I have long been wanting to find the perfect nest box for my sugar gliders. To date I just have not found one that suits my needs. I have so far been using plastic kitty litter containers as nest boxes which work pretty well but they are huge and just eat too much valuable cage space. Plus they are hard to get to.
For me, a nestbox needs to keep my animals safe and warm but have them within easy reach by me. I also want to have a webcam on top looking in so a bit of height is necessary. I have wanted to hang a box on the door of the cage for some time so that I can open the cage door then open the nest box to hand feed my critters treats and give attention.
So I found and modified a suitable cardboard box to see how it would go. I put the hole in the side so they can climb in from the cage wall and I cut a very large access door in the wide side leaving about 4" untouched at the bottom for their bodies so that they cant just fall out. The outside dimensions of this box are 4.5" x 9" x 12" and it straddles the hinge side of the cage door so that it leaves room to swing all the way out without hitting the doorway.
I moved their pouch into the new Exel XL Tower cage
and within minutes they were all out exploring the cage and then they all ended up in the new nest box and there they have been since. I think they love the new space. The box bottom stays wide so there is no more narrow bottom to crush someone under the colony. It holds my 8 very well.
I think it's time for me to get hold of a table saw and start experimenting with wood creations.
One thing I have to be weary of in the design is pinch points. Sugar gliders grab, thats what they do. There is always a hand grasping the edge of an open door. So my door will have to sit over the doorway like a hatch, be hinged an inch or so away from the hole and possibly be set away from the box by a small shim as to prevent a toe from going missing. I will also probably hinge the access door on the inner cage side of the box so that I can still fully close the cage door in an emergency even if the box is left open.
I might also like to experiment with hanging the nest box outside of the cage through a feeder door, but this scares me with a wooden box. Perhaps I will try and do a plastic model using some sort of mdf panel or such and see if that is harder for them to chew through.