Im getting ready to plan out some racks for rodent breeding. I’m leaning towards the cement mixing tub over any “rodent tub”. Most likely will be wood for now,. Any suggestions or tips, anything that gets over looked when making / using this type of rack? Roughly looking at,. Rack legs, tub top with wire mesh , tub runners/tubs. Caster wheels. I’m going to set up water lines afterwards. Pretty straight forward and simple, hard to improve something so simple.
The cement mixing tubs have a small hole on one end, rats can and will chew an escape hole, they also have a lot of slope on the ends. Purchasing tubs from Freedom Breeder isn’t much more money and you get a much better tube. I still haven’t found one of my rats that escaped. I won’t ever use the concrete tubs again.
I’ve seen some people address this by covering around the hole with more wire or putting some trim metal on the tubs. They even used them on the sides of the tub.
@xamier What number tub are you using and how many tubs tall are your racks?
I have been using concrete mixing tubs for a decade without issues, if the design is right, and the fit is right there won’t be any issue.
Can chewing happen? Yes and with any tubs the key is to provide a chewing block (rodents need to chew) and cull any chewers and tub mates if that happens.
Make sure it’s sturdy, not too tall, and balanced right. I bought one sight unseen and it turned out to be almost 7 feet tall! I had to use a ladder to get to the top for feeding and watering. It was top-heavy and not the most stable. Sold it for two shorter and heavier made racks that take up the same floor space, but more useable for my 5’4" self using only a stepladder.
My rack is 3 tubs high. The cement tubs are from home depot, the smaller of the 2 sizes. The only one they chewed had the tub in so the small hole was facing the back. I also have a rat rack with freedom breeder tubs. They are heavier and nicer than the cement tubs. I feel the extra money is well worth it. I am breeding ASFs, they may chew more than common rats and there might be better cement tubs to be found . For me it is easier to just order my tubs from FB and not worry about them.
I use large concrete tubs and cat litter boxes. Both work fine. I use expanded metal for my tops. Cost along more but will last forever. I have heard of rats eating the metal screen and poisoning the snakes that eat them.