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Old 10-01-2020, 03:38 PM   #21
Ria P
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Default Re: The next step...

I had a female Syrian foster hamster once who was lovely but a real stinker.

My dwarfs don't smell and need very little cleaning.
They are such bulldozing little burrowers that they tend to turn the substrate over themuselves so i can get a good sniff and replace a bit of iffy Kaytee with fresh when needed.

Mine have big one room houses but they have various sleeping places and have a habit of sleeping in quite odd places. I never really know where in the cage they are unless they're asleep in somewhere visible like a coconut or 99p oil burner or terracotta salt pig.

My little dwarf Edwina is a massive hoarder and has two big houses. One house she uses as a dry food store with an inch thick layer of millet seeds.

I don't think that a house with compartments would change their habits of sleeping in their selfmade burrows as well as in their houses sometimes.

My Syrians however sleep in their houses only and all three of them (one is a foster hamster) immediately moved in, made a nest and started a hoard.

My Robo uses his house like a porch to his underground world but never sleeps in it.

I'd say that dwarfs are less predictable in their habits and routines.
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Old 10-02-2020, 05:21 AM   #22
RolyRocks
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Default Re: The next step...

Thanks Ria P.
Your two little dwarfs are gorgeous, such pretty colours, are they both Russians?
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Old 10-02-2020, 05:26 AM   #23
RolyRocks
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Default Re: The next step...

Sorry Ria P, I see in a previous post you said they were both Russians!
What do you use as a sand bath and is it quite deep?
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Old 10-02-2020, 05:45 AM   #24
cypher
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Default Re: The next step...

You can. use virtually anything for a sand bath as long as it’s big enough & deep enough to have a good roll & a bit of digging, plastic boxes or ceramic or glass dishes are ok, if it’s anything heavy & even with plastic with sand in it will be quite heavy needs to be on a shelf of some sort or on the top of a house.
I’ve used salt pigs some work well & make like a little cave for them but most are a bit shallow, I’ve also used bird baths like this one but you can use anything really.
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Old 10-02-2020, 07:53 AM   #25
Ria P
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Default Re: The next step...

I usually raid my kitchen when i need another sandbath. Pie dishes are popular here and loaf baking tins are great too. Sand is about a couple of inches deep and i use the Tiny Friends Farm bathing sand. Some hamsters like sand more than others but like with all species, you have to watch them for a while to find out what they do and like to do in their habitats and then tailor their set ups to the individual hamster's preferences.
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Old 10-02-2020, 09:14 AM   #26
RolyRocks
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Default Re: The next step...

Thank you both for the info on sandbaths... does it tend to go all into their bedding?
I forgot to ask about any chew toys? Do they like the same as Syrians, like whimzees etc?
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Old 10-02-2020, 09:25 AM   #27
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Default Re: The next step...

How much sand gets into the bedding will depend on the individual ham tbh, some get it everywhere, it gets into their fur when they roll in it & does tend to get transported around as well as getting kicked about, a bit messy but fun to watch I wouldn’t worry though it just tends to sink to the bottom of the cage mostly.
All my Russians have loved whimzees so I don’t think you can go far wrong with those.
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Old 10-03-2020, 04:38 AM   #28
Ria P
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Default Re: The next step...

Just a thought. Have you clicked on Forum top left Navigation? There's a section called Hamster Species that shows up threads about dwarf hamsters as well. The Russian dwarfs we buy in the pet shops are the Hybrids many of us have.

You probably know your way around this forum so apologies for pointing something out you're already aware of.
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Old 10-05-2020, 03:24 AM   #29
RolyRocks
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Default Re: The next step...

Thank you, yes, I have started to work my way through some of the posts about dwarf hamsters and there is a lot of good info on there.
One last question and then I'll leave you guys alone... I understand they need a low sugar diet, so are there any chew sticks, like the Naturals range such as Rodent Mini Sticks that are any good? I haven't yet read labels so these might be full of sugar! Roly also loved the occasional monkey nut and freeze dried chicken square, are these safe for dwarfs? I see somebody also mentioned a herb mix too to scatter and willow sticks for chews. Roly was never a big chewer of anything, he wasn't even a big fan of whimzee's. I always kept an eye on his teeth though to make sure they ok.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-05-2020, 03:50 AM   #30
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Default Re: The next step...

The rosewood naturals range are ok, I don’t think any of those have sugars in them, they haven’t all been popular with my Russians though, the mini sticks with cheese they like & one or two have liked the carrot & fennel ones, the shrimp cookies go down well too. You can also give things like sprays of millet & flax seeds to keep them busy & add a b it of enrichment.
None of mine have ever really bothered with things like willow or apple sticks although it’s worth a try.
All my Russians have been crazy for whimzees some Syrians & some Chinese aren’t so keen on them but I’ve never had a russian not love them!
Chew sticks etc aren’t essential for healthy teeth at all but just a nice extra bit of enrichment.
Monkey nuts are fine as an occasional treat & are usually liked by most, freeze dried chicken is good too, all my hams love that but how much or how often depends on how much protein is in your mix.
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