Long Hair Syrians and the issue with bedding/substrate.

So, Bob’s beautiful hair is growing thicker and longer bit by bit. And though this delights me because I love long hair on hamsters and wish his hair was as long as I’ve seen many to be in pictures! But with this comes an issue with his bedding and substrate sticking in his hair. I’ve read you aren’t supposed to brush a Syrians hair and then I read you are. Conflicting opinions. But if I did not comb his hair every few days it knots up in the bedding. And in the last few days it was knotting daily with pieces of Carefresh in it. I’ve tried various things. All of it does.

So, while I wait for pelleted substrate to come in I shredded a lot of paper and then I added Carefresh Nestables to the mix. And I can say that this is a great way to go for LH Syrians. I’ve not had to groom him at all. He seems fine with it. Once the pellets arrive I’m going to do a thick base layer with those and then add piles of shredded paper of my own and then on top of that Eco-Bedding which you can get larger bags of for less expense than the small Carefresh Nestables. It’s I believe similar but will learn soon enough when my order of Eco-Bedding arrives as well. Both are springy like paper crinkles and make wonderful nesting material. And for his litter box (which is a large ferret litter pan but he prefers a large space to go in) I use Swheat Scoop which is all natural wheat as an ingredient and nothing more and originally used as a natural kitty litter and I have no issues with that sticking in his hair whatsoever.

Lastly, I stuff toilet tissue inside his house for him. To use only paper pelleted bedding (I ordered Planet Petco Crumble but another option is Yesterday’s News) I felt would be too hard on his feet when he’s so used to Carefresh which is so soft. The paper shreds soften it I believe.

DIY Rodent Play Pen

I did a new >>page<< : DIY Rodent Play Pen with a video showing mine which I’ll just show here as well since my “pages” are just for those stumbling on here and don’t need to go sorting through past entries to find helpful subjects (hopefully). The photo above shows Strawberry’s first go in it. He went bonkers (in that good way). But Bob as well the Gerbils have had their turn too.

Adventures in Strawberry Free Ranging. Hammy pic of the day.

 

Strawberry on alert! My son had just bolted by in a flurry when Strawberry did this pose. He is so cute! He was on the laptop about to log on to catch up on some work for the office.

Ain’t no mountain high enough …

Such a little creature with so much power! Hehe. Mighty things in small packages eh? Seriously, he is a strong little thing.

 

On the hubby’s hand eating one of his two blueberry yogurt treats.

Cage Tour Round Up!

Before I get to the tour part where I back off of all the cage changes and posts for awhile I hope –  I’m going to get a little TMI. Okay, I have anxiety issues. Pre-kids I was on antidepressants because my anxiety was so terrible that I was becoming depressed by it. In time the medication stopped working and around that time I got pregnant with my first son and quit medication all together. I’ve actually dealt alright with it since having children because of my focus on other little beings lives. And that is also where the hamsters and gerbils come in. More little beings – less focus on my anxieties. Except that children can also lead to anxiety but my little hams and gerbs don’t. They live a simple little life. They ask for nothing but food, water, and ample, safe shelter. All this stuff- the extras – I am ever so happy to give it to them. Free ranging. The special treats. The extra enrichment. They don’t need it all but I oh so enjoy seeing them enjoy it.

Since I was a little girl I was obsessed with change. Rearranging furniture and getting new hairstyles. Especially, when I was stressed about something. It has carried on throughout my life. Changing around the furniture and in even more dire times I do extreme hair cuts or highlights. Change. It’s a feeling of control. And a sense of starting over. Freshness.

Hamsters don’t like their habitats being disturbed a whole lot. For this reason I only do spot cleans weekly and the full cleans are monthly. When starting out I didn’t realize all of this and being kind of a clean freak sometimes I was changing their bedding weekly. Full clean outs. Another thing was I was ignorant on what constitutes ample habitat size. So, I started way too small. Then slowly built up more and more to upgrade. This also caused a lot of moving the hamsters around.

They all seemed to take this pretty well. None of the signs of stress I read about on the forums. My hamsters don’t seem to have many bad behaviors. They don’t bar chew, etc. So, I don’t think I did much damage to them. But I do continue to switch things up. I really do it out of the worry of their welfare first and foremost. I want them to have sizable places to spend most of their time. But also I love change. I love seeing them in bigger and cuter places with new layouts and such. I haven’t done much with them and their layouts for quite some time until the new cage came in the other day. The shuffle started off a landslide
.

So, I decided that I had to upgrade the Robos as well as I can’t handle the heavy tanks anymore. Beautiful as they are – they are too heavy. The Gerbils have glass tanks but that will be it!

Also, I de-cluttered my living room in the process I decided to use the rodent shelf as a shelf for a lot of my things to keep handy as well as my kid’s stuff. Stuff that has been all around the living room haphazardly and driving me crazy. Now it’s all organized. But that means my hamsters and gerbils are spread out again. And I much prefer it that way again.

Now I can get access to their cages easier. They each have a special spot in the room. Except that I stack the Robo’s bins and keep them now on the floor. But that isn’t a big deal.

Here is a close up of Strawberry’s new layout. Which isn’t really new for Strawberry – just new for that cage. All this originally was Strawberry’s decor and platforms but then became Patch’s for a while until I moved him to a bin where it was big enough that he doesn’t need them. The Robos prefer one floor running space to platform climbing.

Will I change things up again? GOD I HOPE NOT. I seriously look at this and feel finally content. All but the Gerbils are in nice sized habitats. I don’t think I could do bigger or better at this point. Not with my pocket-book and not with the space I have to work with. I think it’s ample.

The Gerbils – they will get bigger and better space in due time. For now they are just fine.

One note I have to mention about Gerbils and how awesome they are is that they thrive on change. They like for it to be mixed up. I realize gerbils are seriously the pet for me because they don’t mind my changing up and giving them new things every couple of days. They get all excited again and get to work. It promotes their exercise, physically and mentally.

New Cage Tour: F.O.P Gabbia Tamburino Linera Natura

Quite a mouthful huh?

So, in this next cage tour post we have another Italian manufactured cage (like the Marchioro Kevin 82) that I’ve wanted that is available by one distributor in New Jersey (Abbaseed) but quite a bit less expensive though not cheap either. It’s like a Duna or Zoozone style cage as they have in the UK. It’s a good size at about 29 inches in length. Great for my dwarf Strawberry.

I just transferred Strawberry’s things inside and haven’t really done anything creative. I need more toys for Strawberry. You can’t tell by the picture but it has an Olive-green base which is very pretty.

I just love the look of it. How light weight it is. Other than the Gerbils – I’m trying to steer away from aquariums because of how heavy they are. Initially aquariums were one of the few options for adequate size for hamsters until I joined a forum and these pricey but great cages began to be pointed out to me. Anyway, now I have Patch in Strawberry’s bin cage which size-wise is a nice upgrade.

Strawberry thinks it’s A-Ok!

Seriously, he loves the extra deep substrate I gave him and has been burrowing like crazy.

His craft stick house that my son and I made for him doubles as a platform. He loves eating his millet and corn on there.

Recent Cage Tour of Bob & Bonus Material

 

 

So, I’ve been doing the cage shuffle with the critters. A lot happened. New cage for Strawberry. Which meant upgrade for Patch. Which opened up an upgrade for the Gerbils. The deep tank I had for the Gerbils was great for already very tame gerbils but mine are still so skittish that they’d dig and dig these elaborate deep tunnels and never come up but for water. I’d have to destroy it all every time I tried to get them to tame them. So, small tanks are better for taming as seems obvious and it’s been working. But now that we’ve made progress I wanted to upgrade them from 10 gallon to 20 gallon.

But in all of this Bob is still happily in his Kevin 82 but with a few new items. When I got the gerbils the coconut lookout toy I kept thinking how Bob needed one. He would love it. So, now that the gerbils only have a mesh lid as I have them in a smaller tank for taming – Bob has it currently. Also, the gerbils could care less for the hay holder toy. But I wrap up treats in tissue and stuff it into the hay holder and Bob loves a challenge.
(I have two videos of Bob with his toys after these photos)

I put his favorite seeds into his coconut for his look-out snacks too.

His favorite house is a cardboard container. I have really accepted that now. Haha.

And bonus material :

Adventures in Bob free ranging

Bob going bookwormish and brushing up on some light reading.

Bob wants to know if this paper towel roll makes his bum look big?

Bob says, “This is my good side!”

Bob won a contest I didn’t Enter him in.

In USA the best animal bedding available is CareFRESH. It’s made by recycling paper – making it into pulp and drying and resulting in incredibly soft and absorbent bedding. It’s been a favorite of mine not only for those reasons but also because it helps us in this house full of allergy ridden people. Aspen is a cheap, safe, and nice smelling choice but it has triggered unwanted nasal issues with us all. Carefresh also comes in cute colors. I keep hoping pink will be one soon. If it’s not already – I never see it anywhere for sale so I’m not sure.

Well, the company (Absorption inc) has a great product but they are also nice people. Recently, a photo of my hamster Bob with my son holding him was stolen from Hamster Central forums and used without my permission in a CareFRESH cutest pet contest AND it won. The guy who did it (after some investigating I soon found out who) – is a 14 year old boy who on his Youtube account “likes” videos on “How to win contests”. He’s a compulsive shopper for his hamsters (aren’t we all but to the point where this guy is probably spending hours yanking other people’s hamster pictures (WITH THEIR CHILDREN IN THE SHOT) and entering them illegally as his own to contests JUST to win…) and this particular contest was for a 3 dollar coupon for CareFRESH which he couldn’t even use in Scotland where he lives.

So, I stumbled upon it having the company liked on my “incognito” Facebook I keep to stave off unwanted family and old acquaintances from finding me – and guess what pops up on my news feed? MY photo with MY son and MY Hamster. I went on a rampage with the company wanting them to remove it. They promptly did and were incredibly apologetic though my rampage wasn’t AT them – it was toward this person at the time I had no idea who it was and the idea of the dark sides of the internet. I won’t get into the emotional side effects of this event. This post is to state that the reaction of CareFRESH was genuine. I was probably on the phone with a manager for 30 minutes if not longer just discussing what sort of creep would do this.

Then I receive this package in the mail with their products. Bedding, Food, Litter, and that cool Crinkle paper. It wasn’t even their fault but they were so kind and generous!
I couldn’t not make a post about that.

As for Mr. Evan Carrie from Hamster Central – I wrote him a private message telling him how what he did was wrong and how it made me feel. Never got a response back from him. I don’t think he gives a damn to begin with but he’ll also do it again. I think he is an immature contest junkie. I can say that because I was once 14 and I didn’t steal offline or online. So, age is no excuse for that personality trait.

 

For a little bit more detail and about the emotional aspect of this I’ll link my other entry on the subject from my other blog >> here<<