How to Make Your Own Chinchilla Ledges

Updated on February 20, 2016

Chinchilla ledges are wooden ledges that attach to the sides of your chinchilla's cage. These are an important part of the cage and each one should have several ledges.

Chinchillas love to jump between them. They should be spaced far enough apart that they can safely hop between the ledges. Be careful not to space them too far apart, or your chinchilla may hurt itself hopping from one to the other.

Besides providing exercise for your pet, the ledges also provide a place for your chinchilla to rest. This is especially important if your cage has a mesh bottom which can hurt your pet's feet.

Adding ledges to the cage will also increase its usable space since chinchilla cages have more height to allow for climbing. This is why your pet's home should be multi-tiered instead of one flat level.

Ledges will help you utilize the extra vertical space in the cage.

Make Your Own!

You could purchase ledges from your local pet shop, or you could make your own.

You can make them from a piece of wood and a couple things from the hardware store. Creating ledges is a very easy DIY project that only takes a couple minutes.

What You Will Need

Hardware

  • 1 - 6 Inch Piece of 1"x 5" Kiln Dried Pine
  • 1 Hanger Bolt
  • 1 Wing Nut
  • 1 Fender Washer

Tools

  • 2 Hex Nuts
  • 2 Wrenches
  • Socket and Socket Driver
  • Drill
  • Tapered Drill Bit

The size of the nuts and washers will need to match the thread size of the hanger bolt and the size of the socket and wrenches will need to match the size of the hex nuts.

Types of Wood

The most readily available type of wood that you can use is Kiln Dried Pine. You can purchase this type of wood from most lumber yards or home improvement stores.

There are better woods for chinchillas, like apple and other fruit woods, but you are not likely to find these at your local home improvement store.

While it is not the absolute best wood, kiln dried pine is generally safe for them and you will find plenty of chinchilla products made from it.

Some chinchillas can have allergies to pine wood so keep an eye on them if you have never given them anything made from pine before.

Step 1: Drilling the Pilot Holes

The first thing you will need to do is drill a pair of pilot holes. Drilling these out helps keep your wood from splitting. It also makes it easier to start screwing in the hanger bolts and keeps them straight.

Measure one of the long sides of your piece of wood and mark the points that are 1/3 from each of the ends. Then use your taped drill bit and drill two straight holes in the side of the piece of wood.

Drilling the Pilot Holes
Drilling the Pilot Holes

Step 2: Attaching the Hanger Bolts

Next, we will attach the hanger bolts. A hanger bolt has one side that has wood threading and another side that has machine threading. This lets you screw the hanger bolt into wood and attach a nut to the other side.

  • In order to screw the hanger bolt into the wood, we will need to lock two nuts on it. This is done by threading both of the hex nuts next to each other on the hanger bolt.
  • Then, take your two wrenches and turn the bottom nut counterclockwise while turning the upper nut clockwise. This will lock the two nuts together, so they will not move.
  • Now you can use your socket and socket driver to screw the hanger bolt into the pilot hole. Screw it in until it reaches the point where the wood thread ends, so only the machine threaded side is showing.
  • Remove the hex nuts by taking your two wrenches and turning the bottom nut clockwise, while turning the upper nut counter clockwise. This will unlock the nuts and free them, so you can remove the nuts.
  • Repeat this step with the second hanger bolt to insert it in the other pilot hole.

Locking the nuts together.
Locking the nuts together.
Screwing the hanger bolt into the pilot hole.
Screwing the hanger bolt into the pilot hole.
Chinchilla ledge with hanger bolts attached.
Chinchilla ledge with hanger bolts attached.

Step 3: Attach It to the Cage

Now all you will need to do is attach the ledge to your chinchilla's cage.

  • To attach the ledge, just insert the hanger bolts in between the wires of the cage.
  • Place the washers on the ends of the hanger bolts.
  • Then, screw the wing nuts onto the hanger bolts to secure the ledge to it.

Ledge attached to the cage.
Ledge attached to the cage.

Don't Forget to Sand

You can also round the edges if you like.

You do not want your chinchilla to hurt themselves on any sharp edges, so you should at least use some sandpaper to round the edges of the ledge.

If you have a sander or router you can use those to further round the ledges. However, I usually do not put much effort into rounding, as the chinchillas will round themselves by chewing on the ledges.

Ledge with rounded edges.
Ledge with rounded edges.

The Poop Guard

Another thing I like adding to the ledges for my chinchilla's cage are Poop Guards. This is just an extra piece of wood that extends above the ledge, keeping things from rolling out of the cage.

This little extra piece of wood will save you plenty of time cleaning up after your chinchilla.

You can add a poop guard to your ledge by taking a second piece of wood the same length as your ledge, but not as wide.

Take your two pieces of wood and form an "L" shape with them, and screw your hanger bolts through both pieces of wood to join them together.

Ledge with a Poop Guard.
Ledge with a Poop Guard.

More Than Just Ledges

These techniques can be used to create more than just ledges.

You can measure your chinchilla's cage and create custom-built shelves. These shelves can run across the entire side of your cage and fit perfectly into your chinchilla's cage

You can also create hanging boxes that your chinchilla can sit inside of.

My Chinchilla 'Dusy' in her cage.
My Chinchilla 'Dusy' in her cage.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • aperturering profile imageAUTHOR

        aperturering 

        2 years ago from Raleigh, NC

        Wolfgang - These are made from kiln dried pine as recommended in the article. The edges in the picture towards the end are routed, which might give it a plywood look to you. Plywood should be avoided for numerous reasons.

        The hex nuts are only used for initially attaching the hanger bolt to the ledge. After that you generally will want to use a wingnut.

      • aperturering profile imageAUTHOR

        aperturering 

        2 years ago from Raleigh, NC

        Katie - I don't like using wood glue on things I'm giving my pets, so I generally just use screws to hold them together. Just be careful of placement as you want to avoid putting a screw somewhere they are going to chew away.

      • profile image

        Wolfgang 

        2 years ago

        The wood used in this is a plywood. You can see the layers on the edge of the woods. Plywood is made using a glue that holds the layers together. This is not safe for a chinchilla. You should use something like poplar, or kiln-dried pine.

        Also to make it easier, after the hanger bolt is installed in the wood, a much more simple and effective way to attach it to the cage is simply to but a washer over the hanger bolt on the inside of the cage (pressed right up against the wood and the cage bar.) And then place a second washer on the outside of the cage bars. And use a wingnut to tighten it up. Its very simple, no tools needed, and much easier to remove when the time comes.

      • profile image

        Katie 

        2 years ago

        When making hanging boxes how do you connect the sides together?

      • profile image

        Candi 

        3 years ago

        Thank you so much for this post, I didn't know how I was going to install them without ruining the threads, didnt know this trick!

      • profile image

        Jennifer 

        7 years ago

        Thank you!

      • dallas93444 profile image

        Dallas W Thompson 

        7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

        Great idea... Thanks for sharing.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pethelpful.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)