Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Navigation
Front Page
Forum
Gallery
Wiki

Ads by Google


Go Back   Hamster Central > >

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-13-2019, 06:19 AM   #1
lucyhope
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 5
Default Where does the continuous floor space rule come from?

Hello,
I have been trying to research in term of actual scientific study as well as forum research to try and separate opinions from facts. I don't yet own any hamsters but coming into this the fact that there are about a million different 'minimum sizes' is confusing as the research only really says 'bigger is better' and 'enrichment is important'. Grossly oversimplified, but from what I can tell that's the closest to a factually supported consensus that there is.
I'm just trying to find a study where the one continuous floor space rule was tested. If anyone could help me that'd be fantastic.
Thank you
lucyhope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 07:47 AM   #2
Grace6446
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 16
Default Re: Where does the continuous floor space rule come from?

I’m interested too.

I wonder if it’s just the size people notice hamsters usually STOPPING stress-related behaviors? Im curious though.
Grace6446 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 08:26 AM   #3
alpacassei
PM Fluffy for custom title
 
alpacassei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Cornwall, UK
Posts: 1,075
Default Re: Where does the continuous floor space rule come from?

There are a few studies on cage size posted on the German hamster forum ( Das Hamster Forum). But generally 70x40cm to 100x50cm is the size of continuous floor space where hamsters stop displaying stress behaviours such as bar chewing, pacing, and corner digging.
__________________
<3 Sunflower Custard, Bigfoot, Petal, Stormy, Flurry, Vanilla <3
___________
Angel hamsters: Francisco, Marcello, Peppermint, Mishka, Stephano, Sundae, Peach <3
alpacassei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 08:43 AM   #4
Shannonmcn
PM Fluffy for custom title
 
Shannonmcn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Posts: 3,147
Default Re: Where does the continuous floor space rule come from?

Quick google got me this discussion from a few years ago which covers the topic fairly well.

German minimum cage size

DOUBLE EDIT: Trigger warning below for those of us who maybe don't like to think of how hamsters who make up scientific experiments might come to the end of their lives.

Google also gives me this swiss study which is freely available, disclaimer I do not know if Animal Welfare is a well regarded publication. EDIT: This link doesn't seem to work but the name of the study is "Behaviour of golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) kept in four different cage sizes" with authors K Fischer, SG Gebhardt-Henrich and A Steiger. The PDF does come up when I search "Hamster cage size stress study"


I did a quick search on Elsevier Science Direct for other free articles but no very promising summaries and I don't have my academic access anymore anyway. I think the Fischer study above seems to be the one most people refer to.

Last edited by Shannonmcn; 06-13-2019 at 09:02 AM.
Shannonmcn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 09:31 AM   #5
Serendipity7000
Hamsters University
 
Serendipity7000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 19,249
Default Re: Where does the continuous floor space rule come from?

I think the continuous floorspace is all part of the cage size to be honest. If it is two smaller cages joined together - say two 60cm long cages- that is not the same as one 100cm cage - which gives scope to actually create a habitat with areas for nesting, digging foraging, climbing. I think of their cage as their habitat in domestic captivity, and not as their "home". Their home is their house where they build their nest - and the house they live in with you!

As an example if you lived in a house where, to get to the kitchen, you had to crawl through a tunnel every time, it's not as pleasant and relaxing as being able to easily and freely move from one area of the house to another.
__________________
Serendipity7000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 09:37 AM   #6
Serendipity7000
Hamsters University
 
Serendipity7000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 19,249
Default Re: Where does the continuous floor space rule come from?

It is vague and over-simplified. Particularly the "as big as possible" which could be anything. The RSPCA in the Uk used to recommend 80cm x 50cm minimum for Syrians and 70cm x 40cm minimum for dwarves. Now they just say - as big as possible, allowing enough room after houses, wheels etc, and that they need a lot of space at night. Not much of a guideline and very vague!

In Germany there is a welfare minimum of 100cm x 50cm for a Syrian hamster, and a recommended minimum of 1 metre square.

I think anything between 80cm and 100cm cage is good for a Syrian but some hamsters will need much more space than that. Dwarf hamsters also vary in personality - some much more active and some shy and nervy - however I think 70cm x 40cm minimum ish for a dwarf is a good guideline. And some people would give a whole detolf to a dwarf hamster.

Enrichment is basically - ensuring they can have normal behaviours in a cage - such as enough substrate for digging, burying hoards, foraging, having somewhere dark to retreat to (a good sized house or nesting box) or shelf to sit under. Plus variety to keep their lives interesting and prevent boredom - so different levels at substrate level, a platform to climb onto etc. I've had a roof run in my cages a few times - things tied to the roof such as large rat tunnel leading from a shelf to a sputnik next to another shelf.
__________________
Serendipity7000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 10:14 AM   #7
AmityvilleHams
PM Fluffy for custom title
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3,817
Default Re: Where does the continuous floor space rule come from?

Syrians are an especially difficult species sometimes, with some not even being happy in square meter cages.

I do love the focus we're getting on enrichment, but there's only so much it enrichment can do. It also becomes a double edged sword when it leans towards "as big as possible", since "big" is 100% perspective based when humans are the ones to decide! To some humans, an 80 x 50 cage is already massive and an absolute paradise while some Syrians(or even some dwarf hamsters, but that doesn't seem as likely) for example may find that size to be more like a prison.

As far as continuous floor space being the only type to count, one way to think about it is that you wouldn't consider a beach house and a regular house owned by one person to be one entire house. They're completely separate buildings and cannot be counted as combined square footage, just as bins connected by tubes for example can't be counted as one big cage(or 10 Critter Trails or any other example anyone could think of).
AmityvilleHams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 11:07 AM   #8
Serendipity7000
Hamsters University
 
Serendipity7000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 19,249
Default Re: Where does the continuous floor space rule come from?

Yes I think what is agreed generally is that small cages are not good for hamsters and they can be prisons - even with a lot of out of cage time, because hamsters are most active at night. Yes they have their wheels but they need variety too - places to go, things to do. And what does one person define as small compared to another?
__________________
Serendipity7000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2019, 03:54 AM   #9
lucyhope
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 5
Default Re: Where does the continuous floor space rule come from?

But if hamsters' natural habitats are burrows surely squeezing through a tube is pretty normal for them, is there a study that compares two 400 square inch cages to one 800 square inch cage or not?

I understand the different studies done on minimum size, it's a controversial topic so I decided to just go for something we can all agree with in principle.
lucyhope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2019, 04:39 AM   #10
Shannonmcn
PM Fluffy for custom title
 
Shannonmcn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Posts: 3,147
Default Re: Where does the continuous floor space rule come from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucyhope View Post
But if hamsters' natural habitats are burrows surely squeezing through a tube is pretty normal for them, is there a study that compares two 400 square inch cages to one 800 square inch cage or not?

I understand the different studies done on minimum size, it's a controversial topic so I decided to just go for something we can all agree with in principle.
In the study I quoted, they did look at whether hamsters used an "internal platform" in differently sized cages. They did use it when in a too-small cage and when in the larger two cages they showed much less interest. The conclusion was that when they had "enough*" flat space they didn't feel the need to use a level.

The connectable cages (an idea popularised by crittertrail) are based on nothing. There is no research to support that hamsters going through plastic tubes is anywhere close to approximating a natural behaviour. The "logic" there was invented by cage manufacturers so in asking for studies to disprove that logic, you're starting from the wrong place.

*The overall conclusion tho was that the 10,000cm2 cages were still not really large enough for them to be content.
Shannonmcn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
research, study, floor, rule, continuous, space, closest, grossly, bigger, enrichment, factually, important, oversimplified, supported, thatd, fantastic, consensus, find, tested, sizes, forum, separate, facts, opinions, term

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Parts of this site powered by vBulletin Mods & Addons from DragonByte Technologies Ltd. (Details)
Copyright 2003-19, Hobby Solutions Inc.
All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:33 AM.