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Old 08-25-2019, 12:30 PM   #1
StephBrom
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Default Natural Substrates UK?

Hi all!

What kind of natural substrates do you use for your hammy and where do you get it? Iím Really interested in using more natural stuff like dirt and sand. Iím in the UK so only really interested to see where itís available within the UK.

Thanks!
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:18 PM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: Natural Substrates UK?

What do you mean by dirt? Compost?
A few months back i wanted to put compost in a small area of my hamster's cage and tried everywhere i could think of but couldn't find anything organic without an additive of some sort or another.
I tried the eco earth from the reptile section but its damp and needs to be dried out in the sun. That's the closest i could find but wouldn't use it as an only substrate.
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:21 PM   #3
StephBrom
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Default Re: Natural Substrates UK?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
What do you mean by dirt? Compost?
A few months back i wanted to put compost in a small area of my hamster's cage and tried everywhere i could think of but couldn't find anything organic without an additive of some sort or another.
I tried the eco earth from the reptile section but its damp and needs to be dried out in the sun. That's the closest i could find but wouldn't use it as an only substrate.
Thatís what I mean, Iíve heard of people using dirt but never known what EXACTLY it is they use was hoping someone on here would have experience using it and maybe be able to enlighten me on where to get it hopefully
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:26 PM   #4
Ria P
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Default Re: Natural Substrates UK?

There's an Erin's animals youtube video where she uses compost in a hamster enclosure.

Are you planning on a set up as close to nature as possible?
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:28 PM   #5
StephBrom
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Default Re: Natural Substrates UK?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
There's an Erin's animals youtube video where she uses compost in a hamster enclosure.

Are you planning on a set up as close to nature as possible?
Erinís Animals is exactly what Iím referring to! Yes! I want something similar to her hamster enclosures
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:53 PM   #6
Ria P
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Default Re: Natural Substrates UK?

I've heard people here mention that they use kiddies playsand like the one from Argos but they have to bake it first.

Rodipet has some interesting, natural looking products but they are on the pricey side.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:56 PM   #7
AmityvilleHams
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Default Re: Natural Substrates UK?

I would definitely not use any kind of compost, Eco Earth, or similar substances as a main substrate, some of which I would not use at all. Eco Earth in small amounts can be fine, but it does hold a lot of moisture which isn't appropriate for hamsters as they do best with a more dry substrate and can even develop respiratory related health issues due to too much humidity.

Sand is a very similar situation, you do not want it as your main substrate. Your enclosure would become very dusty, as well as it not holding proper burrows. Hamsters, being a naturally burrowing species, should always have the ability to burrow inside their enclosures.

Unfortunately just because a popular Youtuber did something doesn't mean it's a good idea or even safe, and this happens to be one of those situations.
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:53 AM   #8
StephBrom
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Default Re: Natural Substrates UK?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmityvilleHams View Post
I would definitely not use any kind of compost, Eco Earth, or similar substances as a main substrate, some of which I would not use at all. Eco Earth in small amounts can be fine, but it does hold a lot of moisture which isn't appropriate for hamsters as they do best with a more dry substrate and can even develop respiratory related health issues due to too much humidity.

Sand is a very similar situation, you do not want it as your main substrate. Your enclosure would become very dusty, as well as it not holding proper burrows. Hamsters, being a naturally burrowing species, should always have the ability to burrow inside their enclosures.

Unfortunately just because a popular Youtuber did something doesn't mean it's a good idea or even safe, and this happens to be one of those situations.
After doing some more research last night Iíve found itís quite risky as you never know what the soil has been treated with, so Iíve decided against it, think Iím going to do a mixture of wood shavings and hay instead to aim for a more natural look, with a sand bath (they sell a hamster friendly one at Pets at Home) and other little natural looking decorations
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:23 AM   #9
Ria P
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Default Re: Natural Substrates UK?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephBrom View Post
After doing some more research last night Iíve found itís quite risky as you never know what the soil has been treated with, so Iíve decided against it, think Iím going to do a mixture of wood shavings and hay instead to aim for a more natural look, with a sand bath (they sell a hamster friendly one at Pets at Home) and other little natural looking decorations
That sounds a good plan and i'm glad you've settled on that.

I've recently discovered the Kaytee clean&cozy camo and the green Carefresh which is a safe way of adding a bit of green .I also have the natural look in my hamsters set up and its easy to do with a bit of imagination.
Only thing plastic are their wheels because i prefer to be able to wash them if needed.
The Germans have some amazing set ups (das hamster forum - Gehegevorstellung) and use a wood based substrate, something like Aspen i think.
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:32 AM   #10
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Natural Substrates UK?

You could maybe look at megazorb, which I seem to always mention on here! It's like a grey colour.
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