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Old 06-14-2019, 08:50 AM   #11
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 19,678
Default Re: Where does the continuous floor space rule come from?

Rotostak was also based on the idea that hamsters would run through tubes with the whole set up mimicking a burrow and tunnels. However, in the wild, while a hamster would have burrows and tunnels underground, at night they would come out up top and can run up to 10 miles a night and forage most of the night.

So they need more than just a burrow or a tunnel but space as well. Especially at night - to move freely.

Most plastic tubes for hamster cages aren't big enough either - a large syrian can (and many have) get stuck. A hamster with full pouches could get stuck.

Also they develop abnormal behaviours like trying to block off the ends ofthe tubes (as they would wth natural tunnels to feel secure), the whole thing turns into a stinky mess that needs cleaning out regularly and causes stress for them because their nest and hoard have been disturbed.

Are we talking about a Syrian Hamster? You would need a cage between 80cm x 50cm or to 100cm x 50cm. Many people would say 80 x 50 is a bit cramped for a syrian - especially for fitting in an 11" wheel. Without plastic tubes all over the place, especially outside the cage where they can be pushed apart and an escape route.

I think I can safely say that Rotostak is universally disliked on here!
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:25 AM   #12
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 372
Default Re: Where does the continuous floor space rule come from?

While I was researching and I had sat down and drew my new cages (I originally wanted to use two Samla bins from IKEA which weren't big enough on their own) to scale...ratio 1/5 and started to realise that I would have to duplicate everything because I felt it would be tricky if you created a play area on top with sleeping and eating on the bottom - or whatever arrangement you wanted. What would happen if the hamster didn't want to use the tunnel between the two cages? What would happen if he got a fright and didn't want to use the top level? If you draw what a Syrian needs to scale it would not fit on one level of a small cage or bin. You have to have enough burrowing substrate with depth to dig, the sand bowl, wheel and house take up so much space. You wouldn't be able to place little hideouts around because there isn't enough space. I learnt on this forum that even the platforms need hideouts. It makes sense. If you walk into the room and spook your hamster and he is on his way to the wheel to run on it, the time he takes for him to get back to his house may make him think twice before venturing so far from it. He needs a place right near him to dart under or into. In the end my husband and I literally adjusted the entire room to fit in a cage that is big enough. It wasn't expensive either. We bought a rabbit cage and bought bending wire mesh and cable tied it on. Was really fun. Now that my cage is the correct size floor space wise I am designing layered plateaus so that the bedding under his house will be over 10inches deep for burrowing. I have the space now to meet all the dimensions required.
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:37 AM   #13
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 372
Default Re: Where does the continuous floor space rule come from?

I've owned different kinds of animals and each time the requirements the petshops or animal sellers in mass give are far too small and geared towards selling animals at any cost. If you look at any cage or animal enclosures in petshops the majority are far too small. I've seen flying squirrel, guinea pig, reptiles, etc that are far too small. I also queried why not two levels and using space going up but when you meet the size requirements you will quickly see that it's just not big enough. I went onto YouTube and watched video after video of natural habitats for hamsters and saw why this rule stands. If you want to proactively see for yourself and put aside any scientific evidence from others and use your own findings draw the size area you are wanting with two layers and see if your hamster can have everything in on one level. I used Trixie, Niteangel and rosewood furniture. They give you good sizes.
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