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Old 10-22-2020, 12:43 PM   #1
DocEmm3tt
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Default Marty is always buried in fluff

my hamster Marty is always buried in fluff. he only comes out to raid his food dish. is it because i recently installed a dig bin as large as the rest of the cage?
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Old 10-23-2020, 02:01 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: Marty is always buried in fluff

It does sound as though he may just be enjoying burrowing in his substrate, if you can post a photo of your set up though it would help to see if maybe you could change anything to encourage him to come out more.
You could try scatter feeding & hiding food and treats around the cage so he can forage naturally & not just grab some from the bowl & disappear. As he’s used to a food bowl I would do both for a while so as not to stress him out if his bowl suddenly vanished.
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Old 10-23-2020, 05:19 AM   #3
Ria P
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Default Re: Marty is always buried in fluff

What species of hamster is Marty?

I'd also like to see a photo of Marty's set up because i'm not familiar with dig bins.
What do you mean by fluff? Is that paperbased substrate he buries in? If yes, then that is what they like to do. I often hear one of my dwarfs scurrying about underground from one side of her cage to the other.
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Old 10-23-2020, 07:22 AM   #4
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Marty is always buried in fluff

My experience of hamsters is they bury themselves if a) the substrate is deep enough and b) there isn't a nice big house to mimic a burrow Without seeing your cage set up it's hard to suggest much. But generally one larger cage works much better than a smaller one with an add-on bin. So they have uninterrupted floorspace and can designate areas - for nesting, hoarding, wheel, foraging, hidey places etc. It allows them to have more normal behaviours.

With one larger space you could fit in a nice big house/nesting box that's dark inside. A shoebox house is ideal - cut the base out and keep the lid as a lift off roof. And sit it on top of the substrate so it's open underneath (that way they can burrow down in their nest and bury hoards under their nest).

For a door, cut a hole at one end of one of the long sides (the other end is then darker and that's the end they choose to nest). If you put a bendy stick bridge over the door as well, that makes it dark inside and gives a tunnel entrance, which they like, plus makes a ramp onto the house roof so you could put a food bowl on there eg.

Your hamster will probably move in straight away and stop burying himself. Although it helps to put a smelly treat inside the house to tempt them in to check it out. Usually they move in within a day or two if it's large and dark inside. It mimics a burrow so they have no need to dig one.

Some hamsters are diggers and tunnellers more than others - your hamster may still dig himelf in and out of the house but usually they;re happy with a big dark house as plenty of space to build a large nest for winter and they can bury their hoards under the nest in the substrate below.

They also need a fair bit of overhead cover - so a shelf or platform is a good idea - they can sit under it and like to have something to climb onto as well. Plus various hidey places at floor level, hides and tunnels/tubes etc. So they don't feel too exposed from above when moving around the cage (being prey animals).

Feeling exposed is another reason they bury themselves away. Some hamsters aren't actually enjoying doing that - some will enjoy digging and tunneling and be very active little things. Others bury themselves away because they feel insecure.

I found that when changing a layout in our first hamster's cage. I gave him a small house and a lot of substrate and he decided it wasn't big enought for a nest, so dug a burrow with two tunnels. Great I thought - he's doing normal hamster things - but he didn't look happy and would come up with his ears flat, plus it got stinky and messy and needed spot cleaning a lot so it would collapse. So I gave him a bigger house and he was very happy with that!

They do vary in personality but most like a big dark nesting box.
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:16 PM   #5
DocEmm3tt
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Default Re: Marty is always buried in fluff

Marty is a short-haired syrian male.the dig bin is a bin filled with substrate made of paper.
the bin is about as big as the rest of the cage. i installed it because he loves digging. here is a photo:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing
keep in mind that i only turn on the lights when i want to see him. these photos were taken within minutes of each other.

Last edited by DocEmm3tt; 10-27-2020 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 10-27-2020, 04:13 PM   #6
Ria P
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Default Re: Marty is always buried in fluff

It looks like Marty enjoys his dig bin. Are you worried about him?

Some hamsters like to live underground. I have one like that. I see him now and again surface for food and water and late at night, if i stay up that late, when he comes up to run on his wheel and forage for food.

The lid of the bin cage needs meshing though because a few tiny holes don't give enough ventilation.
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:25 PM   #7
DocEmm3tt
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Default Re: Marty is always buried in fluff

there are holes all over the top.
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Marty is always buried in fluff

I see the holes, I still think it needs mesh though, the difference between holes and mesh is massive. But it is your choice.
His digging sounds fun, can we see a photo of his main cage too, there may be things you could do to encourage him to use this space too
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Old 10-28-2020, 06:18 AM   #9
DocEmm3tt
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Default Re: Marty is always buried in fluff

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing
those are some cage pics
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