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Old 09-05-2021, 07:56 AM   #1
Chicleteer
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Question Hamster putting items in wheel?

Daisy, my female Syrian (about 5 months old) keeps putting toys, chews, bits of dry food, etc. in her wheel (11-inch Silent Runner). She does use her wheel to run in but also sometimes just sits in it. Each day I've removed at least the larger items, since I can't imagine how she can run in the wheel with so many things in it -- some of them are 3-inch wood chews! -- but every day she puts things back in.

I do bring her out to a playpen each night that has another wheel in it, and she uses it to run, and maybe occasionally puts some items in it, but not all the time.

I wonder if she's claiming the wheel in her cage as her territorial space. Or maybe she likes running in it with all the items bouncing around? I don't want her to hurt herself, and I want her to have access to a wheel she can comfortably run in.

I've thought about putting in a second wheel, but there really isn't room for another 11-inch without blocking one of the access doors, and I wouldn't want to do it if it's not necessary. (FYI, she's in a 32" x 18" barred Pet Prevue cage, 576 sq inches). Besides, she might do the same "home redecorating" in the second cage anyway...?

The last couple days I've removed the larger items each morning but left the smaller bits in there. But I'm not sure if it's helpful to the situation, since she puts the larger things back in each night anyway.

Please help, if you have ideas or suggestions. Thanks.
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Old 09-06-2021, 12:33 PM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: Hamster putting items in wheel?

I'd exchange the two wheels for a few days. Maybe she wants the one from the playpen in her cage.

Or change the location of the wheel and put a hide or house in the place the wheel is in now.

What happens when you don't remove the items every morning?
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Old 09-06-2021, 03:34 PM   #3
Chicleteer
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Default Re: Hamster putting items in wheel?

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Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
I'd exchange the two wheels for a few days. Maybe she wants the one from the playpen in her cage.

Or change the location of the wheel and put a hide or house in the place the wheel is in now.

What happens when you don't remove the items every morning?
I actually have always removed the items, so Im not sure what would happen. Perhaps I put the ones back in that I took out this morning, since shes not up yet. I have the sense that she does most of her running in her cage during the night when I am asleep, so it is hard to know if shes running with all those items bouncing around her if she moves some of them and then puts them back.

I may also try switching the wheels.

Thanks for your ideas!
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Old 09-07-2021, 11:54 AM   #4
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Hamster putting items in wheel?

my foster hamster put's things in her wheel to. The other morning she woke me up after putting her glass food bowl in the wheel! How, how the heck did she do that. If you find a solution, please share.
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Old 09-08-2021, 06:39 AM   #5
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Hamster putting items in wheel?

Lol! I think basically they like to sit in their favourite place to snack. If you had a nightcam you might see what she gets up to, but I would guess, having seen our Syrian's night time habits. That she does a lot of wheel running before she moves everything into the wheel. And then loves it so much she wants to snack there. Our syrian's night time habits are. Foraging for food and in the food bowl after lights out - taking that back to the nest. Then running in the wheel for a long time. Interspersed with going to a favourite place for grooming. Running. grooming, running grooming. Then around 3am - more foraging and snacking. That might be the time she decides to snack in her wheel

But just guessing. I also wonder what she'd do if you just left the things in the wheel! Maybe it's become a game! They do things like that. The Silent runner is quite enclosed so a nice place to sit and snack.

I'd try just leaving the stuff in the wheel for a few days. See if it's still there in the morning. If she can't run in the wheel she'll probably drag the chew out again. And get the message!

If that doesn't work, then as Ria says, swap the wheels over. But I suspect it's more to do with cage habits than wheels.

It could be a couple of other things too. If she's worried about her hoard being "stolen" (ie if you remove it or spot clean it) then she's trying to keep her favourite stashes safe. Or if you clean the wheel out rather a lot? To claim it by eating there or something?
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Old 09-08-2021, 06:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: Hamster putting items in wheel?

The lol was for Luna! Putting a food dish in the wheel!
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Old 09-10-2021, 07:47 AM   #7
Chicleteer
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Default Re: Hamster putting items in wheel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Lol! I think basically they like to sit in their favourite place to snack. If you had a nightcam you might see what she gets up to, but I would guess, having seen our Syrian's night time habits. That she does a lot of wheel running before she moves everything into the wheel. And then loves it so much she wants to snack there. Our syrian's night time habits are. Foraging for food and in the food bowl after lights out - taking that back to the nest. Then running in the wheel for a long time. Interspersed with going to a favourite place for grooming. Running. grooming, running grooming. Then around 3am - more foraging and snacking. That might be the time she decides to snack in her wheel

But just guessing. I also wonder what she'd do if you just left the things in the wheel! Maybe it's become a game! They do things like that. The Silent runner is quite enclosed so a nice place to sit and snack.

I'd try just leaving the stuff in the wheel for a few days. See if it's still there in the morning. If she can't run in the wheel she'll probably drag the chew out again. And get the message!

If that doesn't work, then as Ria says, swap the wheels over. But I suspect it's more to do with cage habits than wheels.

It could be a couple of other things too. If she's worried about her hoard being "stolen" (ie if you remove it or spot clean it) then she's trying to keep her favourite stashes safe. Or if you clean the wheel out rather a lot? To claim it by eating there or something?
I LOL'd too hearing that Luna's foster puts her food dish in there! They're full of surprises, aren't they?

Little update: I did actually see Daisy put items in her wheel after I removed them. She was very focused and methodical about it: Pick up item in mouth, drop it in wheel, pick up another item.... Etc. She's certainly seems determined to do this.

Then I did decide to just leave the things there, and lo and behold, the next morning she had taken out a larger chew but left the smaller twigs in there. I thought that was interesting. And I do hear her running with the items clunking around. Maybe she likes the noise? Boy, do I wish I could get into her head!

Anyhow, thanks for the ideas. But I still don't really have a solution yet, Luna; it's still kind of a wait-and-see mode.
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