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Old 04-14-2019, 11:54 PM   #1
Jin
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Smile Those with Barney cage........

I'm very excited about upgrading my hamster from the HH to the barney in a couple of days but I made so many mistakes with the HH and had to keep moving things around and removing things etc. This time I want to get it right first time so that I can leave Pippin to settle in and and do her thing and also I would love some inspiration.

So those who have the Barney cage please could you show them off to me? Theres not much on pinterest. Pippin would be really grateful

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Old 04-15-2019, 12:54 AM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Those with Barney cage........

Yes that's a good idea, to get everything right before you move Jin. The other thing is to be careful when moving them over. You need to move all the old substrate and items without cleaning anything and try and have them in the same location/similar position as before, if possible. So it is more familiar. A cage change is very stressful for them and they need another couple of weeks settling in time, during which they can be very skitty - although that settling in time can be lessened.

I find it really helps to partly set up the new cage, a couple of days before moving them over - ie fill it with new substrate, and have 2 or 3 toys in there - maybe new ones you're intending to add, or cardboard tunnels etc. With the wood already plastikoted ready etc.

And let the hamster have a play in it the day before moving. When I did this our hamster panicked after about 10 minutes and was scrabbling to come out so I popped him back in his old familiar cage and he settled down. But later on, in the evening (first try had been early evening), he was wanting to come out and go back in the new one again (I could tell!) and the second time in it he spent ages in there exploring everything and giving me happy looks, finding favourite places, checking things out. You can tell when they approve!.

I then moved him back to his old cage again overnight and the following day moved everything over (you need somewhere safe to put the hamster while you're doing this - maybe a pet carrier?

As the old cage is smaller, take all the old substrate and spread it on top of the new you have put in the new cage. Then move all the rest across, trying to keep same orientation as before, and add any new things you're planning to add. Resist the temptation to clean everything before moving it, so the new cage and items has their scent.

Doing it this way our hamster was fully settled in 2 or 3 days - a bit skitty for the first 2 days. The first time I upgraded him I did it cold turkey and it was very distressing to see the stress he had and the fear. Although within 10 days he was fine.

So when getting ideas for set ups, just bear in mind it helps to keep some of the old items in the same place as before. I had new house and wheel when I changed our hamster over, but I put them in the same layout as in his old house, and lifted his nest and hoard across and put them back inside the house. Also put a big pile of new nesting material out somewhere in the cage, as they liketo refurbish the nest. (Torn up strips of plain white toilet paper are best).
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: Those with Barney cage........

The first two are the set up for our last hamster, and to be honest I found it worked much better with the shelf on the left and the house on the right - in terms of easy access through the top door. For our current hamster I have things the other way round as wanted a different set up, but found it easier with the shelf on the left! On the first two as well, it was set up for an older, 2 year old hamster, so I had extra shelves and the shelf quite low etc with a shallow ramp. For our current hamster, I didn't use the ladder and have a large cork log tunnel partly under the shelf, which makes a ramp they can climb the sides of to get to the shelf, and also a tunnel. The large rat sputnik gives some "overhead cover" as they sometimes feel a bit exposed from above and like to sit under something. It works best next to a shelf where they can climb in easily.

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Old 04-15-2019, 01:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Those with Barney cage........

Yeah I had already planned to do all the things you advised The only thing I'm really concerned about is that at the moment she sleeps, pees and hoards food in the penthouse at the top of the HH. I dont plan on using this in the Barney so she will have to make a whole new nest in either the house that comes with the barney or the shoe box in the corner of her current cage (or somewhere else if she decides) but basically her house will be gone and that's where she feels most safe. Any tips for this transition as I know this is going to really stress her out as I tried removing it and the external tubes before and she kept running around the cage trying to find them. I'm not worried about the tubing as I have removed almost all of that anyway, she now just has enough tubing for an entry and exit but she does love her pent house
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: Those with Barney cage........

Those penthouses are a pain. Most hams seem to love them but they're so awkward and poorly ventilated. But you should take all of that bedding and hoard that's currently up there, or as much as reasonably possible, and use it for her new nest. So it won't be gone, it'll just have moved.

If you don't mind taking a few extra days you could take the penthouse away now and get her settled in a better nest while she's still in her old familiar cage then swap that nest over as it is. But it's a judgement call whether the smaller stress from that, plus then the stress of a cage move relatively close behind it would be better or worse than just switching the whole thing at once.

I would personally just do the whole thing at once so they spend less time overall having things moved about but you know your ham and if you think she would do better with it coming gradually then you do have that option. Either way, her nest should transfer as undisturbed as possible.

Note: Excellent username, my little syrian girl is also called Jin, as seen in my profile pic
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: Those with Barney cage........

I think she will just choose the Barney house to move into. You could move some of her nest over. Don't worry about the change from the penthouse as she'll have accepted the new cage if she has a bit of time in it before moving her over. Personally I wouldn't take the Penthouse away now (sorry Shannon!) - just my view - if you're planning to move her soon anyway. She will see the new cage set up is different and just head for the best nesting place (probably the Barney house). If it has some of her old nest inside it will smell familiar

Some things are bound to be different, but it's the scents that help and also having time to be in the cage before moving. But as Shannon says, they have different personalities.

Incidentally do you know about plastikote?
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Those with Barney cage........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Personally I wouldn't take the Penthouse away now (sorry Shannon!) - just my view - if you're planning to move her soon anyway.
I honestly probably wouldn't either but I do know some people are more cautious (and some hams more easily freaked out) and it is an option, depending how long you leave in between moves.

I haven't had any use the new cage as a play area before moving like you do yourself (never that well prepared tbh) so I guess it'd be one or the other, probably not both
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: Those with Barney cage........

Just me being cautious then It has worked well for me - but may or may not be necessary, depending on the personality of the hamster. Charlie was a very nervous type and it really helped him.
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:46 AM   #9
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Default Re: Those with Barney cage........

I dont think she'd like it if I took her house away, let her settle and then move her again so think I'll just wait until she moves over as think this will be less stressful, and then she can explore her new surroundings and decide where she wants to bed down. In the mean time should I take a small amount of her nest and put it in the new house or should I just put it in a pile in the new cage?

Also, I know nothing about plastikote?
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:55 AM   #10
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Default Re: Those with Barney cage........

At moving time you could just move her whole nest over Inside the Barney house - she may rebuild it there or she may abandon it and build a new one somewhere else!

Plastikote is pet-safe, waterbased paint for waterproofing wood. A lot of people paint the wood houses and shelves with it - it means it's wipe clean. It's a little pot and you just paint it on with a small housepainting brush - I use a half inch one. Very thin and easy to paint on and it dries quickly. Two coats works best. I do the second coat the next day. Only takes about 10 minutes so not as bad is it sounds.

It means they're wipe clean and you can paint it a variety of colours! Or clear to keep the natural wood colour. It's not essential - our hamster has never pee'd on his shelf. But houses can get stained inside if they have a pee accident in the house - although wood houses can be scrubbed - they can end up getting spoiled.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I think most hardware shops sell it - our local one does. Or you can buy it online.
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