Chinchilla Wheel Size:
The diameter of the chinchilla wheel is usually between 4 and 6 inches (10 – 15 cm). A typical size is used for most dogs.
However, it depends on the breed and their physical condition. Some breeds like pugs, shih tzus, dachshunds etc., have smaller sizes while some breeds like Great Danes or German Shepherds have larger sizes.
Best Chinchilla Wheels:
There are many brands out there which make chinchilla wheels. Most of them claim to be best quality but they all come with a price tag.
The cheapest ones are made from cheap materials such as plastic and metal. They don’t last very long and tend to break down after a few months of use. There are also other expensive options which include ceramic, hardwood, glass, stainless steel etc..
Ceramic Chinchilla Wheels:
Some of these chinchilla wheels are made from ceramic material. These chinchilla wheels last longer than others and they’re less likely to break down over time.
Ceramic is non-porous so it won’t absorb odors or stains easily. It’s also lightweight making it easy to move around with your pet too.
Metal Chinchilla Wheels:
Metal chinchilla wheels are also very strong and last longer than other types of chinchilla wheels. Most of these are made from thick metals such as iron, brass or stainless steel.
You can also find some with a combination of wood and metal.
Wood Chinchilla Wheels:
It is obvious that the type of wood makes a difference in how long they last. Most chinchilla wheels are made from hardwoods such as oak or maple.
They are very strong and can stand up to the weight of your pet for many years without breaking down.
How To Build A Chinchilla Wheel:
Building a chinchilla wheel is not difficult. They come in two basic types: the saucer type and the exercise wheel type.
The saucer type has a shallow wooden bowl for your pet to run inside. It has a solid flat wooden base. The exercise wheel type consists of a wooden framework with several evenly-spaced vertical bars. Both types require regular maintenance and must be cleaned periodically to prevent bacteria or mold from growing inside.
DIY Chinchilla Wheel:
The best thing about building your own chinchilla wheel is that you can build it to any size you want. This allows you to use materials that you can easily find around the house.
The size of the wheel that you need depends on the breed and age of your pet. An average adult chinchilla can run just fine on a 12-inch or 14-inch diameter saucer type wheel. However, young chinchillas or overweight chinchillas may require larger ones. Most exercise wheels usually have a diameter between 8 and 12 inches. The basic framework for a saucer type wheel is made from 1×2 inch wood planks. The vertical supports are usually 1×1 inch wood planks or 2×2 inch wood posts.
Things You Will Need:
Building a chinchilla wheel requires just a few simple items that you can easily find around your house. They are: wood, nails, glue and paint.
You can also find premade metal, plastic or ceramic chinchilla wheels at most pet stores.
Building The Frame:
Before building the wheel, you need to decide on the size and shape of the wheel. Most chinchilla wheels come in either saucer or exercise wheel designs.
You should also consider your pet’s age and if they are overweight. A good size for adult chinchillas is 8-12 inches in diameter. Younger chinchillas or overweight chinchillas may require larger ones.
Make sure that the wheel is safe for your pet. There should be no small pieces or edges that could be chewed off and ingested.
The spokes of an exercise wheel might look like a good place to nibble on but they are attached at the outer edge of the wheel. If your pet tries to chew on them they may come loose and become a choking hazard.
After you have decided on the size and shape, you can now build the frame. Most wheels have a solid flat base.
You can either nail, screw or glue the base to the frame. The sides of the frame should be nailed, screwed or glued to each other and to the base of the wheel. Each piece of wood used in the frame must be firmly attached or your pet’s weight may cause the wheel to fall apart and hurt them.
Your chinchilla wheel should be sized so that it can easily fit in the area where you plan on keeping it. For example, an exercise wheel designed for a guinea pig will not fit into a bookshelf!
If you are using the saucer type design you will need to attach a flat piece of wood on the underside of the base for the chinchilla to walk onto and grip the wheel. The pet’s feet will hold down this piece of wood while they run in the wheel.
Use glue and nails or screws to keep this piece of wood in place.
Finishing The Wheel:
After the wheel is completely assembled, you can now paint it if you wish. Most people just leave the wood unpainted but some people like to give their pet’s home a personal touch by painting it.
You may want to sand the wood before painting it to remove any splinters or rough edges. Make sure to use latex paint or another type of safe paint for children’s toys.
Once the wheel is dry you can attach the axle. Wood screws or small bolts can be used to attach metal axles.
You may need to drill holes in the wood to mount the axle securely.
If you are using a plastic, ceramic or metal saucer type wheel the mounting will already be done for you.
Hanging The Wheel:
Most owners will either hang their pet’s wheel from the ceiling or place it on a table in the chinchilla’s area. Hanging the wheel from the ceiling will prevent your pet from getting hurt if they jump on the wheel and fall off.
If you choose to hang the wheel from the ceiling you will need to either buy a hanging wheel or hang an exercise wheel by attaching a string, rope or chain to the axle.
If you are placing the wheel on a table you will need to make sure it cannot be knocked over. (A chinchilla can run at very fast speeds and accidents do happen!
Safety should be a priority). You can either place heavy objects on the adjacent sides of the table to prevent it from being pushed over or you can buy a table base for your pet’s wheel.
You will still need to make sure that your pet cannot reach the sides of the wheel to climb out. Most chinchillas will nibble on anything wooden so make sure that there are no sharp edges or pieces that could be chewed off and ingested.
Your pet should now have a wonderful new home made exercise wheel. You can hang it from the ceiling or put it on a table.
You can use either the solid base or saucer type design. Make sure to securely fasten the frame and check it regularly.
Remember your pet may try to climb out of the wheel at first but will soon give up and get on with the fun part, running in the wheel!
Next Article: Feeding Your Chinchilla
Sources & references used in this article:
Permanent Magnet Synchronous Linear Motor for an Urban Transport Electric Vehicle by MC Sánchez, JM Larrahondo – 2015 IEEE European Modelling …, 2015 – ieeexplore.ieee.org
Model of a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Linear Motor for an Urban Transport Electric Vehicle by MC Sánchez, JM Larrahondo – ijssst.info
11 Best Gaming Chairs 2020 [Nintendo Switch, PC Gaming, PlayStation 4 & Xbox One X] by CMX Brown, CMX Blue, W Rests, C Master, K Tray… – 2010 – electroceramicsgroup.org