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Old 06-29-2020, 08:59 AM   #11
graceanna97
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Default Re: Bar Biting/Taming help please!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypher View Post
I would definitely put more substrate in the cage, you can fill the whole base with substrate so she can burrow & make a good nest, she should be a lot happier with that.
You could get a good sized house with no base & put that on the substrate that would double up as a nesting place & another shelf area to put things on.
I'm definitely going to try this so she has more room to burrow, hopefully that will make her a bit more content! Thanks so much for your help!
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:00 AM   #12
graceanna97
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Default Re: Bar Biting/Taming help please!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
What a cute little hamster!
That's a lovely cage and set up with plenty of shelter so its not that. I'd maybe add more substrate so she can burrow if she wants to. Tbh, i'm puzzled and don't really understand why she was tame for a start and then started to bite so can't be of any help i'm afraid. You are doing the right thing by starting the taming process again. Please let us know how you get on.
Thank you! Yep I'm going to be adding more for her tomorrow so she can burrow, thank you for your advice and I'll let you know how it goes!
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Old 06-29-2020, 11:04 AM   #13
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Bar Biting/Taming help please!!

I agree with cypher on the substrate and a house/nesting box and a tweak of the set up.

It sounds like she hasn't settled after the move and still has stress from that. That can happen if the move is cold turkey and the layout is different and you didn't move everything over without cleaning it. Also they then need about two weeks without any clean outs to settle again.

Although cage changes are also stressful, it can kind of "shock" her out of it as well -and if it's an improved layout she will approve.

My only observation is they need to feel secure about accessing things and the ladder up to the high coconut is open runged isn't it? If there is something about the layout they're not happy with they don't settle. Also if you clean her out too much.

So I'd try this. While she is out of the cage in a secure place. As Cypher said - fill the cage base with substrate - almost to the top of the base. I'd screw the hanging coconut over the shelf and get rid of the ladder up to it - it should be low enough over the shelf for her to hop into and if not put a bendy stick bridge in front of it - a solid ramp/bridge. I'd leave the wood house where it is next to the shelf and add another house atthe end where the coconut was. A shoebox house is ideal - big enough to build a big cosy nest inside. Cut the base out of the shoe box and keep the lid as a lift off roof. So the house is open underneath onto the substrate and she can bury hoards under her nest and burrow down. Cut a hole for a door at one of the long ends of the shoe box - the other end will be darker - they need somewhere dark. Another bendy stick bridge tunnel over the entrance to the door - this makes a ramp onto the house roof and also makes the house darker inside.

Add a couple of toilet roll tubes to the cage floor base as tunnels/toys.

Don't move her nest but put some treats and food inside the new house and a big pile of toilet paper torn into strips near the new house. She will probablymove in over a day or two and either move her nest or build a new one with the toilet paper strips (or a bit of both).

The change should distract her and it's also a positive change so she should approve.

I would also suggest scatter feeding but still put food in the food bowl - put the same amount in the food bowl and just scatter a little bit extra in the cage.

Hope all that helps. When you put her back in the cage, leave her alone for a couple of days and don't clean anything for two weeks. As you'll then have deeper substrate you can just "spot clean" mostly and not need to do a substrate change for a couple of months or more. You just take out a handful of whiffy substrate and replace it with a clean handful and mix it in.

They key is so something always smells familiar. So when you do come to change all the substrate, don't clean anything else at the same time- you can do the wheel another week and any other items another week again. It is only their pee that is smelly or unclean so no need to worry about clean areas of substrate. You can pick out the odd poop if they start taking over but they are not dirty really and they eat them sometimes (normal).

Do you have a sand bath? They will often use that as a toilet.
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Old 06-29-2020, 11:05 AM   #14
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Bar Biting/Taming help please!!

If she is still bar chewing after that couple of weeks you might need to think about a tank style cage like the duna multy which is about the same size. It does sound like stress to me though, from the cage change and she should settle.
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Old 06-29-2020, 11:11 AM   #15
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Bar Biting/Taming help please!!

Just to add when you put more substrate in - take the old out first and then spread it on top of the new so it smells familiar (after spot cleaning any pee). Although it takes a lot of substrate intially, you use less in the long run with spot cleaning and the cage base tends to stay clean and dry longer. Also it's best to leave her nest and hoards in tact unless they are pee;d on. Removing those can lead to bar chewing as well. If you ever do need to remove hoard that's pee'd on then put new food back in the same place and try and leave a bit of old clean hoard behind. The same with the nest - if it gets pee;d in then you'll need to remove it but try and leave a bit of the old nest behind that's dry. And keep topping up the toilet paper pile of nesting material so she can rebuild it.

Once they're settled they tend not to pee in the nest and it can be left alone for a really long time - they don't like it being messed with! The advantage of a house with a lift off roof is you don't need to take it out to check on her nest - you just take the roof off - so the nest doesn't fall apart. I wouldn't do that too often with a dwarf hamster though as it can scare them when the roof comes off and then they can abandon the nest. Best to check when she's out of the cage.
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:22 PM   #16
graceanna97
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Default Re: Bar Biting/Taming help please!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
I agree with cypher on the substrate and a house/nesting box and a tweak of the set up.

It sounds like she hasn't settled after the move and still has stress from that. That can happen if the move is cold turkey and the layout is different and you didn't move everything over without cleaning it. Also they then need about two weeks without any clean outs to settle again.

Although cage changes are also stressful, it can kind of "shock" her out of it as well -and if it's an improved layout she will approve.

My only observation is they need to feel secure about accessing things and the ladder up to the high coconut is open runged isn't it? If there is something about the layout they're not happy with they don't settle. Also if you clean her out too much.

So I'd try this. While she is out of the cage in a secure place. As Cypher said - fill the cage base with substrate - almost to the top of the base. I'd screw the hanging coconut over the shelf and get rid of the ladder up to it - it should be low enough over the shelf for her to hop into and if not put a bendy stick bridge in front of it - a solid ramp/bridge. I'd leave the wood house where it is next to the shelf and add another house atthe end where the coconut was. A shoebox house is ideal - big enough to build a big cosy nest inside. Cut the base out of the shoe box and keep the lid as a lift off roof. So the house is open underneath onto the substrate and she can bury hoards under her nest and burrow down. Cut a hole for a door at one of the long ends of the shoe box - the other end will be darker - they need somewhere dark. Another bendy stick bridge tunnel over the entrance to the door - this makes a ramp onto the house roof and also makes the house darker inside.

Add a couple of toilet roll tubes to the cage floor base as tunnels/toys.

Don't move her nest but put some treats and food inside the new house and a big pile of toilet paper torn into strips near the new house. She will probablymove in over a day or two and either move her nest or build a new one with the toilet paper strips (or a bit of both).

The change should distract her and it's also a positive change so she should approve.

I would also suggest scatter feeding but still put food in the food bowl - put the same amount in the food bowl and just scatter a little bit extra in the cage.

Hope all that helps. When you put her back in the cage, leave her alone for a couple of days and don't clean anything for two weeks. As you'll then have deeper substrate you can just "spot clean" mostly and not need to do a substrate change for a couple of months or more. You just take out a handful of whiffy substrate and replace it with a clean handful and mix it in.

They key is so something always smells familiar. So when you do come to change all the substrate, don't clean anything else at the same time- you can do the wheel another week and any other items another week again. It is only their pee that is smelly or unclean so no need to worry about clean areas of substrate. You can pick out the odd poop if they start taking over but they are not dirty really and they eat them sometimes (normal).

Do you have a sand bath? They will often use that as a toilet.
Thank you so much!!! I will definitely take your advice and make these changes later today, and then be sure to leave her alone to get used to it! She was fine before the cage move so I did assume it would be that that has stressed her, I just would have thought she might have calmed down by now! But I'll make some more changes and hopefully it will make her a bit happier! Thank you for taking the time to give this advice, and I'll let you know how I get on with it!
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