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Old 05-05-2022, 06:27 PM   #1
ilguy
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Default Meet Pearl

Hey guys, I'd like to formally introduce you to my little ball of fluff Pearl. She's a female Winter White hybrid. Thanks to your tips in other threads, we've had a pretty successful start together!



After failing to find a dwarf hamster breeder in the area, I came across Pearl in my local PetSmart. She was "on sale", and I learned it was due to her being in the store's display for two entire weeks. She was pretty curious about me at the store, came up to me cautiously, and seemed interested. I took the plunge, and picked her up.

Everyone that passed on her for other hamsters missed out on a one in a million sweetie. She got used to my presence and hands pretty quickly, but attacked my thumb twice the first week. While it did draw blood, with the tips from helpful people on here our next interaction was great. She never bit me again!

She's fallen into a good routine, and we've learned a bit about each other in the two weeks I've now had with her. I mistook her initial interest in me for wanting to explore, and found she actually was just trying to get my attention (and hand in her bin, with treats).

Without fail, she is always up like clockwork at 3 pm my time for a snack. She will wait for me to come over and lower my hand in with the goods, it's her preferred human time She's also started a new thing the past few days where she gets up earlier each day to say good morning to me. Now I always see her pawing at the bin and searching for me once she hears me get up.

Outside of that time, she prefers to sleep and loves getting her wheel time in overnight. It will be interesting to see how we grow together. She's totally comfortable in my hands when stationary, and keeps hanging out longer each time. Today she got pretty vocal, and was telling me some great stories in little clucks and happy bruxes.

Petting and free-roaming time are currently no-go's, I've slowed down to her pace and she seems to be one happy ham. A lot of the content I have of her is in the corner she looks to interact with me in. It's where I started taming her, and she's also come to see it as a play/treat zone. She's moved toys into that area a few times, and also created a new tunnel for easier hand access.

I can't express enough the joy she's brought into this home! Here's a collection of videos and pictures of our time so far.

The last bite, and incorrectly blowing on her:
Ouch!

Our first day without bites, and curiosity galore:
Coffee Break
Coffee Break 2

Sometimes us humans are too clumsy and noisy, spooked ham:
Hey, keep it down!

Attempt at free-roaming, hamster taxi worked but she didn't care for it:
I think I'll just hide
Beam me up Scotty!

Forgiveness for the scary outing:
All better!

An actual midnight snack:
Sometimes, this is okay too

Her favorite ritual, albeit a little peeved in this one. I was studying and a whole 20 minutes late for her snack time:
Oh boy, 3 am!

We made up, and she chilled for 10 minutes and talked up a storm:
Story time

Submarine S.S. Pearl:
This works too!

Last edited by ilguy; 05-05-2022 at 06:30 PM. Reason: Epic fail with formatting
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Old 05-06-2022, 12:32 AM   #2
cloudy
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Default Re: Meet Pearl

Pearl is just so lovely. I love your bond. I have read all your threads and how much she looks for you. It is heart warming.
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Old 05-06-2022, 01:22 AM   #3
Ria P
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Default Re: Meet Pearl

Great that you've started a thread for your lovely little hamster. Her name suits her perfectly.
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Old 05-06-2022, 02:57 PM   #4
ilguy
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Default Re: Meet Pearl

Thank you so much guys! She's such a little treasure, and has a new trick up her sleeve. She now nibbles on her water or food dish to get my attention, sounds just like she's ringing a bell.
Service please, it's too low!

Our interactions are getting more frequent and longer, usually 10 minutes is a minimum now. She also seems to have taken another decent step with taming, spending time without treats is okay now.

My only real concern remaining, is the surface of her bin is inadequate. It's 675 sq. inches and she has 6 inches of bedding + burrows just fine. But I've noticed a lot of you guys have more hides and things to explore, by comparison mine's a bit bare. I'm also changing that flying saucer out for a wheel, there's some nights it's not used at all and I've read a big enough standup wheel is best for hamsters backs.

Is a busier surface the way to go?
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Old 05-06-2022, 05:37 PM   #5
Ria P
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Default Re: Meet Pearl

I would say, yes. They do like their hides, tunnels, platforms etc.

Did you check out the "Let's see your cages" thread on the Forum under Housing?
If i have already mentioned this then i'm repeating myself but i'm very forgetful.
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Old 05-06-2022, 07:10 PM   #6
ilguy
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Default Re: Meet Pearl

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
I would say, yes. They do like their hides, tunnels, platforms etc.

Did you check out the "Let's see your cages" thread on the Forum under Housing?
If i have already mentioned this then i'm repeating myself but i'm very forgetful.
I did see Serendpity's set up for Raffy, and just took a peek at yours in that thread. Pearl's bin is currently the opposite, way more open space and less busy on the surface.

https://i.imgur.com/a2jv1gA.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/1D4pDxx.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/2B1pnUM.jpg
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Old 05-06-2022, 11:44 PM   #7
cloudy
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Default Re: Meet Pearl

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilguy View Post
Thank you so much guys! She's such a little treasure, and has a new trick up her sleeve. She now nibbles on her water or food dish to get my attention, sounds just like she's ringing a bell.
Service please, it's too low!

Our interactions are getting more frequent and longer, usually 10 minutes is a minimum now. She also seems to have taken another decent step with taming, spending time without treats is okay now.

My only real concern remaining, is the surface of her bin is inadequate. It's 675 sq. inches and she has 6 inches of bedding + burrows just fine. But I've noticed a lot of you guys have more hides and things to explore, by comparison mine's a bit bare. I'm also changing that flying saucer out for a wheel, there's some nights it's not used at all and I've read a big enough standup wheel is best for hamsters backs.

Is a busier surface the way to go?
Aww, Pearl is so clever! You could use a tea light for a smaller water dish. Pearl may find it a bit easier to use a smaller water dish. I agree with your ideas of creating a busier surface. Pearl is beautiful.
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Old 05-07-2022, 01:07 AM   #8
Lilafernim
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Default Re: Meet Pearl

Sheís absolutely gorgeous! Youíd better be careful because you could lose her in that bedding, she matches! XD

I just wanted to suggest as well a multi-chamber hide for Pearl, the green house youíve got is good because itís a good size but I think hamsters prefer something they can really hide themselves in whereas thatís fairly see through. I just think light might get through and not make a dark inside.

Also, the flying saucer I think are actually fine for smaller species but Iíve read somewhere stand up wheels are more ideal. But Iím happy for someone to correct me or educate me on this, I know for Syrians itís because of their size, like I say I think theyíre actually okay for smaller species. But you could add a wheel so they have a second option in the cage.
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Old 05-07-2022, 01:56 AM   #9
Ria P
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Default Re: Meet Pearl

Hamsters like their upright wheels but not all like the saucer which i see as an additional wheel to the main wheel.

You could easily create a level with a sturdy freestanding platform. I've done that last night. My foster Robo lives in a 20 gallon tank so i wanted to do as much as possible with the limited space available. I also wanted to create a bigger burrowing area.

I start off with the platform and then work around it by creating access with runs and by putting light things like a cork log underneath in front of it.

Same in my foster dwarf's tank. A guinea pig sized house acts as a second platform. I adjusted the house by adding another entrance so she can get into it from the front and side. She made her nest under the platform at the front in the left hand corner where i can see her sleep.

One side has shallow substrate for the wheel etc which works well.

People have different ways of setting up enclosures and then tend to follow a formula they know works well.

What supports Pearl's sandbath in your bin cage? Anything heavy needs to be secure so a hamster can't burrow underneath it. I put a sandbath on top of a sturdy platform or a big house or on the bottom of the enclosure in the shallow part.

I have a lot of hamster stuff to play about with because i buy the cages my rescues come in so i can break them up and bin them. I also collect free or very cheap cages for the same purpose. That way no hamster ever has to live in them again. Sometimes i come across some really good items and keep them.

The solid plastic ladders and tubes from cages people throw out come in handy for access ladder to platforms. A lot can be done with cardboard. A strong shoe box could double as a house and a platform.
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Old 05-07-2022, 12:24 PM   #10
ilguy
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Default Re: Meet Pearl

Awesome suggestions Ria, I'm going to implement some of them right away!

There isn't anything supporting the sandbath other than the substrate, thank you so much for pointing that out. Thank goodness it was light and only having about 2mm of sand right now. l'll totally put in a box that will sit under said sand bath and go down to the bottom of the bin, with holes for the 2 tunnels leading off of that burrow for her. She does prefer this area for sleeping the past few days, so I'm putting this in the next time she's up.

I do have a good amount of toilet paper tubes, and will make some extra things out of popsicle sticks and non-toxic kids glue. I also have another wooden platform like the one under her dish but without side rails. Definitely changing out the saucer asap, going to pick up a wheel for her tonight.


As far as taming & interacting with her, she's definitely tame and we do seem to have a bond. She finally lets me pet her, and I think actually enjoyed it a bit behind the left ear. We played for almost an hour, with a few breaks in between. Normally she's one and done for bit, but today she kept coming back almost right away and "rang the bell" if I wasn't near. It was a very special day

All Tuckered Out
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