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Old 05-16-2019, 02:16 PM   #1
merlin
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Default Syrian Hamster Behaviour

Could Syrian hamsters have a concept of gifts? Payment? Or is this housecleaning?

I've noticed this in the last couple months where I'll serve Arthur his breakfast, then come back later to find that he's added some things to the plate, like a walnut or some seeds. It's clear to me that he's not storing them there as he has more in his house or barn. It seems pretty apparent that he's ready to part with them. So then I wonder is he placing them there because he knows I'll remove them or is it even possible that he's reciprocating in some way? When we first met Arthur, the girl at the shop, who was very well-educated in hamster knowledge and had an almost decade history of raising them told us that she noticed Arthur was a very unique individual because he liked to share his food with his housemates (who were male), rather than keep it for themselves as the others did. It makes me wonder. Arthur has always been such a sweet fellow... 💞🐾🐹
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:36 PM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster Behaviour

He's lovely! Who knows what it means! Our first hamster used to put poops in his food bowl - I hope that wasn't a gift lol! Sometimes they put food in it if they are worried it could end up empty? Or maybe he is telling you he doesn't like walnuts. Or maybe it is a very special gift
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster Behaviour

Thank you so much! <3 yes it's so cute and mysterious isn't it? He keeps some of the walnuts but returns pieces like this. He also hoards lots of little seeds but then returns some of them like this. It's so interesting. The poops are so funny, I wonder if those were a gift lol! Hopefully not haha! Hamsters are just amazing. They're so, so underestimated, and when you spend time with them on their own terms and get to know them, you find, as with any other creature, so many layers of wonder and complexity. There's so much we don't know. Thank you for your kind reply. Your hammie is SO adorable. P.S. If you wouldn't mind, I was wondering how you made the lovely banner on your message signature, and how you attach it to your messages?
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:07 PM   #4
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster Behaviour

I agree they are special and underestimated. With the poops - it was our last syrian and I wasn't that up on hamster care initially. I didn't used to put much in his food bowl and often left it empty until I filled it up the next evening. As I understand it, poops are emergency food - I suspect he did it because he feared there was a food shortage so always left some poops in the bowl so he didn't have to feel anxious about nothing to eat (they do eat their poops sometimes for extra nutrients, if you didn't know already - they have two stomachs and can redigest nutrients from the poops).

They have nice little habits and do like rearranging things - it is fascinating why he puts things back in his food bowl. They all have different personalities. Our current hamster is a gannet and eats everything that doesn't move ha ha. Or hoards it anyway.

I honestly can't remember how I did the signature - it took a lot of fiddling around. I used some online programme for the background and then uploaded that to a card making program I think - and then shrunk it I think. Someone on here used to do the signatures but was having a break so I had a go at doing my own.
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:42 PM   #5
Ria P
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster Behaviour

Arthur looks like a wise old man! A hamster wizzard. What a lovely and relaxed looking hamster he is.
Apropos poops. My Henry threws them around when he is displeased about something. Yesterday we had to rearrange his cage to accommodate a big wheel. When he woke and found a bridge where a nest used to be he wasn't happy. He sat on that spot sniffing, digging, threw his whimzee about and then chucked poops around in protest. I quickly took the bridge out and tore up a heap of toilet paper for him, while he sat on the roof of his house watching me closely. He then built a new nest in that particular spot, sat in it snoozing for a short while and only then sniffed at his new wheel and started running at great speed in it. He loves it but had to put his cage back in order first.
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster Behaviour

Aw what a gorgeous hamster! His plate of food looks worthy of a restaurant. How cute that he shared his food with his cage mates as a youngster.
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Old 05-17-2019, 03:32 AM   #7
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster Behaviour

Lol Ria! Henry is a character!
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Old 05-17-2019, 01:03 PM   #8
merlin
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Default Re: Syrian Hamster Behaviour

Thank you Serendipity, Ria, and Flowerfairy! Your posts made my day! I loved hearing about Henry, what a character, your story made me laugh out loud. Arthur also gets so grumpy like Henry when he sees things moved in a way that he doesn't like. I've started to conclude that one sign of a well-cared for hamster is a grumpy, fussy, spoiled one, because they feel comfortable that they can be that way. Thank you for your kind words too, Arthur has quite a face doesn't he? I also think he looks wise and quite handsome. Serendipity I actually didn't know that hamsters had two stomachs until you told me! That's what I love about being able to discuss with other hammie parents. We're really just at the tip of the iceberg in our understanding of any animal (including ourselves) and what motivates them and their complexities. And sadly, there are few scientists that devote themselves to studying and publishing research about hamsters, so it's up to us to do so as "citizen scientists." Hamsters are such wonderful creatures to get to know, and I delight so much in learning about them. Like your Henry Ria, and as you say Serendipity, hammies love to organize things, and get so fussy about rearranging and when we giant clumsy hoomins put things out of order. I just love their sweet, grumpy, fussy selves. They may be tiny, but they are truly giant when it comes to personality.
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