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Old 10-17-2020, 06:45 PM   #1
spookymulder
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Default New Detolf - Suggestions

We picked up and put together the Detolf today. I changed from the blue Kaytee Clean and Cozy to the white and added some Timothy Hay to the mix as well as placed about 1/2 the original blue bedding in with new bedding. It took about 95% of a large bag of bedding. Bedding on the left side is 6-7" deep. I don't think I can go much higher until I add a cover.

Also ordered a Silent Runner 12" wheel.

I built a temporary corner platform until I get a multiroom house and with the bars in the Detolf the hamster was able to grab hold and pull herself up so I placed toilet paper rolls over the bars to prevent that temporarily until a cover is made to prevent escape. Also she was digging in the corners and biting the bars so I covered those corners with toilet paper rolls.

Added corrugated cardboard with food inside (thanks Ikea) and some spray for foraging as well as spread some food out in the bedding.

I have a small Kaytee house, a hollow Coconut house and she also uses the area under the platform to sleep.

Will eventually probably section off about 1/4th of the area for a sand bath, bathroom (hopefully) and the wheel.

Looked for some drift wood and other things to decorate but haven't found anything fitting yet. Hobby Lobby seems to have some workable decorations but I wasn't sure about the safety of the material. What about moss or fake moss? I noticed some decorations with fake moss.

Smooth rocks that can't be pouched are definitely ok?

Any other suggestions or "bad behavior" prevention ideas?

It definitely isn't pretty yet. :P
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Old 10-17-2020, 11:26 PM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: New Detolf - Suggestions

Lucky hamster to be going to move into a Detolf. Until you've made a secure, meshed lid you can't really add any enrichment yet because she could climb out of it.

Grapevine branches available from Rodipet would probably be better than driftwood which you would have to bake first to kill off any bugs.

The reptile section in petshops or reptile shops can be good places to have a look for cork tunnels and grapevine.

I think once you've made the lid and added enrichment like tunnels, a sandbath (i use the Tiny Friends Farm bathing sand), millet sprays, hides, added levels with possibly long Trixie bendy bridges leading up to them, chews like a Whimzee etc she'll be fine. There is so much potential and scope with a Detolf. I wished i had the space for one.

In the meantime you could have a look around the thread "Let's see your cages" on the Forum under Housing for inspiration.
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Old 10-18-2020, 04:10 AM   #3
cypher
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Default Re: New Detolf - Suggestions

You definitely don’t want to use fake moss, I have no idea what that would be made of but doubt it would be safe, natural moss is ok but I would freeze it before use.
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Old 10-18-2020, 05:37 AM   #4
Ria P
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Default Re: New Detolf - Suggestions

Stones and pebbles big enough not to be pouchable are fine. I put them underneath waterbottles to catch any drips.

Agree about the fake moss which wouldn't be of any use to a hamster anyway.
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Old 10-18-2020, 05:54 AM   #5
spookymulder
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Default Re: New Detolf - Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
I think once you've made the lid and added enrichment like tunnels, a sandbath (i use the Tiny Friends Farm bathing sand), millet sprays, hides, added levels with possibly long Trixie bendy bridges leading up to them, chews like a Whimzee etc she'll be fine. There is so much potential and scope with a Detolf. I wished i had the space for one.
I got two millet sprays the other day and she doesn't seem to like them. So I guess they're decoration now. lol

Think I will cut a piece of wood to place over the higher section for now as a shade from the light and so I can make that area deeper.

Last edited by spookymulder; 10-18-2020 at 06:11 AM.
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:00 AM   #6
Ria P
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Default Re: New Detolf - Suggestions

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Originally Posted by spookymulder View Post
I got two millet sprays the other day and she doesn't seem to like them. So I guess they're decoration now. lol

Think I will cut a piece of wood to place over the higher section for now as a shade from the light and so I can make that area deeper.
Keep in mind that hamsters are very imaginative when it comes to planning an escape route. I'm not trying to tell you what to do but i would strongly advise you to make a meshed and secure lid your priority.
I believe that most people make a lid in two parts and fix a small bolt where they meet.

I've watched my little dwarf girl in disbelief climb on top of a hide and then pulling herself up and almost over the top of her then bin cage i had left the top off because i was in the room.
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Old 10-18-2020, 08:25 AM   #7
spookymulder
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Default Re: New Detolf - Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
Keep in mind that hamsters are very imaginative when it comes to planning an escape route. I'm not trying to tell you what to do but i would strongly advise you to make a meshed and secure lid your priority.
I believe that most people make a lid in two parts and fix a small bolt where they meet.

I've watched my little dwarf girl in disbelief climb on top of a hide and then pulling herself up and almost over the top of her then bin cage i had left the top off because i was in the room.
Yea, right now she can't reach the edge. I'm looking into making two sections with a hinge. I've got mesh that I purchased to use in a temporary bin the other week. Just in a designing stage for the top right now. Will hit Lowes tomorrow possibly.
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:55 AM   #8
Nika
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Default Re: New Detolf - Suggestions

Very nice set-up so far! I've been using a Detolf for all my hamsters so far and it's a wonderful enclosure. I do recommend getting a lid asap (I managed to make one myself with some soft-wood rod, some screws, 90˚ joining plates, and chicken wire that I secured with U shaped nails).
You could also use more types of bedding, for example aubiose, this could reduce the cost of bedding by a lot in the long run! and a sandbath is a great idea! you can probably use children's playsand, that's what I have been doing, and it is waaay more economical (especially for a cage this size - you use up more sand than you'd think!).
When uncertain about materials, I try to be a bit conservative, but I have generally found that paper, ceramic, glass, and plain wooden decorations are okay. I would avoid plastic and textile.
Also, if you find your hamster climbing the bars too much, you can try to put some olive oil on them! Watch out for the small hole on one end of the cage, on the wooden bit - I had a trouble maker who started chewing on it. I ended up simply glueing a flat rock on it, and that worked pretty well.
I hope some of this helps!
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Old 10-18-2020, 04:37 PM   #9
spookymulder
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Default Re: New Detolf - Suggestions

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Originally Posted by Nika View Post
Watch out for the small hole on one end of the cage, on the wooden bit - I had a trouble maker who started chewing on it. I ended up simply glueing a flat rock on it, and that worked pretty well.
I hope some of this helps!
lol yea I've had to put toilet paper on some of the bars near the corners. Caught her a few times trying to chew on it and tapped her like "Hey stop that". then covered it.

Mostly finished a lid today. 3 staple guns and 8 boxes of staples that my dad had and none of them matched or were broken lol. So no mesh on today. Hardest part done though. I'm proud that it came out as good as it did, because this is about the second time I've ever "designed" something with wood in my life. The bar on the inside of the display is perfect for these lids. Only problem is the 12" wheel is 13.5" tall on the stand so I'll have to place it away from the edge so it doesn't touch.

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