01.24.09

The End of Another Era

Posted in Hamsters at 7:40 pm by Ravenshadow

Just as the title of this post says; it is the end of another era.
Having only just posted about Rem the other day, I come home to find that she has sadly passed away. Took a few attempts to actually remove her from the cage after having discovered her buried under sawdust, bedding and other Roborovski; they really did not want me to take her out of the cage.

What makes it a little more sad is the fact that she was approching her third year, which would have made her ancient in hamster terms. I was holding out a small amount of hope that she might just solider on that little bit more, but alas it was not meant to be.
Rem was born on the 26th of April 2006, making her two years and nine months old. I believe that makes her the oldest hamster I have had.

She will be missed greatly.

01.23.09

Second Egg on a Roll

Posted in Quails at 3:48 pm by Ravenshadow

Well, we were woken up this morning at 8:55am by the sound of Blackfoot crowing (something he’s not really done for a while now) and Reckless scrabbling around in the nest box (claws on wood, a wonderful sound, honest…).

Reckless had managed to scrape up all the hay so that a nice little circle of wood was left bare in the middle of the nest box (I have since put some sawdust in the bare spot). This continued on for around five minutes and then suddenly stopped and was shortly followed by a “thunk” sound as an egg hit the wooden base and then rolled to one side. Was quite an amusing sound to be sure. Everything was quiet after that.

So. That is now the second egg that Reckless is laid. Hopefully it will not take her long to get into the swing of things and maybe even start brooding an egg herself; that would certainly be interesting to see.

01.21.09

A couple of updated photos

Posted in Hamsters, Quails at 6:50 pm by Ravenshadow

Have taken a couple of pictures today, so thought that I would post them up to keep things a little fresh.

Rem. The older she gets, the balder she gets. Bless.

Rem. The older she gets, the balder she gets. Bless.

 First up we have Rem. She was in the first batch of Roborovski that I ever brought (actually, the only batch I ever brought, since the others were born here). She was born on the 24th of April 2006 and is the last surviving Roborovski from the six originals. She may be getting old and quite bald, but she is still powering on.

Blackfoot and Reckless

Blackfoot and Reckless

Next up we have a photo of Blackfoot and Reckless, taken today. Clicking on the photo should bring up a larger version of the picture… This thumbnail version seems to have cut off Reckless’ head (she still has a head, honest!).

Reckless first egg.

Reckless' first egg.

And last but not least, Reckless’ first egg! I still have to keep reminding myself that ‘he’ is actually a ‘she’ and ‘she’ has laid an egg… It is all quite strange still!

Serves me right for convincing myself that the only two eggs that hatched out for me were both male. Ah well, you know how the saying goes… Don’t count the chickens before they hatch. In this case don’t count out the unexpected, that’s for sure.

 

If all works well, clicking on the images above should link to their page on the gallery site…

Edit note: Why oh why won’t the text formatting work how it is supposed to work… The text block for each photo is supposed to be to the right along side the photo, NOT underneath it… Waaaaugh!

01.20.09

A Pleasant Surprise

Posted in Quails at 3:46 pm by Ravenshadow

So, after convincing myself that I have two male quail I was starting to consider where to get some females from for when they finally go into their outside accommodation. Woke up today, did my usual check around of the hamsters and the quail and come across a very odd sight. There was a little white egg sat in the middle of the quail’s nesting box.

 

At first I thought that someone was playing a joke on me, or that it was just something that had fallen into the nesting box. After having checked with Doug and actually taken out the suspect object and given it a closer look … It was actually an egg! Quite confusing since I was convinced that the two quail I had were both male. Turns out that Reckless is actually a she and that Blackfoot did actually know what he was doing when he was mounting ‘her’, rather than just getting confused or trying to show who was boss … Well, colour me surprised.

 

For now I have left the egg in the nest box just so that Reckless can get used to laying in that area (rather than random locations in the cage – was actually quite impressed that the very first egg she laid (that is still very odd to type) was laid in the nest box). Hopefully after a few more eggs she’ll start sitting on them … That would be quite interesting to see. Am of half a mind to see if she can successfully incubate an egg herself, since I have no plans on actually incubating anything else in the foreseeable future (sadly).

 

Now to get used to calling Reckless a she rather than calling them both he … How confusing!

12.20.08

An Overdue Update

Posted in Hamsters, Life in General, Quails at 5:53 am by Ravenshadow

It has been quite a sad time since my last post. My only remaining Russian hamster is looking rather sorry for herself; Autumn has an eye infection that causes both her eyes to fill up with what can only be described as “gunk”. I have tried giving her various medication to hopefully clear it up, but nothing seems to work. I have been trying to keep her eyes as clean as possible, but she is not the best patient in the world and tends to struggle every time I try and pin her down long enough to wipe the gunk out of her eyes. With the fight she puts up, you would think that she enjoyed being unable to see…

The quail are both doing well, although keep fighting against my attempts to put them outside in the hutch (yes, the shed is still not finished yet … We still need to put together the shelf and the inner doors). They just stand there against the bars all fluffed up and shivering at me. I have given up for the time being and hope to be able to put them out sometime in the new year. With all luck, they will get the hint and stay out there; not to mention the fact that they will have more room to move about out there.
On a side note; Blackfoot seems to hate me. Doug lets him out in the mornings and he jumps out of the cage and charges over to the bed where I still am, jumps up, and attacks me. Even if I am under the blankets and hiding at the time. I am not too sure what I have done to deserve such treatment, but he really does seem to hate me. That and feet. He seems to have a thing for attacking feet…
Reckless is doing well, even through his foot never straightened out. It does not seem to bother him too much. When he is let out he generally goes for a bit of a fly around the room before finding some high up spot to land on. He has gotten much better at landing now and barely crashes into things any more.

Managed to get some Christmas shopping done today in Milton Keens. I am happy to have been actually able to find some things, and have just about enough money to buy a few bits and bobs. Although it was nice to be able to get out of the house and have a walk around a fairly nice place (I enjoy the shopping center in Milton Keens) I really hated the crowds and the amount of people walking around laden down with numerous shopping bags; all of which looked expensive. Okay, so maybe that part is jealously and wistful thinking, but still… Some of the people I expected to see walking around with butlers or something. There’s shopping, and there is over doing it.

On the way back out of Milton Keens we stopped by the Pets at Home store. They have an adoption center at the back of the store with a few animals looking for new homes. It is a good idea really, but the staff do seem to faff around a lot in regards to it.
In residence was a rather large rabbit, and a young-ish looking Chinchilla. There were also two rather fat ten month old Russian hamsters there that seem to have come from the same place, although they were living in separate display tanks; one above the other. After talking a little with Doug we decided to give the pair a home for Christmas.

We managed to find a member of staff pretty quickly and asked if we could have a look at the two hamsters since we might be interested in giving them a home. She quickly vanishes off out back and doesnt come back for around five minutes. So we stand there waiting, and waiting, and waiting… She finally emerges again with paperwork, saying something about “wanting to be ready”. She kind of jumped the gun a little, considering we only said that we would like to have a look at the hamsters, not that we were definitely interested in taking them home. So, she finally gets the first hamster out and is standing in front of the cage, pretty close to it in fact, making me have to stand on my toes in order to peer around her shoulder. She just stands there fussing the hamster and really not giving us much of a look at him at all. Then puts him back in the cage. We had to ask if we could actually look at him before she actually picked him back up again and handed him over. Having a look at the second boy was a lot easier than the first one.
Both of them were pretty tame, although one is a little more skittish than the other. So I guess they were handled at some point in their life.
The staff member then had to go and find some boxes, taking her away from us (and the now unlocked and open tanks) for another few minutes. When she comes back she starts saying how these animals are ‘brought’ with donations, rather than actually having a price tag on them. Which, considering that they are adoption animals, is a good thing. As she gets me to fill out the stupidly large forms (a full A4 piece of paper that she insists I read sections of before signing) she asks how much I am going to donate. Keep in mind at this point the two hamsters are in their boxes and scrabbling around. I check my purse and dig out some money and tell her £6, £3 each (our reasoning for this is that they sell new stock there for £7 each, and since these are already 10 months old we thought that £3 would be pretty fair). She mutters something about having to check to see if that is okay and vanishes off out back again! Me and Doug exchange looks, shrug, and wait for a few more minutes with two scrabbling hamsters wondering what on earth is going on.
She eventually comes back out again saying that a £3 donation for each would be fine, although goes on to remind me that I do not have to pay in cash since it has to be taken through the till any how. At this point I was about ready to scream at her. Donations are supposed to be just that… Donations out of the kindness of your heart. Hamsters in this country, even more true with those brought from pet stores such as Pets at Home, are lucky to make it to two years old. These boys are already ten months old and are well into their lives. Although I really wanted to give them a good home for Christmas I was almost ready to tell her not to bother.

So, a note for the future… Never again go to the Milton Keens Pets at Home store in order to get adoption animals… Or at least find a different staff member!
On the bright side, the two boys (Now called Pazu and Boma) have settled down into their new homes and seem to be enjoying the fact that they have wheels now.

08.05.08

Quail Update : Week 7

Posted in Hamsters, Quails at 7:37 pm by Ravenshadow

Well, it is official, the quails are now a while seven weeks old (just another three before they can go outside). I’ve gotten around to taking some photos today to keep track of their growth throughout their first few weeks, and have also gotten around to taking a few previous photos off of the phone and getting them uploaded to the gallery.

As always, I shall only include the thumbnails of the photos here, and the full sized ones can be found at the gallery page.
Top Row: Blackfoot and Reckless, Blackfoot, Reckless
Bottom Row: Blackfoot, Reckless

  
  

Gave the pair of them a little run around the room today. Can always tell when they enjoy being out of the brooder cage because Blackfoot starts doing pirouettes from standing (he’ll hop upwards, flutter around a bit, and generally land facing the other way), it is quite funny to watch. They also seem to enjoy foraging in the carpet, pecking up any seeds that the hamsters may have thrown out from the cages (or I have accidentally dropped whilst feeding the hamsters). I guess they do not realise that the carpet is not actually grey grass…
Either way, they must have worn themselves out since they were fairly easy to catch again and as soon as they were back in their cage they have gone and nested in the corner.

And just because the picture was just too quite to pass up … Here is a non-quail related bit!
Mitten, now being the oldest remaining hamster, has been giving pride of place in the cage on my computer desk that was recently vacated by Smudge.
I caught him the other day flumped out in the sand bowl that I gave him, it was just too cute to pass up! I mean, really, how cute is that?

08.02.08

Kakashi the Ninja Hamster

Posted in Hamsters at 3:48 am by Ravenshadow

You would have thought after the amount of hamsters I have kept I would have since learnt that naming them can be a dangerous thing. Now, this may seem silly to some, but I’ll tell you now… Be careful what you name your animals! Once they are given a name, they seem to have this uncanny habit of taking on attributes from the original owner of that name.

For instance. Always think twice before naming a hamster after a well trained, powerful, ninja from a manga series … Now, up until now this has not been a problem. There was nothing wrong about Kakashi scaling the walls of his cage and monkey-barring across the ceiling for minutes at a time … There was nothing wrong about him growing his claws to a silly length and really putting up a fight when I tried to cut them down. However, when I put him in the play pen (a 12″ high glass tank) and he some how manages to get out with a good 6″ gap between the highest wooden item in there and the lip of the pen … Well … Its just not on!

The story goes thus …
I leave Kakashi in the play pen whilst I had down stairs to watch a film. I come back upstairs after the film to put him away in his own cage only to find that he is not where I left him at all. I take all the items out of the tank and rummage around the sawdust therein for a few moments before coming to the conclusion that, some how, Kakashi is no longer there.
So, after a few minutes searching around the room and the house (since I left the room door open due to the heat) we finally manage to find him. Some how, Kakashi had managed to scale 6″ of sheer glass (likely from the top of a new wooden piece I had placed in the play pen for the hamsters), climb over the lip of the tank and either fall to the barred shelf or miss that totally and fall straight to the floor. At which point he likely had a grand adventure whilst I was left worrying and panicking over the fact that I may have well lost a hamster.

So. Moral of the story – Be careful what you name your hamsters, because you never know what personaility traits they may pick up from their host name!

08.01.08

Wolfwood

Posted in Hamsters at 7:56 pm by Ravenshadow

Was filling the water bottles in the various Roborovski colony cages today and came across a very sorry looking Wolfwood laying on his back in his cage. Although he is still alive and kicking, it looks as though he has been a little beaten up by his cage mates (Edward and Alphonse). My best guess is that one of them were either trying to take charge as the alpha of the cage, or had become fed up of having an older hamster in there with them. Who knows the minds of hamsters.

I have set Wolfwood up in his own little cage, but am a little saddened to have to do this because he has always been with other Roborovski ever since I purchased him. I am hoping that he will get on alright on his own.

His backside has been a little nibbled underneath, but the worse of the injuries are his back feet which look to have really taken a bit of a beating; both are scabbed over and puffed up where he has received bruising.
The picture below is not of the best quality (it is hard to take a photo of a Roborovski at the best of times since they do not seem to like staying still for too long!), but I am hoping it will give the general idea of what is going on with him.

07.28.08

Another Hamster Update

Posted in Hamsters at 3:00 pm by Ravenshadow

Today we are sadly down to five winter whites. Yesterday I was concerned about Summer. She had been steadily loosing weight until she was pretty much the same size as her sister, Autumn. I was checking over the hamsters yesterday afternoon and noticed that Summer was doing her best ‘floppy’ impression. It looked as though she had not been eating or drinking. I fed her some water, left some small seed in the cage with her and made her as comfortable as possible before we went out for the evening.
I was half expecting to have one hamster less by the time we got back, but she was still there. One thing I did notice about her, however, was the fact that she seemed to be having small seizures. Every now and then she was squeak lightly, then louder and bring her front paws up to either side of her mouth and sit lay there gasping for a while before relaxing again. She’d lay like that for a bit then start running around the cage again as though nothing had happened. This went on ever five to fifteen minutes or so. Again, I made her as comfortable as possible over night. I woke up this morning and checked on her only to find that she had passed away. It was expected so I can not say it was a shock, but none the less it is always sad to see them pass away.

I just hope that Autumn is going to be alright on her own now. This will be the first time she’s ever been on her own since the pair of them had always gotten along fine and thus were left in the cage together.

Once again, I am going to need to sort out my hamster photos and get more up in the gallery … I keep saying that, don’t I? One day I might actually get around to doing it …

On a side note, Mitten now has pride of place as the hamster on the desk. He spends most of his time sleeping in either his food bowl or his sand bowl at the moment.

07.25.08

Hamster Update

Posted in Hamsters at 11:31 am by Ravenshadow

It would seem that this is not a good month to be a hamster, or at least a hamster who is as old as many of the ones that I have are. Since Tack passed away last month we have had some more that have shuffled off to the great wheel in the sky (hamsters keep the sun and moon moving around in circles, you just know it).

Zoe (24/11/05 - 15/07/08)

Zoe passed away on the 15th. That day was one of those days that I wished I had not bothered with the weekly role-play game that we go to. As usual I had cleaned the gunk out of her ear (she had a bit of a weepy ear problem going on) and by the time I had gotten back from the game she had passed away quietly in her sleep, curled up quite contently in the less heated ‘outside’ nest she had built herself just outside of her nesting box.

 

Meep passed away on the 21st. He had been suffering from an eye infection in both eyes making them weep and gunk up. Sadly because it has been so warm the gunk had been drying up and sealing his eyes closed. Although it was amusing watching him bimble about his cage blindly, he did well enough and I always made sure to clean his eyes up for him.
From the first litter we ever had here, Meep will be missed as his brothers before him are.
Sadly for some reason I am unable to locate a photo of him at this moment in time … Guess I need to dig around some of the older photos that I’ve not uploaded yet (or some of the really new ones) and get around to sorting them all out and uploading them to my gallery.

Smudge (10/09/05 - 26/07/08)

Smudge passed away sometime earlier today. Sadly he was hidden away in the back of his cage in a side nest he had created and I had only very recently discovered him. Seems something inside him burst. But, considering he was almost three years of age we are not surprised that something that went wrong finally killed him… He had a broken (and set wrong) leg for about half his long life and had developed various lumps and bumps during the recent year. We are surprised he solidered on for as long as he did. But battle on he did. It is just a shame he did not reach his 3rd year, that would have been some celebration for sure.
The reason for most of the hamsters that I have ever had… Smudge will be greately missed.

With Smudge’s passing, my desk is looking terribly empty right now, since his was the cage that had been sitting upon it for such a long time now. I guess I will have to decide who will take his place upon the desk (the empty space is taunting me so). I am thinking Mitten, since he is now the next oldest remaining hamster… To tell the truth, the hamster three shelves in general are looking quite empty now. What used to be 18+ cages between the three shelving units is now only five active cages and the gerbil’s cage.
We are down to six Russian dwarf hamsters and twelve Roborovski (although the robos do not count, really, since they all live in four cages, all of them in small colonies other than Little ‘en who is special and requires her own cage).

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »