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Old 02-19-2022, 09:49 AM   #1
suby6
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 18
Default Suddenly moving so much bedding around?

Hi all,

We have had our robo since late december and replaced its cage to this in photo in early January. It has seemed to be happy with it until just this week. Not sure what the issue is. Cage gives about 550sq inches between the 2 floors.

The cage design is limiting in where the wheel can be placed and it cannot be relocated. Because of the design I have always kept the bedding deeply packed around the back and side perimeters and low around the front middle to keep the wheel clear. Have shortened the ramp between floors to maximize bedding space, and added a tube run for more space. Recently have been trying to add a litter box but cant find where it pees so hasn't been effective.
Most recently I took the wheel off the cage's mount and put it on the metal stand (is a 6.5 silent spinner) so that It is now mounter higher up and I could provide it even more bedding which I thought it would be happy about. I also moved the jar I am trying to use as a litter box from the front left side to the front right side.

Ever since I made these 2 changes he/ she seems to be moving much of its bedding late at night away from the back corners where its full to maximum height, to around the wheel. The wheel ends up looking like a tire stuck in he mud as its buried so deep (not just hitting the bottom but well above the inside lip of the wheel). This results in the wheel not being able to turn. He seems to be pushing it from the back corners where I know he has burrows made. I sort it out and he just does it again.

I wake a lot through the night and always go say hi when I do. I never see him doing this though. Usually he is a little wheel addict and does that all night. When I find him after he has moved the bedding he seems stressed, maybe as the wheel no longer will work. At that time he also seems to try and climb up to the second floor from down at the wheel instead of using the ramp. The ramp is no challenge for him though. I fixed it at 4am last night so he could use the wheel again but upon waking up this morning found he moved it and buried the wheel again. He seems to do this mostly towards dawn as when I wake and see him from midnight to 2am range he is just running on the wheel as usual.

Anyway, not sure what the problem is.
Is he just bored?
Unhappy about something?
Maybe I'm filling the back and sides too deeply? Though it can only be 4.5" deep anyway
Maybe the cage needs cleaning? Its been about 6 weeks now I think since full clean out. Could his old burrows just be too gross for him now and wants new ones?

Thoughts/ guidance?
Thanks!
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Last edited by suby6; 02-19-2022 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 02-19-2022, 11:36 AM   #2
Ria P
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 7,103
Default Re: Suddenly moving so much bedding around?

My Robo did that when i put his wheel on the stand. I had to take it off the stand and attach it to the wire part of his cage so he could burrow underneath the wheel.

I expect your Robo wants to burrow as well and the wheel is in the way. I don't know how you can fix that if you can't relocate the wheel.
Can you not attach the wheel to the top wire part or attach it upsidedown to the wire roof?
If you could do that and add more substrate to the base, then your Robo would be able to build tunnels.
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Old 02-19-2022, 01:10 PM   #3
suby6
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Join Date: Feb 2022
Posts: 18
Default Re: Suddenly moving so much bedding around?

Hmm ok I see.. Im not sure its possible to attach it to the roof wire as would just fall off the stand that way. The wheel basically just sits on top of the stand and doesn't twist lock onto it. As well if roof mounted it would block the access panel. Is a kaytee silent spinner. Was thinking maybe to mount the base of the stand to a chunk of wood to elevate it even more. The problem with elevating the wheel is that it causes a huge obstacle at the top section in terms of managing the cage or getting your hand to him as the access panel which is on the top is also frustratingly small. I may be able to fabricate a plastic twist lock mount section that I could maybe glue onto that plastic shelf that separates the floors.

I did see him come out late this morning after I sorted it out again. Moved the bathroom back to the right side and added a paper tube tunnel into the bedding on the front right. He came out and immediately started using the tube to start tunneling here. He then went to the back area and was quickly going in and out of areas of the bedding almost at random as the spots were so close together and kicking the bedding all over. We had a moment of cooperation and moments of argument as he tunneled like mad and I helped or re heaped the bedding back to the perimeter. The back and side area do have a lot of bedding for him to burrow through and hasn't been an issue with him until last few days.

Behind the wheel Ive kept a cardboard piece to act as a barrier to keep the bedding in place and from burying the wheel. I'm thinking I may try making a longer cardboard fence that also goes down the side to the right of the wheel but cut several holes to allow him to burrow or pass through without allowing the bedding to be shifted so much. Perhaps that will make a happy medium for us both lol
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Old 02-19-2022, 01:29 PM   #4
Ria P
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Default Re: Suddenly moving so much bedding around?

I once attached a wheel to its stand with a couple of cable ties so i could mount it upsidedown but it was a plastic trixie wheel.

Could you remove the plastic platforms and create a new set up so you could attach the wheel to the top wire with maybe a free standing platform below it for access? Small corner shelves, degus shelves and platforms, steps and allsorts are easy to attach to the wire part.

Our dwarfs live in Hamster Heaven cages and first thing i do is to remove all the plastic shelves and tubes to start off with a nice, spacious and empty cage. I then try to figure out what works for the hamster and create a set up. I get it wrong sometimes but the hamster let's me know, like said Robo and i adjust it to suit the hamster.

Have you looked at the thread "Let's see your cages" on the Forum under Housing?
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Old 02-19-2022, 01:35 PM   #5
Ria P
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Default Re: Suddenly moving so much bedding around?

Here's an example of using free standing platforms, shelves etc with the wheel attached to the bars so the dwarf has more space to tunnel. The sandbath is also on a sturdy platform.
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Old 02-19-2022, 01:45 PM   #6
suby6
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Join Date: Feb 2022
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Default Re: Suddenly moving so much bedding around?

Hmm interesting and thanks for sharing the pic of your cage. I guess taking out the plastic insert could be an option. That would bring the floor space down to just about 335 square inches though where the platform in place near doubles that. I guess shelves etc would also re-add some space as well though. Definitely something for me to think about. The wheel itself is a bit too large to mount on the upper portion of the cage unless maybe I removed a few wire bars above it. With the plastic platform/ divider removed I could likely mount it to the side wires though. a 5.5" wheel could fit on the upper area as is though where current wheel is 6.5". I do have a 5.5" comfort style wheel as well from his first cage that could be used instead but this current wheel seems better and faster for him.

The pic of your cage does look like a nice environment and I may just follow that lead..
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Old 02-19-2022, 02:28 PM   #7
suby6
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Default Re: Suddenly moving so much bedding around?

Just came up with what I think will be a solution that takes in your suggestion while working with what is at hand already. I think I can simply cut the middle area out of the platform (hopefully without it breaking) which will leave 2 side platforms in place but open the middle to allow for the wheel to be mounted at the back wire area. This will allow for the full lower area to be bedding aside from the potty jar. The 2 platforms would be connected via the paper towel tube and I will get a bendy bridge to add in as well to replace the ramp and go from the bedding area to both shelf portions.
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Old 02-19-2022, 02:54 PM   #8
Ria P
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Default Re: Suddenly moving so much bedding around?

An upper level doesn't count as floor space. Floor space means continuous floor space and tbh, your cage is on the small side and very low which is probably what's making it so difficult to set up.
A 6.5" is the minimum size wheel a Robo requires and many run better in an 8" wheel or bigger so i wouldn't use the 5.5" wheel.

One of my dwarfs loved the 6.5" Kaytee Silent Spinner and refused to use any other wheel. It has a design fault that's easily fixed though. Have a look at the running surface and you can see small gaps which could trap a tiny hamster toe. I always cover these gaps with car stickers cut to size.

Does your Robo have a sandbath? That is something they like and need. Often they pee in them as well and the clumps are easy to scoop out.
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Old 02-19-2022, 05:57 PM   #9
Lilafernim
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 409
Default Re: Suddenly moving so much bedding around?

Hi,

I think Ria has given you some great advice and ideas, I just wanted to additionally add to the cage size.

As Ria said, when measuring floor space, it means unbroken and I have used multi-tier cages in the past believing it was okay because it adds additional floor space. Having got a cage with unbroken floor space I see why now that it’s so important. Also, with your cage design, as you say it’s hard to relocate the wheel. If you take the shelf out it then removes placement for bed or food bowls, and then takes up more ground floor.

My hamster also recently had a rampage with bedding and it’s not cause for concern. I think the issue you’re finding is where your hammie is moving the bedding it’s making it harder to access the wheel. I really think you would benefit from just getting a larger cage as it would make placement easier, and normally a hamster moves bedding to a place they want to sleep that’s hidden. So it makes sense under the shelf in the corner where it’s hidden. If you had more floor space on the cage the corner could be further from the wheel, I just think it would make life easier for both you and your hammie.

Also, I noticed you mentioned a full clean out, technically you should never need to do full clean outs unless there is a serious reason to. I only do a third at a time, so their scent remains otherwise a full clean out can stress them out.

This is checklist from an adoption site for robovski hamsters:
-80x50cm minimum enclosure of unbroken floor space
-21cm+ wheel
-a large sand bath or area of sand that covers 1/3 of the enclosure
-6 inches deep paper based bedding in at least 2/3 of the enclosure
-minimum 2x small-medium hides/tunnels
-a multi-chamber hide
-species appropriate food mix
-forage mix
-sprays (flax, millet, oat, wheat, sorghum)
-chew toys
-boredom breakers
-a bathtub, playpen or hamster-proofed free roam area

With hamsters, bigger is almost always better, so if you’re needing to remove or rearrange things to fit all the necessities in, I think an upgrade is needed. I’m sorry if I’m coming across as blunt at all because I’ve made cage mistakes in the past also, I’m sure we all have. I’m only trying to help and advice as I think an upgrade would help in the long run.
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Old 02-20-2022, 02:06 AM   #10
Ria P
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 7,103
Default Re: Suddenly moving so much bedding around?

The photo i included is in fact a 80cmx50cm Hamster Heaven. I buy them second hand off Gumtree for 20-30.

If you are in the Uk, it would be easy to source a bigger cage.
If you are in Wiltshire or neighbouring counties, i have a Hamster Heaven for sale, lol.
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