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ortal
09-12-07, 08:41 pm
Who here has experience with hamsters?

I am thinking of getting two, but I would like to know more first.

What are the main behavioral/care differences between gerbils and hamsters? I cant do rats, they are too big, I couldnt accomodate them.

Envisionary333, if you read this, you once posted a great post about your experience with different mice. Id love to have your opinion as well.

Any advice you could give me would be great

Maisiepaisie
09-13-07, 12:38 am
I like hamsters. They're really clean, usually make their own toilet area and are easy to tame with plenty of handling, although you can't sit cuddling them as they never seem to stop walking when they're awake. The best housing in my opinion is the Rotastak system which mimics their natural habitat. I can't compare them to gerbils or mice as I've never kept those animals. I miss my hamsters. I never got anymore after they died and the space got taken up when I expanded the guinea pig cages and bought a bigger fridge.

samoews
09-13-07, 02:23 am
Just do a little research. Syrian hamsters, which are the "regular" or "full sized" sized hamsters are best kept alone, as they will often fight to the death if kept in pairs. Dwarf hamsters can usually be successfully kept in pairs, especially if they have been raised together. In my opinion, hamsters are more fun to watch than to actually play with, but that's just my experience. Guinea pigs and rats are a lot more interactive with their humans!

Alusdra
09-13-07, 02:14 pm
Hamsters are great, though not as great as gerbils. They tend to be messier, smellier, less friendly, etc. than gerbils (I totally love gerbils, though!) Basic care and space requirements are pretty much the same (you have to change gerbil cages less frequently, generally, as they are cleaner). Both gerbils and hamsters have been rather hit-or-miss on whether they like exercise wheels. Some do, some don't. Hamsters are generally more active than gerbils and less 'hang-out" kind of pets, more "play!" kind of pets. By which I mean setting up little mazes and climbing things and chewing things like for piggie floor time for the hammie versus cuddles and setting a gerbil on your shoulder with a snack. Hammies are absolutely hilarious with the cheek pouches, though- that I love. Gerbils tend to live longer, too- hammies live like 2-4 years, gerbils 3-5? Or something. Not a huge difference, I guess. My personal hammie lived to be like 4ish and my gerbils almost to 6. So...

It also depends a LOT on breed (species?) or hamster. The Syrians, in my experience, are nippier and even more hyper. The teddies are ususally more cuddly (though not as much as a gerbil). And of course- a lot depends on socialization. You can have horrible terrors and sweathearts just depending on that. I (sadly) don't have experience with rescue hamsters of gerbils- mine came from accidental breedings of friend's petstore pets (where have we heard that before?) So I don't know if they are easy to tame down once adults or not.

Like samoews said, though- usually hammies do best by themselves. Gerbils need buddies, as they are really social animals, hamsters are more solitary.

And personally- I hate those cages with tubes. They are horrors to clean. I like best a 10g with a wire topper. Then you can have the bedding in the bottom for them to fling all around and more space and ventilation in the top. I would give all the paper towel and toilet paper tubes to them and make the bedding deep so that they could burrow and make tunnels to their own specifications (added bonus they doubled as a chew-toy and were free). That seemed an ok amount of room for two gerbils (are there tank-toppers for 20 gallons? I don't know...) but probably wouldn't be enough for two hamsters (like boars- they need space so they won't fight). The wire ones I like, too- though getting a big enough one with high sides (for burrowing and to keep the spray of bedding down) is super tricky. I went through like 5 cages before I was satisfied... :sarcastic

ortal
09-13-07, 02:18 pm
Are they easy to sex? I dont want any more accidents

Maisiepaisie
09-13-07, 03:25 pm
And personally- I hate those cages with tubes. They are horrors to clean.
I would agree if you're cleaning them by hand. I used to put them in the dishwasher and they'd come out sparkling. The Rotastak tubes split in half when you take the connecters off so its all really easy to get clean this way.

Jenni_Feathers
09-13-07, 04:08 pm
I would reccomend a Bin Cage for them, they are awesome, my hamster has one and she loves it and I love it! They are huge and cheap, sorta like C&C cages in that manner, but not in the make though :D Here is a few links about how to make them and a really good Hamster forum. What ever you do dont get a crittertrail type cage(with the tubes that go every where) they are far too small for hamsters and most syrians cant even fit in the tubes.
Here are the links:
Bin Cages (http://hamster.etla.org/cgi-bin/topic_show.pl?tid=617)
Hamster Owners Forum (http://hamster.etla.org/cgi-bin/forum_show.pl?bid=3#bid3)
Hamster Owners Forum Website - Safe and Unsafe Foods and Treats (http://hamster.etla.org/web/treatsfood.html)
Hamster Owners Forum Website (http://hamster.etla.org/web/)
and another okay forum though I personally like the above one better
Hamsterific forum (http://www.hamsterific.com/BBS/)
Hamsterific! About hamsters for hamster lovers! (http://www.hamsterific.com/)

AngelsCavies
09-18-07, 12:48 pm
I have mesh grids that look like screens. I thought of making a homemade one with mesh grids and cover the holes in the corner of the grids. Also use the coroplast as the bottom lining cage but the walls would be on the outside of the grids so the hamster can not chew it. Would that work, also with a lid too.

Jenni_Feathers
09-18-07, 04:03 pm
They could climb it and get hurt. If it has a lid they shouldnt escape but could still get a toe ripped off from climbing.

AngelsCavies
09-18-07, 04:09 pm
REally, I spoke with a member who had a mesh grid cage for her hammie and she had no trouble at all with it. she has a gallery here for the hammy cage.

wickedrodent
09-19-07, 01:07 pm
You can use a mesh grids cage, as long as you provide a latter (I used bird latters) for climbing. I housed my hamsters in them, as well as mice, and I never had any problems.

Alusdra- I just wanted to point out that there are no such thing as 'teddy hamsters' There are all Syrians. Some are long hair and some are shorthair, but they are the same breed, and no set temperment difference. Just like guinea pigs, it all depends on the hamster itself.. No breed/gender is any better/worse than the other. It all really depends on the owner for which kind they should get..

For example:
Someone who wants a more active hamster should get a dwarf. Someone who only wants one hamster should get a Syrian (they must be housed one to a cage). Someone who is prepared to get to cut long hair, would get a longhaired Syrian. If you don't have a steady hand with a scissor, please don't get a long hair. I had one, and you must trim their hair occasionaly (stuff gets caught in it) or clean their cage more often.

I can help more later, its off to work now.

AngelsCavies
09-19-07, 01:10 pm
Wonder why a few people call them teddy. Maybe it is cause they are fluffy. I am thinking of syran since I only want 1 hammie. I have mesh grids and coroplast here already and the grids are already zipped tied. All I have to do is buy a wheel, bedding, ladders, toys, and food. I have water bottles and food dish from my previous gps.

Jenni_Feathers
09-19-07, 02:50 pm
Be sure to get a plastic wheel that has no slots or hole in it so the lil hammys feet/toes cant get stuck or hurt on it.

wickedrodent
09-19-07, 04:40 pm
Teddy, TeddyBear, Panda, etc are all terms started by breeders and petstores to make them sound more apealing so they can sell them easier.

AngelsCavies
09-19-07, 07:16 pm
Be sure to get a plastic wheel that has no slots or hole in it so the lil hammys feet/toes cant get stuck or hurt on it.

I got that on my list too.


Teddy, TeddyBear, Panda, etc are all terms started by breeders and petstores to make them sound more apealing so they can sell them easier.

Oh I see, that is true and it did sound appealing to me when I read it.

I was watching a few hammie videos and some of them were very funny.

Alusdra
09-20-07, 07:06 pm
Huh. I didn't know they were all the same species- they look so different. But I've seen trends in them like in dogs where smaller is more active and more er... 'fiesty' let's say, and larger are calmer (generally speaking).

Those bin cages are awesome. Should I ever get another small rodent, I'll have to look into that. I use the tanks since I have so many from keeping geckos all my life.

envisionary333
09-22-07, 07:39 pm
Hi there, sorry I didn't see this post sooner! I've never had the best of luck with hamsters, although I've only had two- one as a child, and one who recently passed away. They are great entertainment to watch, but mine would always bite me. I've heard that they are quite territorial and I may have made the mistake of trying to pick them up in their cage, but once they were out of the cage they were much too active to contain! I also only had one hamster at a time, and I find that most animals are much more happier in pairs (granted they are raised together and get along). I also think that aquariums with mesh add-on tops work really well since they can fit a lot of bedding for burrowing, but also give good air flow. I have a 40-gallon that my hamster lived in, and I used small animal tubes to make a maze for her. She loved it! It's amazing how easy they are to care for, compared to guinea pigs anyway. I never had problems with smell or waste.

Sorry I can't help more, but I'm sure the other members here will be able to! My best advice would be to go visit some hamsters one on one- at a shelter or at a friend's house- and experience them for yourself. Then you'll have a much better idea if they are for you.

Jenni_Feathers
09-22-07, 08:29 pm
Dwaf hamsters do well in pairs, but syrians do not at all, they will kill each other. If this will be your first hamster I would reccomend a syrian (teddy) they are the largest ones, they are best for first time owners because they are slower and easier to interact with for an inexperience hamster owner, dwarf hamsters are really fast and generally harder to hold.

AngelsCavies
09-22-07, 08:56 pm
I won't be using my mesh grids. Oh well I have a 10 gallon tank I may start using next sat if I don't get a chance to pick a cage up for the new baby hammie. This hammie is only 8 or 9 wks old. One is black and one is brown, I am getting the brown one if it is a girl. I think it is a girl. I am thrilled to be able to give this baby a good home.

Mommy Of One
09-27-07, 04:32 pm
I won't be using my mesh grids. Oh well I have a 10 gallon tank I may start using next sat if I don't get a chance to pick a cage up for the new baby hammie. This hammie is only 8 or 9 wks old. One is black and one is brown, I am getting the brown one if it is a girl. I think it is a girl. I am thrilled to be able to give this baby a good home.
Please, please, PLEASE! Do not use a ten gallon.
A ten gallon is far too small, especially for a syrian.
I have had numerous hamsters and they truly grow on you.
I gave them up for a cavy and I miss them.
You must clean there cage once a week, they should eat a seed mix with preferably fresh non tap water. They can't have wood beddings unless it is kiln dried. I reccomend Carefresh or aspen. Hay is a big no-no. It can cause mites, they can poke their eye out and if they tried to pouch it which is common instinct there is a good chance it will go through there cheek. Plus, they don't require hay anyway. Syrians are more cuddly though they are solitary. When getting a hamster you must look for clear eyes, nose, and ears and if you bring him/her home at night he/she should be fairly active. They are very curious little things and they love hiding spots. They also love to go in corners and bury themselves to get warm. They are VERY cute and (to me) irresistable. I often consider getting another one but my parents think enough is enough and we dont need any more animals.

AngelsCavies
09-27-07, 07:23 pm
Thanks for your input, I am not using the 10 gal. My husband said to go ahead and do the mesh cc grids as temporary cage, it is slightly bigger than the 10 gal but it has more ventilation than the aquarium. I will take a pic of it, it is only a 1x2 with a short level for him to climb on. I am using coroplast but he has no access to the edges at all since the grids are inside of the cage instead of out like the gps cages are.

I have a list of everything that I need to pick up tomorrow when I get my pay check. I found out that pet smart carries the wodent wheel that I want since they are rated the best, a few tubes, food, and aspen bedding.

I have picked up 2 treats for him for moderately as well too.

AngelsCavies
09-28-07, 07:12 pm
I have went out and purchase everything I need except for a cage. He will be temporarily housed in a mesh cc cage.

Mommy Of One
09-29-07, 07:41 pm
I am glad to hear it.
:)

AngelsCavies
09-29-07, 08:00 pm
I am glad to hear it.
:)

I have him here. He is so cute loves to be petted too. Handful too.

http://www.yeshuasfellowship.com/isaacshaven/shops/images/hammie3.jpg

AngelsCavies
09-30-07, 07:42 pm
I forgot to say he is a black bear syrian. So any critter trails would not be too good for them due to their size and the tubes are small. So I found a great cage from Target, it is made for hamsters, mice, rats. The bars are closer together to where they can not get out, it is almost like a Marchino cages made for gps, and it comes with 2 shelves.

alexahps
10-01-07, 02:04 pm
I know that I'm coming in quite late on this thread, but I wanted to offer you congratulations :) and support with the addition of your new hamster.

I, too, am a hamster lover :love: and have four of my own. They are all Syrians and are as different and unique from one another as you can imagine. I have a golden-banded teddybear named Harry (which is just a fancy name for a long-haired hamster - usually male as they have longer and nicer coats than the females), a satin golden umbrous male named Cooper, a female white and cream dominant spot named Mabel, and a cream and white long-haired female named Cosette. Each of mine were rescued and have their unique set of issues, but they have been a joy to watch, bond with, and learn more about.

I have quite a bit of information on Syrian and dwarf hamsters, so if you have any questions, please feel free to let me know. I have had them all of my life and have studied them for years. They truly are wonderful pets if you take the time to understand what their needs are and make every effort to bond with them.

I wish you the best of luck with your new little guy. Have you decided on a name for him :confused: ?

Please keep us updated!

AngelsCavies
10-01-07, 04:33 pm
I know that I'm coming in quite late on this thread, but I wanted to offer you congratulations :) and support with the addition of your new hamster.

I, too, am a hamster lover :love: and have four of my own. They are all Syrians and are as different and unique from one another as you can imagine. I have a golden-banded teddybear named Harry (which is just a fancy name for a long-haired hamster - usually male as they have longer and nicer coats than the females), a satin golden umbrous male named Cooper, a female white and cream dominant spot named Mabel, and a cream and white long-haired female named Cosette. Each of mine were rescued and have their unique set of issues, but they have been a joy to watch, bond with, and learn more about.

I have quite a bit of information on Syrian and dwarf hamsters, so if you have any questions, please feel free to let me know. I have had them all of my life and have studied them for years. They truly are wonderful pets if you take the time to understand what their needs are and make every effort to bond with them.

I wish you the best of luck with your new little guy. Have you decided on a name for him :confused: ?

Please keep us updated!

Thank you for your reply too.

Yes his name is Harley, my hubby wants Butch, then he said either Butch or Slick, so I told him you can go with Slick too so he is Harley Slick. lol :melodrama

I just returned a water bottle cause it was so leaky, so I got him a chew stick to gnaw on, he sniffed it then went to his food dish. Silly boy. I took the mesh grids out and over lapped my regular grids, He loves that.

I uploaded 2 pics of his new cage, he climbs on it when I open the lid to greet me. 3rd pic is him climbing up to say hi mummie. See the white stripe on his belly.

Mommy Of One
10-03-07, 04:13 pm
The cage is looking good.
:)
Just to let you know, it is just called a black syrian though.
You are including the pet store name in as the coloring but there really is no such thing. And as for Alexahps, there /IS/ such thing as a golden banded. There ISNT such thing as a golden hamster. Golden banded is a coloring like mink, and black dom. spot... And the 'cream and white' is actually a black eyed cream, or a red eyed cream. That is the proper term. (Isn't trying to 'show' anybody off or anything.. Just trying to help) I have done the whole hamster thing for years and years.

AngelsCavies
10-03-07, 06:00 pm
The cage is looking good.
:)
Just to let you know, it is just called a black syrian though.
You are including the pet store name in as the coloring but there really is no such thing. And as for Alexahps, there /IS/ such thing as a golden banded. There ISNT such thing as a golden hamster. Golden banded is a coloring like mink, and black dom. spot... And the 'cream and white' is actually a black eyed cream, or a red eyed cream. That is the proper term. (Isn't trying to 'show' anybody off or anything.. Just trying to help) I have done the whole hamster thing for years and years.

No problem, I am a member of a hamster site who has better information than pet stores and there is such thing as Black Bear Syrian.