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The Ferplast Jenny (modified)

The Jenny is a nice sized cage, spoilt by the fact that the access is abysmal and the bars corrode. It's available very cheaply on the second hand market, due to the fact that it's sold by Pets at Home all over the UK, so people buy one and then discover the problems.

My Jenny came from an ad on a web forum, and cost me a tenner. I then bought three extra doors from Emersons Pet Centre for fourteen pounds and a two tins of paint from Homebase, which set me back another twelve quid. Hmm, 36? Well it felt like I was getting a cheap cage anyway.

The first job was to clean off the corrosion as far as possible with a scouring pad. Sandpaper just doesn't work well because there isn't a flat area to clean. The cage had white corrosion over a lot of its area, and a few areas of rust where the rats had peed down the sides. Lovely.

Then you need to make holes for the new doors. This was done using wire cutters and a Dremel. You need to cut through the bars before you trim them close with the Dremel cut-off tool, otherwise you get through a lot of cut-off discs. I found this out the hard way. Then you need to sand the ends of the bars smooth.

Next you need to put on a coat of primer. My other half gave me a can of etching primer, which went on really smoothly and covered the corrosion that I hadn't managed to remove.

I bought metallic blue Japlac quick drying paint for the cage. You need to get the quick drying as it's nursery safe, so it's OK if the rats chew it. I found it went on really thinly, and took me a long time to apply. It was difficult not to leave drips because it ran down the bars easily, and it took three coats of Japlac to acheive a good coverage. Hmm, five sides on the cage, inside and outside of each side, three coats on each side. That's 30 sides. No wonder it took me a while.

It took a week or so for the paint to set completely, to the point where the drips didn't mark if you stuck your fingernail in them. Putting the doors back on with the pliers took some paint off, but not too bad as I used some cloth to protect the paint.

I made a shelf to go inside using part of an old cage, covering it with vinyl flooring ('lino') to stop feet getting trapped between the bars. I also added two Ferplast corner shelves which I already had.


The paint is staying on well, except where it gets a lot of wear at the door catches. I don't think I'd bother with getting three new doors if I did it again. Only the one in the front of the cage is really useful. The double door in the top has a big gap between the two doors, so I need to clip it well closed to stop escapees, and the one in the side doesn't close very well, so I've cable tied it shut. I've learnt since I painted it that some people have used a paint roller rather than a brush. Sounds a lot faster! I'm fairly pleased with the result of my efforts, but it's still not the perfect cage.

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Last modified: Saturday, 18-Oct-2014 19:34:39 BST

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