On to something lighter hearted. A little change.

I painted the Kevin82 green (originally it was blue) and decorated it and the Tamburino with butterfly decals. I put some Halloween gel decals on the plastic top of the Tamburino to be festive. The best part is the stand! It’s the Vekto stand for Marchioro cages. This one for the Igor or Kevin82 cages. And it fits perfectly. What I love most is that the Tamburino fits perfectly on the bottom rack!

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I got the stand from a place recommended to me by my friend Kerri. She got hers there. The company shipped it fast. I am very pleased with their customer service. Here is a link in case anyone is interested. Sundown Supply

I also ordered a Carolina Storm Express Wheel. I am absolutely over Wodent Wheels. I am not saying they aren’t great wheels. I am just tired of the complicated cleaning and the stand is not so wonderful. And maybe it is just mine but it leans backward a bit. Or a little crooked. All 3 of my WW’s. I am not sure what the issue is but I am tired of them. The CSE wheel has options in rotation and angle from what I read. They look sturdy and everyone who has them swears they are the most quiet wheels!

I picked the Purple! It will look good in Bob’s now green cage!

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Roborovski’s get a cage makeover

I needed some serious cheering up in the hammy room. I go in there and someone is noticeably missing.

So I picked up from last night when I was interrupted from cleaning the bookcase cage for the Robos due to one being AWOL as discussed in the previous post. Ahem!

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I am glad Snow distracted me because last night I would have done humdrum. Tonight I did color. I gave them a toy and hide out change out too. So far they seem pretty impressed. Gave them a little excitement in their life.

Snow’s up close :

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And Patch’s:

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October 2013 Cages of the Rodents of Hammy Happenings Tour!

Alrighty! October’s Cage Tours of all my rodent babies. And of course – pictures of my rodent babies! All of these pictures were taken today and tonight except the one of Bob. The picture I took of him tonight wasn’t so great. But I had taken the one I posted a few days or so ago and love it.

OKAY THEN! So!

Let’s start with Penny. Ladies First! She had been taking a nibble at her chews.

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Penny is in a Marchioro Kevin 82cm Cage. I purchased this cage for $119 at PetStore.com but it is also available at ThatPetPlace.com. It usually ranges between $119-$134. In the United States it’s one of the best sized cages you can get for any species of hamster but especially Syrian’s. It has 7mm bar spacing so ideal for as big as Syrians to as tiny as Mice and Chinese Hamsters.

Up Next! Bob having a moment beneath the toad stools

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Bob is in the Ware Luxury Rabbit Cage. It retails a bit over $100 bucks. I got mine used for $20. It has 1” bar spacing so it needs to be meshed for hamsters. This is an awesome cage. It has casters and opens from the top and a large front door. The tray slides out for easy cleaning and then slides back in. I wish I could find another just like this for Penny. The height is much less scary than the Mamble which I had her in before. It’s long and narrower so it takes up less space without sacrificing footprint.

Now Strawberry as he lounges in his space pod.

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Strawberry is my eldest hamster (I think!). He’s a hybrid Cambells/WW or “Russian” hamster. He has slowed down. Looks great. Healthy. Eating and such. But really not very active.  I have plenty for him to do now. And I love his “retirement” cage. A Grreat Choice Pet Home for Small Animals cage from Petsmart. It’s 24 inch long, 15 inch wide, 14 inch tall. Below the RSPCA guidelines for a dwarf hamster cage. It’s suitable for a retirement cage for a dwarf and honestly, it depends on the hamster. Strawberry has never liked large cages. I’ve tried. He has been really happy in here so far. I find it easier to interact with him and get him out and check on him in this too. And it’s easier to make a jungle gym for him in there. He loves to climb though I can tell he’s struggling with it nowadays. The high base is ACE for my little digger. He has epic tunnels going on around the entire cage.

 

Gabriel’s Turn! He likes to meditate and other business in his sand box.

gabriel sand gabriels cage collageMy Chinese hamster is also older. In fact he probably is older than Strawberry but I will never know. He is adopted with barely any known history. I’m his 3rd and final home! He is in the FOP Gabbia Tamburino Linera Natura – a hybrid of a tank and cage. I had hammocks and suspension ladder toys and the like going on in here and other cages I tried putting him in – he had no interest. Today I decided to leave the top grill off (the grid lid) because he cannot climb out. This gives me better view of him from above and I don’t have to meddle with lifting it up and putting it down (it’s loud because it needs a handle). Anyway, he prefers his environment low to the ground and with plenty of hideouts. He does like to climb driftwood and such. I go with a forest floor type of habitat for him.

Finally, for the hamsters –  the Roborovski’s Snow & Patch! Having their nightly sand bath.

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The Roborovski brothers were separated due to my ignorance. I began with them together when I brought both home from the shop. I had one wheel. Multiple platforms. One house. If you are to keep your robo’s social due keep in mind – no platforms. A home and toy for each. Two Robo’s = two wheels, two food bowls, two houses. Or some will say better to have no houses but instead numerous hide outs. By the time I realized my mistake it was too late. They were drawing blood. Snow reminds me of this whenever I see the sections taken from his ear by Patch’s past nips. So, I did a DIY cage out of a book shelf that a neighbor was throwing out. It was a dollhouse style bookshelf. I simply put vinyl tiles down for the floor. Contact paper along the walls. And made a partition that is removable for clean out. It’s also vinyl and is attached from the inside with heavy duty velcro. They cannot climb out. I forgot the measurements but it’s as long as Bob’s rabbit cage and a little narrower in width compared to his. It’s the most space they’ve ever had and it’s easy to clean and fun to and easy to watch them. They’ve never been happier!

Last but not least: My Gerbil’s Mercury and Lennon! Waiting patiently for their treat. They also give me kisses!

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My gerbils have sampled many a layout/aquarium. I had them originally in a tall 28 gallon. Then 20 long. Then a 110 qt Bin cage. And finally a 40 long. Then I DIY’d a topper to put on top. I change around their set up every time I clean out. I have large pieces of drift wood I trade out each time to keep it fresh. Various tunnels and bridges and such they bury down into the bedding. You can barely see the current drift wood I put in there. It was a smaller piece than usual. In the topper they have water bottles, a sand pot where they do all their business. A Gnawsome hut to chew on and they prefer to snack within with the treats I give them. The topper has 2 floors. Or two separate “lofts” where I put their food dish. Or just for a perch and look out. They are pretty spoiled methinks. They are worth it. My little daytime buddies!

And that is the October 2013 cage tour of the Rodent’s of Hammy Happenings!

Penny’s custom Hammocks and Cage Tour

So, as many of you have noticed I cannot get enough of Rittles N Bittles custom made quilted hammocks. Holly makes the most awesome, beautiful hammocks EVER. Seriously, wish I could afford for her to quilt me a queen sized comforter for my bed! Or my own quilted hammock to hang somewhere in the house. You have to also check out her PRECIOUS blog of her Rats and of her quilting projects and etc. Rittles and Bittles. GAH. I don’t know how I don’t have a mischief of Rats already in my home after following her blog for so long now.

Penny’s hammocks are a total honor for this little girl. As you all have come to see Penny is a wild and crazy girl. Sure, she’s slowing down and calmer with maturity. She’s a lady now. But no one will ever forget her youth. She was Lady Gaga of Syrian Hamsters! And so, she got her wild and crazy art deco like hammocks made. And they are amazing. In fact in person they are 10 times more beautiful and amazing. Sturdy! For my chewer – she made these thicker. There is fleece in the inside with the zebra fabric over it as an underside. This is something she doesn’t normally do but since Penny has a thing about fleece and digging (and I mean She really loves to dig the heck out of fleece) Holly came up with this idea. And so far she hasn’t been gnawing, digging, roughing up the hammocks at all. Not like those cheap hammocks I was getting from Amazon and such before. I’ve checked in on her already several times tonight and she’s always found on one of her two hammocks.

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I could flip the hammocks over and use just straight zebra pattern if I wanted. It’s tempting as I love zebra. But I just love the crazy pattern too much. The zebra underside is very noticeable as I have her cage on a shelf that is to my chest height. When I walk into the room I catch the underside of the hammocks with my eye.

Penny when she first checked out the hammock and gave her seal of approval by stretching comfortably within it.

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And an updated tour of her cage set up.  The log thing is an edible log from Walmart. It is a stool for her to get into her sand box (icecream container) and also she can go underneath it like a tunnel. Her igloo house is in the back corner behind the platforms.

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Can you find Penny in this picture below? She has two wooden platforms that are covered in contact paper. A Wodent Wheel and Flying Saucer both 12 ”. A hanging plastic tube and Space Pod (Sputnik in the UK) her two quilted hammocks, her woven grass hammock, And her wooden 3 tiered hearts platform I made her.

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And I have a few dangling toys. One of which isn’t pictured as I just put it in tonight. It’s the woodies flower garland that was in the Gerbil’s cage. They never bothered to play with it or chew it so it’s in Penny’s for her to play and chew or at least look cute hanging in there since they are pink and purple flowers. Matches.

Strawberry’s Retirement Cage.

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Strawberry is in his “retirement” cage. Yup. Disturbing him daily to be sure he hasn’t died and having to deal with all his jungle gym equipment dangling from his bin cage lid was driving me nuts. He isn’t coming out at night. He IS coming out during the day more. I know he’s barely active at night because I have had a lot of opportunity at night at all hours to check on him. I have a teething 1 year old. Enough said. I am not getting much sleep.

I was having to go upstairs during the day and in the middle of the night go in the hammy room – lift up the lid. Lift up his house. And make sure he was alive as I otherwise wasn’t seeing him. The bin cage isn’t very great for visibility either.

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I got him a 24” long, 12” wide, 14” tall Grreat Choice cage from Petsmart. SUPER deep base. Which I will be adding much more substrate too. I dumped in there what I had left of the Kaytee Cozy stuff. I need to wait to get my hubby’s help to take the crinkle bedding storage bin down from a high shelf and once I do I will put that in to deepen it.

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And I have to tell you – I actually love this cage. It’s so simple. Yet sturdy. And with the multitude of stuff I have to put in it from collecting…I am pleased. I have to recommend this cage for people with lazy dwarfs. Not Chinese or Roborovskis as they are too small and could possibly squeeze through the half inch bar spacing. Baby Russian dwarfs are a no no. But for a full grown, older, lazy dwarf I cannot see how he could slip out. I did have to bend a couple bars back that were slightly bent to be too wide. Easy enough to squeeze them back in shape. The door area where it presses in to “lock” will widen the bars a bit over a half inch but I screwed in an edible branch perch thing in there which blocks the gap made when the door is pushed in. I mean, with a bit of ingenuity you can adjust it to be escape proof for an adult dwarf.

This cage is marketed for rats. Yuck. You have to be kidding me. It’s WAY too tiny for even a single Rat. I’d not put a Syrian hamster in this other than for travel or a hospital cage. Even if the bar spacing was 7mm I’d not put mice or Roborovskis in this. Roborovskis are super active. They need the same if not more space as a Syrian from my experience. I don’t have really great experience with Russian dwarfs. “Hybrids”. I just have Strawberry and he’s always been lazy, antisocial, and moody. He has never been very active and now that he’s getting feeble lately he’s hardly ever surfacing from his house but to eat and drink. He’s gotten clumsy too. I noted that when I did see him out once in his hammock. He fell from it …on purpose seemingly. Scared me.

So far he has taken to this cage well. He has made it his with his manic rushing around over everything in there. I have him downstairs now so we can see him more since he is more day time lately than night time. He is coming out a lot more and climbing around. He *SEEMS* quite content. He’s most definitely not unhappy. He seems to be feistier than he has been for so long.

I loved the bin cages but I must be losing my mind because suddenly I am tired of them. I am throwing out the double decker I made Penny. I’ve been cleaning out the house to get ready for our moving in the spring. It’s a slow process of sorting and giving away and tossing away. I am minimizing our STUFF.

And I just feel like tossing the bins to the curb. I got really turned off when Penny’s bin was overwhelmingly stinky from the lack of ventilation. I’ve never had that problem with a singular bin cage with plenty of ventilation meshed windows. But still – the issue with a good working door in the front and having to lift from the top to reach down in – that was one of the main reasons I hated Tanks. I don’t like reaching down. I also didn’t like the lack of ability to hang and connect stuff. I much prefer a lot of bars to hang things and connect things.

And I just have to downsize. Strawberry is old now. He’s got to be 2 years old. I’ve had him a year and a half and he was not a baby when I brought him home. I wasn’t given his true story but he was full grown when they pushed him on me. He looks old. Is acting old. (So is Gabriel but I know he’s older too due to me being his 3rd owner). I’m pretty content with having him in a “retirement” cage. Especially, now that I have easier access to him inside. I can fit him downstairs to be among us more often so he’ll get more attention.

If only they made this same cage but bigger. They DO but it’s a rabbit cage and the bar spacing is inch spacing. If they could make a rabbit sized one with this half inch bar spacing this brand Grreat Choice would be on the top list for USA Hamster owners because it’s such a sturdy well made SIMPLE cage. The door could shut better. But that is really minor to me. This was on the inexpensive side for a cage and for its size.

I put a shelf in there that came with the Kevin 82. It connects to tubes so he has his tubes back which he loves – you can’t see them from the bottom but they connect to the shelf from below and he comes out of the curved periscope like tube at the top. I put his Silent Spinner in there which he was strangely excited to have back. He liked his Wodent Wheel and his Flying Saucer as well but both took up too much room. Under the shelf is his sand bath and a loo roll. And in the other corner of the cage his igloo and wooden bridge and wooden tunnel. That bendy bridge I made connects him from the floor to the shelf. Also helps him climb out of the front door when I open it. His hanging coconut, food dish, chews, and SS is on the shelf. His hammock and hanging wooden suspension ladder is dangling from the other side.

I’ll take better pictures later. I took these tonight in the dim lighting with my cell phone. I wished I had thought to take pictures earlier today when he was running around everything.

In closing – this cage doesn’t meet minimum requirements for space for a Dwarf according to the RSPCA guidelines which most of us knowledgeable USA hamster people follow as our law. I wouldn’t recommend going below the minimum for a young, active Dwarf hamster. It’s half inch bar spacing which is not safe for a Chinese or Roborovski or baby Russian dwarf hamster. They can slip through if they are determined. For a lazy, old, adult size dwarf – just be sure all the bars are not bent wider than they should be. I cannot even fathom how Strawberry could fit through these bars.

Grreat Choice – I’ll be contacting you guys with some suggestions. You guys make a great cage but please consider making them longer as you do the rabbit cages but with the same or even smaller bar spacing as this one! For a retirement home for my dwarf  I feel this cage is ace. But it could have been a few inches longer to make a more affordable yet suitable sized hamster cage.

Penny’s Current Cage layout.

HELLO!!!! I missed posting. Well, we had a vacation which of course included travel. So, I’ve been out of the loop. I need to catch up on my favorite blogs as well!

I have made some changes since these photos were taken. Mostly just additions. More toys and such. I put Penny’s favorite bell and wicker loops toy inside. Etc. I haven’t been taking many photos of the hams. But I did take these just for Marquelle so I thought I’d post them here too.

Holly – Gabriel’s hammock is in Penny’s because Gabriel is not doing much climbing anymore. He’s getting pretty old. He mostly sleeps now. 😦 Penny hasn’t even tried to tear it up. At least I can’t see that she has. I don’t want to test it too long so I’m excited her personalize hammock will be on the way! (For those of you in the US admiring my beautiful quilted hammocks in my hammy’s cages check out RITTLES N BITTLES on Etsy!!! Quilted hammocks made with complete TLC. She has a high standard. Her hammocks are made to withstand regular washes. I am addicted to her hammocks. They are a piece of artwork and love in every hamster cage! (If you have Rats keep her in mind – She originally began to make them for her Ratties!)

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I found Contact Paper with the French Toile (?) look and covered her wood platforms/ledges with it. Pee proof but also pretty. I also made that wood heart platform using non-toxic (children’s finger paint). The flower box is a tissue box. 4

A great sand /digging box – Blue Bunny icecream container. It’s plastic. I cut a hole /half of the lid and pour sand in. Penny and Bob both have one – her’s is Mint Chocolate Chip and Bob’s is Strawberry LOL – and they LOVE hopping in there and doing their business and Penny puts some of her favorite treats in there too. I could have saved money not buying plastic litter trays with how much I find they love these instead. Also they take up much less space and are deep so I fill them with a lot more sand than I could with trays.5 6

Gabriel’s Setup August 2013

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Gabriel is in the Marchioro Kevin 82 Mouse Cage. 32.25 Inch W x 20 Inch D x 14.25 Inch H

Since I last posted Gabriel’s cage I have added a suspension bridge and edible perch and a wood arch hideout. Also inside are spoon stairs like what Erinshamsters did for her Chinesy. And like her I hung a cup. He also has a wood shelf and a terra cotta pot, sand box, foraging toy, suspended basket, ceramic acorn hideaway, wood cabin by Rosewood Boredom Breakers from Bobby’s Bunny Boutique, Crittertrail mushroom water dispenser, a hanging coconut hideaway from Dr. Foster and Smith, a Fying Saucer, a Crittertrail Wheel, and a quilted hammock by Rittles N Bittles. Also some brick and rocks and driftwood. A little wood Petco bridge and Petco wood tunnel. And his substrate is Ecobedding crinkle paper.
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