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Old 03-19-2016, 05:55 PM   #1
pinkneon
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Question I don't know what to do?

I just wondered if it is possible for a hamster to not know how to store and hide food? The only reason I'm asking is because anytime Sweep eats, it's always from his bowl. Sometimes if I've not seen him at all during the day then I lift his house up to check he's ok, and each time I spot clean I notice he has no food stored anywhere in his cage. I'm starting to worry he's not eating enough. With all hamsters I've ever had I've always made sure there is food in the bowl before I go to bed so they don't go hungry, however with Sweep I've noticed that food will stay in his bowl for several days at a time. He does eat from it, because I've seen him. But he eats only a couple of bits then goes off to do something else. I tried to follow the "tough love" approach mentioned on one of Erin's videos about fussy eating - so not refilling the bowl until it is empty to help them learn to eat everything and not just their favorite bits, but I'm wondering if I should stop doing that because the food is hardly touched. I don't put a lot in the bowl anyway. I ordered some little scoops online, and when they came they were tiny! But I tend to give him about a scoopful at a time, which doesn't look like much when I scoop it, but his bowl isn't massive and it fills it to just under half way. BUT that food seems to still be there a few days later. I've only given him really really tiny amounts of fruit and veg til now, and not every day. But sometimes he doesn't even eat that! Yesterday I tried some baby porridge but he didn't eat that either so I left him a toilet roll tube folded at both ends with a couple of treats in, and he hadn't even touched that. At first I thought maybe he didn't know how to get into it as he's never had one before so I opened one end but it was still untouched. I haven't seen him all day so woke him up a little earlier and he wasn't interested in any food. He didn't even take the monkey nut I'd left him last night. Now I know from checking that he isn't storing his food ...
The problem is, this isn't a new thing. I've had Sweep almost 2 weeks now and it's been like this most of the time. He'll eat only a few bits out of his bowl and then it's still sitting there a couple of days later. I don't like leaving it in his bowl too long so always throw it out after 2 days and put new food in. I haven't changed his diet at all. He was on Harry Hamster at the shop and that is what he is on now.
I tried scattering some around the cage too, but that doesn't appear to have been touched either! I think he's drinking ok though. He has also stopped digging which he loved so much!
I'm wondering if I should take him to the vet? I don't usually go to bed much before 3 or 4am, but he hardly comes out before then, and when he does he plays on his wheel for about a minute then goes back to bed ... I'm really worried about him and don't know what to do!!!
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Old 03-20-2016, 02:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: I don't know what to do?

I heard that they don't store food until they've settled in fully - usually once they feel safe and like their home is theirs. I know my girl didn't store food for a couple of weeks after I got her and now she has 3 different food stores.
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Old 03-20-2016, 03:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: I don't know what to do?

I agree with Mortiana, as the your hamster is a baby they are not likely to hoard until they feel settle and realise that is what the would do in the wild. My Hamster, Sherbet, will store her food in her food bowl something she has always done, but she sometime bury some in her house. I don't think you have anything to worry about with Sweep. Personally I wouldn't keep replacing his food every 2 days I normally change every week.
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Old 03-20-2016, 04:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: I don't know what to do?

If Sweep's weight is okay I wouldn't worry. As mentioned above he is probably getting used to things still. Pope stores everything in his house as soon as he is fed and Weaver will eat out of his bowl when he is hungry, occasionally storing a few pieces in the corner but not in his house. I'm sure he will get into a routine and decide where he want to put his food once he is settled
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Old 03-20-2016, 05:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: I don't know what to do?

Thanks
I haven't actually checked his weight yet, mostly as I'm still unable to pick him up! But I will try to do it soon. Roughly what should he weigh? He's almost 10 weeks old
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Old 03-20-2016, 05:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: I don't know what to do?

That depends! Charlie always weighed a lot lol! I'm sure someone will be able to give you a guideline though.

I think it is perfectly normal for them not to hoard food in the first few weeks. I remember being quite worried that Charlie didn't pouch anything for the first 3 or 4 weeks and like you, I was told on here that that is normal in a baby ham. If there wasn't enough food in his bowl though, he would poop in his bowl - maybe to make sure there would always be something to eat. They actually don't eat very much each day. Most of the food that gets taken from a bowl normally gets hoarded. Even if I give Charlie a small piece of apple, banana or cheese, something he really likes. He'll nibble on it for a bit and then leave most of it. The only exception to that is porridge and he eats all of that! I'm sure he'll be taking what he needs. But it would be a good idea to check his weight regularly. Have you tried giving him a treat on your hand? Or something really tempting? Like cucumber or cheese or hammy choc drops? That might give an indication of if he is off food or not.
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Old 03-20-2016, 09:21 AM   #7
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Default Re: I don't know what to do?

He had been taking food from me but now isn't! ...
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Old 03-20-2016, 10:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: I don't know what to do?

Weight wise I think what to watch out for is sudden loss or gain. For picking him up try using a tube or mug, or some people use a hamster ball just for transportation. Are you having major difficulties with The Hand?
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Old 03-22-2016, 04:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: I don't know what to do?

Sometimes they just won't take food from you and prefer to eat independently Especially if they think it's a trick lol! Or if they are pee'd off with you for messing with their cage. Did you manage to get him weighed? Charlie is always surprisingly good about being weighed and sits patiently on the weighing scales.
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Old 03-22-2016, 06:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: I don't know what to do?

I'm going to try to weigh him tonight, if I can find something to put him in that he can't escape from! I don't want to stress him out too much though!
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