The Food Dish is for Pooping

[Hamster Tales Part 5]

The story so far: I have acquired a pair of female Roborovski hamsters. They’re skittish as hell. I allow them to settle in without interference as start of the taming process. But they get territorial and fight, so I give them a big new cage with new toys. The trauma of being in a new environment makes them forget their feud and they kiss and make up by the end of the day.

Picnic and Pixie

Day 5
Sunday, 30 Dec 2007

I think introducing Picnic and Pixie to their new playground has traumatised them back to square one. They’re so terrified (or disapproving) of the new place that they’ve been huddled together in the basement corner of the Pink Princess Castle an entire day and night.

It’s now 2 am and they’re still not coming out to play.

Picnic's and Pixie's home

I’ll have to wait another three days, let them get back their sense of security, before taming can start.

The first three days, I didn’t give them a roofed house (most hamster guides say that dwarf hamsters need those) because the castle didn’t have room for a house like that.

So, when I bought the new cage, I also bought a proper house for them to sleep in. It cost me $22.

Hamster home

They’re not sleeping in it.

They prefer to bury themselves under a pile of shavings and tissue in the castle basement.

Hamster hiding

I hope it’s because they’re still wary of the new cage and don’t dare to sleep in there yet. It’s possible they will migrate later. I’ve read that hamsters are fond of changing their sleeping spots every so often.

My little princesses are also still pooping in the wheel and in the food dish.

I read through six pages of a poop thread in the hamster forum. It seems like only 20% of hamsters are conscientious clean freaks and will poop in one logical designated spot. Most hamsters just poop wherever they feel like pooping at the moment.

Oh, well, not a big deal. Hamster poop is so tiny you can hardly see it, anyway. It’s like the size of a small ant. And there’s no smell.

Poop in food dish

I don’t know where they are peeing, though. Wherever it is they’re doing it, it gets soaked up before I can see it. I hope not where they’re sleeping or that’ll be really disgusting.

Picnic has appointed a new dining room in the castle. She has decided that the best place to eat is in the wheel, since she’s already pooping in there.

Yes, it makes perfect sense to eat and poop and play in the same spot. Then you can stay put and don’t have to waste time travelling anywhere else for hours and hours and hours.

So Picnic brings all her food into the wheel.

Food in the wheel

I bet she will drag her water bottle into the wheel, too, if she can figure out how to.

Sometimes she sits there and eats quietly. Sometimes she holds the food in her mouth and runs.

Picnic eats in her new dining room

Sometimes she leaves the food on the floor of the wheel and runs and the food makes an awful rattle as it spins around the wheel.

Sweet little Pixie rolls her eyes and sighs with resignation.

Sweet little Pixie

Next Chapter: Tissue Thief