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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Robo dwarf hamsters



I found a good website for information about Roborovskii dwarf hamsters. They sound pretty cool and I just might have to get one someday. I've been a hamster hater since the one I had briefly chewed his way out and was gone within a week. The other ones I encountered always bit me so I decided they weren't the rodent for me.

In 2010, I met a breeder of Russian dwarfs at Scott Smith's All Animal Expo and she had me convinced they might be worth another try. The one she let me hold just sat in my hand. Most recently, I had to write a fact filled article about Robo dwarfs and that piqued my curiosity. I love that they can be housed in a large, plastic storage container and that they love to run on the wheel. Wheel runners have always been an attraction to me. In fact, that's how our rat, Sugar, won me over in the pet store. She was just running away.

Here's the link for Robo dwarf hamsters:

http://roborovskihamsters.webs.com/



Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Tip for Easier Cage Cleaning

Plenty of bird keepers use newspaper to cover the bottom of the cage. It can be used on the tray as well as on the grate above. There’s nothing wrong with this, though I’ve been told not to use colored paper (like that from ads and such) because it can be toxic if your bird ingests it.
I prefer to use a heavy white paper towel on my bird cage bottoms for a couple of reasons. One, I like the neat, bright look of it. I often clean before company comes and the white paper towels make the cages look less cluttered or busy. The second reason is that I can see my birds’ droppings better on the white background and thereby make sure I’m not seeing anything out of the ordinary.

For the bigger birds like my Senegal parrot, I have to layer the paper towels two or three times and put an extra one where I usually find the most droppings. A neighbor gave me some of that gritty, sand paper cage liner she had left after her cockatiel died. I was always told sand paper perches or substrates were bad for birds so I wasn’t planning to use it, but then I discovered if I cut just a mid-sized rectangular piece, I could place it below where the bird most often sits and decrease my need to change paper s. I just cut a new piece and switch it out with the old when droppings start to crowd the area. Easy peasy.

I found I could also do the same thing with a product used for rabbits and guinea pigs. I had bought some absorbent cage liners to spread across the bottom of a small holding cage, but they never really did the trick. The animals would just scratch or pull them up. Not wanting to waste them, I started cutting them into rectangles to use in the same way as the sandpaper. These liners are soft like suede on one side and glossy and water proof on the other.  They work well for keeping the paper towels dry. I can just lift the soiled, cut piece out and replace it with a new, clean one rather than having to change all the papers.  
I found I could also do the same thing with a product used for rabbits and guinea pigs. I had bought some absorbent cage liners to spread across the bottom of a small holding cage, but they never really did the trick. The animals would just scratch or pull them up. Not wanting to waste them, I started cutting them into rectangles to use in the same way as the sandpaper. These liners are soft like suede on one side and glossy and water proof on the other.  They work well for keeping the paper towels dry. I can just lift the soiled, cut piece out and replace it with a new, clean one rather than having to change all the papers.  

My favorite paper towel brand is Bounty, but they’re kind of expensive to just use for turd collecting so I buy a generic form of Bounty at Wal-mart or Sam’s Club or wherever; anything that has that quilted thickness.
I hope you’ll give these products a try. Remember to just use the sandpaper in sections and don’t cover the whole bottom with it. It’s not good for your bird’s feet.  The cage liners I used have a rabbit on the box and are made by a company called LM AnimalFarms.