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Old 07-22-2021, 05:46 AM   #1
Petite
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Default Introducing my two new hams....

Yesterday I brought home my long-awaited new hams. They are both 8 weeks old. The Russian dwarf is a male, named Enigma. He is living up to his name as we have scarcely seen more than the tip of his nose since introducing him to his Forever Home and rather thoughtful. He seems very timid. He stared at me for a good while yesterday as though trying to size me up. The other is a female robo called Holly, very tiny, very curious and exploring her new habitat enthusiastically. She even came out briefly this morning. After the first night, she wheeled so much that her wheel had travelled and turned through 90 degrees, so I will have to find something to weight the base down with. Any ideas? The other problem with the wheel is that every time she stops, she tends to slide off altogether. I'm not sure if this is just because she is so tiny, or whether the wheel maybe needs some adjustment.

They are still settling in, and had a long journey home yesterday across the sea, so I'm not stressing them out by taking any photos yet. They will follow later.
Nice to have hams in the house again!

Last edited by Petite; 07-22-2021 at 05:58 AM.
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:53 AM   #2
VOESSY
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Default Re: Introducing my two new hams....

Congratulations on your new little companions!
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Old 07-22-2021, 11:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Introducing my two new hams....

What wheel does she have? It is common for youngsters to get a bit wheel obsessed so it can be an idea to just put it in a few times a week at the start, especially in this weather
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Old 07-22-2021, 02:07 PM   #4
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Introducing my two new hams....

Congratulations! They sound like opposites One shy and one active. You could use a ceramic tile to weigh down a wheel base - under the substrate. A bar mounted wheel would be better maybe - if you have a barred cage.
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Old 07-23-2021, 11:54 AM   #5
Ria P
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Default Re: Introducing my two new hams....

Congratulations to your new hamsters!

When our first Robo Gordon lived in a tank i used a Ferplast guinea pig house (cover the ornamental holes to keep dwarf heads from getting stuck) as a platform for a large shortbread biscuit tin.
I filled the biscuit tin with sand and placed Gordon's wheel in it. He loved the sand and run circuits around the wheel and it ensured a soft landing when he fell off the wheel. The sand also kept the wheel in place.
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Old 07-26-2021, 06:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Introducing my two new hams....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst_ice View Post
What wheel does she have? It is common for youngsters to get a bit wheel obsessed so it can be an idea to just put it in a few times a week at the start, especially in this weather
It's a freestanding Rosewood Pico wheel. Holly seems to be managing it a bit better just now, and is still free-wheeling the nights away. I don't like to take it out as she's so keen. I always thought the way to a hams heart was through its stomach, but the way to Holly's heart seems to be through her wheel!

As for the weather - well, that's not really a problem in our neck of the woods. It rarely gets above 20 degrees C, so I'm not worried about her overheating.

Thanks, Ria, for your suggestion re the biscuit tin. I will look around the house for suitable containers. If I can't find anything, it's a good excuse to go out and buy shortbread! At the moment, as the wheel travels, it bashes into the sides of the Detolf. For such a little thing, she's surprisingly noisy!
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Old 08-15-2021, 02:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Introducing my two new hams....

So three weeks on, and I making some progress with Enigma (dwarf). He's settled in quite well, and learnt whose is the hand that feeds him. He will take food from my palm or my fingers (if he likes it!) quite happily, and last night we got as far as a wee stroke - mostly because he thought I had more treats for him. But it's progress!

Holly (robo), despite her initial curiosity about her new surroundings, is terribly, terribly nervous and skittish around me. She won't take food from me, although I keep trying. She's still free-wheeling the nights away, but seems quite content. I was prepared for this with a robo, which is why I wanted a dwarf as well, although I do hope to make progress with her at some stage. I hope she doesn't get sick - ever - as I can't imagine ever being able to administer medication as we have needed to do with our previous two hamsters. She moves like lightning, and I would never catch her. Come to that, the vet probably wouldn't either! However, I would like to (a) weigh her, just to keep an eye on that, and (b) get her out of the cage into a playpen - except that she's so little, I think she might be able to squeeze through the bars, and then I don't think I would be able to recapture her! Any ideas on this, please? I can't get near her with a treat, so I don't think a treat in a mug or jug would work.

One other question: if I clean their cages one after the other, is it okay to put the second hamster into the playpen without cleaning the toys or equipment in between?
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Old 08-15-2021, 02:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Introducing my two new hams....

It's time and patience, as you probably know I sometimes think they don't get fully comfortable with you till they're a year old and more laid back!

I've had a robo before who never was fully hand tame. And was terrified of a hand in the cage. Rather than a playpen, a large storage box can be good initially with a robo, with a bit of substrate (very thin layer or they just bury themselves and hide!) and a couple of toys. For a bit of hand taming and to get them used to coming out.

Seriously I had to virtually dismantle the cage to get ours out as he would flatten himself against the bars behind the wheel to avoid being picked up.

You could try a tube with a treat in but they are so fast and it may come to scooping her in a mug. Although it doesn't sound nice, once they're out they seem fine. Latterly I found something that worked for me for getting our robo out and that was a fuzzbutts snooze cube. Our robo absolutely loved that snooze cube and if I put it in the cage he would walk into it. And I could lift him out that way. But he was a bit older then and more used to me - still hated a hand in the cage though.

How you set the cage up can affect how easy or hard it is to get them out too. I had a cage with a big front opening door (which really really helped!) after giving up on a tank. And the house on the right with the entrance not far from the door so I could put the snooze cube near the house entrance and wait for him to come out and go in it.

As for cleaning the playpen between hamsters - I remember this topic coming up before and there were no clear answers. I would say, bearing in mind a taming box might be better to start with - no don't use the same items in the playpen. The playpen itself should be fine but I'd have separate toys for it for each of them if possible - and for the robo try a storage box first rather than a playpen. If the playpen has bars then yes a robo will escape!

As for weighing. Not easy. Those flat digital scales can make it easier. Put it in the base of the playpen box with a bit of cheese on top and zero it and see if the hamster investigates the cheese! Then read the scales.
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Old 08-17-2021, 02:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Introducing my two new hams....

I bought a 6 kiddies pop up ball pit at Sainsbury's and use it as a hamster playground for the foster Robos with a blanket, a wheel and a few toys in it.

I also have to take a few things out of Monty's cage to get to him and use a small hamster ball with some sunflower seeds in it to transport him to the play area. Some foster Robos i have been able to scoop up in my hands after removing a few items to get to them. The more often you handle a Robo the more they become used to it. I'd aim for a couple of times a week. One foster Robo actually sat on my hand which really surprised me and our Robo, Monty is out and about more in his cage since i started to take him out now and again. He's now let loose in the hall hamster playground where he can have a good run around. The other night he jumped out of my hand when i was still in the hamster room and legged it. I silently prepared myself for a very long night but he run around the room and out the door to the wheels in the hall where i was able to catch him. Sometimes he walks into the ball to eat the seeds and i can carry him back to his cage in it.

I clean the toys now and again but not inbetween hamsters because i would be cleaning all night with so many hamsters. They do sniff a lot and spend absolute ages just sniffing their way around all the toys.
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Old 08-18-2021, 05:43 AM   #10
Petite
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Default Re: Introducing my two new hams....

Thanks, Serendipity and Ria - I especially like the idea of the pop-up ball pit, and now have some ideas for weighing. What kind of cheese should I give a hamster? There's a choice in our house between strong and / or blue (OH) and vegan (me).
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