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Old 02-20-2015, 03:16 AM   #1
Serendipity7000
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Default German minimum cage size

I was looking at the German hamster forum at the various cage set ups and came across the post linked below (copy and paste the messages into google translate to read it!). According to this 80 x 50 x 40 is too small for a hamster cage! And their minimim size is 100 x 50 x 40. It goes onto say that the recommended size for a dwarf hamster is 100 x 100 and ideally 200 x 200 to get natural behaviour and avoid behaviour problems.

Wow! Can you imagine a 200 x 200 hamster habitat?!! (A whole room maybe?!). I think the minimum 100 x 50 size is good though. I don't find my 80cm cage quite big enough for a large syrian with rat sized stuff in it!

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Old 02-20-2015, 03:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: German minimum cage size

I think it says either 100x100 or 200x50, so an overall habitat of 1 square meter, but even that is quite huge, it would be very difficult to fit anywhere in my room.
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Old 02-20-2015, 03:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: German minimum cage size

The larger living world habitat is 120 x 80 and that looks massive! Great though
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Old 02-20-2015, 03:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: German minimum cage size

If you compare that to the detolf which is about as big as anyone seems to get over here at 163x43 (I think) that is pretty huge, some hams might hate it but with the right things in it could be amazing, I definitely need a bigger house, either that or I'll have to live in a little cage & let the hams have the rest of the space!
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: German minimum cage size

Lol! Yes I could do with a spare room. A false ceiling might be an easier option - a plexiglass false ceiling with ventilation, then they have the whole room area! A detolf would be cheaper though.
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Old 02-20-2015, 04:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: German minimum cage size

I spent some time on the German forum looking at cages today. My cage now seems completely inadequate .
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: German minimum cage size

Hello,

German hamster owner here to hopefully clarify this a little bit.

First of all, here in Germany most informed hamster owners don't use store-bought barred cages because they're usually far too small and compared to the prices of big enough barred cages it's much cheaper to build your hamster a DIY cage or use aquariums (or terrariums, but only with enough ventilation).

The general minimum size for a Syrian hamster habitat in Germany is 100x50 cm.
However, most German hamster owners exceed the minimum size by far with their hamster homes.
Our federal ministry of agriculture and the veterinarian association for animal welfare views this as the absolute minimum, too.
Since 2014, it's also required by law that pet shops inform customers about this minimum of 100x50.
Of course I would prefer that they didn't sell animals at all, but at least it's a start in the right direction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peanut84 View Post
I think it says either 100x100 or 200x50, so an overall habitat of 1 square meter
The 1 m² (one square metre) recommendation stems from a study in which it was scientifically proven that from 1 m² of floor-space onwards, Syrian hamsters begin to show natural behaviour and stereotypical behaviour patterns begin to lessen or disappear entirely. One square metre can be, for example, 100x100 or 200x50 cm.
I think this is around 1550 in² (square inches), but please correct me if I'm wrong.

Many German people do have hamster homes with at least 1 m² of floor-space, myself included, because they've realised from experience that especially female Syrians are very active and need the space, otherwise they'll act like what we call a "Randaleweib".

However, the best recommendation you would get on a German hamster board or forum is to build as big as possible. Even if you have to move a bit of furniture around, in my opinion it's definitely worth it to give your hamster an adequate home.

This means basically, if there is enough space for 250x50 cm or something like that then that's great, but if they can only spare 100 or 120 cm of ground space then it's still possible to put together a decent habitat.

For example, if someone only has very little space in the room in which they want to put the habitat, they can use the height to their advantage and build a higher DIY-cage with many additional floors (as long as the floor area is at least 100x50 cm).
For examples of this, you can google "Hamster Pax" to see some converted IKEA Pax wardrobes.


I hope this helps.

Have a good day.

Last edited by Happy; 02-21-2015 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: German minimum cage size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy View Post
Hello,

German hamster owner here to hopefully clarify this a little bit.

First of all, here in Germany most informed hamster owners don't use store-bought barred cages because they're usually far too small and compared to the prices of big enough barred cages it's much cheaper to build your hamster a DIY cage or use aquariums (or terrariums, but only with enough ventilation).

The general minimum size for a Syrian hamster habitat in Germany is 100x50 cm.
However, most German hamster owners exceed the minimum size by far with their hamster homes.
Our federal ministry of agriculture and the veterinarian association for animal welfare views this as the absolute minimum, too.
Since 2014, it's also required by law that pet shops inform customers about this minimum of 100x50.
Of course I would prefer that they didn't sell animals at all, but at least it's a start in the right direction.


The 1 m² (one square metre) recommendation stems from a study in which it was scientifically proven that from 1 m² of floor-space onwards, Syrian hamsters begin to show natural behaviour and stereotypical behaviour patterns begin to lessen or disappear entirely. One square metre can be, for example, 100x100 or 200x50 cm.
I think this is around 1550 in² (square inches), but please correct me if I'm wrong.

Many German people do have hamster homes with at least 1 m² of floor-space, myself included, because they've realised from experience that especially female Syrians are very active and need the space, otherwise they'll act like what we call a "Randaleweib".

However, the best recommendation you would get on a German hamster board or forum is to build as big as possible. Even if you have to move a bit of furniture around, in my opinion it's definitely worth it to give your hamster an adequate home.

This means basically, if there is enough space for 250x50 cm or something like that then that's great, but if they can only spare 100 or 120 cm of ground space then it's still possible to put together a decent habitat.

For example, if someone only has very little space in the room in which they want to put the habitat, they can use the height to their advantage and build a higher DIY-cage with many additional floors (as long as the floor area is at least 100x50 cm).
For examples of this, you can google "Hamster Pax" to see some converted IKEA Pax wardrobes.


I hope this helps.

Have a good day.
Thanks for clarifying that for us Happy! I do agree that it's always best to make the biggest cage/habitat you can afford and fit in your space. I've seen some beautiful German cages and really feel that the laws in Germany are headed in the right direction with animal care, the UK and the rest of the world could certainly stand to follow suit.

I've also googled "Hamster Pax" and seen some fantastic DIY cages. I had looked at wooden cages when I was first shopping around for a hamster cage but didn't buy one in the end because I felt that a hamster would just chew through it because it's wood and it would be a waste of money. But what I have noticed is that the majority of the German cages are wood or at least partially wood. Are there methods used to make them chew proof?
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: German minimum cage size

Thanks for that! Yes that's the information I read. It does make my cage seem small at 80 x 50. What does Randalweib translate as please?!
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:39 AM   #10
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Default Re: German minimum cage size

Coated wooden boards can't be chewed through because hamsters can only chew on a border and not on a smooth "wall". From the inside of the habitat, the edges are not accessible.

This is what I mean, just normal veneered chipboard (Nagerhütten are built from this too, if you know them):





So far I haven't heard of any hamster ever chewing through the Ebay Wooden Cage either.
I know lots of people who use it and the wood will be no problem if it's properly varnished from the inside, but building a cage from veneered (coated) wood makes more sense because that's definitely cheaper and you don't have to varnish it at all. If you look at DIY hamster homes, most of these are made from coated chipboard (the same type that, for example, most IKEA furniture is made of).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
Thanks for that! Yes that's the information I read. It does make my cage seem small at 80 x 50. What does Randalweib translate as please?!
Yeah, 80x50 is really small. Many years ago, this was the minimum for dwarf hamsters in Germany but today that information is outdated here as well.

If possible, maybe you could extend your cage to give your hamster more space. If it's a barred cage, though, then the actual floor-space is even less than 80x50 and unfortunately you couldn't extend that, so if that's the case you could look for an aquarium or maybe actually order the Ebay cage. It's really not bad. I used to have it about 4 years ago for my Hybrid.

Good luck, I hope you find a solution.

Ps: Randaleweib is what we call very active female Syrians, they're usually quite destructive if they're kept in too small cages.
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