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Old 08-04-2022, 06:40 AM   #1
Hammy_pie
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Default Two questions: cleaning & feed

Hello hamster lovers. It has been awhile since I've posted; I'm happy to report that Tater & Tot are thriving in their separate cages. I have two questions I need help with, please. First question is about cage cleaning: Both my girls live in their 40 gallon tanks; I didn't disturb or clean their homes for some time to allow them to settle. When I did clean I took out some substrate and added new. I'm wanting to know other folks' cleaning methods and
how often you tend to clean. It's obvious to me if there is an offensive odor, it's time to clean up. What's best for the hammies? It doesn't seem to be as obvious as when I had my Syrian. I knew which corner she frequented and could easily get her cage changed without too much disturbance. My second question is about food. I really want to get a feed that is healthy but also that they enjoy. I have tried multiple kinds of food and can't seem to find something they really like. Please let me know what you use for your Robos. I want them to be as happy and healthy as they can be! Thank you, Jacki
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Old 08-04-2022, 01:06 PM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Two questions: cleaning & feed

With robos I leave it as long as possible and then do a half cage clean - eg either the left half or the right half . So one half of the cage is always familiar with their scent. Our robo used to skedaddle over to the other half and had two nests one in each half. In two or three weeks I would then do the other half and our robo would skedaddle back to his other next in his house.

With syrians and plenty of substrate, as you say, it's easier. I just spot clean now and then and empty the litter tray. But with robos you're never quite sure where they've pee'd - so the "half cage" clean works well for me,

Even then I don't replace all the substrate in the half I'm cleaning - I just spot clean out anything that seems whiffy lower down and try and keep his nest and any hoard in tact although might reduce the size of the hoard if it's very large.

I've found our robos have lovely clean dry nests and and don't seem to pee in them at all.

Both mine have had a labyrinth house at one end of the cage, and they use it. But our first one had a kind of second burrow near the wheel under a cork piece I used as a step up to the wheel - which was very handy! So he could just decamp to his other nest and then venture back to the house when he'd got used to the change after the clean.

Our current robo only has the one nest but I got him out of the cage when I did the side with the house, so he just went straight back to his house afterwards.

Food - I don't know of dwarf specific mixes in the US - I'm not sure there are any, and you'd be best using a good quality hamster muesli probably and supplementing the protein. There's a Higgins one I believe - I think it's Vita Garden. Failing that, you can get Harry or Hazel Hamster in the US and that contains all nutrients and protein needed, and contains whole peanuts in their shells and sunflower seeds (ie some healthy treats). The rest is more like little biscuits. The pieces are a bit big for robos but they eat them anyway.
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Old 08-05-2022, 01:24 PM   #3
lovehamsters01
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Default Re: Two questions: cleaning & feed

my robos aren't super picky but some robos will only eat food if it's really tiny. I know that some people on this forum have robos who won't eat food unless it's cut up into tiny pieces, so you can try that and see if it helps. I give mine Science Select pellets, along with a robo seed mix from Etsy (by Robin). It's very healthy, not too many sunflower seeds, and my robos really love it. I also give mine freeze dried Pure Bites for protein along with fresh hard-boiled eggs once in a while, but they don't always go for it, I guess it depends on their mood. I also give them fresh fruits and veggies but again, it's kind of hit or miss, sometimes they'll eat it sometimes not. and of course, whimzees!! one of my robos is obsessed with her whimzee and literally eats the entire thing. the other one, not as much but she definitely enjoys nibbling on it
I personally don't feed my robos mealworms but if you aren't already doing that, I know that most robos really like them, so that's a really good way to supplement protein.
hope this is helpful!
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Old 08-05-2022, 02:21 PM   #4
AmityvilleHams
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Default Re: Two questions: cleaning & feed

I really wouldn't recommend Etsy seed mixes, there's just no guarantee that micronutrients are going to be at suitable levels for a permanent staple diet.

The proper diet in the US for all species is Higgins Vita Garden, not Sunburst which has lots of dried fruit that isn't suitable for hamsters since fruit isn't really something they'd naturally eat. To this you'd add flax seed(about a pinch a day - excellent for skin & coat health in particular) as well as Pure Bites or a similar high quality source of animal protein.
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Old 08-07-2022, 08:21 AM   #5
Hammy_pie
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Default Re: Two questions: cleaning & feed

Thank you Serendipity, lovehamsters & Amityville. I so appreciate you taking time to answer me. I am using the half-cage-clean today, ordering food and finding out what a Whimzee is. I welcome anyone's feedback. I'll check back to see if others answer. Thanks much you three, was really looking forward to getting some advice.
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Old 08-07-2022, 08:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: Two questions: cleaning & feed

A whimzee is a dog chew. I get the xs ones for my robo. Here is a link just to show you.
Whimzees Natural Dental Dog Treats Toothbrush Star X Small, 1 x 48 : Amazon.co.uk: Pet Supplies
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