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Old 05-03-2021, 03:18 AM   #1
lualaug
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 2
Unhappy New Hamster Bar chewing

Hi everyone,
I got my new Syrian hamster, drizzle, a week and half ago and she is chewing the bars a lot. Her cage is 100cmX80cm so it is a good size and she has lots of toys to chew, a wheel and hideouts. I currently can't get a larger cage but could probably find a cage without bars.
I'm basically wondering if this is normal behaviour for a new hamster or if I should be worried?
I've tried using the methods in Erins animals bar chewing video on youtube but she still does it (though not as much)
I just don't want her to hurt herself.

Thanks for any help
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:58 AM   #2
Dodo
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Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: UK
Posts: 121
Default Re: New Hamster Bar chewing

Hello,

You clearly have a very large cage so that shouldn't be a problem. Is she a baby or a rescue? Maybe she caught that bad habit before being with you. With a pic of your set up we could check the obvious (deep enough bedding, big enough wheel, lots of other things to chew etc.).
Bar biting is a sign of stress so of course it is not ideal and they can get their teeth and face hurt. Maybe she needs more time to settle as well.
And finally, maybe she is just a diva very determined to be free. That seems quite common with female Syrians. If you're confident your set up is good, and can't see anything in the room that could distress her, I would probably think about switching to a bar-less cage. Good luck
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Old 05-05-2021, 05:40 PM   #3
ShelbyBelby
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Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 8
Default Re: New Hamster Bar chewing

Hi! I just want to say that bar chewing is not a normal behavior and it is because of bordem. Your hamster cage is actually way too small, you actually have about 310 inches of floor space when you need AT LEAST 450 square inches for a bare minimum. I still think that 450 is way to small for a hamster ESPECIALLY a Syrian hamster, I recommend like at least 700 square inches of floor space for a Syrian. A great and cheap cage can just be a storage bin, and If you need any further help I recommend watching Victoria Raechel on Youtube. I'm Sorry if this comment came off a little rude I just want to warn you! I hope you can upgrade soon and I hope you and your hamster have a wonderful day!
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Old 05-06-2021, 01:51 AM   #4
Dodo
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Default Re: New Hamster Bar chewing

Hi ShelbyBelby, not sure about your maths here. If the OP has a 100 x 80 cm cage that means her cage is 39 x 31 inches, which is over 1000 square inches....
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Old 05-06-2021, 04:15 PM   #5
ShelbyBelby
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Default Re: New Hamster Bar chewing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodo View Post
Hi ShelbyBelby, not sure about your maths here. If the OP has a 100 x 80 cm cage that means her cage is 39 x 31 inches, which is over 1000 square inches....

Sorry I guess I'm stupid, I aksed my Alexa to do the math but I guess she is stupid too lol. But what bard cage had that much floor space!?
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Old 05-07-2021, 04:51 AM   #6
lualaug
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Join Date: May 2021
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Smile Re: New Hamster Bar chewing

Hi everyone,
Thanks for the advice. I re-measured my cage and its actually 100x50 which is 775 inches (still quite a bit bigger than minimum size!) . I was very sure to get a cage that was well above the minimum!
I'm planning on building her a new cage (without bars) as soon as possible which will hopefully be slightly bigger around 100 by 80cm. So hopefully she will be happier, I've just started taking her out of the cage to run around in a play pen so hopefully that will relieve some of her boredom if that's the problem. She is in the quietest room in my house so I've tried to relieve any stress in that way.
anyway thanks again!
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Old 07-12-2021, 08:54 PM   #7
Chicleteer
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Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 197
Question Re: New Hamster Bar chewing

I have a new hamster as well (female Syrian, about 2-3 months old) and she also is doing a great deal of bar biting. The cage she is in is the Prevue Pet Products 528, and the dimensions are (in inches) 32.5L x 19W x 17.5H, which is providing 617.5 square inches of floor space. (I just ran the conversion, which says that's equivalent to 3983.9 square cm.) I believe that's within the recommended amount in the U.S. and slightly under the British recommendation.

I also have a lot of chew items (including apple orchard sticks, a whimzee, rice pop chew treats, Snak Shak activity log, and other similar items from the pet store), a suspended "hammock" style wooden bridge, a bendy bridge, a little hanging teepee that she can climb into, a large Niteangel Hamster Birch chamber hideout (which she usually sleeps in), plus the other necessities like a wheel, water bottle, food dishes, and sand potties.

She's also an avid climber, and unfortunately her favorite activity thus far seems to be to climb up to the top of the cage and chew on the bars. She's doing it so much that it's beginning to worry me. I can't tell if she's trying to escape, or she just likes to chew bars. (She does chew the other toys, but my impression that she still spends a lot of time bar chewing.)

I know this bar chewing isn't good for her, but I don't know if I should wait to see if she grows out of it. I've had her for three weeks now. She's nowhere near being tame; she runs and hides when I come into the room. I've tried just spending some time in the room each evening and talking gently so she'll hear my voice, but so far she remains very skittish and nervous. I'm aware the taming might take a long time, but what I don't know is how long to wait and see if she gets over the bar chewing.

I realize that if this doesn't end, I will probably have to switch to an aquarium-style dwelling for her (I'm thinking a 40-gallon size). I'm hoping to avoid that if I can, but of course I'm willing to do it if that's what is necessary.

I'd be grateful for any thoughts on this, especially on how long to see if she grows out of it, and also if you think there's a problem with the cage size.

Thanks!
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Old 07-13-2021, 03:05 PM   #8
Hammy_Newbie
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Default Re: New Hamster Bar chewing

I adopted a female Syrian a month ago who was also a keen bar chewer. I think she may have got into the habit when she was with her previous owners but she also has a strong urge to chew, compared to my previous hamster.

I have tried to add cardboard to the places where she was chewing and this seems to have worked -I haven’t seen her biting the bars for weeks. Just toilet rolls and cut up egg boxes and cardboard trays. I also attached an entire toilet roll to the side of her cage, which she has enjoyed ripping to shreds!

It’s still very early days and she is still settling in so hopefully when she is a bit more used to her surroundings the chewing will reduce or drop, but in the meantime I’d give her lots of different things to chew and place them in the areas she likes to chew the bars.
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Old 07-13-2021, 03:29 PM   #9
Chicleteer
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Default Re: New Hamster Bar chewing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammy_Newbie View Post
I adopted a female Syrian a month ago who was also a keen bar chewer. I think she may have got into the habit when she was with her previous owners but she also has a strong urge to chew, compared to my previous hamster.

I have tried to add cardboard to the places where she was chewing and this seems to have worked -I havenít seen her biting the bars for weeks. Just toilet rolls and cut up egg boxes and cardboard trays. I also attached an entire toilet roll to the side of her cage, which she has enjoyed ripping to shreds!

Itís still very early days and she is still settling in so hopefully when she is a bit more used to her surroundings the chewing will reduce or drop, but in the meantime Iíd give her lots of different things to chew and place them in the areas she likes to chew the bars.
Thanks so much for these suggestions! I actually did just thread some strips of cut-up toilet rolls into her the bars at her favorite chewing spot, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens. I like the idea of attaching an entire toilet roll, so I'm going to try that, too. Thanks again!
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