Hamster Agility, how do you start? How do you..... Well, here is our step by step training blog. You can read along and see photos and videos of our hamster Coal, from baby to adult, from Bar Jumps to Tunnels. We hope you will visit often.
Coal is our Syrian Hamster, his color is called Black Bear. There is not a Hamster Breed called Black Bear, it is a color or a nick name for the markings. Coal was born January 7, 2011. I wanted a hamster for Christmas 2010, but because of the winter weather here in NW SD Deron and I could/would not drive the 100 miles (one way) to the closest pet stores to buy one. I am also quite picky about the animals I want to own and train. In fact that is why I did not have a hamster again to train before now. I had wanted a baby hamster for my birthday last year, could not find one I liked. Deron bought me a couple of Zhu Zhu Hamsters toys in stead. I actually bought Coal's mother and named her Uic (pronounced U-ic), she was pregnant when I brought her home. She was bred purposely and properly. This was not an unplanned pregnancy. This was not a mistake. It was not what some would call a "rescue". I know the breeder I bought her from.
Anyway, Coal's name was given to him as my Christmas Gift; Lump of Coal. I thought it would be fun to set up a training page for him. I have pages on our site www.theagilerat.com for Little Mac and it includes information of how we trained him and his Agility Videos. Little Mac also wears clothes, costumes and outfits. Many people have commented on how much they have enjoyed reading it. It is more of a training blog then anything. I hope you will enjoy Coal's Training Page. We hope that our Training Coal page will encourage you to train your small animals, particularly hamsters too. You will from time to time also see posts about Coal's sibling, Chunky, short for Chunk of Coal. Yes, Lump and Chunk of Coal, that is what I received for Christmas Gifts. Please also visit our other pages for more information and ideas for training agility, tasks and tricks. We also have other fun pages here at this site as well as games using our hamster photos.
For tips on hamster care, training your hamster to do trick ideas and information, and beginning agility ideas, please see our other pages on this site. If you also have gerbils or mice or other small animals please see our sister sites.
The first thing we are doing with Coal is hand taming him. We handle him for just a few minutes several times a day. We also feed him a treat, a sunflower seed nut, a very small piece of yogurt treat, a piece of a cheerio, banana or the like. Something very small and very tempting. Something that says to Coal that being with humans is a good thing. We use his name each time we handle him or approach his cage and especially when we feed and or water him. We want him to learn to hear that word is a good thing for him. He should come to us when he hears it.
Check back often for our dated training blog here on Chunk of Coal.
January 30, 2011
We played with (held) each of the babies today. We took a few fun photos. No real training. But again, I was surprised how the hamsters just take to the pieces of equipment almost like a duckling to water. Since I have not really picked my two or three from the litter, I have no idea if these photos are of my future Agility Hamsters or not.
February 1, 2011
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!
A BIT OF AGILITY PLAY WITH THE BABY HAMSTERS! I THINK THEY ARE ADORABLE! Yes, one of these four will be named Coal. At this point I am just handling them and trying to decide.
February 5, 2011
Today we were playing with a few of the baby hamsters. I think I have narrowed it down now to three babies that I will keep. This play section was good for handling the babies as well as getting them started seeing the pieces of household agility items to play on. You can see these photos were used for our "Getting Started" page here at Hamster Agility. Two of the baby hamsters are now taking treats right from our fingers handing it to them. So we are moving along in basic training. The baby on the Sea Saw in the last photo is just posing. He won't learn that piece for quite some time. It is an advanced piece of agility equipment. I just can't help it, I think they are the cutest little baby hamsters!
February 6, 2011
The hamster babies are growing everyday. I keep saying I need to pick one, or that I need to separate the ones I have chosen into another cage. Then I put them back in with their mama. Well, <grin> I do have a cage set up to separate them,so soon, very soon. Two of the little boys are taking treats from my hand better then the others, so they will go into that cage.
We worked with three today on the Agility Equipment and did a little video taping for a Valentine's Day Video....coming soon. Here are a couple of still photos we also took.
February 10, 2011
This is Coal learning to wear a hat and walk the Teeter Totter. I am quite tickled with this. Like ratties if handled a lot, hats mean nothing to them. I guess it turned out to be a St. Pat's Day shot. I liked the green hat for him so the Shamrock Teeter Totter just seemed like the right piece of equipment to work him on....and an easy one for him too. We do sell these hats in our on line store.
February 11, 2011
Ever had one of those mornings when it went realllllly well? I worked with four baby hamsters (yeah, I cut it down to two and then worked four <grin>) Went very well. I got out the baby girl ratties, really went well. Then I got Little Mac, the rattie boy, out to work on Tricks.
With the hamsters and baby girl ratties, we are taking, little bitty baby training steps. The hamsters are learning to backchain. They are so cute, and greedy, when they get to the "Pause House", the last piece of agility equipment on their little three piece course, they fill their little pouches with the treats they find there. <grin> That is ok. They are starting to learn to not only take treats from my hand, but that treats are waiting at the end of the agility course.
This afternoon I will do it all again.
February 12, 2011
Well, it official. Coal and Chunky are picked out and now sharing a cage...will separate as soon as the other babies go to their new homes. I hate to see them go, but I am ready to start really training these two.
February 13, 2011
Coal gets ready for Valentine's Day. A new outfit, a borrowed hat (from Little Mac) and a few Agility Pieces. He did alright. We got a few shots. If not for the digital camera, we would have had great shots. But here he is, dressed and ready for a date for Valentine's Day. The photo shot was really for his introduction on the Valentine's Day video. We hope to have that out yet tonight.
February 14, 2011
IT HIT THE INTERNET LAST NIGHT! COAL'S VERY FIRST YOUTUBE VIDEO. HE SHARES THE STAGE WITH SOME OF OUR TRAINED RATTIES, ONE OF WHICH, IN THIS VIDEO, PLAYS PIANO. HAVE A LOOK AND A LAUGH, and HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!
February 21, 2011
I have been working with Coal, Chunky and Uic, their mama. I must say that Uic is doing even better then the babies during training. She is easy to work with and sweet, she is catching on to where the food is- at the end of the "trail". Chunky is doing better then Coal. Each of the babies will go right along on the three pieces of agility equipment I set up, but turtle slow. This, I suppose is to be expected. All three will take a treat gently from my hand...and that really helps move them along on the agility course.
March 14, 2011
Today we took some photos and I wanted to get them up here before something else came up and I got too busy.
It has been toooo long since I last posted. I have been working with the three hamsters, but not often enough. Life gets busy with a baby goat kid in the house bottle feeding....in and out to potty, heating bottles, feeding, it is like having a human baby as far as time.
Chunky is doing wonderful! Slow, very slow, but right on course. Uri is now working on four pieces of Agility Equipment, Chunky is working on three. Coal is not doing as well as the other two. He is very slow, snail slow and gets distracted from the course. But dog gone it he is so very sweet, they all are. Great temperaments, cute personalities.
Even Hamsters like to see what is in an Easter Basket. Here are a few Easter Photos we took today.
HERE IS A FUN LITTLE PHOTO SERIES OF UIC, OUR MAMA HAMSTER, ON A LITTLE ST. PAT'S DAY AGILITY EQUIPMENT COURSE. SHE IS JUST LEARNING AGILITY AND GOES ALONG AT A SNAILS PACE RIGHT NOW, BUT! SHE GOES RIGHT ALONG.