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Old 11-13-2014, 06:34 AM   #11
Bbhami
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Default Re: Managing Bar Chewers

Thanks for this! My hammy recently converted into being a bar chewer when I adopted another syrian. He figured making noise would make me notice him more than the new hammy
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Old 11-15-2014, 01:59 PM   #12
Minnie the Syri
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Thumbs down Re: Managing Bar Chewers

my Syrian chews the bars on her cage the only time she chew anything other than the bars is if it's infront of her favourite place to chew, unless it's in that particular corner she ignores it, why?
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:46 PM   #13
Thin Lizzy
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Default Re: Managing Bar Chewers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vectis Hamstery View Post
I've had quite a few cheeky hamsters over the years who have taken to bar chewing. Here are a few of the tricks I've used to try and address this (illustrated by some of the cheeky hamsters who wanted to be in the photos!)

Training (human training the hamster, not the other way round)
Firstly I try not to reward bar chewing with cuddles. No matter how annoying it is or how sweetly they beg.

Pretty please? by vectishams, on Flickr

My first female Syrian Bella trained me very well to get her out each time she chewed! I've had other hamsters who have only chewed their bars when I was in the hamster room and not paying them attention as they'd learned it got a response.

Wheels

Some of my hams have started bar chewing if their wheels have stopped working or they have outgrown them. I always check the wheel of a bar chewer as fixing/replacing the wheel can be an easy solution to a chewer.

Cages
I've found bar chewers are often the cheekiest hamsters so I make sure their cages are well secured. I recommend padlocking or clipping barred cage doors shut:
Cage security by vectishams, on Flickr

A narrow barred cage can help reduce bar chewing and associated bar rub.

It's important to check the cages for signs of damage regularly and block off any potential chew points. Places that hamsters can smell the outside world through a tank are prime areas for chewing of cages to start:
L1040604 by vectishams, on Flickr

Bolts and washers are useful for blocking holes, whether the holes are planned by the manufacturer or custom made by the hamster!
L1040462 by vectishams, on Flickr

I wouldn't choose a plastic tank type cage or a wooden cage for a known bar chewer. Instead I use glass tanks with 6mm mesh lids, secured so they can't be pushed up by a determined ham. If you use a perfecto tank, the mesh lid can be pushed forwards enough from inside for a ham to escape so slip a bolt or padlock through the hook at the back.
lympy's new cage by vectishams, on Flickr

Enrichment

Putting something in the area most favoured by chewers can provide distraction.
Wheel by vectishams, on Flickr

Some wooden chews can be bought, such as the bolt-on one that Tania is standing on or the little wooden one in the peg. I also use wooden clothes pegs on their own clipped to the bars. Attaching a large wooden toy is another option - I prefer to use wire to do this rather than cable ties.

I make sure there's plenty of enrichment in the cage and other chewing opportunities such as:
wooden playsticks/fiddlesticks
Dog chews
antlers, e.g. StagBar
Swinging bridges (these are loved by my hams)
Metal kebab toys (which I fill with barley rings as a healthy treat)
Wooden logs stuffed with paper and treats hanging from the roof

Toys for cheeky girls by vectishams, on Flickr
kebab treats by vectishams, on Flickr

Cheeky hamsters often like new activities to keep them from misbehaving. I find cardboard toys the easiest to improvise and change around. I always ask fast food shops for an extra drinks holder. With a little rope it makes a fun hanging swinging bridge for Atlanta.
Cardboard toys by vectishams, on Flickr

Putting the hamster's dinner ration in a small cardboard box or eggbox and then sealing it makes the ham work to get their food, and keeps them occupied. You can see this in one of the photos in the 'cage' section above - the box had been attached to the roof to make it harder! Another way of hiding the food is to use a small section of toilet/kitchen roll tube wrapped in plain paper to form a cracker.
crackers copy by vectishams, on Flickr

Scatter feeding can also keep chewers occupied, but if using a food bowl I recommend a ceramic not a plastic one.
I found my Cadie rather soggy one morning having chewed a big hole in her plastic bottle:
oops by vectishams, on Flickr

Some very naughty hams may need a metal and glass water bottle not a plastic one!
Cadie-resistant bottle by vectishams, on Flickr


I hope this may keep your cheeky chewers occupied - for a minute or two!
Some brilliant ideas there for bar chewers. I especillay loved the egg box with rope tied and hanging in the cage - I'm definitely going to do that.
I like you, never award my hammies if they chew the bars, I ignore them and believe me it's hard sometimes but it does work. They don't like being ignored.
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:48 PM   #14
Thin Lizzy
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Default Re: Managing Bar Chewers

To keep hamsters amused, you don't have to fork out loads of money, toilet rolls and empty boxes give them a lot of fun, it's what you do with them.
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:11 AM   #15
GeneralBloodbath
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Default Re: Managing Bar Chewers

This is some really good information, thank you!

Pyro is a chewer, although last night while I was watching him, he kept coming over to where I was and didn't chew, might try seeing if he wants to come out.

He has plenty to chew on in his cage, got a wood chew block from P@H, he managed to get it through the tubes to his bed - he hoards all of his food and even the chew block!
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:22 PM   #16
BexieID
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Default Re: Managing Bar Chewers

Great advice and I really like the 'mug shot' photo! Fluffy is chewing bars just now!
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Old 07-16-2015, 04:36 PM   #17
toriagiggles
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Default Re: Managing Bar Chewers

really awesome post, creative and informative
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Old 10-03-2015, 04:04 PM   #18
nyannies
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Default Re: Managing Bar Chewers

This is a wonderful guide but I don't think I saw anyone mention this. Hamsters dislike the taste of olive oil so for anyone looking to put off their hamster from chewing until they can get a proper fix, or just as an extra measure, rub some all over the bars! You could try using it just on the spot, dab a cotton ball and rub the inside and outside of the cage. I had my previous hamster constantly chew his bars, and my recent hamster started doing the same so I moved to a much larger cage with just a wire top. It still nibbles on some of the metal components like the wheel stand and such but a lot less. Also it could be that its teeth are just itchy, usually outgrown past the "teenager years".
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Old 10-19-2015, 03:14 PM   #19
Scargirl
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Default Re: Managing Bar Chewers

They don't like lime or lemon juice either (Neither do I!).
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:51 PM   #20
mylittlefluffyhamster
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Default Re: Managing Bar Chewers

This is super duper helpful I will try some of these out as Poppy has a flyng saucer and I think she has outgrown it!
time for an upgrade!!!
thank you! xx
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