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Old 08-04-2019, 11:23 AM   #1
elliebell
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Join Date: Jul 2019
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Default feeding/hoard advice

not sure if this is the right topic area, but need some advice..



my syrian hoards his pellets, fresh food and seeds all together- he has a large 'cave' made up of a magazine holder on its side (he has two in his eco-green habitat, but kind of lives mostly in one)



He has his hoard in one corner, and his toilet in the opposite corner (he has a potty that he used regularly at first, but now only uses his cave, though the potty is always there)



When I do his daily spot clean, his hoarded pellets are soggy, I always remove them, and replace with a few fresh ones.I take any fresh food away (he collects it mid afternoon, I spot clean at around 10pm when he's active)



I put his pellets in his dish when I spot clean, and hide seeds and maybe a nut around his habitat at the same time, then, after his out of cage time, he goes in and hunts it all out (love watching him do this)



When I spot clean, the seeds are mostly gone, and here is only usually a little broccoli stem, or a pea or two, or a few parsley sprigs left- I take all these away as he's had his fill of fresh and it spoils quickly.



Now the advice bit (sorry its been a long post)



Are the soggy pellets 'viable', ie should he eat them? am I right to remove them? I beyond hate soggy biscuits so am I just projecting?



He isnt fat or thin, so I think he's getting adequate nutrition and calories, I just dont want to upset him by taking 'his' hoard away with the soiled bedding, and putting a few fresh pellets in his clean bed.



(by clean bed , I mean I replace his cave bedding with handfuls of his habitat substrate (Kaytee paper shreds) and top up his habitat with his play pen substrate, in turn topping that up with fresh- so it all has his scent and he doesn't get stressed with lots of changes



When he used his potty I just used to remove the 'clumps' and top it up- didn't have to change his bed at all then.
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Old 08-04-2019, 01:08 PM   #2
BubbyandHamper
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Default Re: feeding/hoard advice

Hamsters love to stash away food- hoarding is in their blood. However, it is a good idea to confiscate the freshies because like you said, they rot fast. I'm not sure about the soggy pellets though.
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Old 08-04-2019, 01:19 PM   #3
Ria P
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Default Re: feeding/hoard advice

I can't quite visualize what his cave, the magazine holder on its side looks like or how big it is.

Could you put a toilet inside his cave with some pee'd on substrate so he'd use it?

Personally, i don't think you give him enough time to eat from his hoard and he may pee on it to mark it as his property.

I give my hamster his food incl fresh food in the evening around 21.00 then leave him to it and spot clean the following evening before i feed him again. That way he has his hoard during the night and the next day because he eats from his hoard during the day without having to leave the house he sleeps and hoards in
.
He has a corner toilet in his house which he uses. I'm lucky that he's a very tidy hamster and chucks any leftover or unwanted food in his toilet. All i need to do when i spot clean in the evening before i feed him is to remove and empty the toilet.

It's unusual for a Syrian to get his food mid afternoon because they sleep (and eat from their hoards) during the day and gather food at night.

I've only had a hamster since March so people with more experience may have better ideas.
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:22 PM   #4
elliebell
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Default Re: feeding/hoard advice

the magazine holders are ikea knuff; he has two in his habitat- on diametrically opposite corners

They are flat on their sides as 'caves', the potty is in one of them, but he doesn't use it - if I put the potty in his wee corner, he just moves to the other cave and wees in one of the corners and hoards in the other

The 'cave'not in use gets regular visits, but just to burrow and chill out, no hoard and no toileting.

I have no idea why he doesn't use his potty anymore- when he first came home in April, aged 6-8 weeks, he used it all the time - never had weed on bedding, but in June, he just started weeing in his cave corner.
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:31 PM   #5
elliebell
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Default Re: feeding/hoard advice

oh, and he has always come out mid-fetrnoon, sniffed around his pellets, and gone back to bed, once I put his resh food out 2pm ish, he gathered it up,and when I spot clean at 10pm, most of his fresh food is eaten.

He collects his pellets and seeds after play time 10pm-midnight, I spot clean at 10pm the following night, which is when I find the soggy pellets, and remove the fresh food remnants from mid afternoon that day.

I'm a shift worker, so sometimes come home at 4-5am- we have play time then, all his food is stored/eaten at that time, but he enjoys a few sunflower seeds, coconut shreds or dried parsnip and apple traets at that time.
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Old 08-04-2019, 02:32 PM   #6
elliebell
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Default Re: feeding/hoard advice

maybe I should not spot clean daily,? just dont want it to be unhygienic for him ?
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:35 AM   #7
Ria P
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Default Re: feeding/hoard advice

I googled the Ikea magazine holders.

They are only 10cm high. Did you cut one side out so he can make a nest on the substrate and burrow down to hide his hoard?

You could give him a proper wooden house with an en suite corner toilet or use a shoe box sized box without a base instead to see how he gets on with that.

Hamsters like to sink their nest into the substrate and hide their hoards.
Does he like the pellet food? Maybe he'd prefer the variety of a hamster mix and would be more likely to eat it rather than pee on it.

It's hard trying to suss out a hamster's behaviour because they are such strong willed little creatures and often do what they want and not what we'd like them to do.

Just keep trying different things like spot cleaning every second evening to find out what works best.

I don't think fresh veg/fruit go off that quickly. Not something i worry about tbh. Hamsters are fussy and i don't think they'd eat anything mouldy when there's other food about. I visually check the nest once a week, if that.
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Old 08-05-2019, 11:09 AM   #8
10Minutes
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Default Re: feeding/hoard advice

I read that if you clean too often, some hamsters pee on their hoards to mark it as theirs and to prevent others from stealing them. I'm not sure if this is the reason for the soggy pellets, but it might be a possibility.

Maybe you should leave his hoards alone for longer time periods? If this is the case, I'm not sure how to cure a hamster that has already gotten into this habit though - it's a Catch 22 situation because I don't think it is healthy to leave pee-soaked hoards around for him either. Hopefully others will have more to suggest.
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Old 08-05-2019, 01:19 PM   #9
elliebell
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Default Re: feeding/hoard advice

He used his potty for the first -8 weeks, and only hoarded in his house, ( an open-bottomed house that has a tunnel entrance-) then he started to use that for weeing and hoarding before I put the caves in, around end June/beginning of July, his house is now abandoned, I'm thinking of taking it out altogether, I've only seen him nose around it, the bedding inside is pristine, not even a little bit trampled on.

Will try spot cleaning every two days, for now.

Not sure if I should take the caves out- but they add an extra level for him, his food dish and water bottle is on top of one, his sand-bath on top of the other. He seems happy hopping around them.
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Old 08-05-2019, 01:22 PM   #10
elliebell
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Default Re: feeding/hoard advice

I'm going to look for a shoe-box size open bottom house- probably look at guinea-pig or rabbit houses to replace one of the caves
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