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Old 04-05-2021, 09:32 AM   #1
blueanghora
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Join Date: Apr 2021
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Default Wondering if I'm correctly estimating how much bedding a Syrian hamster needs (100L)

In the US, if that matters. I really want to get a syrian hamster and have been trying to do research and calculate how much it will cost monthly and yearly. I was surprised to hear that they need 8-10 inches of bedding! First of all, I've really struggled to find a bin tall enough. The tallest I've found is 17". Is that really adequate if 10 inches of that is substrate?

Now onto the bedding issue...If the bottom of my bin is 30" x 22" with 8" of bedding, that would be 86 liters each week! The cheapest bedding is aspen shavings and the largest/cheapest size I've found it in is $0.12/liter. 4128 liters per year means $500/year on just bedding.

For food I've heard a mix of seed and lab blocks is good, plus some veggies and maybe an occasional mealworm? And I read they should eat 10g of food/day? Higgins Sunburst is $6/100g so that's not an issue. Is that an accurate estimate? That a 2.5 lb bag would last me 3 months? Lab blocks seem to be around the same price, I'm thinking of mixing the Higgins with Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Mouse, Rat & Hamster Food.

And then of course I'll need toys and such and I know there may be surprise medical costs.

It seems crazy to me that food would be $50/year but bedding would be $500. I was hoping to spend less than $300 on bedding. Less is better. To be clear I'm NOT trying to cheap out on getting a hamster; if I can't afford to give one a good life then I won't get one. I'm just trying to see if I'm right about how much this will cost. Pine shavings are only $0.03/liter, but pine is toxic, right?
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:29 AM   #2
Dodo
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Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: UK
Posts: 121
Default Re: Wondering if I'm correctly estimating how much bedding a Syrian hamster needs (10

Hello,

You will need much less bedding that this don't worry. First because you don't need 10 inches of bedding all through the cage You can have an area with sand and the wheel with very little bedding. But having 1/2 cage covered in 6 to 10 inches is great.

More importantly, it is actually advised not to change the bedding every week and not do full cage cleanings more than every few weeks (many here do full cleans only every 4 to 6 weeks) becasue it is very stressgul for your hamster to have their scent removed from their enclosure. What you want is to spot clean: remove your hamster's urine and some of its poos at least twice a wek, and if needed replace 1/3 or less of the bedding every 2 weeks. Hamsters are generally quite clean, often poo in the same place and are happy to use a corner toilet filled with sand to pee in. They sometimes like to pee/poo in their nest but you need to go easy cleaning that, because removing their smell really stresses them out.

Finally, 10 grams of food per day is a maximum, and a small portion of that can be fresh vegetables, cooked pasta, chicken or egg white etc.

Hope this reassures you!
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:07 AM   #3
Ria P
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Wiltshire, UK
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Default Re: Wondering if I'm correctly estimating how much bedding a Syrian hamster needs (10

Hi and welcome to HC!

As a general rule, the bigger the cage floorspacewise the fewer times you have to change the substrate. I spot clean and partchange substrate, meaning that i'm guided by my nose but rarely do a full clean.

The initial cost adds up. Cage, wheel, house, substrate, hides, toys and other enrichment plus food soon adds up.
What you don't need is a hamster ball because they're dangerous and stressful for the hamster.

It is also very important to have a good vet fund right from the start because vets are expensive.

A lot depends on the hamster as well. Some are very tidy, do their own housekeeping and will only pee in their toilet and others are more relaxed about it.
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