They’ve come a long way

 photo (2) The gerbils haven’t been in a playpen in too long. Rectifying that ASAP. They had a ball in here for an hour. I did a few switcharoos in there. Decided to get them to try out a Flying Saucer. Lennon attempted a few times but gave up. They are just not exercise toy Gerbils.

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When I first brought home these brothers they were completely terrified of humans. They had been kept in the back of a store room in a TINY container with a chewed up plastic igloo house and a sprinkle of wood shavings. They were completely unfamiliar with people.

It took over a year and a half for them to truly become tame. I didn’t want to rush them. When I tried to at any given time it would upset them so much that they would back peddle. I realized that I would have to let them be. Just as they were. And I still adored them no matter what. Oh, they would come up to take treats from my fingers gladly and unafraid. But try to touch them and *zoom*. But something changed. It seemed almost overnight they were slowing down. Not easy to startle. Gained some weight. I thought – what the heck! – and attempted to pick one of them up. No trying to bolt. Just sort of letting it happen. I then gently placed them down and would attempt again every day. To the point where I was able to cradle them in my arms for a moment. Always giving them a treat they love (yogies) afterward.

So, nowadays it’s a new thing to be able to let them into playpens without it traumatizing them.

They’ve come a long way. I’m so proud of them!


Ginormous playpen

I hope I haven’t just started something I can’t keep up. I have to put this all up every night! That isn’t quick!

We finished setting up the “den” which is what we currently are using the spare room for. We have the Wii and Netflix set up so we can watch movies when the kids are asleep and I get to also enjoy the hams.


I also did a little haul at Petsmart which is beside Michaels. I found sales! And cheaper things.

The edible perches were only about 49 cent a piece. I got the last 3. One isn’t pictured. The metal scoop wasn’t on sale but I have needed that for a long time so I went ahead and already pleased with how much faster and efficient I can clean their sand boxes out!
The hay was only 1.17 for the bag so I got the two left. That hanging grass matt I have wanted for Penny’s bin. I have it hanging like a hammock. She likes it and hasn’t destroyed it yet. The ladders will probably come in handy once I put backing on them so the hams can’t slip through.

I am going to take some pictures of the hams set ups for August soon. I have put even more in Gabriel’s and Strawberry’s cage and Bob and Penny’s have been rearranged. Now I need to focus on the Robo’s.

Penny in the Play Pen

Here is a video of Penny in the playpen last night when I put in her burrowing box and several different ways to enter and leave it. Thanks to Hutchagoodlife for the recommendation of scraps of fabric. That is perfect for me as it won’t make a big mess or be too heavy to lift in and out every time I set up the pen. I don’t have a lot of space so I can’t leave a pen out all the time. It has to only be assembled and set up as needed. And well, she kept busy with it. Both the tunneling a bit but also utilizing all the ways to come and go. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch her on vid using the grid to climb in as my camera ran out of space and I had to delete another old video to continue the video again.

Let’s get back to normal!

For the last several weeks my hubs has been at a school for his job. This has left me with more work than usual. And usually it’s a lot more than you’d think. So, I’ve let so much go to the way side. This blog. Even time spent with my creatures. :*(

They’ve not had much playpen/free range time at all in almost a month. But now that my hubs is out of the school I hope that everything will go back to normal. Tonight seemed to bode well. The kids went down much earlier like they used to! So that helps. So, tonight I did get all my hammy loves (minus the anti-social Roborovskis!) into their play pens.

I have missed them so much. I had family come in for a weekend last week and to make room for them in the spare room I moved out all the hams and put them in my bedroom. Well, in that process I had switched out wheels for Flying Saucers as they are much much quieter. No random food or poos tapping and bouncing about all night as they run! On a FS that stuff flies off! But some hams were noisier than others. I never knew Penny and Strawberry stirred for the most part – unless I came up and looked. Bob is one busy fellow all night long! I would NOT have guessed this.

Having my hams in my bedroom like this showed me a whole other side to them that I wouldn’t have known.

Now I have Bob’s home back in the spare room. As well the Robo’s and Gabriel. But I kept Penny and Strawberry in my bedroom! I just came to appreciate having hams in there. At least a couple! I chose the most silent though I might put Gabriel in there as well. I haven’t decided.

Being that they all have Flying Saucers in their cages I now keep the wheels in the play pens. They seem to appreciate the wheels again for a short while but overall I have realized how much my hams prefer the saucer toys. I’m not sure why but it wasn’t instantaneously. I used to switch them out and sometimes have both in the cages at the same time. I’d see them choose back and forth when they had them both. And when I’d put the wheel back in and take the saucer out to switch it up weekly I found they were happy to have one or the other back. But the last time I had both in I found they were all starting to prefer the saucer over the wheel almost completely. And even were more stir crazy when left with only the wheel in the cage. So, that is interesting.

I do have plans for Penny’s bin cage to have one more level. A 66 qt bin that is small length wise but taller and can house a 12” wheel. I can do the same for Bob’s cage actually. The door that opens at the very top can be removed and the same type of bin put there as a loft. It’s not something I’ll do soon but in the future it’s possible.

Here is a little video compilation of them. The play pen for Strawberry and Gabriel is the base of Penny’s old ferret cage.

And I snapped pictures of the set ups for those not watching videos. I have 3 storage bins overflowing with random toys and “toys” …meaning objects I use as toys for hamsters. I like to switch things up. I’m always on the look out for things that can be used for play pens. Especially since I have 3 play pens to fill at the same time as I have 3 hams out at the same time. I’d like to have a forth pen so I could have the four out at the same time but I haven’t come up with something I could fit yet!

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I am at a loss with Penny. Of them all she gets the least time out now. I am not sure what has happened but she has become very destructive in a play pen or when she was free ranging in the spare room. She will wander about for a little while but then will find a corner and dig and dig and dig.

Even with digging boxes she ignores them if in the play pen and prefers to dig the carpet. She’ll dig the fleece up until she reaches carpet and then goes to down on carpet.

I am considering getting a bin filled with some sort of substrate she isn’t familiar with that she can dig in. And that be her play pen I guess. I need to ponder on it awhile. I think she seems to be most destructive when she’s in heat. As tonight she was most definitely.

Pens and Bins

Summer time and we are doing many activities. And I have been a little bit preoccupied as well. I miss posting here but I believe until summer is over it will be few and far between but we’ll see!!!

For now I leave a picture of the Syrians. I miss free ranging them but Penny became super destructive – more on that later and Bob is accident prone. So yeah – this and the ball is all I can do to really give them out of cage time.
And here is one of the travel bins! Excuse the mess resting on top. I attached a shelf or “loft” inside too. I only made two so far. I need to make two more but these are just way too small for the Syrians so I have to come up with something different for them.


Cube Shelf Play Pen

This is my new play pen which is originally a plastic cube shelf.

When you put it together in this fashion there are not enough clip things so one would either need to use big bull dog clips or zip tie it. Etc. but overall a very nice plastic and sturdy pen! It breaks down for easy storage for us for the future for trips and moving. Of course as with any playpen set up hammy’s need constant supervision. They chew and if one got a notion to escape they need only work on it for a few minutes to get a hole big enough to squeeze through.

I ordered this fun polar fleece fabric but it hasn’t arrived yet. It’s for the floor of the pen. It makes me think of Marquelle’s bed comforter except zebra instead of cheetah.