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Old 10-14-2020, 12:24 AM   #1
ykirobo
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Default New Syrian Hammy and help thread!

Hello everyone how are you?
I am back after a long time.
I had a winter white dwarf Yuki and unfortunately she passed away last week from bronchitis. We went to the vet quite a few times but she didn't recover.

My husband bought me a new hamster, this time a Syrian which I named Momo. I don't know a lot of things about Syrians as I never had one before, so I will need your experience.

His cage is the Savic Hamster Heaven 50cmx80cm. I am providing him with a lot of chew toys and tubes. His wheel is a Giant Savic one (27,5 cm). His bedding is a mix of Carefresh and Kaytee paper as well as the Pets At Home Unscented Woodshavings.

He was being fed the Harry Hamster mix at the pet shop which I have mixed with the leftover Bunny Dwarf Hamster Dream Expert food in order to switch him to that one. Is the Bunny Dwarf a good diet for Syrians or is there something that I can add to make it more suitable for Syrians? Which brand would you recommend? I am also adding some dried mealworms in the mix.

For snacks, I usually have a JR Farm fruit tree for him to gnaw as well as those Vitakraft veg and fruit sticks.
I am also planning to add fresh (suitable) fruits and veggies in his diet once I stabilize his mix.

Any recommendations and advice is more than welcome as I am feeling a little bit lost.

Thank you!!

Last edited by ykirobo; 10-14-2020 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 10-14-2020, 06:41 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: New Syrian Hammy and help thread!

I don’t keep Syrians so probably not the best person to give you advice but a few things, as for the food, they do have slightly different nutritional needs so the dwarf food isn’t ideal for a Syrian, if your ham likes it then it won’t do any harm, Rodipet do a Syrian food but I think most people do tend to stick with Harry Hamster for Syrians.
You may find that you will need to upgrade the cage as he grows, the Hamster Heaven is ok as a starter cage but a bit on the small side for Syrians, once you have the big wheel in there it doesn’t allow much room for burrowing in deep substrate so that may be something to think about.
Do you have a photo of your cage set up?
What kind of house do you have for him? Syrians do need a large house, shoebox size with no base on deep substrate.
The substrate mix should be fine although some hams have problems with carefresh & shavings, the kaytee clean & cosy is fine on it’s own really.
Have you tried whimzee dog chews, the toothbrush ones most hams love those more than other chews.
I would stick to natural treats, seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, hemp & flax, all in moderation, mealworms are fine but again not too many. If you ham enjoys them you can try putting millet sprays in the cage.
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Old 10-14-2020, 07:02 AM   #3
ykirobo
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Default Re: New Syrian Hammy and help thread!

Thank you for your reply.

I will then keep him on harry hamster, I just don't know if its an okay food as it has a lot of artificial green and yellow thingies in it. I will try those treats in moderation!

For the substrate I will completely switch to the Kaytee one then and some woodshavings.
I am providing him 6 inches of substate for him and I have one big wooden home and two smaller ingloos that come with the cage. i have wooden ladders and toys for him to gnaw and a sand box. He also has the Penthouse which is located at the top of the cage and so far he sleeps there or in one of the ingloos.

Once he gets more familiar with us and he is friendly I will have his cage open so he can run around the room. I don't have any cables etc on the floor so its not a danger. Even with my winter white, I had a lot of toys around for her and a small sand box so she was mainly running around in there and she used to get in the cage when she wanted to sleep.

I will do my best to upgrade the cage later on as I have a very small apartment and not enough space (that's why I let the hamsters out of the cage most of the day). I will try to get a photo of the cage once I get home!

THank you so much for your reply and advice!!
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Old 10-14-2020, 07:49 AM   #4
cypher
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Default Re: New Syrian Hammy and help thread!

I would remove the penthouse (tubes if they’re attached) it’s not a good place for them to sleep & the cage is better without it.
Try giving him one large nice dark house, some people like the labyrinth houses from Rodipet or the Granite houses with two rooms are good, a bendy bridge over the door to make it dark inside & add some shredded toilet tissue for him to make a nice big nest in there.
Wooden houses are far preferable to plastic so I would remove plastic houses/hides if you can replace them with something else like bendy bridges, coconuts & cork tunnels.
Wooden houses do need to be painted with the plastikote water based enamel though to pee proof them & make them easy to clean if need be.
Allowing your ham out of cage time is great but doesn’t compensate for a large enough cage, remember they are most active at night & need a big enough space in the cage at that time.
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Old 10-14-2020, 10:17 AM   #5
ykirobo
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Default Re: New Syrian Hammy and help thread!

Oh okay! I will remove the tubes and the plastic houses and add wooden ones and provide him with a dark place for sleep! Thank you for the recommendations and your help!
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Old 10-14-2020, 12:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: New Syrian Hammy and help thread!

Harry hamster is fine, you don’t need to take anything out of the mix as it is balanced
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Old 10-14-2020, 02:46 PM   #7
ykirobo
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Default Re: New Syrian Hammy and help thread!

Oh thank you!! Yes I will keep the Harry hamster diet for Momo!
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Old 10-17-2020, 02:43 AM   #8
ykirobo
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Default Re: New Syrian Hammy and help thread!

Hello again!
I noticed that Momo likes to dig around in his sand bath. It is not big enough and I was wondering which sand would be most suitable to use when re-arranging his cage (after he settles in)?

I would like to cover a big part of the cage with sand so he can dig away. I heard that Repti Sand is okay but I am not so sure?
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Old 10-17-2020, 08:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: New Syrian Hammy and help thread!

I would stick with play sand and rinse, sift, and bake that before use(all steps are completely necessary no matter where you live). It's significantly cheaper and known to be safe so long as the play sand isn't dyed or anything like that and you've properly prepared it before using it.
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Old 10-17-2020, 08:54 AM   #10
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: New Syrian Hammy and help thread!

It all sounds good and momo sounds to have a good set up . I agree with the advice above. I personally wouldn’t have an area of the cage for sand - if it’s the hamster heaven. It can work well in larger tank style cages. Also Syrians are often not that bothered by sand baths - ours just seem to dig in them to see if they can escape out of the bottom! Then ignore it. A dish of sand can make a good sand bath but I tend to just use the sand in a corner litter tray for a Syrian. They then pee in it (if you put it in the right place) and can sit in the front part for a wash as well.

I use the JR fast chinchilla bathing sand from Zooplus - they se a large bag so it works out economical. So chinchilla bathing sand (not dust) or sterilised children’s play sand.

Diet wise Harry Hamster has everything they need. You could mix it 50/50 with the Bunny dream (they do a Syrian version as well as the dwarf one) for variety. But you’d then need to supplement the protein a little bit as the bunny has less protein than the HH. A nursing or mealworms etc once or twice a week or a bit of scrambled egg.

I currently use a mix of HH, Bunny dream and Rodipet foods. But using the HH on its own is fine too. I don’t worry about food colourings.
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