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Old 08-04-2018, 09:28 AM   #1
FurryBabyMama
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Default Unexpected dwarf rescue, separate or no?

Yesterday I saw a post on Facebook from some girl I knew years ago when I was like 14. She put a post up saying she didn't want her 2 dwarf hamsters anymore and asked if anyone would take them. I messaged her, and she told me she'd ran out of substrate and food and had no money to buy any more. So I took them because they came with their cage and I obviously have substrate and dwarf food here already so at least I can clean and feed them.
The problem is, they're being housed together in a really small, strangely shaped cage. (Savis Spelos XL Entry, which is absolutely not XL) it has no room in it for me to give them any toys at all. I am DEFINITELY going to be getting a bigger cage, I'll probably make bin cages because it's cheaper and obviously this was unexpected so I didn't financially plan for it but I couldn't let them starve. I'll be upgrading their cage(s) very soon.
My question is, since they're already used to being housed together and seem to be getting on okay, do I leave them together but make two bin cages in case or just go ahead and separate them anyway? I don't have as much experience with Dwarfs as I do with Syrians and certainly not with keeping them together, I've only owned a single dwarf hamster. Any advice appreciated. They are males by the way if that affects anything
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:44 AM   #2
mangoandmimi
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Default Re: Unexpected dwarf rescue, separate or no?

Good on you for taking them in
I think it depends on how old they are/been living together and personal choice. If they’re babies, be extra cautious as they mature as that’s when they can get territorial. If they’re not fighting and both seem happy then they can stay together for now. Watch out for any subtle bullying though ie if one seems nervous around the other and isn’t coming out much, or is not getting enough food. They’d need separating then too.
Otherwise separate them now but I think you need to see how close they are. A separation plus cage upgrade at once is stressful so I’d move them in together and see how it goes. You can make a spare bin or at least have a spare cage on hand if you do that.
Good luck with them both anyway! Looking forward to seeing them
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Old 08-04-2018, 12:36 PM   #3
cypher
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Default Re: Unexpected dwarf rescue, separate or no?

I would get two cages made or bought so you're ready but if you feel confident with watching out for signs of them falling out then you could keep them together & only separate them if it becomes necessary. If you're happier keeping them apart then they will settle & live quite happily alone.
Sometimes the stress of a move or a cage change, even for the better can trigger a fall out so they may need separating anyway & having a larger cage may cause one or both to become territorial & that can cause them to fight, if you keep them together be sure to have two of everything in the cage, wheel, bottle food bowl (although scatter feeding is best with pairs) & houses with more than one exit. No shelves or levels.
I don't think there's a right or wrong way to do it tbh in a situation like this you can keep them together & just watch to see how they go or give them separate cages now.
Well done for taking them on & giving them a good home
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Old 08-04-2018, 02:43 PM   #4
FurryBabyMama
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Default Re: Unexpected dwarf rescue, separate or no?

Thank you. I may separate them anyway so that it's one less thing to worry about. I think I'd always have that fear of checking on them one day to see one of them covered in blood or something. And I'm not sure if one of them is eating all the food and leaving none for the other, one's quite overweight looking and one is quite thin, it looks more slender like a chinese hamster without the tail. So I'll be keeping an eye on that too, but I think the fatter one might be older aswell. I think the previous owner bought one (the fatter one) then bought the slimmer one a couple months later. And their cage is even smaller than the mini duna I keep my single, very elderly dwarf in, I wouldn't keep one hamster in it let alone two. It's so sad. So bin cages are my number one priority right now. I just hope I start to see some weight gain in the slimmer one soon. I put some mealworms in which I bet they've never had before! I've heard porridge is good for weight gain in underweight hamsters. I have lots of baby porridge for my daughter, would it be a good idea to take the slimmer one out by himself every day for a bit of porridge?
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Old 08-04-2018, 10:28 PM   #5
cypher
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Default Re: Unexpected dwarf rescue, separate or no?

If there's a big difference in weight then it probably would be best to separate them, it is quite a common problem with pairs, one grabbing all the food & preventing the other from getting enough so it would be better for both of them.
I would just give them a chance to settle & put a few extras in the cage for the thinner one, porridge is really good for hams but I've found Russians aren't always keen on wet foods, a big favourite with mine has always been the baby cauliflower cheese (4 months or under) none of them can resist that! Probably best to just stick to more natural foods like mealworms, sunflower, pumpkin, hemp & flax seeds, tiny pieces of nuts, maybe a little piece of plain chicken now & then. Once the thinner one is in it's own space with no bullying it should begin eating & thriving much better.
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Old 08-05-2018, 02:43 AM   #6
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Unexpected dwarf rescue, separate or no?

Sounds like separating them when you have a bin cage built is the best option and keeping an eye on them meanwhile. But it might be an idea to have a bin handy - even if not a finished bin cage - in case you need to separate them quickly.
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:53 AM   #7
FurryBabyMama
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Default Re: Unexpected dwarf rescue, separate or no?

Thank you for the tips I finally named them last night. Peanut and Mellow. My friend suggested the names and I loved them. Mellow is white and he just lays down and chills everywhere so I thought it suited him. I'll try to post some photos but the files are too big and I can't figure out how to make them smaller.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:14 AM   #8
dreamtree1234
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Default Re: Unexpected dwarf rescue, separate or no?

It was so wonderful that you were able to take these darling hams and give them such a wonderful, loving home. I agree that separating them would be a good thing to do. I definitely love their names. I will be wishing you all the very best.
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