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Old 12-30-2021, 08:31 PM   #21
cherryfox22
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Oh I must have missed the bit about you keeping them! And youíve already got cages! The cages are a good size - but as you say - need meshing. Agree that meshing them on the inside is needed (if itís on the outside they could get trapped between the bars and the mesh. Make sure no sharp edges too (I think people fold the cut ends under - and itís supposed to be hard on your fingers!).

Hope some of the other info helped
The info did help a lot! Their old critter trail cage just had 1/2" bedding, and a food and water bowl, that was it. I moved all the old bedding (some of it was very soiled so had to be trashed, but I kept the nest area shavings) plus added new bedding to make it deeper. I added all the boxes and lots of shredded toilet paper, and they were active and exploring, and very confident hamsters the last couple of days. I will follow your advice for the bin cage move, although I am trashing all that wretched pine shavings. Horrible for them, and they are so darn pokey and track everywhere.

I already mentioned it in my response to another post of yours, but I found the kaytee clean and cozy at Target today
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Old 12-30-2021, 08:37 PM   #22
cherryfox22
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

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Originally Posted by Lilafernim View Post
Iím super glad to hear youíre keeping them! The cages you got would definitely need to be meshed up, theyíll get out in an instance else �� Just remember attach it to the outside not the inside to avoid sharp ends, Iím sure Iím just telling you things youíve probably already thought about.

Iím sure theyíll have a brilliant home! If you have any questions feel free to ask any of us and weíd be happy to answer �� all the best to you all.
I am super glad to be keeping them as well! I wish our apartment was a bit larger, but I'll make it work. I just adore them so much already.

I actually decided to cancel the order for that cage this morning, after deciding that the depth of the base is too shallow, and that I did NOT want to go through the hassle of attaching mesh to all the bars (I've done it before on a ferret cage for rats several years ago, it sucked and the sharp ends were very sharp)

Instead, I got 2 xmas tree bins from Target, ~57"x20"x15" I am making a domed mesh lid to allow space for a wheel, and using critter trail playpen panels for none sharp end windows near the top on the sides. I'm cutting apart my crittertrail cage (no one can take it of the dumpster and use it, which is nice for my peace of mind since no critter can be kept in them) to get the doors to add to the front of my bin cages.
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Old 12-30-2021, 08:43 PM   #23
cherryfox22
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

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Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
That's wonderful news! So glad you are keeping them and looking forward to photos.
Do they have 28cm wheels? I've rescued a few Syrians myself and at the begiining it's always like: it will be nice to get to know you....once you come off your wheel!
Me too! I will post pictures eventually, I promise! They don't have wheels right now, I am ordering them an 11"/12" ~28cm wheels now, just trying to find one that will arrive in the mail soon; we have a winter storm coming so everything is delayed.
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Old 12-30-2021, 09:21 PM   #24
cherryfox22
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

Here is my shopping list, please let me know if anything should be edited!
-2 12" silent runner wheels (wish they came in any color but orange or army green, but that's okay)
-2 Sungrow cocounuts Amazon.com
-2 Niteangel Suspension Bridge for Hamsters, Small Pet Ladder, 21.8" x 2.8" Amazon.com

I'll add more later, open to suggestions!
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Old 12-30-2021, 09:29 PM   #25
cherryfox22
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

Here is my shopping list, please let me know if anything should be edited!
-2 12" silent runner wheels (wish they came in any color but orange or army green, but that's okay)
-2 Sungrow cocounuts Amazon.com
-2 Niteangel Suspension Bridge for Hamsters, Small Pet Ladder, 21.8" x 2.8" Amazon.com

I'll add more later, open to suggestions!
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Old 12-30-2021, 10:00 PM   #26
cherryfox22
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

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Originally Posted by AmityvilleHams View Post
The proper diet in the US is Higgins Vita Garden(not Sunburst as the dried fruit isn't appropriate for hamsters as part of a daily diet among other things), and added to that you should give roughly a pinch of flax seed a day and Pure Bites - not too many, the shrimp are the best but chicken and turkey are also great options.

Petsupermarket do carry the Savic Hamster Heaven which could work with all the plastic bits removed, or you could make a bin cage from an Iris Christmas tree bin. Even better you would be able to make an even larger DIY cage, but in this situation it really is far more important to have at least something decently sized as soon as possible that is completely secure!
Correction, I *DID get the vita garden one! It was 2am when I ordered it and the post I found was why vita garden was better, NOT sunburst. So all good there!
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Old 12-30-2021, 10:43 PM   #27
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

The chicken pure bites are completely fine if you already have them. Shrimp is just a very high quality lean protein, much better than mealworms for example which can be very high in fat in comparison. Chicken & turkey Pure Bites are still completely acceptable though and work very well too!

Whole flax seed is what you want, and go with the regular brown ones. I can never remember the exact nutritional differences off the top of my head between those and the golden ones, but I do know the golden ones are less nutritious.
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Old 12-31-2021, 04:37 AM   #28
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

Amity knows more about good hamster mixes in the US (I’m in the Uk). I tend to recommend Harry or Hazel Hamster as a basic for those who aren’t that experienced (and as originally they were going to a rescue so something simple and all in one). There are better mixes as you have found.

Your shopping list looks fine to me! They will love the 12” silent runner wheels. And the coconut hides. I’m not so sure about the long bridges - quite a few people do use them - usually in cages (the hooks attach to the bars). I’ve never got on with them - our hamsters were nervous as they wobbled, plus the end part can break or the hooks come unattached snd it falls down (freaked my hamster out!). I’m not sure how they would work in a bin cage.

Standard bendy bridges may be better. Or my favourite which is cork logs. They make a large tunnel and also something to climb over (or can be used as a ramp up to a shelf if next to a platform). They’re an interesting texture for them too. Some can be very large though (long) so if you do get some, shorter ones are better - nite angel may have some shorter ones.

For a bin cage, a platform snd a good sized house are important too. A shoebox house is fine. You cut the base out of a shoebox and keep the lid as a lift off roof and cut a hole for a door - ideally at one end of one of the long sides (so the other end is darker). If you then put a corner litter tray at the door end (back corner of the house) they will almost certainly use it.

Their pee is the only smelly unhygienic thing and they will pee in a litter tray if you provide one (with chinchilla bathing sand in it - which soaks up the pee). The rest of the cage stays clean and dry and you just empty the litter tray once or twice a week (hence the lift off roof on the house). The key with the litter tray is to put it where they have chosen a toilet area (usually a corner on the cage) otherwise they’ll ignore it! But I find if you provide a large house, they move their toilet area into a corner of the house - they seem to like having an en-suite bathroom! A large house/nesting box that’s dark inside helps them feel secure and have natural behaviours. Open underneath and sat directly on the substrate - so there’s room inside for them to build a large nest and they can bury their hoards under the nest, in the substrate. They tend to keep their pee away from the nest and hoard of there’s a toilet. Although younger hamsters do pee in their nest occasionally but usually grow out of it.

Hence spot cleaning. If you only need to empty the litter tray once or twice a week, the rest of the cage stays clean and dry - they are quite clean little things. So you don’t need to change the substrate that often - you can just spot clean as and when needed (ie take out a handful or two of substrate and add a new handful or two. They often follow your hand while you’re doing it, to see what you’re up to! I find the substrate flattens down over time as well so just add a bit more when it does. So doing that method I only change the substrate about every three months- and even then keep back some of the old substrate that’s clean and spread it on top of the new (smells familiar so they don’t get stressed and feel lost). That layer eventually gets spot cleaned out again .

When doing the substrate change you can clean the bottom of the bin but with a litter tray, the bottom of the cage is usually clean and dry - so just needs wiping with warm water (or warm water with a bit of dish washing liquid in - if using that don’t use anything too scented and rinse well afterwards).

They use scent to find their way around the cage and leave scent trails. Using scent and whiskers mainly to find their way about (and familiarity of objects) - hence change snd removal of scent stresses them out. They don’t see well at all!

With a large cage like you’re making, and four to six inches of substrate, the spot cleaning method works well. Avoids stressing the hamster and saves you money on substrate - in the long run - although needs quite a lot to start with.

Walmart used to sell boxo in bulk - which can work out a lot cheaper (soft cardboard substrate). Can be used on its own or mixed with Kaytee c and c to make it go further.

Platforms can be tricky to fit in a bin cage but easily made (or nite angel may sell them). It’s somewhere to go - they like to have overhead cover to feel secure so like to go under a platform and it’s something to climb onto (and a good place to put heavier items that could sink in the substrate if tunnelled under - like ceramic things - also a good place for a food bowl and another little hidey place eg.

I wouldn’t worry about one for the current bin but would be good for the ones your making (additional enrichment for when they move).
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Old 12-31-2021, 04:43 AM   #29
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

These are the standard bendy bridges - even then you need to check them for sharp bits or large gaps where a foot could get caught- but they’re usually ok - I’ve rarely had to send one back. One of these over the house entrance works well - it makes a tunnel entrance and makes the house darker inside (they do need somewhere dark to retreat to). Also doubles up as a ramp on to flat house roof (where you could also put a food bowl). I have a separate little dish for the daily but if veg - eg on the house roof - with the food bowl somewhere else - gets them using the whole cage to find the food.

https://www.amazon.com/Niteangel-Woo...%2C212&sr=8-10

Nite angel do this platform which is tall enough to sit above 6” of substrate eg (or you can cut bits off the legs to get it the height you want).

https://www.amazon.com/Niteangel-Ham...-11&th=1&psc=1
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Old 12-31-2021, 04:47 AM   #30
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

You could also have a look at the Let’s see your cages thread for some ideas

Let's see your cages - New thread - July 2017
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