obtained 15 and 16 liter discarded plastic containers with lids and
removed the metal handles. These containers are manufactured by various
companies and are commonly used for shipping and storing detergents,
cat litter, and various food products. Three 4.5 mm holes were drilled
8 cm apart through the lid and container. Nylon cable ties (4 mm)
(available at electrical supply stores or hardware stores) were
threaded through the holes and secured tightly and the excess cable tie
ends removed. The cable ties secure the lid firmly to the bottom and
serves as a strong and durable hinge for the lid door. Opposite the
hinged end a larger 6.5 mm hole was drilled in the middle through the
lid and the container to allow for a lock. The remaining two sides of
the lid snap firmly to the container body. This results in a firm,
tight seal of the lid with the container on all four sides when closed
and provides for an escape proof door.
Larger cages can be manufactured by connecting two containers end to end (Figure 1).
Because the containers are slightly tapered, the bottoms can be cut out
with a utility knife and one container can be inserted inside the
other. I removed 4 cm more from the bottom of one of the containers and
inserted the longer container tightly inside the shorter one allowing
the containers to overlap 1.5 cm. Holes were drilled every 7 cm on
three sides of the joined containers and 3 mm diameter aluminum rivets
were used to attach the two containers together creating a strong,
tight union. The larger containers require an additional lid on the
opposite side that can be permanently attached with cable ties.
opening was cut in the front side of the container (14 cm x 28 cm for
small cages-15 or 16 liter containers and 14 cm x 56 cm for large
cages-2 x 16 liter containers). Plexiglas was cut to the appropriate
size and attached with 3 mm aluminum rivets every 7 cm. Several 3 mm
holes were drilled throughout the back of the container to ensure
The final product is a secure, inexpensive, lockable, lightweight, and easy to clean caging system (Figure 2).
The cages can be stacked three to four levels high, which can minimize
the room necessary to house numerous animals. The large side door
allows easy access for cleaning purposes and removal of the animal. In
addition, they are aesthetically pleasing and allow for full viewing of
the animal for display if necessary. I have used these cages over a
one-year period to house numerous small to medium size (20 cm to 100
cm) venomous snakes with no escapes.