This article is from the WSSF 2009 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
By Carol Lawton
When I first saw the Oxbow Timothy Bungalow, Lounger, and Tunnel, I was thrilled that someone had finally made completely safe, edible, and shredable hideaways for small animals. And the fact that they came from Oxbow, my favorite company for grass and hay products for my bunnies, rats, and mice, was an added plus.
I decided to try the Oxbow Timothy Bungalow. The hand-woven bungalow is a low, slightly flattened house that contains no chemicals, wires, threads or other dangerous items that can be consumed by your pet. It is made entirely of timothy! It can be cleaned by rinsing with water and comes in two sizes: 9″x10″x8″ and 12″x12″x9″. Priced at under $20, I was certain that I had found the cage addition of my dreams.
When I opened the bungalow package I was immediately hit by the wonderful sweet smell of fresh cut timothy hay. The bungalow had a flattened bottom so it would sit on the cage bottom without rolling and was strong enough that my big boys could sit on top of it without flattening it. It was large enough that two males or several females could sleep comfortably inside. I decided to give my six girls (who have a history of shredding anything that enters their cage) the first opportunity to test the bungalow.
I placed the bungalow in the same place their favorite igloo had occupied. The girls were very excited to find something new and began giving it a thorough examination. I left them alone to have their fun. When I came back an hour later I expected to find a pile of sleeping girls inside the bungalow . . . or a shredded pile of bungalow. What I found was an untouched bungalow and the girls all asleep in their hammock. Over the next few days I tried every way imaginable to get the girls interested in their new house, but had no luck at all. It remained intact and ignored.
Next up was the boy cage. I rinsed and air dried the bungalow and used it to replace the boy’s favorite igloo. They gave the bungalow a thorough sniffing (Oooo . . . girl smell!!!!) but wandered away after they realized the girls weren’t still there. When I came back an hour later I was pleased that one of the boys was asleep in it. Over the next week it became the favored hangout for two of the boys, but all four of them were using it regularly and I’ve seen all four of them in it at once.
While the Oxbow Timothy Bungalow didn’t get the reception I expected from the girls, my boys have certainly been happy with it . . . and so have I. They’ve used (and slightly abused) it for a couple months now and even the chewed places are holding up well when I clean it. I expect to get a couple more months of use from it before I have to replace it, but when that time comes it will be replaced with another Oxbow Timothy Bungalow.
NOTE: The Oxbow Timothy Bungalow is made by Oxbow Animal Health, 29012 Mill Road, Murdock, NE 68407, (800) 249-0366, Fax: (402) 867-3222, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Their web site is http://www.oxbowanimalhealth.com.