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Old 08-13-2019, 01:52 PM   #1
Mia23456
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Join Date: Aug 2019
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Default Hello! Im a new member with questions

Hi my name is An and my friend recently moved and needed someone to take care of her hamster for about a year till she's back. When I first got Mia, she was in a small cage and had no toys or anything other than a untouched woodchew. I did a couple hours of research and the next day I got her a new bin. My bin is the 110 qt from target. I also got her some hides, a wheel, and a couple new chews( which she loves). I got her the sunburst gourmet blend and new bedding( clean and cozy). She is a Syrian hamster btw. I know her bin could be bigger but that is all my mom would allow me.( 665 sq in) I poked holes in her lid too.

I was wondering about how much to feed her also when is the best time to feed them. I'm also giving her little bits of veggies to try bc my friend didn't feed her anything else other then the feed she gave me which was the sunseed brand which idk if its a good brand or not. And also what tempature is good for them bc I currently keep her in my living room and I know that loud noises aren't beneficial. So I was going to keep her in my basement.( its a finished one but its a bit cold) I would also love to know about ways to keep hamsters entertained. And i would love to know how to be able to tell if the hamsters wheel is too small for Mia. Thx!
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:22 PM   #2
emma_teddy
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Default Re: Hello! Im a new member with questions

hi there! so glad to hear you're 1) helping out a friend and 2) giving this hamster a better life!

the bin
i have the same size bin for my syrian, and while of course i'd love to go bigger, we live in a small apartment and i cannot, unfortunately. how many holes do you have in the lid? if possible, you can cut out part of the lid and secure a wire mesh on top. i too have the holes because i am on a budget and have not been able to buy the mesh yet. i used a drill and drilled tons of holes - too many to count because im lazy. i would also recommend doing some holes in the top at the side - i did that on mine as well.

feeding/food
for feeding, it honestly depends on the hamster. you want to discourage picky eating, so some people suggest you give them 1-2 tbsp and wait until their dish is emptied before refilling. for me, i do around 1 tbsp in his dish every 2 days, and scatter feed another tbsp around his cage. i would also recommend some extra protein. i know the mazuri rat and mouse food (this is the petco link) (block-like pellets) are easily available and cheap in the US and those are highly recommended. since we cannot get them here in Canada for anything less than an exorbitant price, i supplement with freeze dried cat treats (purebites) when i feed him as well. and timing wise, it really just depends on your routine and the hamster. feeding in the evening is some people's preferred time, as the hamster tends to be more awake. it really depends on what you prefer.

veggies and fruits are good! things like cucumbers, carrots, spinach, and bell peppers are good. strawberries, raspberries and apples are good as well though they are sugary so moderation is key. and make sure you start small, you don't want to overwhelm your hamsters stomach and cause diarrhea. once she gets used to a food, you can feed it more often/more of it. some people give fresh fruit/veggies every other day, some once a week. it depends on what you want to do.

temperature/location
before we moved, my hammy lived in our basement (because that's where my room was) and it was cool down there but he seemed okay. if you are concerned about her getting cold, you could put a blanket around her cage, or maybe purchase a small heater for the room? i believe the ideal temperature is around 19-24 degrees Celsius (65-75 fahrenheit).

entertainment
keeping them entertained can be challenging, but there are lots of diy ways to do that. if you cut up a toilet paper roll into rings and forms them into a puzzle-ball thing and put some treats inside that can be fun. there's tons of things you can look up. scatter feeding helps combat boredom too. also, if you find that your hamster isn't chewing on the wooden chews (or even if she is) i'd totally recommend getting her some whimzee's dog treats (you can also buy them indivudally when you go nto the store if you don't want to buy a whole bag). they're dog dental chews and i know lots of people (myself included) give them to their hamsters for chewing. mine absolutely loves them and i get him the larger alligator ones because he goes through the small ones so quickly.

other cage stuff
other cage accessories that i'm not sure if you have/have heard of that are great are wooden bendy bridges (amazing), chewnels, different kinds of tubes, and hanging chew toys that you can secure to the top of your cage (i used a zip tie the last time i had one up). it's also important to make sure you have lots of hides. there is a wooden magazine holder from ikea (the knuff i believe?) that lots of people use as a hide/plat form (just remove the base as that way the hamster can burrow down). if you attach some photos of your cage set-up we can take a look and see if theres anything to add/change. you want to have a good amount of bedding, optimally 5+ inches. since the bin you (and me) are using is not super deep, you can slope the bedding so that one side is higher and good for burrowing and the other is lower, where you can put the wheel, etc.

the wheel
and for the wheel, if their back is arching, it's too small. the bare minimum for a syrian in 8", i have the 9" silent runner which i love and fits my hammy well. most people prefer having more than 8" especially if you have a larger hamster. just watch and see if her back curves when she runs on the wheel and that will tell you!

------------------------

there are also some great youtube channels for hamster/small pet related content. they have lots fo diy videos and tips and stuff like that. some of my favourites are victoria raechel and erinsanimals

welcome to the community and if you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask! you've already done a great job helping this hamster so keep up the good work!

sorry that was a really long post, just figured i'd go all in because i didn't want to forget anything. oh and also, sorry if you already knew some of this stuff/have some of it !!
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Last edited by emma_teddy; 08-13-2019 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:09 PM   #3
10Minutes
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Default Re: Hello! Im a new member with questions

An, I'm totally delighted that you are helping to give a hamster a good home. Mia is fortunate to have come to you.

Emma, that's a really comprehensive post and I love it.

Just wanted to add that if possible, I'd personally recommend meshing the sides and the lids for ventilation, because those plastic bins can really get quite stuffy. Holes in the lid alone will not be able to provide fresh air at "hamster-level", because your hamster is living at a far lower level than the lid. I think fresh air is important for a hamster, and also for ventilating the habitat. Learnt about the importance of ventilation from Serendipity7000 and many others from this forum too, when I was stuck in the hole-or-mesh dilemma myself.
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:27 PM   #4
emma_teddy
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Default Re: Hello! Im a new member with questions

thanks 10minutes! i learned/am still learning so much from this forum it only feels right to give that knowledge back.

and yes, i am, as soon as possible, going to upgrade to mesh instead of holes.
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:40 PM   #5
Mia23456
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Default Re: Hello! Im a new member with questions

emma teddy and 10minutes-

Thx for your reply! I do have like 5-6 inches of bedding and the wheel I got didn't have a tag or anything on it but it was the biggest one in the store. I think its the 8 inch thou.i have have holes all over on the top of the lid and also I will be planning to make more holes on the side. I put toilet paper pieces so she could use for nesting and also I do have that bendy wood bridge u were talking about. I have 2 hides plus the bendy bridge. I have found that Mia didn't really use the wood chews thou but she loves the mushroom shaped one from petsmart . before this post I have been feeding her 1 tablespoon every other day which I hope is ok? I would put half in the bowl and scatter it around. Then with the veggies, I have been letting her try spinach and cucumber. I only give her a super small piece of both because I don't know how she would react. thx for replying! I will keep u guys updated
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:19 AM   #6
emma_teddy
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Default Re: Hello! Im a new member with questions

that's great! once you get her more used to the veggies and such you can give her them more often. i definitely recommend the whimzees, especially if she's not chewing on the wooden ones (mine doesn't either).
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:10 PM   #7
Mia23456
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Default Re: Hello! Im a new member with questions

emma teddy-

thx! and I could use some help with my hamster rn. If you go into posts by me you could check out the help post I put out. Pls help me thx!

Last edited by Mia23456; 08-17-2019 at 09:19 PM.
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