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Old 03-16-2019, 03:58 AM   #1
Oreocookie
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: North of Germany
Posts: 5
Default Introducing MuShu

Hello to all Chinese hamster owners - and all other hamster lovers, too☺
I introduced myself already in the newbee section.
After many decades I decided that I wanted to have a Chinese hamster again. And I realized that it ist very difficult in Germany to find Chinese hamsters. There are only a very few private breeders, zoo shops offer them only very rarely, and since they are so hard to get hold of in the first place, rescues are hard to find. I was very lucky to find a gorgeous four months old dominant spot girl, whom I called MuShu. MuShu is of course the adorable dragon from Disney's "Mulan". But while it's also the word for a very popular Chinese dish, it means "she-rat" or "she-mouse" if one intonates the syllables differently. And Chinese hamsters with their little tails definitely look a bit like small rats or mice ☺ And she does look a bit like a crushed Oreo Cookie - thus my moniker.
I can't post a picture of MuShu, yet, because she ist still very shy, and only shows herself above ground when it's getting dark, and she is spooked by bright lights. She's not at all afraid of me or my hands, though, which is very encouraging. She accepted food from my hands from the very first day, and I can pick her up for short moments without alienating her. So, I don't think that she had any bad experiences with humans. But she likes to remain mostly under the ground in various nests she has constructed for herself. She only rarely climbs and she doesn't use her wheel at all. I have the suspicion that she has never been introduced to any toys when she was a baby.
How I can encourage her to make more use of her enviroment? She's with me for two weeks now. I know that this is not a long time, and she's still young. But I really wish she would find more things to do for herself. All my other hamsters - including my adorable Winterwhite fluff ball - gravitated immediately towards their wheels.
Do you have any suggestions? She has enough things to hide herself in her cage. So it's not likely that she ist spooked by too much open space. I try to encourage her to come out of hiding by placing her food in the open and a bit away from her nests. She needs to come out in order to get it.

Last edited by Oreocookie; 03-16-2019 at 04:12 AM. Reason: Spelling mistake
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Old 03-16-2019, 05:11 AM   #2
cypher
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Location: Wales UK
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Default Re: Introducing MuShu

MuShu sounds really sweet, I do love dom spots & look forward to seeing her when she’s confident enough for photos.
Two weeks isn’t long at all really so she may need a little more time just to settle in before she gets a bit braver, coming to your hands & taking food is encouraging so I’m sure she’ll soon start to come out more.
I find the best way to encourage them to make full use of the cage is just to scatter feed & find places to hide treats & encourage them to forage more.
If you have a photo of your cage set up that would help to see if there is anything you might be able to change to make her feel more confident with coming out & exploring more.
I find they don’t like too much open space above them so use hammocks to make a sort of second level for them & provide more cover on the ground.
Some of it is just down to individual character I think, my current female Chinese likes to spend most of her time under the substrate & keeps very busy down there by the noise she makes! She also doesn’t use her wheel that much, my previous females were on the go all the time, ran in their wheels much more & were out & about in the cage much more too.
I'm sure she'll soon begin to get more confident & with time you'll see what she enjoys doing the most & be able to adapt things for her if need be.
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Old 03-17-2019, 03:15 PM   #3
Oreocookie
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: North of Germany
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Default Re: Introducing MuShu

Hi cypher, thanks a lot for your answer☺ I looked up already all the pictures and stories of your wonderful hammies. You are really an experienced Chinese hamster owner by now.
I hope that I can supply pictures of MuShu and her terrarium soon. She became already a bit braver in the last few days. I always offer her food on my hands in the early evening when she usually wakes up. She knows that by now and shows herself when I call her name. She climbs on my hand and stuffs her cheeks, and then she returns to her various layers which she has constructed during the night. I then scatter the food which she hasn't taken from my hands in her cage. She has to come out of her tunnels and needs go out into the open to collect of. I have a sort of balcony, where I place her dish with the fresh food and her water. Since everything ist gone in the morning, she obviously must have taken has probably hidden some of it away. I need a night camera, lol! The best chance to take her picture might be when she sits in her dish with the fresh food or when she sits on my hands and collects the food. Someone else could snap a foto then. I really want to introduce her to you guys. She's tiny but gorgeous. She seems to be a bit less bothered by the light already. Maybe, the wheel will never be her favorite pastime. She seems to be dedicated to rearrange her nest and tunnel system constantly. That would be ok of course. Hamsters in the wild don't have wheels after all. It's just so different to my current winterwhite. He has several different wheels and uses them all constantly.
How is the situation in the UK re: availability of Chinese hamsters? In Germany it's very difficult to find them since there are hardly any breeders and only a very few shops which offer Chinese hamsters occasionally.

Last edited by Oreocookie; 03-17-2019 at 03:17 PM. Reason: Mistake
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:14 PM   #4
cypher
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Default Re: Introducing MuShu

She really does sound as though her confidence is growing, baby steps maybe but she will continue to get braver now & I'm sure, it may just take her a little more time to come out more when it's lighter, I often wish I had one of those night cameras too!

The situation here is much the same as with you, there are some good breeders but not very many & very few pet shops sell them any more so finding one is quite a challenge!
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