I knew my boys needed something bigger to live in, and this thing is massive! A co-worker has a little hobby shop in his garage, and was able to take my design, and with a few minor tweaks, make this:
Hero had to check it all out before I moved the degus into it...
He even made little staircases for them to get up and down between levels!
Another co-worker used to work at a glass shop, so he was able to get me an incredible deal on the glass panels for the sliding glass doors.
The bottom shelf is where I shoved one of my pre-existing aquariums in.
Like I said, this cage is massive! I realize I'm short at only 5'2", but this towers over me! I need to stand on a chair to see the top shelf.
This entire project ended up costing me $350 (not including anything inside the cage). Each time I clean it, I figure it'll cost me about $50 in bedding (I use Carefresh, which seems to be one of the best for absorbing the smell). When I had the five of them living in a much smaller cage, it would start to smell after only a few days, but I'm hoping this new cage will be good for close to a month due to the huge increase in surface area. So far, it's been just under 2 weeks, and the living rooms smells completely normal.
Doug and X currently have the penthouse suite, living on the top two shelves. The top shelf is the perfect height for their flying saucer (which Doug loves to destroy, little brat stands beside it and spins the wheel with his paws - we call it his "arm day". I seem to be able to get ~3 months out of these before he completely destroys it).
The 5 brothers (we now have names for the two with completely black noses - Allan and Bruce Springsteen - the boss). The three with pink on their noses haven't been named yet, but I'm sure it will be hockey related. By my estimate, they were born on the day of the gold medal men's game at the Sochi Olympics, and we adopted them on the day that Ryan Smyth retired. They currently have the aquarium on the bottom, plus the two shelves above that. They are still young and little, so this is plenty of room of them.
So far, the new cage seems to be a big hit, they run up and down the stairs, and have plenty of space to be alone if they choose to be. I'm so happy with this :)
If you'd like to see the actual plans or close up details to make your own, just leave a comment!