Very Disappointed in Hamster Central Forums

PENNY

Penny: “They did what?”

Forums are a good thing. You can bond with like minds over various types of discussion pertaining to a mutual interest. In this case hamsters and their healthcare and well being.

And yet, for some bizarre reason hamster healthcare takes a back seat when it concerns a certain mix that was marketed as a FANTASTIC hamster food mix on a website in the UK called Rat Rations. Many people I communicate with on the forum had hamsters struck with illnesses. Young otherwise healthy hamsters were starting to lose hair and become lethargic. Some died. Finally it all came out that the mix called “Silvers Mix” was deficient in much needed vitamins that hamsters need. Put it all together and what would you think?

But it has been kept under wraps by a forum that a large amount of members would constantly toot the praises of the mix. Suddenly, one can barely speak of the mix without getting a note from a moderator – chastising you for “accusations”. What?

So much for health care discussions on hamsters and hello appearances. There has been no formal statement about the issue. Posts were deleted. Comments deleted. It’s so suspect and disturbing. It questions the integrity and mission and purpose of that forum.

Mostly, it just is becoming ridiculous. One of my friends adopted a hamster from the SPCA which originally came from a hoarder. The news article of that said hamsters (among many other animals) removal of the hoarders was posted as part of the story of her sad past and adoption. It was removed. Why? Something about rules pertaining to external links or negativity. Who knows.

We have to phrase things in this precise special snowflake way to people who are new to the forum and argumentative to our advice. They can bash us for being high and mighty about our views on hamster care and continually be negative to our advice and suggestions that they asked for. But the moment an established member (depending on the member of course as apparently there are favorites) gets a little snippy (well delayed I might add considering) the hammer will come down.

I feel so uncomfortable on there. It always feels like some repressed form of government. Sure, they seem so nice at first and helpful but then come the mods with “This is too off topic” warnings for when one just for a moment digresses from the original topic even if it’s the original poster of the thread!

On one hand it’s lovely that they are so involved. But on the other hand it begins to feel like I’m in a Catholic school with a hawk eyed enigmatic nun with a wooden ruler behind her back.

I’m so disappointed. This is a rant more than an informative post. I just felt a need to express my sorrow in having to remove myself from interaction with that community and forum. It’s just become too hollow and souless there for me. I am not going to become a programmed robot who had a set amount of vetted responses I will give out.

For those that this doesn’t bother – it’s a wealth of information for general hamster care. But don’t go there expecting very sage, honest, united responses on hamster nutrition. That is my warning. Try to find the best hamster mix you can on the market that is available to you. Supplement with fresh veggies and fruits (if you have a non-diabetic ham – no fruits for diabetic hams) and at this point it seems wise to supplement vitamins as a back up as you never truly know if any mix is being honest about that. Vitamins are peed out if they don’t need them so no harm no foul there.

Pretty much, in general I still recommend the forum to a newbie. But I think that most outgrow the forum. I feel I graduated the school and ready to be an adult who can speak her mind freely for issues I find incredibly important.

In the meantime I’ve been recommended another hamster forum. I will hopefully be able to recommend them as well or maybe replace it as my main recommendation for informative, helpful forums. It’s strange to continue to recommend a forum I’ve washed my hands of isn’t it?

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22 thoughts on “Very Disappointed in Hamster Central Forums

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels there are issues with the way the forumis run. I’ve always felt as if there are exceptions for certain members, as well as, exceptions made for the way that newbies react to others’ advice. It’s a great place for a newbie just starting out, to connect with others who have similar interests and are like-minded. I have found out as time goes on, as with many other things, it’s run by specific members….kind of like a school that gets run by overbearing parents! Haven’t been too impressed lately 😦

    • I have realized with discussions going on all over that more and more members are scratching their heads and getting increasingly frustrated. What a shame because I don’t remember it being like this before at all! It feels like a cover up. And that begs the question: Why? Before I thought – give this lady the benefit of the doubt – I’m sure she didn’t make a deficient mix out of malice. But all that I’ve heard about it – it will make you angry!
      I agree with all you say – it feels just like that. What a great analogy!

  2. I know the whole mix issue has been handled most bizarrely (to put it mildly!), but I hope you don’t disappear completely 😦

    I am seriously considering talking to one of the mods I’ve met in person at the next show I’m attending about this, though. I mean, if it was any other mix, I strongly suspect the mods wouldn’t be acting like this. If Harry Hamster had a serious nutritional deficiency I don’t think it’d be hushed up on the forum, so why for these mixes?

    • VERY strange! It makes it look like a cover up. And that really bugs me. It’s not the same forum I joined. Or maybe I was just oblivious because I was there more concerned with learning. And now that I’ve learned so much I’m there just for the community and I take notice of the weirdness.

      I will occasionally pop in to read things here and there as there are people like you and so many others I could name right now who I like and wish to see about your hams and such! But my interaction will be zilch. I cannot stand to be somewhere in which I feel I have to walk on egg shells about what I “say” …

      Though with how it’s going I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself banned due to this post!

      • They can’t ban you because of stuff off-forum, although talking of banning, a certain member has been banned 😉

        I think it’s changed, to be honest, although I don’t know what has caused the change. I refuse to leave yet though 😉

      • That blows my mind! I wonder what she did for that to finally happen. Well, I still feel they should do an official statement on the entire matter. Get everyone’s attention that if they still are using that mix that they need to supplement and to contact the company to get more information. Leaving comments here and there until random threads isn’t really getting the word out. Grrr.

      • Don’t leave, I’ll miss you and all your hams for sure. 🙂 I think sometimes it takes a tragedy to wake people up, and the more people pushing for change, the faster it will come. I think we can certainly use more rational voices on the forum. 🙂

        In the mean time, I’ve also start posting in another forum (HH) and have found them much better at sharing useful information.

  3. i agree… i can’t understand why it’s so hush hush.
    please don’t leave forever though! i’ll miss strawberry too much 🙂

    • ❤ ❤ ❤ I poke in now and then to see what all of you are posting of your hams. I am just not participating any longer. Commenting and such. I just am too angry. The straw that broke the camel's back was when Vectis Ham PM'd me about how to word my comments for them to fly with them and how pretty much what I had to say was not appropriate. Screw that. I still get angry when I think about it. I have no interest in a forum like that run by moderators like that.

  4. I want to add my support and agreement for this post. It’s always been a point of frustration for me when very valid questions were raised and addressed toward the “mix maker”, but the posts and threads were always promptly shutdown and deleted when I’ve hardly seen any rudeness. I really think this blocking of much-needed discussion is what led to the problem, and it’s unfortunate that hams are paying the price.

    • It has become so confusing over there. They post a mod note finally stating that pretty much they are keeping it under wraps to protect her feelings as a member (yeah, okay …who cares about the hamsters anyway …let’s worry about the humans more…) and then they ban her??? What? I don’t even know if I should care anymore. I’m just so annoyed over so many things about them. It just sent me over when I got censored over such a minute little thing I said that was tame and nothing that wasn’t already in the open (to be read) on the RR website. My tone was accusing (so I was told by Vectis) and pretty much I think it is because I’m American and have no personal experience with the mix. That is the gist I got from the PM I received. Yeah, I think I just have no place there.

  5. What the hell went on with the mix?! I feel like I totally missed the boat on that one and then I noticed much of what you’re talking about, as far as feeling like it was being hidden or something. So weird! I felt sort of terrible reading some of it though, the way that the mix maker was being spoken of. Like you mentioned, I highly doubt he or she EVER intended to hurt any hamsters and he or she must be feeling absolutely terrible. I had wanted to send a PM just as an olive branch of kindness but then I realized they were gone. I, of course, feel terrible for all the hamsters that were affected but I do also have sympathy for the mix maker who must be beating themself up daily.

    Also, and I may sound like a jerk for saying this but there is one particular senior member (I think moderator?) who really bothers me. I know sometimes this person is very kind but I have seen this person be SO rude and condescending so many damn times. Drives me crazy.

    I got reprimanded a while back for my signature image, because it was animated. I was told I needed to change it because members were complaining. Little things like that really annoy me.

  6. I know this is super old by now, but I’ve just joined the forum recently and I’ve noticed some problems too. I think it’s kind of weird to have a hamster healthcare forum that isn’t interested in discussing welfare issues. Part of the whole issue with improving hamster healthcare as a whole (all hamsters) is very tied in with that. It just sort of perturbs me because I think it’s really important to talk about it. I hate how whenever it gets brought up it seems to be shut down just as fast. :/

  7. I’ve gotten a warning because I broke a welfare issue. I was just worried about the hamster that was getting terrible hamster care, that’s all. I’m not going to put fuel into a fire though. I don’t want any troubles with the forum.

  8. We need some new forum members that have hamsters on the small animal channel forum. I am not sure that i would consider joining the Hamster central forums after reading some of the things that people have posted on this website.

  9. I just googled “hamster forum” and ended up here. And I must say I’m shocked. I’ve been feeding Silver’s hamster mix for awhile and my hamsters started losing hair, I thought it was protein deficiency or some vitamin B deficiency so I fed yeast (I read it should help with the hair loss) and extra protein. No effect. I took them to a vet and she didn’t find any signs of parasites and suspected the problem might be in their diet after all. I guess my hamsters were lucky since they are still alive, I wish I found this blog earlier though (I don’t follow hamster central forum).

    • I am so glad too!!! I have read so many comments about what happened to people’s hamsters on that diet and couldn’t stand how the hush hush was being enforced just because the maker is friends with the moderators!

  10. I am a member of Hamster Central. The site is getting worse with a moderator removing posts, complaining about ‘off topic’ chat and generally not liking some people. The moderator has had a recent birthday and had a lot of birthday wishes but has not even thanked them or acknowleged them. The site is welcoming to newbies as said before, but if you are on regularly and always posting either threads or replying to them, then things start getting worse. I like the site but not one of the mods with a sweet pudding name as she has her own ways of how things are supposed to be and not thinking of other members.

    • I appreciate the comments. At least it wasn’t JUST me that is noticing this. It is such a shame because I loved that place initially – now I would have a difficult time recommending them. I refer people to Hamster Hideout now.

  11. I was warned because of ‘pet welfare’…unfortunately my understanding of the rules weren’t very clear therefore I posted an external link to the BBC site about hamsters getting dumped outside. I wanted everyone’s thoughts on it but didn’t realise that Vectis or whatever his/her name is took it down for ‘moderator discussion’.

    I wanted to know if anyone has ‘newer’ forums to start or would it be too late to consider?

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