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Old 11-27-2013, 11:40 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Default Help! Are they fighting?

I just got two WW yesterday. They were from the same litter and were really sweet to each other. One of them is a bit bigger and is more of a go-getter than the other. However, just recently I heard loud squeaks and upon investigation, they looked to be having a scrabble. They were both inside a hideout and the smaller hamster was on her back. I separated them immediately. After a while to cool down, I put them in a penned up area with nothing in it so they'd have nothing to fight about. However, the smaller one kept going up to the bigger one and they looked to be sniffing each other's noses, but out of nowhere the larger one would squeak and strike out a bit. The fights aren't too violent, they haven't seemed to injure each other. When it happens, the smaller one just squals and rolls onto her back. They are both females by the way. Are these just shows of dominance? Should I continue housing them together to see if they will sort it out on their own? Thanks!
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Help! Are they fighting?

Hi Kayla. I think the common consensus here is to make sure any pairs don`t have any accessories or shelving within their enclosure until they settle in. I noticed that you posted yesterday and nobody has replied so thought I might give a few tips on that. What cage/tank are they in? I would only add a large pile of nesting material in one end and their food dish/water bottle and scatter food around too. Maybe just allow a fiddlestix bendy log bridge where they can run underneath but can`t get trapped (easy in and out) access. Two wheels rather than one so as they don`t fall out over access.

If one is noticeably bigger, chances are she will become more bossy or dominant over the smaller one, although that really depends on the hamsters. You will probably be able to focus more on their individual behaviours once they are with you after a couple of days. If they are sisters, that`s good, but it still doesn`t guarantee harmony. I always keep male animals myself because I feel females can be a bot more volatile.

How are they today? Have they settled and are they sleeping together?
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Help! Are they fighting?

I found it hard to tell a harmless squabble apart from a real fight at first myself, but a good rule of thumb is: if it cause any injuries or is severely stressing the either of the hamsters out, I'd separate them and look to the possible causes for a territorial fight before considering a reintroduction. I would not personally use them nesting together as any indication, though. My robos were fighting horribly and still slept together before I could separate them to prevent further issue.

I would generally go for ~360 square inches of floor space for one hamster, which is about what you get for a 20 gallon long aquarium. An equivalent space to either a 30 gallon or a 40 gallon long tank (usually about 36 x 18 L x W, or 648 square inches) would be my butter zone for a pair to live in. Two wheels and two nesting friendly hut type dealies, plus sprinkled food rather than a dish is a recommendation I'd make as well.

Mind, even in an ideal environment you might have one or both that prefer being solitary. As social as the dwarves can be, it does happen.
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