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Old 05-14-2019, 02:28 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 1
Smile New to the forum and first time hamster owner!

I'm new here and completely new to the world of hamsters. In fact this time yesterday I had no clue I'd be sharing life with another little fluffball.
Long story short I came across one completely by mistake locally on a freeads as 'free to good home'. I know from friends who rescue small animals (I have had rabbits for 15+yrs and I'm extremely passionate about them so I'm on a forum which is very interested in their welfare and rescue all sorts of small furries) that these 'free to good home' ads are often sought out by those less interested in the welfare of the animal in question, including people who keeps snakes etc and are looking for free food.
I couldn't get the idea out of my head that someone would pick him up for that purpose, and something about his picture drew me - a cheeky sort of inquisitiveness. So a few hours on and here we are, there's another little fluffball in the house (as I said, I have rabbits already :P)

I've decided to join here as I'm a complete newbie to hamsters and I'm very keen to give this little guy the best, longest, healthiest life possible - I'm already very attached! No name yet but he is male (suggestions welcome!) and going on pictures of similar I think is a syrian? He's quite big.
Not sure on age but guessing around 6 months? Apparently the kid got him around christmas but got bored with him, hence the Dad wanting to find him a good new home.

I'm just wondering if there are some good, reliable guides etc someone could point me towards? As I'm keen to get things like suitable nutrition correct and again from my experience with my rabbits over the years I know that what pet shops (and even some websites) say is 'good' for them can be a long way from the truth.

At the moment I'm not satisfied with his cage size but it's something whilst I find him something more appropriate or add on (I am concerned as it's all poorly ventilated plastic about how he'd fare in hot weather; a rotastak something-or-other) and very concerned about his wheel as he's clearly long since outgrown it, so I will be getting him a bigger one.
He's a very active little thing, though does seem to be grooming and scratching a lot so I do want to check him over for mites etc when I've got his trust a little more. At the moment he's very happy to sniff but also nip (not hard, enough to barely boarder on hurting but certainly not pierce skin) so some gentle work I'm hoping will help. He seems quite friendly and outgoing.

Unfortunately he has no change over food, just what's in his cage (some muesli-style mix) so I have to pick some up tomorrow. I did order some science selective as I know their rabbit food is good but I was curious if that's a good choice longterm? Sadly that won't be here for a few days and it's online only at Pets At Home (where I'm going tomorrow) so I was just wondering what food would be good for him? Anything I should avoid ingredients wise? I know with the rabbits they dump corn, peas, grains etc in as fillers and it's dangerous to them - is there a similar thing done with hamster food?

Besides that is there anything I should know in particular? Regarding vets is there anything routine I should be taking him for or only if/when there's a concern?

Sorry for the wall of text, I'm just so eager to get this right and give this beautiful boy a happy life.
Thanks in advace
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:09 AM   #2
Little Miss Tinytoes
mangoandmimi's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 7,040
Default Re: New to the forum and first time hamster owner!

Hello welcome, you’ll learn a lot here.

Getting to the point - housing. Yes you are right you’ll need to upgrade to either a tank or barred cage of preferably over 100x50cm. In my experience anything smaller has not worked for Syrians so I always try to go larger than that for them. If it’s a rotastak I’d say it’s pretty urgent to get him out of there as there it really isn’t a healthy environment for them. A large wheel at least 11” in diameter will be necessary too, or you’ll starting seeing back problems.

I don’t think the U.K. does good hamster foods so if it’s the best nutrition you want then you’re best off ordering from mixerama or getzoo for their Syrian mixes as they do high quality and natural mixes. It is expensive but none of the unnatural ingredients and pellets that you find over here in mixes. I wouldn’t exclusively feed science selective as variety is essential for them. You could put him on Harry hamster while you find a good mix but again it’s really not a brilliant mix due to all the pellets in there.

Sorry I can’t give more advice or answer everything as I’m pushed for time! Look forward to seeing your new ham.
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:33 AM   #3
Fluffy Hamsters
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 3,888
Default Re: New to the forum and first time hamster owner!

I use harry hamster and a food for syrians from rodipet. Zooplus sell lots of good sized syrian cages or the plaza from pets at home is good with a big front opening door. I expect Serendipity will be along soon with some great detailed info.
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Old 05-18-2019, 12:03 PM   #4
Ruth Edwards
Senior Hamster
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Petersfield Hampshire England
Posts: 491
Default Re: New to the forum and first time hamster owner!

Well done to you for rescuing a hamster, he's a lucky boy. Could he share with a rabbit like guinea pigs do? Just joking. Hamster names, if I had another boy I would name it after my dad, Peter, or Butch , he used to be a butcher.
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