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Old 06-24-2019, 03:02 PM   #1
HartyHetty
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Join Date: May 2019
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Default should i change from syrians????

I had 2 syrian hamsters, unfortunately Harty passed away last week leaving Hetty on her own,
(as being syrians they were kept in seperate cages)

My niece wants to go next week and get a new one (little bit/quick back story i got 1 for the oldest niece as a first pet and then got the younger niece one about 10-12 month later, Harty was the oldest hamster and Hetty is roughly 11 months)

if i am going to continue to have 2 hamsters in one house is it better to have 2 hamsters that enjoy other hamsters company (e.g. roboroski) that can share the same larger cage? or continue with 2 syrian hamsters seperate, is there a massive difference in the care they will need?

the 2 syrians were very different natured hamsters but neither minded being out running around together in their bowls

any advice would help????????
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:15 PM   #2
AmityvilleHams
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Default Re: should i change from syrians????

Separate hamsters are better regardless of species. In fact, we've become more aware in the hamster community that it's fairly unnatural for any species to be kept socially for purposes other than breeding as they generally wouldn't stay in groups other than for breeding purposes in the wild and as such it can be incredibly stressful for many hamsters to have to live together in one cage!

For further evidence of this, it's practically standard and expected for pairs or groups of socially housed dwarf species to fall out no matter what precautions you take as far as cage layout goes. In the long run, singly housed hamsters can have far more enrichment opportunities in terms of levels and single entranced houses and such as well and are far less stressed out constantly(leading to better health overall). You also won't have to worry about hamsters attacking each other if you keep them alone, which means no risk of bite wounds or infections or even death that's just so avoidable!
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:52 AM   #3
Shannonmcn
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Default Re: should i change from syrians????

Yeah between the species the care for a single hamster is fairly similar, syrians can be a bit harder to keep happy (bar biting, escaping etc) but no huge differences.

Keeping pairs or groups is a whole other kettle of fish. You need another cage on standby anyway in case they start fighting (it can very quickly escalate), the cage needs to be large enough for enough hides (all with multiple entrances), two wheels, two water bottles, two food bowls if you use them etc etc so they can't get territorial over food/water/wheels. Even if there's no fighting you can find the less dominant ham losing weight because they're being kept from food. On the other hand if the cage is too large it can make them more likely to carve out their own spaces so honestly it's a bit of a minefield.

Just as another note; I don't think it's safe to have two hamsters out in their balls at the same time. I have never known a ham that didn't escape from one eventually and you really don't want them meeting accidentally. Glad you've been lucky with that so far but... please don't risk it.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:37 PM   #4
Fluffagrams
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Default Re: should i change from syrians????

I have a group of four Campbells living together at the moment and whilst they now get on very well, they were originally part of a group of six when they came to me. Cyclone, the smallest of the group was being bullied and was noticeably smaller than the rest. I separated him not long after he arrived home with me because of this and even now he's still recovering from it. The other one I separated from the group was Ty who was the most dominant over the group, however you wouldn't know this straightaway and would only pick it up if you were watching him and his behaviour with the rest of the group closely. It's not always a case of there being obvious signs that all is not well in a group and they can be snuggled up one minute and fighting the next so it's not something that is easily done or without its stresses.

In terms of keeping groups or pairs though though, they can often fall out if they have too much space but yet you'd need a certain amount of space to accommodate the larger nest boxes and the like so it can be a pretty tough balance.
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