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Old 04-06-2021, 11:54 AM   #1
RolyRocks
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Default Scattering food

Sorry if this is a bit of a silly question...
Loki, my dwarf hardly ever eats food out of his bowl so I scatter it around his cage which he enjoys. I'm finding some places though that he has covered over and a lot is falling to the bottom of the substrate. Do you think he is burying it to eat as and when he wants or should I be removing left over dry food so not too much ends up underneath the substrate. They are not really hoards because he has them in his wooden house and coconut.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:01 AM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: Scattering food

My dwarfs end up with a bottom layer of seeds but i don't worry about it. Dried mix keeps for a long time. I clean it out when i part exchange the substrate.
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:13 AM   #3
RolyRocks
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Default Re: Scattering food

Thanks Ria and how often do you do a partial substrate change? I know this topic has come up many times before but I sometimes worry that I should be cleaning him out more. I obviously spot clean, especially where he pees but the rest of his substrate looks fresh and doesn't smell at all. He's such a clean and tiny little hamster!
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:44 AM   #4
Charlie Dunn
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Default Re: Scattering food

All of my hams have buried their food - it’s quite normal. One of our hams Rabbit takes it to a whole new level but she is happy, healthy and doesn’t wee on it so it is nice and dry!! Like ria I leave it until I clean that part of her cage and then take some and leave some. I spot clean when needed and then do a bigger clean when needed. I don’t have a timescale - I have a good look, sniff and take a handful out here and there and see if I think it needs changing. I will sometimes do the whole cage and other times just a section. It just depends. It’s important not to take all the old substrate out as I’m sure you already know. I will always put at least a third back mixing it with the new so it still smells familiar. I can’t rebuild the tunnels though!! X
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Old 04-07-2021, 07:36 AM   #5
Ria P
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Default Re: Scattering food

Quote:
Originally Posted by RolyRocks View Post
Thanks Ria and how often do you do a partial substrate change? I know this topic has come up many times before but I sometimes worry that I should be cleaning him out more. I obviously spot clean, especially where he pees but the rest of his substrate looks fresh and doesn't smell at all. He's such a clean and tiny little hamster!
My nose is my guide. If it smells bad, i clean it. If not, i don't. I used to change the substrate monthly because i thought that i ought to but then found that it hadn't really been necessary but that was at the beginning. Now i'm much more relaxed about it. It also depends on the hamster. My lot ranges from a messy little sod to one that is houseproud and chucks his poops out of his house for me to clean up. He only pees in his toilet of course.
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:10 AM   #6
RolyRocks
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Default Re: Scattering food

Thanks for your replies and I just love how they are all so unique!
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Old 04-09-2021, 11:00 AM   #7
Engel
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Default Re: Scattering food

Yeh food drops to the bottom regularly. I feed 6 days a week and leave once with my syrian. This means he finds all the food that falls to the bottom and keeps his hoard low. Less waste and everything is kept fresh ultimately i wouldnt worry about it though as Ria said.

Yes follow your nose. I had a robo last year and i only took out soiled bedding and added new when it started to deplete. i spot cleaned weekly.

It also depends on the size of the cage. A smaller cage will start to smell much sooner than a larger cage. As well as the type of bedding used.
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Old 04-09-2021, 11:54 AM   #8
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Scattering food

The dry food will be fine at the bottom of the cage for months I tend to prune the bottom half of the hoard and any loose stuff, when changing the substrate (usually after 3 or 4 months). With a litter tray and a good 4 to 6" of substrate, the cage stays clean and dry. If any hoard is pee'd on then it needs removing but then just put new food back in the same place to avoid major drama. Our robo buried food in multiple places and hamsters can have a few hoards (they especially do this if their house is cleaned out and their hoard removed as they get more cautious and have few spare hoards!).
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Old 04-09-2021, 09:33 PM   #9
Chicleteer
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Default Re: Scattering food

With my next hamster I plan to do scatter-feeding; I never did that with my first Syrian. Not to ask a silly question, but I'm guessing that it's fine to scatter-feed the dry food, but that the wet/fresh food would be better in the ham's feeding bowl? It seems that scatter-feeding pieces of fresh fruit or veggies could end up getting lost under the substrate if the hamster doesn't find them, and then they would go bad and you wouldn't know they're there.
Also, is it better to put some of the dry food in their bowl, rather than scatter-feeding all of the dry food?
Thanks, folks.
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Old 04-10-2021, 03:09 AM   #10
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Scattering food

I have never fully done scatter feeding. I found if I scattered the normal amount that quite a few bits get left and the substrate ended up getting covered in food a lot. That is for Syrians though. So I’ve done the thing with still putting food in the bowl and just scattering a little bit extra. Pickle doesn’t leave things that are scattered so that works ok and some depends on the mix. Something like Harry hamster has large bits which probably won’t get left and are easy to pick out later. But the Rodipet and Bunny dream mixes have lots of tiny bits and herbs and it can end up quite messy when they are left regularly!

So I do a bit of both. Yes veg can be wet abd make the substrate soggy or disappear and dot so I always put that on a surface. Either a separate little dish or in a Sputnik or on a tile or teracotta thing in the cage. Originally I used to put the veg in a Sputnik to tempt our hamster to start using the Sputnik!!
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