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Old 12-31-2021, 10:59 AM   #41
cherryfox22
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
I'm really looking forward to see your bin cages. The domed meshed lid sounds intrigueing because i've never seen one before on a bin cage.
Like you, i also use panels from cages or playpens to add to a bin cage, mainly for the purpose of attaching a wheel but have never attempted a door.
I always attach the mesh on the outside with cable ties through the drilled holes on top of the decorative tape so there are no sharp ends for a hamster to get to. Lid, windows and vents.
A Dremel is my favourite tool and i'm mighty miffed that i didn't get a cordless one for Christmas.
Here is the first one I saw Google Image Result but I found another that did the same with just mesh no wood.

Which decorative tape do you use? Have you ever had them try to chew on it?

I have a Dremel nail grinder for my dog, what type do you use for the bin cage? Can it cut the holes out? It's snowing here so concerned that I have to use the the sauter iron outside apparently.
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Old 12-31-2021, 11:19 AM   #42
AmityvilleHams
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

Anything that's cutting or drilling plastic should really be done outside as it will all lead to producing fumes and such.

In general a tool that produces heat would cut through plastic much smoother than things like drills that'll have a risk of cracking the plastic and similar issues. Even a cheap wood burning knife can work. I remember even hearing about people heating up knives and using that to make holes in the past, but that would be difficult to do safely with plastic fumes and such in mind.

As far as tape goes, you never want that to be on the inside of a hamster cage regardless of type - another great reason to keep mesh on the outside. Duct tape is the common solution and comes in a nice variety of prints and colors. I don't know if anyone has tried something like washi tape, but it is entirely possible that could work too - it might take more than one layer though.
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Old 12-31-2021, 11:19 AM   #43
Ria P
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cherryfox22 View Post
Here is the first one I saw Google Image Result but I found another that did the same with just mesh no wood.

Which decorative tape do you use? Have you ever had them try to chew on it?

I have a Dremel nail grinder for my dog, what type do you use for the bin cage? Can it cut the holes out? It's snowing here so concerned that I have to use the the sauter iron outside apparently.
I cut the mesh to required size first then draw the lines where to cut and where to drill the holes. I drill the holes with an electric drill first then cut the panel out with the Dremel using a pvc cutting disc. Smooth the edges with sandpaper, give it a wash and apply decorative Duck tape. Punch the holes through the tape and attach mesh with cable ties then snap off surplus. I cut the surplus tape with a stanley knife.
It's all done on the outside so hamsters can't get to it.
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Old 12-31-2021, 05:43 PM   #44
Pebbles82
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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
I’ve had a similar experience, it took a long time to persuade my partner to allow me to get my first hamster and in the end he was so jealous she was mine! Even Mitzi my current hamster my partner felt it was too soon for another hamster, now he constantly kisses her and wants her in his room. We both struggle to sleep without the little pitta-patta of feet on the wheel, I know people hate the sound of a wheel but there’s something so soothing about it for us!

They definitely become part of the family, they’re amazing little creatures and have so much personality for something so tiny.
Oh boy I had that too! OH was jealous of the first hamster. Hissy fits now and then. Comments like “that hamster gets more attention than the rest of us”. and “that hamster ears better than the rest of us.” And “why don’t you come to bed earlier” .

Ria I am so sorry Father Christmas didn’t bring you a cordless dremel. I suspect it was a supply and demand issue due to people being off sick during the pandemic. As with hamsters cages and shortage of iPads and Xbox 1x’s (I hear).

Maybe Father Christmas will be more organised and get his act together by next Christmas

OP - probably a bit late now but personally I would leave the shavings for a while. They have had a lot of change. Moved to you, moved into the bins. Another week of shavings would do no real harm. Less harm than any additional stress right now. Personally I would just add some additional substrate in with the shavings snd spot clean the pee area as and when needed. Gradually over the next two or three weeks there will be less shavings and more paper substrate if you keep doing that, but the environment will still smell familiar and less upheaval for them.

But if you’ve already done it then I would leave them alone for 2 or 3 days to adjust an just out food out.
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Old 12-31-2021, 05:46 PM   #45
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

Then when it’s time to move to their new bin cages you can move nearly all the old substrate over (on top of the new) - there will hardly be any shavings in by then and they’ll gradually get spot cleaned out until you need to do a full substrate change in the future. The familiar scent is quite important, especially if they’be just started scent marking in the bins.
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Old 12-31-2021, 07:17 PM   #46
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 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.
Oh okay, that is good to know! I am happy to know that I don't need to feed mealworms, as that sort of grosses me out. I will get the shrimp ones next time though.

After confirming they will eat the chicken, can I just mix in the bag of purebites with the vitagarden food? I remember reading somewhre that you just do a 1 to 1 ratio and mix, but I was not sure if that was correct.

How do these flaxseeds look? https://www.amazon.com/Brown-Flaxsee...s%2C127&sr=1-8
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Old 12-31-2021, 08:06 PM   #47
cherryfox22
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
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).
I actually only got the 2 wheels, skipped the long bridges in favor of these 2 standard bendy bridges, one natural, one rainbow, Amazon.com , a seagrass hide and another wood bridge Amazon.com, and a 2 chamber house https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Both of the items came with some random chews as well

I wanted to limit my spending last night since I already got so much stuff, BUUUUUT I got a surprise bonus from work, so now I can get a bunch more stuff!

I think I'll skip the bridge I linked before that hooks, you brought up a lot of good concerns!

Are these the cork logs you are talking about? Amazon.com

I think the length should be okay, I have a ton of space I need to fill up in the bin cage lol. Although it looks like they are out of stock now.

Maybe something like this? Amazon.com

Would these corner litter pans be a good size for Syrian? https://www.amazon.com/Ware-Corner-H...s%2C111&sr=8-3

Or do I want something bigger/different?

Another idea I had was to do this one from Niteangel https://www.amazon.com/Niteangel-Sma...rHOVFqz-m2-TFE

and a large 6 chamber multichamber house for it https://www.amazon.com/Niteangel-6-C..._dp&th=1&psc=1

Either way, I think I'll get that 6 chamber house I think
Is this a good bathing sand? https://www.amazon.com/Hamster-Bathi...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==


I'll get that platform you linked as well I think

Thank you so much for the detailed information on cleaning and spot cleaning. I will do everything you described!

Some more ideas, I saw you had one of the little spacepod things in your habitat, does your hammy like it? I was thinking getting this https://www.amazon.com/Lixit-30-0193...58&sr=1-2&th=1 but was unsure if small or large would be best for syrians?

These tubes are safe for hamsters? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DFYQMSW...ing=UTF8&psc=1

Last edited by cherryfox22; 12-31-2021 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 12-31-2021, 08:12 PM   #48
cherryfox22
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: California
Posts: 48
Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmityvilleHams View Post
Anything that's cutting or drilling plastic should really be done outside as it will all lead to producing fumes and such.

In general a tool that produces heat would cut through plastic much smoother than things like drills that'll have a risk of cracking the plastic and similar issues. Even a cheap wood burning knife can work. I remember even hearing about people heating up knives and using that to make holes in the past, but that would be difficult to do safely with plastic fumes and such in mind.

As far as tape goes, you never want that to be on the inside of a hamster cage regardless of type - another great reason to keep mesh on the outside. Duct tape is the common solution and comes in a nice variety of prints and colors. I don't know if anyone has tried something like washi tape, but it is entirely possible that could work too - it might take more than one layer though.
Thank you for this feedback and advice! I will be sure to do it outside. I understand now about the tape, I thought people were folding it over on the front and back to cover the rough edges, not just in the front. That makes a lot more sense.

I will be sure to do the mesh on the outside and not inside!
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Old 12-31-2021, 08:15 PM   #49
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 boy I had that too! OH was jealous of the first hamster. Hissy fits now and then. Comments like “that hamster gets more attention than the rest of us”. and “that hamster ears better than the rest of us.” And “why don’t you come to bed earlier” .

Ria I am so sorry Father Christmas didn’t bring you a cordless dremel. I suspect it was a supply and demand issue due to people being off sick during the pandemic. As with hamsters cages and shortage of iPads and Xbox 1x’s (I hear).

Maybe Father Christmas will be more organised and get his act together by next Christmas

OP - probably a bit late now but personally I would leave the shavings for a while. They have had a lot of change. Moved to you, moved into the bins. Another week of shavings would do no real harm. Less harm than any additional stress right now. Personally I would just add some additional substrate in with the shavings snd spot clean the pee area as and when needed. Gradually over the next two or three weeks there will be less shavings and more paper substrate if you keep doing that, but the environment will still smell familiar and less upheaval for them.

But if you’ve already done it then I would leave them alone for 2 or 3 days to adjust an just out food out.
I haven't swapped the shavings out yet actually. I just brought them in from outside (it is snowing!!), so they are warming up right now. I'll just add some of the new bedding & spot clean, rather than doing a huge swap and stressing them out even more.

Thank you for the advice
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Old 12-31-2021, 08:49 PM   #50
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Help me get rescued syrians in better cages! Need advice!

That nite angel six room house looks great - I particularly like the ladder they make for it (although it’s totally unnecessary! You could just use a bendy bridge). They will love that. Only thing is it will need supporting underneath as a wood house that size can squash them if they tunnel under it. I think nite angel sell legs for the house or you can just glue wood dowels on. The litter tray looks ok but check the size - the one I usually get is 12cm long each side and 17 cm across the front. You don’t want anything too big.

It seems nite angel don’t do cork logs - so that just leaves reptile supplies like the one you linked snd some of those can be pretty long (whatever the description says) - they are also usually pretty mucky! But clean up fine with water. The difficulty, without seeing them, is knowing what shape/size it would be - they can vary hugely. The wood tunnel you linked may be better. Not sure what you’d use for a ramp up to the platform though unless there’s a ladder that fits it. I’ve had problems with secure ramps for platforms in that they can fall over and hurt the hamster. Bendy bridges just sink so don’t work so well either. In a cage I’ve tied a tube to the bars - to secure it in place as a ramp to the platform - but you won’t have bars.

I’m not sure about that sand. I think play safe and get this tiny friends one. Or some people get children’s play sand and bake it to sterilise it.

https://www.amazon.com/Supreme-Tiny-...s%2C260&sr=8-3

Looking at the nite angel platform - further down the page for it there is a photo that shows the lower platform going under the taller one with one of their bridge/ramps on the lower one providing access - it looks good! But more money!
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