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Old 01-11-2017, 12:36 PM   #21
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Default Re: I don't know anything! Litter UK

They are pregnant for 16 days so if she hasn't had any babies and it is 16 days since she was with the male then it sounds like she isn't having any. The odd female still comes in heat when pregnant but not many. Give it a couple more days to be sure but I think you can breathe a sigh of relief!
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:44 PM   #22
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Default Re: I don't know anything! Litter UK

Does the female show signs of being pregnant (baby bumps, building a bigger nest, eating more?

Does she come out to use the wheel etc or is she spending a lot of time in the nest?

If she comes out take a photo of her to post on here. People may be able to tell by the picture.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:45 PM   #23
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Default Re: I don't know anything! Litter UK

Yes, it has been 16 days since the encounter (23.12). She doesn't look particularly bigger. Behaviour, the same funny one. Running around a lot, as usual. She is using her wheel right now and used it last night few times. I couldn't tell on food intake because she's such a good eater, seems to be eating the same, but she's a bit piggy I will wait couple of days, but yes! Such a relief! I am sooo glad she's not having puppies. Thank you all, I will keep you posted.
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Old 01-23-2017, 02:24 PM   #24
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Default Re: I don't know anything! Litter UK

Just to let you know that Poppy did not have any puppies! So, so relief! Thanks so much for all your help and advice.
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:18 PM   #25
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Default Re: I don't know anything! Litter UK

That's good news I would probably still leave her alone for a few days in case she has had them and hidden them! That has happened sometimes where people haven't known a hamster was pregnant until pups started squeaking or appearing.

But it does sound like you may be in the clear! Just give it another few days and watch her behaviour (ie is she nesting more or hoarding more food).

Re the cages - I second the other views. A good sized cage for a Syrian Hamster is about 80cm by 50cm floorspace. Personally I think 100cm by 50cm is better. People have been successful in asking for a refund, even after the cages have been used on the basis it is too small and not suitable for the hamster. It maybe depends where you got them from.

They can get stress behaviours in cages that are too small, and as you've found, those cages are rather easy to escape from (they climb to the top and flip the lid open).

Zooplus is a good place for reasonably priced hamster cages of a suitable size for a Syrian The Alaska, Barney and Alexander are very popular. The Alaska and Barney come with most things you need, except a wheel, although the Barney comes with a basic 8" wheel which might be ok for starters or for a small Syrian. They need a wheel big enough to run in with a straight back. An 11" wheel is a popular size for a Syrian.

Zooplus also sell the Hamster Heaven which is also a good cage for a Syrian. I had one the same size but found once I had toys, wheel etc in it could get a bit full and prefer the 100cm Barney. However with two Syrians finding the space for two Barney cages might be an issue? Most 80cm or 100cm cages will fit on top of a chest of drawers, or you can "stack" two - one on a table and one underneath - a few people have done that for space-saving.

One of the reasons they need more space in a cage is to allow for enough "enrichment". Enrichment is the key word to hamster welfare these days. It means a combination of things:

Enough depth of substrate so they can do normal behaviours like digging, burrowing and burying their hoarded food. 3 to 4" deep minimum but ideally 6" or more.

A house or hide big enough to build a good sized nest so they can keep themselves warm in winter and that is dark enough inside so they have somewhere dark to retreat to (some hamsters dig burrows for this reason if the substrate is deep enough). Putting a tube or bendy bridge over the house door can help it be dark inside and provide a tunnel entrance.

A wheel big enough for them (as mentioned above).

Variety of levels and hidey places in a cage - so they have places to go and things to do. So ideally a shelf they can climb up to and sit on, or sit underneath. A shelf also extends the useable floorspace a bit but doesn't count as floorspace. Floor toys such as tubes and tunnels, or little hidey places (cardboard boxes, a coconut hut with a hole in etc). A lot of toys can be made out of toilet rolls or cardboard.

Hanging toys like rat sputniks can be good for Syrians too, but not hanging toys with chains which are a bit risky for injury.

Chew sticks to keep their teeth from getting too long, and some kind of stone or teraccotta plant pot base (under a water bottle is a good place) to help keep their nails roughened so they don't grow too long.

Lots of torn up strips of plain white toilet paper for nesting material - a big pile of it which they can pouch and take to the nest to refurbish or build it. Never use any kind of "fluffy bedding".

Plus food and water of course. Food needs to be a good hamster mix - ideally sugar free and with at least 18% protein. Harry Hamster contains everything needed.

Fresh veg regularly as a supplement to the hamster mix. You only need a tiny piece about 1cm size - broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, green beans, peas, cucumber are all safe ones. I alternate a different one each day. Initially just every 2 or 3 days until their stomachs adjust to veg.

You can also supplement protein with meal worms, an occasional small piece of cheese, half a brazil nut. Pumpkin seeds are popular treats

In the first year they need 18% to 22% protein while they're growing.

Syrians usually need rat sized toys and tunnels/tubes as well. Most "toys" and accessories sold for "hamsters" are far too small and only suitable for dwarf hammies.

It's a total pain when you've bought cages and then need to change them. Been there, got the t-shirt. I'm on our third cage and wish I'd just bought a big one in the first place! I upgraded our Syrian in the first 3 weeks from a small Rotostak thing to an 80 x 50 cage the size of the Hamster Heaven. Our Syrian grew large though and needed a 12" wheel and it filled up about 1/3 of the cage! So I then upgraded him to the 100cm Barney cage.

The Alaska and Hamster Heaven are both good Syrian Hamster cages though. But most people end up removing the tubes and plastic shelves from the Hamster heaven as things get broken, it's hard to fit a big enough wheel in between the shelves or fit a decent sized house in. Tubes get blocked up and pee'd in and some larger hamsters can get stuck in them.

The Alaska also needs a house (the white house on the shelf has holes that are too small for a Syrian but can easily be removed) and a wheel. So although cheaper than the Barney needs extras buying. The Barney is good value as it comes with a good house and shelf and an 8" starter wheel.

The Alexander is a fantastic cage - comes with 3 houses and 3 shelves that make virtually a whole extra level. I've never heard of a Syrian who wasn't happy in an Alexander.

But cost and space issues come into it and there should be something out of those that would be suitable.

Here's the zooplus link - delivery is free and can take 5 to 7 days

Hamster Cages | great selection at zooplus

If you've had the current cages about 3 weeks and they came from Pets at Home I would ask for a refund. One member found they were happy to wait until a replacement cage arrived before having to return the cages.

I noticed with Coco's routine you mentioned cleaning him out after taking him out of the cage, so just wanted to add a few tips on cage cleaning. It's really important not to overclean them out, especially when they are settling in.

Generally it's advised to not clean anything for the first two weeks, while they're scent marking to find their way around. You can spot clean the wee area a little bit, maybe - just take a handful of wee'd on substrate out and replace it with a new handful, then mix it in so it smells familiar.

Don't remove their nest unless it's pee'd in, and likewise don't remove their hoards - if you have to remove some because it's been pee'd on then replace it with new food in the same place.

They can start peeing on everything if cleaned out too much, just to claim it as their territory and will pee on the hoard to deter someone stealing it!

They usually use a potty litter tray if you put it in the corner they've chosen as a toilet. You put chinchilla bathing sand in the potty. The first time, put a tiny piece of pee'd on substrate on top so they know it's still their toilet area.

This can really save on the need to clean out. Our hammy only pees in his potty.

Cleaning them out too much can also cause a lot of stress - and stress behaviours like bar chewing.

It is quite amazing the change in their personality once they're moved to a larger cage. Ours visibly looked happier. It can take about two weeks to settle into a new or larger cage though. And when it's done it's important to move all the existing substrate over and add it on top of the new substrate (you need more in a bigger cage), and not to clean houses, toys and wheels before moving them. So the new environment smells a bit familiar. And try and put items in a similar place so the layout is familiar too.

I have this potty litter tray - it's a good size for a syrian and fits in a corner, which they usually choose as a pee spot.

Before I blather on any more - Erin's Hamsters cage cleaning tips video is a must-watch in my opinion. Helped me get it right and avoid stressing our hammy. I now only do the substrate about every 3 or 4 months and even then only about half of it (the more you have in the less you go through). And just do "partial" cleans - doing the toys at a different time to the substrate and the wheel at a different time again.
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