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Old 04-03-2021, 07:53 AM   #1
Caitctus
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Question Hamster stopped burrowing

Hi everyone!

About a month ago now, we have moved our Russian dward hamster (Aragorn) from a Zolux Neo Nigha cage (78x48x36cm) to a Detolf cage.

In the old cage, Aragorn used to dig and burrow a lot, and had an entire tunnel system and an underground food stock point. The cage enabled us to have a layer of about 12cm, which wasn't ideal, but he always found a way to make it work.

Now that he's in a Detolf, with a layer of about 20cm (maybe even more), he just doesn't burrow anymore. I've left some tunnels like cork tunnels under the bedding so he can always hide there as well (as recommended by Victoria Raechel on YouTube), and I've spreak some orchard hay between the different layers of bedding so his tunnels hold on better.

On the left side of the cage, there is hardly any bedding, because I put his very tall house there, and bedding would've prevented it from fitting in the cage at all. He basically stays in the lower floor of this 'castle' and sleeps and hoards food there.

Although I've added more hiding spots here and there, mainly on top of deeper layers of bedding, he's just not interested in them. He tried to dig from the inside of the house at the top of the thickest layer, but gave up after he dug 2cm in and never tried again, even with snacks. If I try to show the way by digging the beginning of a tunnel, he covers it back.

Is there a problem with him? Have I done something wrong, perhaps? Or is it maybe normal behaviour when hamsters switch environments (knowing that I transferred some bedding from the old cage to the new one)?

Thank you for your help!
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Old 04-03-2021, 12:45 PM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: Hamster stopped burrowing

I have his previous cage which is known as the Grosvenor in the UK. It has a large shelf and a ramp which gives quite a lot of overhead cover.

I wonder if he's feeling exposed in the Detolf.
Do you have enough overhead cover for him? Free standing platforms, houses, hides and a runway on stilts etc are good in a glass cage. Hamsters seem to like to tunnel underneath things.

Could you post a photo of his set up please?
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Old 04-03-2021, 04:53 PM   #3
dorianhamster
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Default Re: Hamster stopped burrowing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caitctus View Post
Hi everyone!

About a month ago now, we have moved our Russian dward hamster (Aragorn) from a Zolux Neo Nigha cage (78x48x36cm) to a Detolf cage.

In the old cage, Aragorn used to dig and burrow a lot, and had an entire tunnel system and an underground food stock point. The cage enabled us to have a layer of about 12cm, which wasn't ideal, but he always found a way to make it work.

Now that he's in a Detolf, with a layer of about 20cm (maybe even more), he just doesn't burrow anymore. I've left some tunnels like cork tunnels under the bedding so he can always hide there as well (as recommended by Victoria Raechel on YouTube), and I've spreak some orchard hay between the different layers of bedding so his tunnels hold on better.

On the left side of the cage, there is hardly any bedding, because I put his very tall house there, and bedding would've prevented it from fitting in the cage at all. He basically stays in the lower floor of this 'castle' and sleeps and hoards food there.

Although I've added more hiding spots here and there, mainly on top of deeper layers of bedding, he's just not interested in them. He tried to dig from the inside of the house at the top of the thickest layer, but gave up after he dug 2cm in and never tried again, even with snacks. If I try to show the way by digging the beginning of a tunnel, he covers it back.

Is there a problem with him? Have I done something wrong, perhaps? Or is it maybe normal behaviour when hamsters switch environments (knowing that I transferred some bedding from the old cage to the new one)?

Thank you for your help!
My male Syrian used to burrow all of the time until he just decided to stop one day. It's the same thing with my female. They were really into it when I first brought them home and stayed into it for a few months then eventually they just stopped. My female Syrian even rearranges how much bedding is on each side whenever she feels like it. Currently, one side has very low bedding and the other side is stacked almost to the lid. Neither of mine has had any health concerns or problems and they both seem enriched enough as they remain active and energetic. No signs of depression or anything like that, and I did leave them more than enough room to burrow.

However, I will say that I have heard of hamsters getting depression due to lack of enrichment or a change in environment. I have not dealt with that personally, but I heard somewhere that changing too much of their bedding at once can freak them out and/or cause them to get depressed. It was a while ago that I heard that so I am unsure of the source.

As long as you are meeting the size requirements for the cage and giving them enough bedding, what the hamster does is up to him. Neither of my hamsters are really into it, so from what I can tell you there's nothing unusual about it. It is just the individual's personal preference. If your little buddy is otherwise active and seems to be enjoying life then I don't see why it would be an issue.
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