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Custom Iguana Enclosure Advice?

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by Dragooness, May 4, 2017.

  1. Dragooness

    Dragooness Member

    Just in the planning stages, I have a juvenile red Iggy that was dumped on me. Once I see it's living, thriving, and do a bit of money saving I will build it a custom enclosure. I plan on it being along the lines of 8X6X8 inside my bird room, using two walls of the room. I also intend on modifying it with an extra outside enclosure later, using a dog door. Now for the questions.

    The room is being remodeled right now. I plan on sealed hardwood flooring. Is this acceptable, or would textured tile be best?

    Materials for the walls... The ceiling dosent matter as much, but on the walls... it's that cheep wood look alike junk, I was just going to mud and paint over it, would that be acceptable? Is paint safe?

    Now the bird room itself will be warm, probably 75-80 degrees. This being said, could I use some reinforced wire panels for the non-wall portion? The humid would be maintained at least 50%, birds prefer it higher.

    I saw an interesting thing, a person used a sink with just a drain as a water source, and filled it with a hose. Would it be advisable to do the same with a bathtub for an Iggy?

    Anything else you want to mention? Things you love and hate in your own enclosures?
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The main issue I see is using the existing wall as part of the enclosure. You will need to waterproof everything. I would advise against the wire panels. You really want to seal it up as much as possible. Otherwise the heat and humidity is going to be difficult to control. Another thing is safety. If the birds get on the panel the iguana will likely attack them and could take off a foot! Iguanas have the same dental work as a mako shark. I have seen sinks and pans with drains that were rigged to dump into the sewer lines. Much easier than slopping a tub of poop filled water across the room! I would use tiles on the floor. An iguanas claws are pretty wicked.
  3. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Have to agree with merlin on those points, and as someone who also keeps birds and reptiles, you might want to consider what having something that some birds might consider a predator (even though it's not really) might have if they are all in the same room. Hence another reason for solid walls on the enclosure, it might be easier to keep the birds out of line of sight of the ig and vice versa that way. Might not be an issue, but now is the time to think about such things. One other point, with the exception of the plumbing connection for the tub, I would keep everything as separate from the house structure as possible. If you ever move or even just rearrange, it will save you a lot of hassle to be able to just break down the cage rather than having to re-do the entire room.
    Dragooness likes this.
  4. Dragooness

    Dragooness Member

    How would you suggest waterproofing the walls?

    Heat and humidity are similar for birds, minus the basking spots.

    Of course I didn't mention, birds will be in cages. Some of my birds..... don't play well with others.

    I was thinking of using something tub sized, with it's own grey water run underground.

    Would those non slip tiles be good? I prefer them, I injure myself enough without slick tile!

    Good point on the birds, although I don't know that it would be a problem. Even the finches, once they get their stupid little heads wear round a new thing they ignore it... Like their new food dish that they hid from. It was just a white dip bowel...

    But solid walls may not be a bad idea, or maybe half solid walls. What material would you recommend?
  5. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    I would recommend a huge plywood box with a glass front and polycrylic for the interior finish. You can paint or stain the ply before sealing it, just check beforehand that all products will be compatible. Polyurethane is also an option ando is a bit more durable, but generally will take a couple weeks to a couple months to cure out to where there is no smell. And regardless of the environmental similarities between the Ig and the birds, I would build the cage so that it can maintain conditions independent of the environment of the room it is kept in. That means no mesh or screen of any sort. A small vent or two low in the cage walls can be added, but should be adjustable if at all possible, and is really not needed. Daily maintenance and feeding will provide for enough air exchange when the door is opened.
  6. Dragooness

    Dragooness Member

    Plywood is actually cheaper than what I was looking at! Would sliding glass doors be okay?
  7. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    They will work and a lot of people prefer them. I personally don't, with lizards they always seem to figure out how to kick substrate or other debris into the tracks and jam the doors for me. So I prefer swinging hinged doors, usually side hinged. With a cage for an iguana, you'll almost have to have side hinged doors anyway, they'll be too tall to swing up or down effectively.
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Something you might look into is a free standing shower stall.
    Dragooness and Darkbird like this.
  9. Dragooness

    Dragooness Member

    Darkbird, I think I will have a tile floor with the no said grip, hopefully with a drain so I can just wash everything down. It sounded like a good idea... The glass doors would be good for viewing? Also would open wide enough for large things to come in and out, or is that a rubbish plan?

    Merlin, you are brilliant!
    Merlin likes this.
  10. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    For what you are doing, I would make the entire front of the cage glass, except the bottom 12" or so, and either make one or both sides hinged at the cage sides, or you could hinge them on a central frame post so they open back on each other. That has the advantage of allowing you to swing the door all the way around so it is completely against the other and out of the way without taking up space in the room, downside is only one door can be open at once unless you leave them both sticking straight out. You could also do just one moving panel and the rest be stationary, just be sure to make it large enough to give you easy cage acess.

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