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Old 01-07-2017, 06:08 PM   #1
PumpKinSpiceLatte
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Default Milly Is Home! (also some questions)

I finally got my hamster! Her name is Milly and is a Winter White (I believe because the petco called her the fancy dwarf.) She is curios and very silly. But she's doing fine, she's already taking treats from my hand so I might be doing that for 2 more days and move on. She's been eating, drinking using her wheel, and sleeping. But I do have some behavioral questions.

1) I've noticed her sitting in her sand bath for 2 hours now and she's awake, what's going on?
2) During the day I've woken her up a few times just to know where she is in the cage (it's quite large and she only sleeps in a burrow she's made in the bedding) is that alright?
3) I don't get enough time to have taming sessions with her because she sleeps very much and I don't like to wake her up because I want her to see me as a friend

However, Here's the little butter-ball!:
IMG_0197.jpg
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Old 01-07-2017, 06:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Milly Is Home! (also some questions)

She's beautiful! With regards to your questions -

1) She's probably just settling in and getting used to her surroundings. If she is eating and drinking, then I really wouldn't worry at this stage!

2) Mine has moved her bed around several times - three locations so far! First it was her hide, then a favoured corner of her cage, then her digging box, where she seems to have settled! I'd try to avoid waking her up too much during the day though - you've just got to sort of trust that she is in there unless there's any evidence to the contrary (like a door that has been left open!). Being woken up several times per night would make me grumpy and tired, and I'm sure that hamsters aren't that different! It may also be contributing to the issue in question 3...

3) I've managed to avoid deliberately waking Inky up too often in the daytime, though she lives in our kitchen / lounge room so while we're an adult couple with no kids that don't make excessive amounts of noise, we don't make any special effort to be quiet during the day. However, I do tend to wake her up at about 6/7pm, when I get home from work as it's reasonably late at that point.

Perhaps leaving her during the day and waking her up early evening would help her to get into a routine that fits in with you but isn't too alien for her?
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Milly Is Home! (also some questions)

Thanks Inky!
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Milly Is Home! (also some questions)

Wow she's adorable! I would agree with Inkypen in that it sounds as though she's just settling in. She should settle down in a few weeks or so. Enjoy spending time with your new little one!
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Milly Is Home! (also some questions)

Thanks Drago!!
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Milly Is Home! (also some questions)

Congrats Milly is adorable.
She'll be a Russian hybrid (cross WW & Campbells) as she came from a pet store.

Give her time to settle in & don't wake her during the day unless you absolutely have to, once she's got used to things she'll get into a routine & if she doesn't come out you can try waking her gently in the early evening.

She may just have been a bit nervous sitting in her sand bath for that length of time, sometimes they can kind of freeze for quite a while.
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Old 01-08-2017, 03:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: Milly Is Home! (also some questions)

Sounds like she is settling in well, but leave her alone for about a day to settle in properly (no taming, just changing food and water). As cypher has said, she will be a Russian Hybrid but may resemble a Winter White or Campbells, however I'm not very good at identifying species so I am the wrong person to ask.

Everyone has given you good advice so far, but there are a couple of things I would add.

1) The fact she is sitting/sleeping out in the open is a good thing. It shows she is already comfortable in her new surroundings with you around. Larry-Jasper has been known to fall asleep in his sand bath and really enjoys his.

2) While she is still settling in, avoid waking her as it will seem like you are a predator. I wrote a really long taming advice post yesterday, if you want me to post that here or DM you it, let me know. Don't worry about her just making a burrow in bedding, it just shows she enjoys digging, but it will be difficult to wake her without destroying her nest, which will scare her or annoy her (she might bite). She may move her nest around a few times while she is still exploring her cage, but again, this is normal.

3) If you have just brought her home and have woken her a few times, it is likely she will be irritable and tired. It is very stressful and exhausting for a hamster to be brought home so that is why she won't be too active for the next few days. Just leave her alone for the minute to settle in. I know how tempting it is to want to play with them. I don't think starting taming this early on is a good idea, unless you are just giving treats when she is awake.

If you do need to wake her up, there is a kinder way of doing it. I take a sunflower or pumpkin seed and either drop it on something hard in the cage (wheel, wooden toy) near his nest, or gently put it near the entrance of his nest. The noise of his favourite treat will wake him, but he doesn't mind because he gets his favourite treat. This normally gets him awake and out to see me, but only because he has settled in and is very tame.

EDIT: Forgot to add, Milly is super cute and congratulations on bringing her home !
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Old 01-08-2017, 10:06 AM   #8
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Default Re: Milly Is Home! (also some questions)

Thanks so much chesca! Yes, I would really enjoy being that taming post you were talking about. I have been only giving her treats when she's awake. I I've been working on trusting where she is in the cage because she'll only sleep in a burrow she's made in the substrate (so I'll have to some of the hidden houses somehow!)

I have been working towards finding her favorite treat, right now I only have these hay-like carrot dill treats, pumpkin seeds (which she'll take sometimes), and these seed balls that are too big for her to pouch. Today I'm going to see of I can get some walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.. She's been taking treats from my hands for 2 days (not counting the arrival day) and we're going to continue that today.

EDIT: Sorry I just realized this today: I got her on Thursday so she's been with me for 3 days, sorry I forgot to mention that, so this might change some of your posts, sorry
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Old 01-08-2017, 03:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Milly Is Home! (also some questions)

Hi! Here's the taming advice post. It may seem a bit basic because I wrote this for someone who was really struggling with taming two of their hamsters on The Guinea Pig Forum.

"The important thing is to remember to keep rewarding your hamsters when they make progress with taming.

Something I recommend you do is the tissue trick. Take some unscented, white toilet paper and keep it up your sleeve for a few hours, then place it in the cage. The hamsters should use it for nesting. It will help them get used to your natural scent. Don't give up with taming, it can take some hamsters a long time to be tamed, but the result is worth it. It can range from a week to several months. Always wash your hands with unscented soap before handling a hamster and between hamsters.

Firstly, make sure your hamster is in an adequately sized cage and species appropriate wheel (10-12 inch for Syrians and 6.5-8 inch for Chinese, Winter Whites, Campbells and Hybrids/Russians and 6 inch for Roborovskis as a standard). Secondly, if the cages have tubes, remove them. Hamsters are very difficult to get out of tubes and a nervous will often retreat to them. Tubes can also pose a risk to health if the hamsters pee in them (ammonia build up). Hamster poop is perfectly fine as they do reingest some poop.

Barred cages are easier for taming but the option is up to you. Make sure to find a well loved treat, that won't go mouldy but isn't ridiculously unhealthy. I use a combination of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and freeze-dried chicken (Thrive Chicken available from Pets At Home). If the hamster isn't too nervous, you can offer the treat in front of the nest/house. If the hamster doesn't come out to accept the treat within a couple of minutes, place it in front of the nest and leave it. This can be done with barred cages too, if the hamster is comfortable with you around. You poke the treat through the bars and wait for the hamster to take it from you.

Once the hamster is comfortable enough with this, you can move onto the next stage. Put the treats onto the palm of your hand so the hamster has to put its paws on your palm. When the hamster is consistently comfortable with putting its paws on your palm to take the treat and sitting there to eat it, you can move onto the next stage.

The next step would be to get the hamster used to stroking. You can start with something other than your hand if you aren't confident enough. Whimzee or Greenies dog dental toothbrush chews work well. These can be found in the dog treat aisle. While the hamster is on your palm, stroke it with the toothbrush and as they get more comfortable, you can switch to stroking with your finger. Keep doing this and rewarding the hamster when they tolerate stroking.

Afterwards, you should be ready to try handling. Take a good sized tube, where your hands can cover both ends if necessary. Cover one end of the tube and place treats at the end that is covered. Wait for the hamster to jump in to eat the treats and cover the other end. You can then lift the tube out and put it in a play pen or play bin, depending on your confidence and the hamster's confidence. Have a hand under each end of the tube so they have to walk over your palm to get out. Practice stroking the hamster again in the new environment. As they get more confident, you can put the tube on your lap, so they get used to climbing on you and you stroking them. You can then try picking them up off your lap, when you feel they are happy enough.

At this stage, I would consider them tamed."

Hope this helps
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