Monday, 30 January 2012

Blogging A-Z Challenge

I decided to give this a go, I like a good challenge! Every day in April I will be blogging about hamster related stuff from A-Z, better get my thinking cap on :D

If you want to join in go to this linky.

Wish me luck!

Peggy Metro Review

Sorry it's a little bit late, I've had a really busy weekend. Munchkin isn't eating from what I can tell and I've been stressing:/. Anyway, I don't have the Peggy metro cage but I used to when I first bought my syrian, so here is a review :).

Dimensions: 37 x 50 x 40cm
  • Water bottle and holder
  • Food bowl
  • Shelf
  • Tubing
  • Wheel
  • Ramp down from the shelf

Please ignore the syrian in this picture, I couldn't find one without a hamster in it >_>. So the pros of this cage...honestly cannot think of any. Perhaps the shelf, because it adds extra space to an otherwise tiny cage. 

Cons, it is too small for most if not all hamsters. The bar spacing is too wide for a robo, and the cage is too small for a full grown syrian or dwarf. I kept baby Munchkin in there for a while until he grew and it became painfully clear that he was too big. The tubes are bad because untame hamsters can use them to hide from you in, and tame hamsters sleep in them, meaning they get stinky, and they can get ill from the condensation they produce. 

The wheel you get with the cage is a savic rolly, and it is too small for a syrian. It is also insanely loud! Even with oil/vasaline on the spindle it can be squeaky.

Basically, I hate this cage, and I hate that pet shops will happily sell it with a hamster when they know full well the hamster will quickly outgrow it. I put Little man in it when I was waiting for his new cage and even he made it look small. Urgh, just no, don't buy it, ignore the pet shop staff and get something bigger. ANYTHING BIGGER haha. When I got mine it was with my first hamster, my syrian, and he was fine for about 2 months and them BOOM too small.

Sorry I don't have more pictures, I didn't have the cage long, and don't have pictures of it. Hopefully you can get the idea of what I'm saying :)

(also sorry for the shorter post, busy busy busy at the moment)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Mini Duna Cage Review

Another cage review..."YAY" I hear you shout XD. Today's review is of the mini duna as I had to clean Winter out and shes in that one.

So, dimensions are 55 x 39 x 27cm although the floor space is slightly smaller as the sides slope in a little bit. I find it is a great cage for the smaller varieties of hamster, chinese, russians and roborovski but in it is in no way ok for syrians. It isn't big enough at all, and to be perfectly honest I'm starting to think about upgrading Winter to a bigger one as she is so active.

Anyway, rambling aside, this is what the cage comes with:
  • Water bottle
  • Food bowl
  • Plastic shelf
  • Plastic house
  • Water bottle holder
  • Wheel - I don't have this anymore as it was terrible quality, noisy and generally horrible. It did attach to the shelf.
The pros of this cage are that it is nice and deep, meaning you can fit a lot of substrate into it which is fantastic for hammies that love digging, which Winter does. It is also a tank style cage which keeps substrate in, and prevents bar chewing *yay*. The shelf is really good because it adds another level, and means your hamster has more space.

It is also really easy to clean, I just empty it, spray with pet safe disinfectant and then use the shower to wash it out. The door on top is huge which means easy access to your hamster :D. The price is also fantastic, retailing at £25 in most shops. I got mine from Pets at Home and they come in white, pink, blue and teal.

There are not many cons in my view, only the wheel really, which I got rid of almost straight away. I guess the biggest con is the size, as hamsters almost always like more space.

With the little house you get, it clips into the shelf which means it won't be knocked around and your hamster can sleep without sliding around the shelf if you are moving the cage.
Winter sleeps under the shelf, but she did used to sleep in the house.

The dish you get with the cage is huge, so it is probably a better idea to use it as a sand bath ore remove it altogether. I don't use mine as Winter is tiny and the food dish is far too big, as you can see here:
It looks like this when it is all put together:
The bottle fits on the outside with a little holder that sucks ontot he cage. The suckers do mark the plastic after a while (I've had mine about a year and they have only just started marking) but it doesn't really bother me too badly. The top clips onto the base and it feels really sturdy to me, but some people complain of them snapping although that has never happened to me.

The finished cage:

The little purple bowl is for her baby food treat which she gets once a week. The corner san bath is actually a potty which I just use for sand because I have never managed to potty train any of my hamsters ><.

Here is a picture of Winter because I think everyone should get to see the cuteness :D

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Zoozone 1 Review

I got round to cleaning out the mice today, to be honest I left it longer than I should have and they smelt quite bad :/. It should be done once a week with mice but I left it about two because you all know how life can get in the way of these things ;).

Anyway, it gave me the perfect oppertunity to give a review of the zoozone 1!

The dimensions are 72cm (28.25") L x 46cm (18") W x 32.5cm (12.75") H and its retailed as a guinea pig/rabbit cage. It IS NOT big enough for those uses and annoys me to no end that they even list it as suitable for that >_>. It is however perfect for hamsters and mice :D, although I used to have my syrian in mine and I found it too small for him. It is actually recommended by many hamster owners to have syrians in at least a 80x50cm cage, so if you have the space for that then get bigger :). It cost me £35, so not too bad.

The zoozone comes with a hay rack and food/water bowls which I removed, as hamsters/mice don't eat hay. Some people use it as a shelf and put a grass mat or cardboard on it, which is something I haven't done but you could always give it a go. Mine came like this:
without the mesh on the lid, which needs doing if you are going to have high toys in there, or keep a syrian in there, as they can escape as Munchkin did before I meshed it ><. Meshing is pretty simple, if you just buy some small sqared mesh from a garden centre and use cable ties to attach it to the lid:
Sorry for the bad photo, I have no idea what happened with the angle o.o. I think you can get the basic idea though.

So, the pro points of this cage are that it has a very deep base, which means you can fit loads of substrate in which is great for hamsters or mice that love digging.
It is also a really good size for my mice, who live in there currently, and before them it housed Little Man and it was a great size for him (Winter White). Its really easy to clean because it is basically a plastic box, so I just hoover it after tipping the bedding out, then give it a quick disinfect and its done.

The cons are mainly having to mesh, and the water bottle. Grrr, the water bottle is awkward because it is made for a rabbit. You don't get one with the cage, and you don't get anything to attach one I used 2 cable ties to make sort of a ring and that holds the bottle onto the cage: 

It is really awkward and the bottle falls off a lot so I use a little bit of tape to hold the bottle onto the cable ties. 

Overall I do like the cage for my mice, and smaller varieties of hamsters. I hang a lot of toys from the roof as mice love to climb, but when Little Man was in there he had a wooden trixie shelf to give him a bit more room:
and they fit perfectly.

Any questions feel free to ask. Here is the finished product :D

Saturday, 21 January 2012


The zoo is now on Youtube! Just a quick post to announce that, now everyone can see the hams and mice in full HD glory :D. Enjoy.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Hamsters Don't Smell!..Mice do but thats a whole other story

Little man's new cage still hasn't arrived yet *sigh* and I'm holding off any more clean outs until then, plus I'm dangerously low on megazorb. So my lucky readers get this instead of another cage review.

I really want to get rid of the misconception about hamsters smelling. After yet another conversation with my mum (who I don't live with by the way) about smelly hamsters I was left feeling more than a little annoyed. Hamsters are in fact an incredibly clean rodent, and prefer to do their "business" in one corner of the cage, meaning a simple spot clean every couple of days is enough to keep the smell at bay. I clean out the cages once every two weeks because I use Megazorb:

which is actually a horse bedding and comes in HUGE bags of 85 litres. It is wood pulp and is really soft, and absorbent. I originally switched to this after Munchkin became visibly irritated by woodshavings, sneezing and scratching an awful lot. I find it keeps the tunnels my hamsters dig in shape and keeps any nasty smells at bay.

However, even using woodshavings hamsters DO NOT SMELL if they are cleaned out enough (once a week on shavings would be my recommendation) and it annoys me to no end that they have this bad stigma attached. I have 4 hamsters, all in seperate cages and the room they are all in together never smells. Maybe this is because you are used to it I hear you ask. No, even visitors to my house don't notice.

I can understand why they have this label attached to them, they are rodents after all, but with the proper care and attention they don't ever have to smell, and can be even kept in a living room where people always are and not cause an issue.

A quick end note before I finish my rant...never bath your hamsters, EVER.

They don't need it, and it does in fact do more harm than good by washing away oils essential to maintaining a healthy coat. You can give them a little dish or box with chinchilla sand or dried out children's play sand in if their coat is looking greasy but no water baths.

There, rant over, anyone interested in getting a hamster but who is put off by their smell, don't be. Hamsters are such lovely creatures and don't deserve to be overlooked because of misinformed rumours.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Hamster Noms

I don't need to clean any more cages out yet (holding out for Little Man's new cage) but I did need to make up some new hamster mixes, so I thought I would give a blog on that instead of another review :D.

I do make my own mixes but the base, which makes most of the food up, is Harry Hamster (Hazel Hamster in the US). I find this food is excellent quality, and not too expensive at around £1.80 per 850g bag, and considering it lasts me ages because I mix things in then it works out as a great deal:
After adding the main food, I then add several other things to give variety:
  • Uncooked red lentils
  • Plain puffed rice
  • Uncooked white rice
  • Uncooked pearl barley
  • Porridge oats - only around winter
  • Bird seed - for the dwarves, not for the syrian
  • Wagg small animal food
I feed the dwarves a different mix to Munchkin because he doesn't like the fiddly little seeds, so for the syrian mix I don't add the bird seed or rice.

The dwarf mix looks like this:
and I keep it in a plastic box I bought from ASDA with a little scoop, its perfect for hamster food:D
They seem to eat most of it, except the green/brown little pellets of alfalfa. I have no idea why they even put it in hamster mixes anymore because 90% of hamsters don't like it >_>.

Munchkin, the syrian's mix is slightly different. It has less seeds and more puffed rice and Wagg because he hates messing with the little pieces and tends to leave them. 

So they are my mixes, pretty simple and most of it tends to get eaten. I feed one scoop to Munchkin, and half a scoop to the dwarves every two days to make sure most if not all of it is eaten.

Onto treats, which everyone loves ;). I feed treats 3 times a week, slightly more when taming as a bit of a bribe, and I have quite a collection of them :o which I didn't even realise until I got them out for a photo XD:

  • Bonio puppy bones
  • Egg biscuits
  • Various fruit and vegetable drops - great for use in taming
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Baby food
  • Peanuts in their shells
  • Rice drops
  • Scrambled egg - not shown as I don't want egg all over my bed XD
  • Mealworms (not live *shudder*)
They love the puppy bones, and it is the funniest thing watching Munchkin trying to fit it up the tube in his hamster heaven! He carries it round like a dog, so cute ^_^. Treats should be given as exactly that, a treat, and they should never be fed too much as they can be bad for hamsters in large amounts. Not all of the hamsters like mealworms, so I don't have any at the moment, but some of them do so they get them as an extra treat every now and then.

The baby food is great for hamsters as a treat, just make sure there is no onion in it because that is bad for hamsters:
They're the ones I chose, and chicken is great for hams because of the protein, as is egg and mealworms.

I give the bird seed bells from Pets at Home to Pea and Winter, and they love them, I can gaurentee they are gone withing two days after being placed in the cage lol. I also have corn sticks for Munchkin, but I would never give them to any of the others because of the high sugar content.
In the box you can see little fruit biscuits, but none of mine like those for whatever reason so I've had these for ages.

Thats everything, any questions please ask, hope you enjoyed my random blog post XD

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Imac Fantasy Cage Review

Soooo I couldn't sleep, and decided to clean out one of the hams :D. Turned out Pea was the one in most need of a clean so you lucky readers get to see the Imac Fantasy cage review *cheer*.

Pea currently lives in a one storey Imac Fantasy:
This cage is suitable for adult Chinese and Dwarf hamsters and baby Syrians, although I would recommend a bigger cage for a syrian, as they need more floor space and less upward space. Roborovski hamsters also shouldn't be kept in this cage as the bar spacing is too large, and they may try and escape resulting in them getting their heads stuck :(.

One of the fantastic features of the Imac Fantasy is that you can extend upwards up to 5 times, and this means it is great for people with limited floor space. However, the extensions can cost almost as much as the cage so it is best to look on Gumtree, Preloved and ebay for second hand cages that you can salvage the bits needed to extend.

The cage comes like this:
and is really easy to set up. The green area you can see in the picture usually has a large lid on the big hole, but mine doesn't, and I will explain why a little later. You get a small food bowl with it, but nothing else, so you will need a water bottle and something to hold it to the cage bars (which is more than a little annoying >_>).

The base is not massively deep, so I wouldn't recommend it for a hamster that likes digging as you can end up with substrate all over the floor :o. Luckily for me, Pea doesn't dig very much at all. There is also a green top floor with a blue lid. The lid has ventilation holes all over it, and some people complain of condensation but I have never had that problem. There is also a small bed area on the top floor removing the need for a separate house, which is really good, and it fits a lot of bedding in.

The sizing of the main cage is  58cm 38x cm x 28.5cm (aprox 23″ x 15″ x 11″) and the basic cage works out as around the same size (over the 2 levels) as a zoozone 1. As I said before I wouldn't recommend this for an adult syrian as there isn't really a big enough continual running space, but it is fine for Pea, and she loves it.

This is her bottom floor after the cleanout:
That is a 6.5" silent spinner, to give you an idea of the size. it may look bare but you will see why in a moment ;). I use this, which is a long wooden ladder, to put through the large hole at the top for my hamster to climb up and down.
This isn't completely necessary, but Pea struggled with getting up the supplied tube for a while so I put this in so she had another way of getting to her bed. The tube can be difficult for the smaller varieties of hams because they have furry feet, so it may be best to give them another option of getting to the second floor.

The second level is useful for a few extra toys, and of course the bed. Pea doesn't have much on there because she prefers to store food up there. There is room for a small layer of substrate, which I would say is a good idea to put in because the plastic can be slippery for their furry feet ^_^.
The empty green bit is the house, and when the blue lid is on there are walls that surround it. I fill it with bedding using the plugged hole in the top.

The finished product:
Overall I would recommend the Imac Fantasy for the smaller varieties of hams, but there are better cages out there. If you are really stuck for space then this cage would suffice, but if not then check the market for something bigger/better.
Any questions please ask, I think I covered most things but it is 6am so I could have missed stuff. For a final photo, see if you can spot the now clean and happy Pea :D


A Mouse Amongst Hamsters

Lastly, but most certainly not least, my newest additions. Morgana's bum, and Kayle's face ^_^

Sometimes I worry that they feel left out in a house full of hamsters, but they actually don't seem to care. The live in a zoozone 1:

A fantastic cage for both hamsters and mice, but only ok for mice if you add a lot of hanging toys as they LOVE to climb. Since this picture was taken I've added a hanging sputnik too, which they really enjoy sleeping in. I think it makes them feel safe.

They're not tame at the moment, because it is surprisingly difficult to do. The hamsters were all a lot easier, but it is rewarding all the same when you make progress.

They were born at the end of November 2011, so they are still babies (everyone say AWWW) and I'm really enjoying having them, for the challenge and for the very different natures they have compared to hamsters.

So they are my mice, the odd ones out in a house full of hamsters XD. That's the introductions done :( so what comes next? Possibly cage reviews...wait and see ;)

Friday, 13 January 2012

Interruptions in the Introductions

Just quickly interrupting the flow of things to show you guys this:
 My photogenic little lady was hiding from me this evening and I snapped this shot, and I love it! She looks so cute and snuggled in there :D

There is also this, which my OH has drawn for his Fine Art course at uni:
He has to draw on things, using fears as the subject matter, so he drew a mouse on this unused hamster wheel we have ^_^

Anyway, back to the intros...

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Introducing...Little Man ^_^

Next member of my menagerie is Little Man, my supposed Winter White. I bought him from a local "trusted" pet shop who breed their own hamsters and was assured he was a winter white, however all that happened this winter is he turned slightly whiter than he used to be >_>. I actually don't mind that much because he has a lovely temperament and is the cutest little guy ever!
I'm quite concerned about his weight, as he seems HUGE compared to how he was, so I've been taking the corn out of his food, and limiting treats.

He currently lives in the zoozone 1, which he doesn't use to its potential  he is such a lazy hamster, I feel the zoozone is being wasted on him. I've ordered an Imac Bingo for him to live in that should be here in the next week so I'm quite excited about that, and until then he will stay in the zoozone. When that arrives the mice will be moved into the zoozone and Little Man will live in the Imac bingo. Musical cages much?

So that is my little guy, he is around 1 year old, possibly less, and he enjoys cuddles, sleeping and being generally lazy :D

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Introducing...Pea! (slightly late)

The next fluffy friend I have to introduce is Pea, my female chinese hamster :D. She has been with me a long time now (about 1.5 years) and took a hell of a long time to tame. She never used to come out when the lights were on, or when anyone was in the room, but now she runs to the cage door for cuddle time! It is a pretty amazing transformation, and its fantastic to see her make such progress. She currently lives in an Imac Fantasy:
 I must say I love this cage! Only for a dwarf or chinese though, and I have also housed a robo in there but I wouldn't really advise that as they can squeeze their heads through the bars and get a bit stuck. Mine is only 1 level at the moment (new one on its way) but you can expand up to 5 :o. She loves it, and it is bigger than the mini duna she used to be in. I had to add a wodden bridge up to the top floor as she couldn't manage the tubes at first but now she does it fine.

This is the best picture I have of her at the moment, she is a fast little thing when she wants to be, and doesn't seem to like being in front of the camera XD.
Enjoying an egg biscuit.
I really enjoy owning a chinese hamster, and would recommend them to anyone who has the patience for one, as they can be difficult to tame ;)

Saturday, 7 January 2012


Munchkin is my male sable banded syrian hamster, and was actually my first furry friend! As I didn't know any better back then I bought him from Pets at Home, which aren't the most reliable pet shop :/. He has just turned one (happy birthday) and is a cheeky little chappy. This is my favourite photo of him, enjoying his green house, we call it the nipple house XD, in the Hamster Heaven:

He recently had a problem with his teeth, they grew too long, and had to have his first vet visit. Thankfully it is fixed now, and he behaved really well :D

He came to me in February of 2011 after years of wanting a hamster, and I can honestly say I don't regret having a syrian one bit! He needs much more attention than any of my others, but he is also the most cuddly.

Originally he was in a Peggy Metro:
Which I now know is FAR TOO SMALL. Like, insanely small. He is now in the Hamster Heaven and the difference is unbelievable:

Anyway, more on cages another time. That is Munchkin, my fluffy little cuddle monster :D