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Old 02-17-2018, 01:36 PM   #1
Moon_flower
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Smile Meet Neve

After introducing my other hamster in the syrian section, now it's the girl's turn!
This is Neve (Snow in italian)
I used to think she was a Winter White dwarf, as I have had only those in the past and she looked pretty much like them, but after reading different stuff on here I'm pretty convinced that she's a hybrid since she comes from a pet shop
Anyway let's move onto her story
Well, she was given to us by some family friends (main reason why I'm not sure about her species nor age) because apparently she used to bite the kids and they didn't want her anymore, we just assumed that the kids probably disturbed her during the daytime and/or they never tamed her, so we took her with us
She actually is a sweet little girl, maybe not the sweetest or more social hamster ever but surely she's not aggressive or anything, just may bite if you're disturbing her but that seems okay to me
A bit weird but she likes playing with our dog (don't judge please, I didn't introduce them)
She doesn't know how/like to run on the wheel, we tried to offer it to her but she wasn't interested, but maybe she'll try it in her new cage which we'll be upgrading soon (she came in the smallest cage ever, no space for anything other than house and food, you can see in the pics)
A bit of a long post but there's a lot to say about her story
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Old 02-18-2018, 12:18 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Meet Neve

Hello Neve
She a beautiful girl!
I'm sure she'll enjoy her upgrade & maybe she will begin to use the wheel then, which wheels have you tried her with? Sometimes they only use the wheel in the night when no one is around, you can try putting some substrate on top of the wheel & see if it's still there in the morning, if they're a bit unsure about the wheel leaving a few seeds in there can encourage them to explore it a bit more.
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Old 02-18-2018, 01:12 AM   #3
Moon_flower
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Default Re: Meet Neve

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypher View Post
Hello Neve
She a beautiful girl!
I'm sure she'll enjoy her upgrade & maybe she will begin to use the wheel then, which wheels have you tried her with? Sometimes they only use the wheel in the night when no one is around, you can try putting some substrate on top of the wheel & see if it's still there in the morning, if they're a bit unsure about the wheel leaving a few seeds in there can encourage them to explore it a bit more.

In her cage she already had a tiny wheel like 6cm wide or less, we noticed that she didn't even fit in it and she wasn't using it but we bought a bigger one anyway, I don't remember but it's probably offbrand or an italian brand, from a local shop, it looks like the "comfort wheel" and she fits in there perfectly with her spine flat
So we tried leaving it in her cage, she tried walking a few steps but soon lost interest, wa noticed that in the daytime she wouldn't use it even if she was awake, so we took it out because it took up too much space in that tiny cage and she couldn't even walk around
I will definitely try the methods you mentioned to see if she will use it in her new cage! I had never thought of anything like that
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Old 02-21-2018, 03:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Meet Neve

Neve looks lovely, very white and fluffy. She suits her name well.
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Old 02-21-2018, 04:03 AM   #5
Moon_flower
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Default Re: Meet Neve

She sure does! Thank you
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Old 02-21-2018, 05:05 AM   #6
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Meet Neve

It's a lovely name She looks adorable. So glad she has a caring owner now. With the little cage - for now you could add lots of substrate to make it nicer for her until she has an upgrade - 3 inches or more. Something like Carefresh or similar mixed with her current bedding might make it cosy. It will also mean the wheel that is in there is easier to get into and not so "high up" so she may use it - even if it is a bit small. Our hammies sometimes stopped using their wheels after they'd been cleaned (smell different) and to tempt them back on I would put a treat in the wheel each day for a few days - that usually did the trick Also as Cypher says -a bit of substrate on top before you go to bed and see if it's gone in the morning.
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Old 02-21-2018, 05:46 AM   #7
Moon_flower
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Default Re: Meet Neve

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
It's a lovely name She looks adorable. So glad she has a caring owner now. With the little cage - for now you could add lots of substrate to make it nicer for her until she has an upgrade - 3 inches or more. Something like Carefresh or similar mixed with her current bedding might make it cosy. It will also mean the wheel that is in there is easier to get into and not so "high up" so she may use it - even if it is a bit small. Our hammies sometimes stopped using their wheels after they'd been cleaned (smell different) and to tempt them back on I would put a treat in the wheel each day for a few days - that usually did the trick Also as Cypher says -a bit of substrate on top before you go to bed and see if it's gone in the morning.
The base of the cage isn't deep at all so I can't add any more substrate, she's gone without a wheel for a while so I'll just wait for the upgrade and try the methods you and cypher mentioned, it's just a matter of days now (my dad is building a diy cage for my syrian Pepe, I'll move her to his old one when the new one is ready) and I don't want to stress her too much because I'll also be changing substrate, since I finally found aspen
Where I live the only available beddings are (were) corn cob, which I use at the moment, very hard to find it unscented, and unknown wood shavings that don't smell like cedar but I can't use anyway, I tried it and they tangle my Syrian's fur a lot, I had to cut his fur twice
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Old 02-21-2018, 05:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Meet Neve

I have a question about Neve's behaviour
When we clean her cage, she goes inside the house and starts to dig, just like a dog would to get comfy on his bed, although she just makes a mess with the bedding because it's a thin layer
In her new cage I'll provide her with a burrowing area because I think this is a sign that she likes digging, am I right?
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Old 02-21-2018, 06:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: Meet Neve

They just don't like cage cleans They find it quite stressful. There are a number of tips on here for avoiding cage clean stress. It's difficult with a small cage(new build one sounds great!) but if you have deep enough substrate, you can just "spot clean" mainly rather than full cage cleans. Particularly if they use a litter tray. Then you just empty the litter tray every 5 days or so and the rest of the cage stays clean - they tend to pee in wheels but the wheel can be cleaned separately as and when.

I always leave the nest and the hoard alone unless it is pee'd in. They are very particular and anxious about their nest and their hoard. She may be digging in her house during the clean,to try and hide her hoard so you don't steal it! If the hoard is pee'd on and has to be removed, you need to put new food back in exactly the same place. It's a territorial instinct and if they think an invader is going to steal the hoard they can start peeing on it to deter invaders - so it becomes a vicious circle then. In fact if big clean outs are done too often, they tend to pee on everything sometimes to "scent mark" it.

Pet shops tend to recommend weekly full cleans, but it isn't necessary. Poops are fine unless they start taking over - they aren't smelly or dirty really. They are like little black seeds and they hoard or eat them sometimes for extra vitamins (which is normal).

The method I use is - litter tray and spot cleaning - and with a large cage that can mean the substrate doesn't need changing for about 3 months. Clean wheel a different week from the substrate, and clean any toys a different week again. That way something always smells familiar. Even when doing a substrate change, you can replace the bottom or clean third and mix it in so it smells familiar.

They are funny little things but if you remove all their scent from the wheel regularly they may ignore it! So adding a treat tempts them back in. I tend to accept the wheel gets a bit pee'd on and not over clean it but just occasionally (depending on how bad it is).

Difficult when it's hard to get hold of substrate. I believe corn cob isn't recommended either. It should be fine for now. Glad you've found some aspen!

Do you know about Zooplus? They have an Italian website. They are based in Germany but ship all over Europe and have a good selection of substrates. If you buy in bulk the postage isn't so much of an issue.

What you could do is just tear up a whole bunch of plain white toilet paper into strips and add that to the cage and mix it in with the current substrate. It's good for nest building, so always good to keep putting a pile of strips of tissue/toilet paper out for them to take and build/line the nest with even if you end up using a different substrate. It's safe if chewed or swallowed (apologies if you already know all that) and they seem to like paper strips for nests.

Zooplus seem to sell different products in different countries, and a lot of the bedding listed for Italy mostly isn't suitable for hamsters - but they do sell Carefresh in large packs. The safebed paper bedding is ok but it's in a very small pack so would work out expensive. You could get Carefresh, Hemp,

Lettiera Carefresh Natural | zooplus

Lettiera di canapa Hugro | zooplus

This Chipsi softwood bedding is a German brand and they have quite strict kiln drying regulations so it's a good one. It's part pine and part spruce - which is better than all pine because spruce is equivalent to hardwood in terms of phenols.

Lettiera Chipsi Super | zooplus

Hope that helps!
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Old 02-21-2018, 07:33 AM   #10
Moon_flower
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Default Re: Meet Neve

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
They just don't like cage cleans They find it quite stressful. There are a number of tips on here for avoiding cage clean stress. It's difficult with a small cage(new build one sounds great!) but if you have deep enough substrate, you can just "spot clean" mainly rather than full cage cleans. Particularly if they use a litter tray. Then you just empty the litter tray every 5 days or so and the rest of the cage stays clean - they tend to pee in wheels but the wheel can be cleaned separately as and when.

I always leave the nest and the hoard alone unless it is pee'd in. They are very particular and anxious about their nest and their hoard. She may be digging in her house during the clean,to try and hide her hoard so you don't steal it! If the hoard is pee'd on and has to be removed, you need to put new food back in exactly the same place. It's a territorial instinct and if they think an invader is going to steal the hoard they can start peeing on it to deter invaders - so it becomes a vicious circle then. In fact if big clean outs are done too often, they tend to pee on everything sometimes to "scent mark" it.

Pet shops tend to recommend weekly full cleans, but it isn't necessary. Poops are fine unless they start taking over - they aren't smelly or dirty really. They are like little black seeds and they hoard or eat them sometimes for extra vitamins (which is normal).

The method I use is - litter tray and spot cleaning - and with a large cage that can mean the substrate doesn't need changing for about 3 months. Clean wheel a different week from the substrate, and clean any toys a different week again. That way something always smells familiar. Even when doing a substrate change, you can replace the bottom or clean third and mix it in so it smells familiar.

They are funny little things but if you remove all their scent from the wheel regularly they may ignore it! So adding a treat tempts them back in. I tend to accept the wheel gets a bit pee'd on and not over clean it but just occasionally (depending on how bad it is).

Difficult when it's hard to get hold of substrate. I believe corn cob isn't recommended either. It should be fine for now. Glad you've found some aspen!

Do you know about Zooplus? They have an Italian website. They are based in Germany but ship all over Europe and have a good selection of substrates. If you buy in bulk the postage isn't so much of an issue.

What you could do is just tear up a whole bunch of plain white toilet paper into strips and add that to the cage and mix it in with the current substrate. It's good for nest building, so always good to keep putting a pile of strips of tissue/toilet paper out for them to take and build/line the nest with even if you end up using a different substrate. It's safe if chewed or swallowed (apologies if you already know all that) and they seem to like paper strips for nests.

Zooplus seem to sell different products in different countries, and a lot of the bedding listed for Italy mostly isn't suitable for hamsters - but they do sell Carefresh in large packs. The safebed paper bedding is ok but it's in a very small pack so would work out expensive. You could get Carefresh, Hemp,

Lettiera Carefresh Natural | zooplus

Lettiera di canapa Hugro | zooplus

This Chipsi softwood bedding is a German brand and they have quite strict kiln drying regulations so it's a good one. It's part pine and part spruce - which is better than all pine because spruce is equivalent to hardwood in terms of phenols.

Lettiera Chipsi Super | zooplus

Hope that helps!

When I said she digs inside the house, i meant after the cage is cleaned, but I guess it could be a sign of stress anyway, as she was thinking "where's my nest gone", thank you for the advice!
As you said it's difficult not to stress the hamster with a small cage, I mostly do full cleanings with her, trying not to do it more often than once a week, but sometimes other family members do it if I don't because of the smell, she doesn't live in my room like my other one and the smell bothers them, but I don't have any space for her in my room
Everything is going to be better with the new cage, she will have the same routine that I have with the syrian: place a litter tray in her fave corner and empty it when needed, filling it again with bedding from the cage, spot clean droppings, remove hoard only if the food gets wet with leftover veggies and replace it(rarely but it can happen) and do full cleanings when I feel like they need it, not more than once every two weeks (the new cage is not that big, it's still a small cage but she's a tiny girl, anyway if she gets more active we might build a diy one for her too)
I already give them both strips of unscented toilet or kitchen paper because corn cob doesn't really allow nesting and she has lots of fun ripping them, they end up looking like little clouds, so sometimes i just throw a whole piece in her cage to keep her busy

I know that corn cob isn't recommended, but it was my only option as I explained, especially when I found out (well, i already knew that when I had hamsters years ago but i forgot) that cedar and pine shavings are not safe and the shavings they sell here don't specify the type of wood
I know about zooplus and dream of some of the items for my hams since I was a kid but unfortunately I live with my parents and I can't buy online, thank you anyway, i hope this is helpful for someone else who is able to
Now that I've found aspen shavings, which come in harder chips that won't get caught in the Syrian's long fur, I'm set
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