This article is from the WSSF 2013 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
By Karen Robbins
Stephanie Crawford, e-mail
QI am looking for an 11″ robust wheel to buy. Can you refer me to anyone? Or a local mail-order place?
ANot sure if you are looking for solid or wire, plastic or metal wheels, so here are the few places we know that make 11–12 inch wheels:
Wodent Wheelsin 11″ and 12″ that are sold through several online places
Chin Spin™open wheel (also comes in 13″ and 15″).
Another alternative is a 12″ saucer wheel. These come in plastic or metal.
There are pros and cons to each of the above. While having a smooth service to run on, solid wheels have to be washed constantly as the rats pee and poop while running. Some plastic wheels are not very stable and wobble, making it unsteady so some rats won’t use it if they are like this. Galvanized metal/wire wheels should be powder coated so they are easier to clean. You can also look for chinchilla wheels (15″) if your cage is big enough to hold it.
Chloe Wells, Facebook
QMy mice pee all over their wheel. I have a silent spinner so it stays in their wheel and they get gross and smelly. Is there a way to prevent this or help it other than washing the wheel every day? I don’t feel comfortably giving them a wire wheel in case they get their feet/tails stuck.
AUnfortunately, mice (and rats) like to pee while they run in the wheels, so cleaning the solid wheels every day is a requirement. Even the wire wheels with small mesh will need to be cleaned weekly.
If you have a squeaky wheel, you can use some vegetable oil to stop the squeak. Just put a dab where the wheel turns on the bracket. This won’t hurt them if they lick it and will last a while before you have to reapply. Of course, washing the wheels will require re-application when they start to squeak again.