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Old 01-05-2022, 09:40 AM   #11
Stubbo
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Default Re: New Hamster...3 days in...when and how to clean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
ďAs you can see, I had put the potty dish where Serendipity has since suggested he'd likely build a nest (so it seems maybe a nest is being built on top of the potty dish!Ē

This is very likely! Yes I would move the potty dish to the centre back compartment. Empty it out first and put new sand in. If you can save a tiny bit of nest from it then out that in the front left compartment along with a smelly bit of food (cheese or cucumber) - just a tiny piece. Iíd also put a small handful of hamster mix in the front right compartment. This will give him the idea to hoard in the house. Although they usually bury their hoards under the nest. Yes Iíd take the blocked up tube out.

Nesting material - not sure what you have next to the house entrance but Iíd replace it with plain white toilet paper. Tear a few sheets into strips and put them next to the house entrance. They love it as itís soft (and also safe) - I had one hamster actually weave the strips into an amazing round nest with a hole in the middle! Usually they do arrange the longer strips into a cosy nest but also take bits of soft substrate in there too to pack out the compartment.

I think heís just gone to the darkest corner he could find and hasnít quite discovered the house yet. You could also take a bit of the substrate from the blocked up end of the tube and put that in the nesting compartment too - it will smell familiar snd heíll associate it with ďnestĒ.

Itís a great set up as Ria says. Another thing they do in the first few days is explore every inch of the cage to see if there is an escape route! Which may be the digging at the sand and hemp mat.

You could also move the bendy bridge (the one thatís over the tube) over the house entrance - tunnel tempts them in - and it gives easy access to the house roof as well.

One tip with that house though - is to avoid taking the roof off at first if he moves in. This can scare them into abandoning the house. They get used to the roof coming off wfeg more confident but avoid the temptation to keep peaking. You should know if heís moved in - youíll see him come out of it. And the toilet paper strips gone (add more). Also you might hear a lot of scratching and banging in the house. I have no idea what they do or why they do that but itís like they are renovating! Probably scent marking and testing things out.

If he does move in he may go awol for a few days and stay in there (only coming out at night). But donít worry - thatís just temporary.

To help with the frustration of the first couple of weeks I have a hamster cam . Itís just a small indoor security camera that records and streams to your phone - infrared. Itís great fun - you can sit in bed and watch what heís up to after dark - or replay the video next day. Costs about £30 and takes a mini SD card.
So would you do all the re-jigging whilst he's still in the cage, or look to try and get him out some how?

The material that is behind the house entrance is raffia that was just there for a different texture/interest. We keep putting toilet paper strips on top of it and it keeps getting taken and used for something (assumedly covering the potty for the nest site! ) There is also a lot of bedding material appearing around the sides of the house that can only have been excavated from inside, and we've seen him coming in and out of the house a fair bit (especially dropping down through the entrance on top) so he's well aware of it being there and going in and out of it.

At the moment I'm tempted not to disturb the nest he *might* be building in the rodipet house on top of the toilet dish (since my wife already had a look into to look as per the picture from yesterday), get another dish delivered (they're like £2.50 each) and use that in the toilet area compartment at the point of a first clean out. It's no real biggy if he builds the nest on top of that dish assumedly, and I can remove the dish and leave the nest material as long as it's not soiled when doing the first cage clean out after a couple of weeks...as you say I'd rather not invade the house too much while he's still in the cage as don't want to disturb the settling in process.

I'll take out the tube by the sandpit and move the tube to point into the house entrance itself and see if that encourages him.

Does that all sound sensible or any no-no's within it? Seems more sensible at this point to sit on my hands where the house is concerned for a week or two and then encourage a realignment of it's use once a bit more settled and familiar?

I was tempted to get one of those really tiny cameras and install inside the house itself, but figured it would probably end up attacked and the wires for power it would need chewed without some smart DIY...certainly not a viable one now we have him as an inhabitant.
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Old 01-05-2022, 10:00 AM   #12
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: New Hamster...3 days in...when and how to clean?

Yes that’s an option too. Although we usually say don’t disturb things, it’s good to try and get initial tweaks sorted and let them get settled. Personally I’d just move the potty and leave the nesting in there. The potty is just “in the way” for him Hehce nesting on top. The slight risk of leaving it could be he starts using it as both a nest and a toilet. And he won’t be able to bury his hoards under the nest with the potty there.

But it’s up to you - tweaking now or tweaking later. I think I’d tweak now so he gets into good habits from the offset. But hear what you m’re saying there.

As to wheh to do it. Doing it while he’s in the cage is better - either when he’s asleep or when he’s awake and can see what’s happening. I tend to find if you change things when they’re out if the cage it puts them off coming out for a while. They get more territorial.
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Old 01-05-2022, 10:31 AM   #13
Stubbo
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Default Re: New Hamster...3 days in...when and how to clean?

OK thanks, we'll look to do it now and get things done right from as near to the outset as possible.

If I lift the lid and find he's already nesting/asleep on top of the current potty, assumedly wait until he's not there to do the re-jig.

Would you remove the tube regardless, or only if it's being used 'inappropriately'?
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Old 01-05-2022, 11:45 AM   #14
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Default Re: New Hamster...3 days in...when and how to clean?

No wouldn’t do it if he’s in there! I see what you mean. If he’s out and about in the cage at some point you could do it then - with minimal fuss and quite quickly. But not if he’s in the house. Assume the litter tray fits in the back compartment?! They usually fit well leaving access clear to both doorways.

If you think he’s taken up residence in the house then maybe leave it a few more days before removing the potty tray.

Not sure which tube you mean? The plastic one round the cage is there to give access isn’t it? From one side to the other. Which is a good thing for him to have so no wouldn’t remove that unless he suddenly decided to nest in it and block it up. He shouldn’t fo that if he’s settled on nesting somewhere.

The tube that leads under the substrate I’d take out - it could be used out of cage at some point maybe - it would be a bit familiar. He might be a bit confused or miffed but only for a day or so. Long term gain versus short term pain type thing!

So these small tweaks should be fine. Moving things about regularly stresses them. Some things they get very fond of and do get upset if they have to be removed. Which is why I was thinking better now than when he gets set in his ways.

Your wheel looks good - which one is it? He’s also a very lucky hamster. I’m sure in a couple of weeks time he’ll be being quite cheeky and visibly enjoying everything in his cage. If he’s moved substrate round the outside of the hiuse then thatMs probably to insulate it - ours do that. Or to block a crack of light eg.
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Old 01-06-2022, 12:47 AM   #15
Stubbo
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Default Re: New Hamster...3 days in...when and how to clean?

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Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
No wouldnít do it if heís in there! I see what you mean. If heís out and about in the cage at some point you could do it then - with minimal fuss and quite quickly. But not if heís in the house. Assume the litter tray fits in the back compartment?! They usually fit well leaving access clear to both doorways.

If you think heís taken up residence in the house then maybe leave it a few more days before removing the potty tray.

Not sure which tube you mean? The plastic one round the cage is there to give access isnít it? From one side to the other. Which is a good thing for him to have so no wouldnít remove that unless he suddenly decided to nest in it and block it up. He shouldnít fo that if heís settled on nesting somewhere.

The tube that leads under the substrate Iíd take out - it could be used out of cage at some point maybe - it would be a bit familiar. He might be a bit confused or miffed but only for a day or so. Long term gain versus short term pain type thing!

So these small tweaks should be fine. Moving things about regularly stresses them. Some things they get very fond of and do get upset if they have to be removed. Which is why I was thinking better now than when he gets set in his ways.

Your wheel looks good - which one is it? Heís also a very lucky hamster. Iím sure in a couple of weeks time heíll be being quite cheeky and visibly enjoying everything in his cage. If heís moved substrate round the outside of the hiuse then thatMs probably to insulate it - ours do that. Or to block a crack of light eg.
Thanks. All makes sense. We moved the cardboard tube out (no signs with it in the end of anything other than it being blocked up at the one end so probably didn't need to move it afterall).

He poked his head out of the maze house but then we pretty much didn't see him out and about so may not have been that active last night...we didn't try moving anything inside the maze house, since he was there, and I'm leaning towards leaving that until he's more confident and we do a clean....if he's weeing in the bed we'll have to change it anyway when we clean (and can then institute a bit of wet bedding into the repositioned potty), and of he's not then no biggie if the potty his nest is on top of stays there for a while...don't think he knows us well enough yet to go really tampering with the house he's just getting setup in.

Thanks for the guidance on it. We'll leave the cardboard tube out until he's well established now...even though it turned out was not really doing any harm.

The wheel is a Rodipet Heureka by the way.
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Old 01-06-2022, 09:07 AM   #16
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Default Re: New Hamster...3 days in...when and how to clean?

Great he’s using the house! Agree leave things in the house for a week or so. It’ll then be quite easy to just move the potty and leave the nest in tact. You’ll also have chance to see where he is peeing and put the potty there. Most of ours have used that middle back compartment as a toilet as it’s near the nest. But I did have one who choice the tiny right hand side section as a toilet! Which meant he landed in it every time he went down the top entrance! Potty wouldn’t fit in there so I just spot cleaned it. I ended up cutting out that rear compartment wall and putting the potty in further away from the top entrance and trained him to use it. Eventually he moved his toilet to the middle back compartment anyway! He was an incredibly neat tidy hamster - a bit “institutionalised” after being born in a rescue and living there for a year.

He probably nested unde the tube the first night or two and then moved to the house after sussing it out.

I haven’t had one of those wheels- they’re quite new - someone else on here has one recently. Great that there is more choice. I want one now! But don’t need it. Only have a Robo at the moment (he has the wood 9” Rodipet wheel- the 9” version is great but I didn’t find the larger version of the wood one very stable).
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Old 01-06-2022, 10:26 AM   #17
Ria P
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Default Re: New Hamster...3 days in...when and how to clean?

Please let us know when he starts using the wheel and how he gets on with it.

I'm so intrigued by the design and what the advantages are.
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Old 01-06-2022, 10:39 AM   #18
Stubbo
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Default Re: New Hamster...3 days in...when and how to clean?

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Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
Please let us know when he starts using the wheel and how he gets on with it.

I'm so intrigued by the design and what the advantages are.
Will do...as and when it happens I'll stick a video on YouTube and post the link. With respect advantages, the reason I got this one over the wooden one was because it will be easier to clean. Other than that, I'm not convinced of any real advantages and it takes up more space than an upright one would too as it's deeper...but I wanted a good quality wipe clean wheel that was also silent so this seemed to fit the bill.

Thanks both for your ideas, reassurance and guidance.

The forum seems pretty quiet...not many new threads.

Last edited by Stubbo; 01-06-2022 at 10:46 AM. Reason: Extra info.
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Old 01-06-2022, 01:08 PM   #19
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: New Hamster...3 days in...when and how to clean?

Not sure why it’s quiet - maybe just January post Christmas! An easily wipe clean wheel is a big advantage. I guess the sloping style means they can’t fly out of the wheel - although that’s more of an issue with dwarf hamsters.

It looks a bit like the bucket wheels apart from the slight slope. Says “made in Germany” which is usually a good thing!
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Old 01-07-2022, 12:11 PM   #20
Stubbo
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Default Re: New Hamster...3 days in...when and how to clean?

Well as you predicted, Hoover having found the labyrinth house has basically gone AWOL the last couple nights...only really emerging for some drink or food. Setup a motion sensor camera on the house last night and he literally emerged about 3 times all night for 5 mins each for food, water and some extra bedding material.

Hoping this is not unusual in the early days...any idea how long to expect it to last?
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