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Old 07-28-2016, 08:06 PM   #1
Kittiy_Ashford
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Default Wheel behaviour

I've had Chewy a week now, and he is displaying zero interest in his wheel. Previously he was in quarantine at work due to chronic sticky eyes (we had to make sure it wasn't an infection/contgeon he could spread to other animals) so his habitat was very limited for observation. IE: he was wheel-less.
All he seems to do now is use his wheel as a kitchen table! He doesn't sit in it or run in it, but instead he sits in front of it, puts his food on it, and eats off of it!

Has anyone else noticed this behaviour in their hammy's? It's pretty freaking adoreable, but totally odd!
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wheel behaviour

What size wheel is it?If the wheel is too small it most likely won't get used for its intended use and even if it does get used it will cause severe health problems over time including spinal problems such as a broken back.
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:41 PM   #3
Elliiy
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Default Re: Wheel behaviour

he probably does use it but you just dont see him do it as he could be running on it while your fast asleep
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:28 PM   #4
cypher
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Default Re: Wheel behaviour

They do like to use their wheels for odd things lol! He may well be using it when you're not around but I would check to make sure it spins easily & is big enough for him to run comfortably without arching his back.
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wheel behaviour

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kittiy_Ashford View Post
I've had Chewy a week now, and he is displaying zero interest in his wheel. Previously he was in quarantine at work due to chronic sticky eyes (we had to make sure it wasn't an infection/contgeon he could spread to other animals) so his habitat was very limited for observation. IE: he was wheel-less.
All he seems to do now is use his wheel as a kitchen table! He doesn't sit in it or run in it, but instead he sits in front of it, puts his food on it, and eats off of it!

Has anyone else noticed this behaviour in their hammy's? It's pretty freaking adoreable, but totally odd!
Most hamsters will use their wheel at some point if they are able to but some hamsters are a bit funny about having spectators whilst they are doing it.

You may find the odd hamster who genuinely has no interest in it and it tends to be more common in males who are a bit lazy. My male Chinesey doesn't really bother with his wheel so it's not always in his cage and he doesn't seem to miss it in the slightest.

One way of telling if he's using it at all is to place a small piece of substrate or toilet tissue on the top and if it hasn't fallen off then he's not been using it. It could be that Chewy is unsure of how to use a wheel, particularly if he's never had one in which case he may get used to it but it's also worth checking that he would be able to use it comfortably. On a whole a 6"-8" is fine for dwarf species but you'll need something bigger for a syrian.
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wheel behaviour

I'd say a basic sizing guide would be 6" for robos and small Chinese hams,8" for dwarfs and larger Chinese hams,and 10-12" for Syrians 5-6 inches.An example of an undersized wheel would be a Critter Trail cage coming with a wheel,which is generally a 4" wheel which is just not suitable for any animal.The basic principal is the animal's length x2,but it's perfectly fine to give a slightly larger wheel than necessary if possible as long as they have the strength to move the wheel.

Last edited by souffle; 07-29-2016 at 02:44 AM.
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wheel behaviour

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmityvilleHams View Post
A basic sizing guide would be 6" for robos and small Chinese hams,8" for dwarfs and larger Chinese hams,and 10-12" for Syrians 5-6 inches.An example of an undersized wheel would be a Critter Trail cage coming with a wheel,which is generally a 4" wheel which is just not suitable for any animal.The basic principal is the animal's length x2,but it's perfectly fine to give a slightly larger wheel than necessary if possible as long as they have the strength to move the wheel.
All of my Chineseys, including the larger ones have been able to run on the 6.5" Silent Spinner without any spinal arching so I'm not sure I agree entirely that they have to have anything larger however a larger one isn't necessarily going to present an issue for them either.
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Old 07-29-2016, 02:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Wheel behaviour

Lol they do use their wheels for strange things sometimes - Willow sleeps in hers! She's not really too fussed about a wheel (she does use it occasionally though) and not all hams will be
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Old 07-29-2016, 02:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: Wheel behaviour

Even if they don't seem to use it or be overly enthusiastic about it I think it is important that they have the option of an upright wheel of the proper size!

The only situations where wheels shouldn't be in a cage are due to a disability or with pregnant hamsters.Other than that,they are always necessary and if the cage can't provide enough space for a correctly sized wheel for that species then it isn't a suitable cage for them.

Last edited by souffle; 07-29-2016 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 07-29-2016, 04:55 AM   #10
Kittiy_Ashford
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Default Re: Wheel behaviour

I'm not using the critter trail wheel (which is too small for anything!), I'm using a flying saucer
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