to understand the temperature, humidity, and other environmental preferences of the turtle or tortoise being kept before they are kept outdoors. Tropical species may have trouble coping with the dry conditions found in arid environments, and those from warm climates often will not tolerate cool temperatures in temperature regions. In these situations it is usually best to either avoid keeping the turtle or tortoise outside, or better, only keeping the turtle or tortoise outside during certain times of the year or on days that match their environmental requirements. The pen that I constructed below was used to house my box turtle. It measures 6 feet by 4 feet and was built in June of 2001. The materials needed to construct it cost roughly $100 and include:
1 12' cedar 1x12
1 8' cedar 1x12
1 8' cedar 4x4 post
3 12' cedar 1x2
1 4' cedar 1x12
30 8in wide by 16in long patio bricks
10 regular sized bricks or rocks of that size
25' of 2' wide chicken wire
5' of 4' wide garden screen with 1/2 inch holes
Plastic Paint Tray
Step One: First I looked for the location that I wanted to build the turtle cage. I wanted a location that was in direct sunlight for most of the day, but always would have an area that was shaded. I chose to build it near the house because the spot recieves sunlight all day long but the house keeps another part of it shaded.
Step Two: Next we (my dad and I) dug a hole that measured 6' long by 4' wide by 1' deep. This was the most unpleasant part of building the turtle pen and took around two hours to do. We then took the edger and made the sides of the hole as straight and even as we could so that the bricks would stand up on the sides straight. The bottom of the hole doesn't have to be perfectly even because you’re just going to lay chicken wire over it.
Step Three: After digging the hole we made the frame of the enclosure. First we cut the 12' and 8' long 1x12 boards in half so we had two 6' and two 4' long boards. Then we cut the 8' long 4x4 into four equal pieces so that we had four 2' long 4x4 posts. Then we attached the 4' boards to two of the 2' long 4x4 posts leaving a foot of the 4x4 post sticking out below the boards. After that we put the 6' foot boards on the sides to complete the frame. We then carried the frame over and stuck it inside the hole. At first the right corner was higher than all the other sides so we had to do a little more digging to make it even.
Step Four: After the frame was completed we cut the chicken wire into three 8' long strips and then took the wooden frame out of the hole. The chicken wire is to prevent my turtle from digging his way out of the pen. We laid the chicken wire in the bottom of the hole and folded the extra foot on each side down. Then we put bricks over parts of it that were sticking up. In some cages people use perforated bricks on the bottom but they didn't have those at the store we went to and they are probably more expensive than chicken wire. Once the chicken wire was in we put the wooden frame back in again.
Step Five: Next we put the 8 inch wide and 16 inch long patio bricks on end around the bottom of the sides to prevent my turtle from digging out. This is harder than it sounds because sometimes the bricks will tip over so to prevent the bricks from tipping over we piled dirt in front of them to keep them upright until we could put the rest of the dirt in.
Step Six: Then we got to shovel most of the dirt that we had dug out earlier back into the hole. Luckily this didn't take as long as digging the hole did. I wanted to fill the cage up until just about an inch or two of the tall patio bricks were sticking up above the surface. Once we had filled it about half way we dumped 2.2 cubic feet of peat moss into it and mixed that with the soil so it would be easier for my turtle to dig since the soil here is very dense. We also filled in the extra space between the cage and the ground with dirt.
Step Seven: After filling the cage up with soil it was time for us to make the cage cover. I chose to use a cover mostly to protect my turtle from our dogs and other animals although some people choose not to use a cover. First we made the frame of the cover. We cut the 12' 1x2 boards into two 5' 1x2 boards and two 44 inch boards. Then we took those pieces of wood and the 5' 1x12 and laid them out on the ground. We attached it all together with right angle and T brackets. Then we stapled the metal garden screen to the cover.
All we did after that was attach the cover to the cage with three brass hinges, plant the cage and put the water dish (paint tray) in. The whole project took about seven hours to do with two people.
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