Hamster/gerbil

Cage with environmental enrichment.  See below for some great examples 

Syrian Minimum of 100cm by 50cm 
Dwarf Minimum of 80 cm by 50cm

 

Cages:

Ikea Detlof is great to convert

This Pawhut Hamster cage is a great home for your small pets

This PawHut Small Wooden Hamster, Mouse or Rat Cage/Play House ( not suitable for rats ) 

 

Bedding:

Not all bedding is suitable even though it has been marketed as being safe. Some great ones however are:
Kaytee Clean and Cozy
Care Fresh
Uber Soft Bedding
Aspen
Bedding must be deep enough for them to burrow, ideally 6 inches compacted down so they can make burrows without the bedding caving in on them.

They need a full clean every 4-6 weeks and a spot clean daily; it is very distressing if you remove all of the substrate as it loses their scent. They will usually choose one place to toilet making your daily spot clean a little easier. 

 

Food:

For hamsters we recommend 1tsp of good quality seed mix for example, 'Erins ark'  Do a fab complexly mix for all small rodents. Or, get in touch with as I also run Poolbrook pet supplies in Malvern. We can post the majority of our stock too :)

scatter feeding is reccomened for added encroachment. 
Fresh Vegetables in very small doses, 1 in every 3 days (remember they only have very small bellies) 

 

Enrichment:

Sand Baths: the size of your hamster would depend on the size of sand bath, but you can't have a sand bath that's too big!!  hamsters use sand to clean themselves and we've found the best sand to use is Reptile sand as it is a smaller grain than the ones marketed for use for hamsters.

 

Coco fibre - you can buy blocks of fibre that soak in water until damp but not soaking. this can be put into a dish to give another form of enrichment and stimulation.

 

Wheels are great for hamsters to exercise but your standard pet shop wheels are usually to small. these are the recommended minimum sizes:
Syrian 28 cm 
Chinese 26 cm
Dwarf 20cm


Some Recommended wheels:
Trixie Plastic
Savic Rolly
Trixie Wooden
Tictac Wheel
Niteangel Wheel
Silent Spinner


All wheels should have a solid running surface- no wire bars. the hamster must be able to run without an arch in their back.

 

Hamsters love to have places to hide so lots of different hides, tunnels and toys to make the enclosure interesting, this can be moved around when you deep clean each month.

 

Sprays are good to encourage foraging. here are some great ones you can find online ( or contact us for shop details ) 
Oat
Millet
Red Millet
Pearl Millet
Wheat Spray
Sorghum spray
Flax Spray
You can also get forages mixes
Dandelion Root
Plantain
Blackberry leaf


Hamsters also love time outside of the cage in a safe zone. we recommend a small soft play pen with different items from the ones they have in the enclosure

 

MICE - mice require very similar care to hamsters, so you can take note of all of the above. In addition to this, mice love climbing, so it's important to offer them plenty of climbing ropes within the enclosure. They also are best kept in Pairs or groups . 
 

GERBIL- gerbils require very similar care to hamster. However, we find gerbils thrive in a more natural environment where they can spend all day making burrows and chewing up cardboard! 
 

DEGU - Degus are slightly closer in care to that of a Guinea big. Degus require a pellet type food, we reccomened science select along with access to good quality hay and the occasional offering of a small amount of veg as a treat. They are very busy animals so require lots of enrichment and a large enclosure. We would reccomend a large free standing metal cage. A large wheel can also offer enrichment into an enclosure. 

 

Rats

One of the recommended suppliers of rat feed can be found  here  
Home made mixes work just as well providing you follow a guide to ensure the ratio is correct.

 

Recommended substrate - aubiose ( sold as horse bedding ) and back2nature litter is good for litter trays.

 

Rats are very sociable animals and should always be kept in Atleast pairs. Rats love to exposure and dig so it’s important the base of the cage consists of a thick layer of substrate for digging , and the cage contains plenty of climbing ropes / toys / hammocks and beds. 

Cage size - we personally aim for something similar too Size: W96 x D63 x H159cm when re homing.

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