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Old 02-17-2016, 12:33 AM   #1
FreddyAndMe
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Default Evil hamster

I have had Freddy for two months now and he always goes to bite. If I wear gloves he is friendly but as soon as they come off he is running at me with his hands out trying to grab me for his dinner and I wash my hands before I hold him so it isn't like he is smelling something. Now I am too afraid to try holding him with my bare hand because his bites are very strong - he did bite the gloves once on his first encounter with them and managed to bite right through the thick leather, much thicker than my skin. I have even tried handling him on the bathroom floor with him crawling all over me but even after that he still goes for my hands. Completely at a lost cause here because I don't even get to see my pet, he only comes out to eat or sit staring in the corner and when he comes out the cage I can't even touch him.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: Evil hamster

No hamster is evil, if they bite it is either fear or stress that causes it or cage aggression which amounts to the same thing.
Do you have a safe play area where you can get him out to have some out of cage time? Seeing & enjoying your ham doesn't have to involve handling them, at least not to start with.
If you can set up a play area for him that he can explore & enjoy while you just watch & talk to him I'd do that for now.
Just stick to the gloves or use something he'll climb into to get him out of the cage for now.
How is his cage set up, does he seem happy with that, enough space, substrate, enrichment & a big enough wheel?
Some hams don't get to like being handled much but most will tolerate it to some extent with time & patience.
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Old 02-17-2016, 12:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: Evil hamster

I use a plastic jug to lift him out of his cage and handle him in a plastic box about 40x15cm in size or maybe a bit smaller. I don't think he likes the box because he spends most of the time trying to climb out the corners unsuccessfully. I would get him a play pen but they are horrendously expensive for what they are, £16 for a few metal grids!
He had better be happy with the cage and space he has because I have already gone through three over the time I have had him, Pets at Home small wire, Pets at Home large wire and now the Alaska from Zooplus.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: Evil hamster

The cage is set up like so:
28cm trixie rodent wheel in back left corner
Hooded potty in front left corner
Blue card tube in middle left, postitioned lengthways with cage
Strawberry hide between shelf and wheel, back middle
Small bendy log bridge in middle front
Bare space under self at right hand side
On the shelf:
White plastic hamster head thing
In front and right of that is a corn hanging chew
In front left is a wooden chew
In the front right area is his water bottle
On the front left of the shelf is his food bowl

About three inch deep CareFRESH bedding (moving to Fitch) and paper flakes as nesting material.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Evil hamster

You could try stroking him with a toothbrush instead of your finger. You could attach the toothbrush to a pencil or something to keep your hand further away if he still tries to bite you.

Give a treat/s while stroking.

Gently blow on his nose when he bites, just enough to stop the biting.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: Evil hamster

Well your cage is fine so no worries there, the wheel is good too, without seeing a photo it's hard to know if anything could be better but overall it sounds good.
The play box is way too small though, I'm assuming we're talking syrian here, if so the metal play pens aren't safe as they can climb out too easily & only really work for dwarf hams.
I would make one, either use cardboard nice & high at the sides & secure where any joins are, or use correx, I made one simply cutting four pieces, making a small hole in each corner & fixing with cable ties, it's secure & folds flat when not in use.
Once you've done that put lots of toys, cardboard boxes, crunched up plain brown paper etc basically anything that's fun to explore.
Young hams are full of energy & want to run around exploring, they often appear intent on escaping but that's just what they do so supervise carefully & gently persuade him to go back into the play pen area (with gloves if need be!).
Once he's tired himself out a bit having lots of fun he may be a bit more inclined to interact with you but always take it slowly & never try to rush things.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:40 AM   #7
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Default Re: Evil hamster

Funnily enough, stroking him is one thing I can do without him biting, although only because he can't see whether I am wearing gloves or not from behind. If he turns around though he will nip.

I don't have any cardboard to make a play box with. And I don't know what that other stuff is either. But I do have the bathroom floor to work with, perhaps a good idea?
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: Evil hamster

Forgot to say that he is a Syrian.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Evil hamster

Check for any gaps he could get into. I checked in my bathroom and the base/stand of the toilet has a hole. I don't thing it goes anywhere, but a hamster may get in and not be able to get out.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:55 AM   #10
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Default Re: Evil hamster

Correx is a kind of corrugated plastic you can buy in sheets from diy shops or online.
I'm tending to think he needs an area to play in without you in it, you can still interact with him while in a card/correx play pen without this big human getting in his way while he explores! That's not so easy just on the floor without something to contain him & bathrooms often do have hidden ham size gaps so do a really, really thorough check if you do that.
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