Portable Cage Bottoms
By Cheryl Rafoth & Theresa Mueller
Cooping at National shows and ARBA conventions have wooden floors. Add shavings or straw to that floor and put a lionhead in it and what a mess the next day! To solve this problem, breeders have developed several methods of making “false bottoms” so that our lionheads sit up off the shavings. You can purchase these wire cage floors from a vendor but they run up to $7.50 each. It is very easy to make your own. You just need to think ahead. Here is one way.
At the National Show in Ohio the cages we are assigned have been consistently 18” x 16”. This size is not always “a given” at every show but we are assigned this size cage at Nationals.
The Following Recipe will make 8 cage bottoms. 171/2” x 15”
Purchase 51/2 feet of 36” wide wire mesh from your hardware store at about $1.39 a foot. The holes should be ½” x 1”.
Cut this into 15” x 17 ½” pieces with wire cutters. 2 cage floors will fit the width of the purchased wire. Hint: Count the holes! There is very little waste with this method.
Using an electric grinder, buzz down the rough cut edges so they are smooth. You now have 8 wire cage bottoms.
Purchase 40 – 2” couplings that are 1 1/2” deep. These can be found in the plumbing department of Home Depot or your favorite Hardware store. You will need 5 for each cage floor (one for each corner and one for the center) Remember this recipe makes 8. The cost ranges from $.39 to $.50 for each coupling.
Buy short cable zip ties to attach the false bottom to the side wire on the cages.
To travel with these, we tie all 8 together with cable zip ties so we are working with bundles instead of individual pieces. We wrap them in heavy brown wrapping paper and put them in the bottom of a suitcase! We carry the couplings in zip lock bags in a 5 gallon bucket with other show supplies that we check as baggage. Traveling by car? Just throw them in a duffle bag! HINT: SAVE the brown wrapping paper for the return trip!
Hint: 14 gage wire mesh is best as it doesn’t bend and is heavy. We use 16 gage wire when flying with the rabbits as the weight makes a very big different in our suitcase! It does bend more easily but it works just fine for this temporary set up. The weight of 8 cage bottoms tied together is 5 lbs. with 16 gage wire mesh vs. 9 lbs. with14 gage.