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Old 09-01-2023, 02:59 AM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Sep 2023
Posts: 1
Default Hamster not leaving nest

Hi all.

New hamster owner of a Syrian called Nibbles.

Have been having a few issues that I hope folk can help with. I got him a hamster heaven cage after reading good reviews but had missed the comments on the tubing and penthouse. Initially I couldnít get a decent sized wheel (Nibbles is a bit of a monster at 6-7inches already) so he had 2 days while a 12Ē silent spinner was delivered. During those days he seemed quite happy running around the cage and burrowing happily but was reluctant to drink. I thought he was just getting used to the move and maybe wasnít really enjoying the 7Ē wheel that was all I could get locally.

On his 3rd day with us we took him out for a play and changed his bedding. In order to fit the 12Ē wheel, I had to remove most of the bedding from one side of the cage. Unfortunately when we removed it we found that this was the area that heíd seemed to build a nest and was hoarding some food. Adjacent was also the area where he seemed to like to pee. He was pooing in the same area he was hoarding. I thought best to get it over with and reorganised the cage to accommodate the wheel and gave him his hoarded food back.

When he first went back in the cage, he actually seemed delighted. He immediately gathered his hoard and plonked it in the penthouse then scampered down to the wheel and played on it for a while. Did a little jump after first few minutes and came up to the bars bruxing and cooing.

However since then his behaviour has changed a lot. Although I have made the bedding as deep as possible in all areas of the cage away from the wheel (full depth of the cage base so about 7 inches), he no longer burrows at all. Heís also moved all of his bedding up to the penthouse and now very rarely leaves it. Heíll come down to forage and collect food when we feed him but takes it all back up there as soon as he thinks heís got it all. Heíll come down a bit to look at us at the front of the cage when we are playing with him but will rarely if ever leave it apart from these times. Even when he comes down to look at us, he doesnít really play with any of his toys (chew toys, tunnel, wooden platform). Iíve snuck down in the middle of the night a few times and always find him up there, sometimes seeming asleep; other times just chewing on his bedding. He hasnít even been running on the wheel as far as I can tell in spite of loving it the first day.

He also doesnít seem to drink very much. He has a functioning water bottle in the cage and a bowl of water on a raised wooden platform (that he does know about and has explored). He is taking about 5ml per day from the bowl by weighing it and virtually nothing from the bottle. Iíve tried putting peanut butter on the bottle but he seems to manage to lick that off without the water level changing noticeably. Iíve taken to offering him another bottle through the bars of the cage by hand whenever I get his interest and he seems happy enough to drink from that but only small amounts. I donít want to keep waking him and canít be up all night so he is maybe taking 5ml from that. In spite of this, his eyes seem bright and coat seems normal. He seems to be eating quite well and seems to love snacking from his hoard in his nest.

He doesnít seem to be showing a lot of other signs of stress. Heís not biting his cage and seems comfortable and confident with our hands in his cage. Heís happy to take food from our fingers through the bars and yesterday started scampering onto our hands to sit there and collect food without any attempt to bite (just day 5).

Iím worried about him not seeming to drink much and seeming too lethargic. Not sure if itís just all the stress of first coming to us. Iím also tempted to remove the tunnels and penthouse from the cage but donít want to stress him out more by destroying a second nest so soon.

Anyone got any advice?
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Old 09-06-2023, 04:26 AM   #2
souffle's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Yorkshire, UK but my heart lies in Scotland!
Posts: 28,190
Default Re: Hamster not leaving nest

I'd advise you to remove the penthouse and tubes and use the blockers to close off the holes. You should have had them with the cage. The pod isn't healthy and they can get chest infections and food goes bad in there. If he's a good size then he might get stuck in the tubes! Put the deep bedding under the shelf and let him nest there and leave some space free for the wheel and the other toys.
Young syrians don't drink that much and if you are feeding some fruit and veg he is likely getting enough from that. They are desert animals and their kidneys produce concentrated urine so don't sorry he will be drinking enough. Check the spout every day that it is free flowing. I'd use a traditional bottle and not the sippy as they can struggle with those to work them.
If he is confident I would start handling. First a lift and lay back down them allowing a hand to hand run through your fingers made in to a tunnel so he feels secure with the hand around him.
It's warm just now so they are quite sleepy so ensure he's in a cool shady area.
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cage, wheel, food, bedding, nest

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