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Old 09-16-2015, 01:36 PM   #1
ryanjc
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Exclamation is this 'play' fighting between Robo's?

Hi all,

I've had my female robo pair home now for 3 days and there is some squabbling going on. They live together in a IKEA detolf converted into a hamster cage so there is plenty of room for the two of them. I have done extensive research into the best way you can reduce the chances of fallouts so in the tank are 3 wheels, 2 water bottles, 2 bendy bridge/house, a wooden house with two entrances and a piece of wood (hollow) generally used for reptiles which they have decided to make their home and i also scatter feed! no bowls!. They sleep together which I have heard is a good sign but like I said there has been some squabbling/squeaking. Last night I was up at 2am watching them and one does appear to chase the other, the chaser is a lot more bold within the cage happy to come out during the day even when my bedroom light is on, however the 'chasee' will only come out and night when my lights are off... hence the 2am observation last night.

I done some research about the dominant and submissive roles that have to be taken on by the hamsters. Is this what the chasing is? I've given them a slight checkover by watching them in the tank and there doesn't appear to be any cuts/bites on either of the hams but the squeaking and chasing is quite distressing to watch. I know it's said to be a 50/50 chance whether robos will get a long in a pair but I would love them to live together and as far as I'm aware I have taken all areas into account when trying to reduce the risk of fighting.

So what I'm really trying to ask is, is this chasing/squeaking them figuring out who is the dominant and who is the submissive? Or are they fighting already? Like I said I have only had them home a total of 3 days so it's still early days. Are they still adjusting to their new home? Or should I be checking daily from the get-go on the condition of them to be making sure there is no cuts/injuries.

I have the room to separate if needs be and this is one of the reasons I decided to go with the detolf as it can easily be split in to two. But I think it's still early days for the two only being 3 days in to their new home.

Any help on this topic would be greatly appreciated! and I thank you all for your time.

Ryan
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Old 09-16-2015, 07:34 PM   #2
Thin Lizzy
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Default Re: is this 'play' fighting between Robo's?

Hi Ryan,
You've not had them long but, it does sound like one's bullying the other. Once they start fighting they need to be separated.
You could supervise them closely for another few days to see if they settle down. It could be they're adjusting to the new home.
Hopefully, Racing Hamster and Cypher (the dwarf experts), will see your post and reply.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: is this 'play' fighting between Robo's?

You've certainly done your research to give your girls the best chance of a happy life together, it's unfortunate that even so sometimes it just doesn't work out.
It is very early days so they will still be adjusting to their new home so if there's no actual fighting you could monitor them for a bit longer to see how things go but with one being so dominant & the other so submissive I can't help thinking the shyer submissive one might well be happier living alone & come out of her shell more.
I suspect that it's when they're taken from a litter & given a nice big home for themselves that they get a chance to express their own little characters & it may be that this is happening really quickly with yours & the dominant one is thinking this is all mine!!
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Old 09-17-2015, 12:01 AM   #4
ryanjc
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Default Re: is this 'play' fighting between Robo's?

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You've certainly done your research to give your girls the best chance of a happy life together, it's unfortunate that even so sometimes it just doesn't work out.
It is very early days so they will still be adjusting to their new home so if there's no actual fighting you could monitor them for a bit longer to see how things go but with one being so dominant & the other so submissive I can't help thinking the shyer submissive one might well be happier living alone & come out of her shell more.
I suspect that it's when they're taken from a litter & given a nice big home for themselves that they get a chance to express their own little characters & it may be that this is happening really quickly with yours & the dominant one is thinking this is all mine!!

Hi Cypher and thanks for getting back so quick. I monitored them again last night and there did seem to be less chasing, definitely less squeaking that's for sure. They now have a total of 4 wheels inside the tank! 4! Yet they both want to use the same one! I have an old free standing wheel which went in there when I first brought them home along with a newly purchased 4.5" silent spinner. They haven't used the silent spinner once! Yesterday I went out and bought the larger silent spinner 6"/6.5" and another wheel similar to the one they're using. For the majority they both wanted to use the same old wheel, and when one got in the onther would jump in and they'd run together, even though there are 4 wheels in the tank! The submissive ham again came out later in the night but did seem more confident... I mean she was jumping in the wheel and pushing the other ham out to get her turn! Slightly annoyed I've spent nearly £30 on silent spinners for them not to be used but oh well! They like the noisy wheels!

I should also add that the pet shop I bought the hams for has them already separated into pairs in the shop, which is why I chose this petshop as I suspected the hams would already be used to each other as they have lived together just them two already. After monitoring again there doesn't seem to be any scraps so am I right in leaving them together for now?

I welcome any other suggestions.

Thanks everyone
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Old 09-17-2015, 12:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: is this 'play' fighting between Robo's?

4 wheels lol! they are getting spoilt! The 4.5" is too small even for a robo really, do the bigger silent spinners work ok? Lots of people have had problems with the new ones so if it is a bit stiff they may struggle with it but then it could just be that they like a noisy wheel!

They sound to be settling in much better now, I think it should be fine to leave them for a while longer & just keep a close eye on things to see how it develops, hopefully they will sort things out between themselves without any fighting & live happily together, fingers crossed!
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:31 AM   #6
Thin Lizzy
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Default Re: is this 'play' fighting between Robo's?

Hi Ryan, that's good they are settling in a bit better but, like Cypher said it's best to continue monitoring them. You've definitely provided them with plenty wheels to amuse themselves.
Fingers crossed they settle into their life together.
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: is this 'play' fighting between Robo's?

Unfortunately even with the best methods of keeping pairs, not all get on well. There are some that do, and others who just clash in personality and will eventually fall out.

Keep a close eye on them and separate them if something serious goes on.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:41 AM   #8
ryanjc
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Default Re: is this 'play' fighting between Robo's?

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Originally Posted by cypher View Post
4 wheels lol! they are getting spoilt! The 4.5" is too small even for a robo really, do the bigger silent spinners work ok? Lots of people have had problems with the new ones so if it is a bit stiff they may struggle with it but then it could just be that they like a noisy wheel!

They sound to be settling in much better now, I think it should be fine to leave them for a while longer & just keep a close eye on things to see how it develops, hopefully they will sort things out between themselves without any fighting & live happily together, fingers crossed!
I know! 4 wheels and they'll only use two lol! I checked the silent spinner again and doesn't seem stiff, the other two wheels that they use (one is a new one I picked up) have larger floor space for running so maybe that's it? I even put treats inside the silent spinner to see if that would get them to use it ... Stubborn hams haha. Noisy wheel for them less sleep for me but oh well!

I really do hope the chasing and squeaking (which has lessened) is just them settling in to their new home, and if not it just goes to show it really can come down to personality! The detolf is massive as I'm sure you know (1024 square inches... Big enough for 4 robos!) with two of everything and the outcome can still be separation. But if that's the way it is that's fine, much rather two happy hams than two stressed out fighting ones.

Another question! The log that they have made their nest is a reptile log like I mentioned. The only way to check they're both in there is to lift the log up and look through one of the holes at either end, which isn't very practical. I was planning on cutting the log in half so it would be a U shape so once I lift it up they would be on the bottom of the tank not inside a log. I have held off on doing this as of yet as I wouldn't want to stress them out and do anything that could cause fighting but what do you think? They both sleep in the log together and it's probably down to them feeling the most safe and secure as it'll be pitch black inside due to the length and that it is completely sealed. Do you think I should leave this until a later date?

Thanks for all your help so far Cypher! You have been great
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: is this 'play' fighting between Robo's?

Checking on nests is tricky when they're still settling in, always a bit of a toss up between not wanting to disturb them but wanting to be sure they're ok!
As they're probably still sorting things out between themselves & adjusting to their new home I would leave things be for now but your idea for the log does sound like a good one, maybe give it a go when things calm down a bit more.
As for wheels you may be right about the larger running base on the noisier wheels but who knows with hams & their wheels, a law unto themselves lol! My Chinese loved all the wheels I tried her with except the silent spinner, she actually seemed scared of it! My only guess was that it was so white/bright & she liked running in something darker!
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:35 AM   #10
ryanjc
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Default Re: is this 'play' fighting between Robo's?

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Originally Posted by cypher View Post
Checking on nests is tricky when they're still settling in, always a bit of a toss up between not wanting to disturb them but wanting to be sure they're ok!
As they're probably still sorting things out between themselves & adjusting to their new home I would leave things be for now but your idea for the log does sound like a good one, maybe give it a go when things calm down a bit more.
As for wheels you may be right about the larger running base on the noisier wheels but who knows with hams & their wheels, a law unto themselves lol! My Chinese loved all the wheels I tried her with except the silent spinner, she actually seemed scared of it! My only guess was that it was so white/bright & she liked running in something darker!
I think you're right and I'll leave cutting the log in half for perhaps a couple more days until they've been in their new home for over a week. A tiny little update, I didn't hear any squeaking last night! So fingers crossed their settling in. Thanks again for all your help
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