Pet Hamster

tortoise

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How's the hamster doing?
Still alive! :gig

I am starting the taming process by teaching her to walk into a small container to take her out of the cage. I give her favorite treats in there.

I have had fun finding things in my pantry and barn for her. I doubt I will buy hamster food again! I have whole corn, whole oats, steel cut oats, whole wheat, quinoa, millet, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, mealworms, etc.

She loves spinach and leaf lettuce best. Her second-favorite treat is a mini milkbone. 😁
 

tortoise

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Hamster escaped - DS7 left the cage open. DH caught her 3 days later when he saw her run across the floor. She bit DH hard! (Other than that, she has not nipped or bitten.)

I sorted her commercial food into seed mix and "cookie" mix. I picked out the alfalfa pellets out and discarded them. They're not great nutrition for hamsters, and I don't want her getting accustomed to a food I will discontinue. I added dog kibbles and mini milkbones to the "cookie jar." I made a homemade seed/grain/legume/fruit mix for her. I'm out of fresh veggies, but we'll dehydrate some for her after I go shopping.

DS7 picked hundreds of dandelion flowers to dehydrate for her. She seems to like the stems, so I added dandelion leaves to my list of things to forage and preserve for her.

One of our young apple trees died over winter and DH pulled it out to replace it. DS7 cut twigs off of it to make apple wood bundles. They retail for $10 per 50 grams! dang! Makes me want to set up an etsy store for apple branches, grain sprays, and homemade seed mix.

I'm very happy that this hamster project is getting DS7 into some SS activities and mindset!
 
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Guess who left the hamster cage open last night? 🙄 🤦‍♀️ DS7 cleaned his room and DS15's room this morning. Next up is the rec room. Hamster had access to my studio last night - uggh, so many places to hide in there. I'm not even trying.

We disabled mouse traps. Set her cage on the floor with a ramp up to it. Hopefully she will show up on her own again.

Will DS7 ever learn?
 

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So much effort. We never went half that far for the gerbils.

Rats were even easier. Of course we had to keep a lock on the rat cages because they learned how to lift the latches and get out. The rats would come when called and would run up to us if they escaped.
There has been a lot of research into rodent care and welfare. Mostly coming out of Germany, where hamsters are kept much differently than in the USA. Small cage sizes and insufficient bedding for burrowing cause stress and behavior problems like bar climbing, bar chewing, and biting.

In the USA, typical cage size (among uneducated owners) is 200 square inches. German-style cages are very large. The cage pictured is over 1,700 square inches.
cage.jpeg
 

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Hamster is found! I plugged 2 gaps - 1 leading to a wall void and the other into floor joist space. H heard her chewing on the plug - she was in the floor. I set live trap and caught her in minutes.
:celebrate

She is in her playpen for the night for more enrichment. I added coconut coir bedding to see if she likes it. I plan to add or switch to peat moss because it costs less and DS7 wants to grow edible plants in her habitat.

I sprinked her food so she can forage for it to keep her busy.

I ordered a larger running wheel for her because she has outgrown hers. She seems to be uncomfortable running in her wheel. I'm impatient for her new wheel to arrive.
 

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Hamster got her larger wheel upgrade. She wasn't using her small wheel at all anymore since she had outgrown it. She runs on her larger wheel for a long time. She prefers it to getting treats. :)

She has outgrown her cage (360 sq in). Some female Syrian hamsters are stressed out if their habitat is under 2,000 sq in. My house isn't that big, she will have to settle for less. LOL

I'm planning to pick up a used 55 gallon aquarium (576 sq in) for her tomorrow. I want a 75 gallon for larger floor space, but there aren't any used ones in my area and they cost twice as much (used) as 55 gallon.

Last time I had plans like this DS7 (who was 4 at the time) broke the new aquarium by trying to pick it up and drag it inside! It was too heavy for me to pick up, I have no idea how he did it! I'm hoping for better results this time. :gig
 

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Not sure I had better luck this time. 😖

Aquarium acquired, and set up. The bedding is only about 6" deep right now because I haven't made a proper lid/topper. The lid from the smaller aquarium covers the half of the cage where her wheel is - the only place she could theoretically escape.
buuuuuuuut, last night DS7 left her cage open just a teensy bit and guess who escaped again. :barnie I'd feel awful - and silly for getting this larger cage - if she doesn't return.
 

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