Evolution of a Lizard Room, Part X: Custom Cages for Breeding Experiments

The past six months have seen some radical changes to the lizard breeding cages used in the Glor Lab’s lizard room.  Because our space is very limited we needed new space-saving cages to accommodate a growing lizard population and to conduct additional breeding experiments.  Construction of new cages also afforded an opportunity to improve upon some of the problems with our old breeding cages, which were just the typical Kritter Keeper cages available at your local pet store.  Dan Scantlebury led our efforts to design new cages that improved security, eased access for feeding and other tasks, and minimized the space each cage takes up.

The new cages are composed of custom cut plexiglass and feature a front opening door secured with a magnetic latch.  Front opening doors are helpful because most anoles tend to shoot up and out of Kritter Keepers when you pull the lid off; in the new cages they tend to run to the back of the cage and escape less frequently.  On top, the new cages have a screen lid as well as a mini-hatch that can be opened at feeding time to supply crickets or other food items.  Where we once had five Kritter Keepers we can now have eight custom cages with similar internal volumes (due to the fact that new cages are taller and deeper than the Kritter Keepers).  Complete details on how to make these cages will be included in a post by Dan sometime after he gets back from his current field trip.

5 thoughts on “Evolution of a Lizard Room, Part X: Custom Cages for Breeding Experiments

  1. It should be noted that this is cage design 5.0. Dan arrived on the current layout after incorporating changes we came up with from in-lab use. They are now optimized for space, cleaning, feeding and checking on animal health. In a few months we will begin using these cages for breeding, it will be interesting to compare this design’s utility compared to critter keepers for that task.

  2. I haven’t had any problems at all with Kritter Keepers but these do seem useful and worth the wait for a second post from Dan.

    1. The biggest issue for us wasn’t the fault of the kritter keepers but rather the layout of the lizard room. We have plenty of vertical space, and the depth of the shelves was fine, but we lacked shelf width. Dan’s design allows us to increase the volume of a cage while making use of the extra vertical space that kritter keepers couldn’t. Also, by using white acrylic between cages we removed the need for blinders between cages.

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