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Old 08-06-2019, 03:19 PM   #1
Mollysfriends
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Default New hamster what do I need.

Hi my sister brought a hamster which was about to meet a sticky end. The shop said it was a roborvoski and as I had spare cages I was asked to look after him. However I think he is a Campbell's dwarf hamster he looks bigger as has a stripe down his back and has red eyes. He is possibly platinum I don't know much about them so can anyone tell me what they should/shouldn't eat(Can they eat fruit)? And whether they need climbing things. Also what size cage. I have him in a homemade cage that is 30 inches long 12 wide and 18 deep. Is this ok or does he need bigger/wider.
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: New hamster what do I need.

He’ll be a Russian dwarf hybrid! Your cage is a little on the small side so keep an eye out for signs of stress (pacing, pawing at cage sides/corners, bar chewing) though he may display those behaviours in the first week just from the stress of moving homes etc. You may need to upgrade to a wider cage in the future but he should be okay in his current cage for now.

Here’s a little shopping list of a few basic things Russians dwarfs need:

6.5 - 8 inch wheel
Deep substrate for burrowing ( 6+ inches), my favourite substrate is kaytee clean and cosy (unscented vers!)
Natural hides and chews such as cork tunnels, bendy bridges, willow sticks
Sand bath (I use kids play sand)
Dried herb or flower mixes to scatter around cage - adds enrichment
Dried mealworms or shrimp (their favourite protein sources! Some of mine also really like silkworm pupa)
A high quality seed mix preferably with low fruit and sugar content (you’ll have to do research on whats best in your country). Scatter feed to encourage foraging

Russians can have small amounts of fruit on occasion as a treat but it doesnt really benefit them and most prefer more bitter tasting veg over fruit. They’re also diabetes prone so too much fruit isnt good.
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Old 08-07-2019, 03:27 AM   #3
Isleofhamsters
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Default Re: New hamster what do I need.

If you are looking for a good cage, go for something like the Skyline Barney Wire cage, or the Ikea Detolf (You turn it on it’s side and remove the shelf and door. You will need to make your own lid. Also, you will need to put it on top of something that is a few centimetres shorter, so the glass will not sag.)

The bedding should be paper based or aspen. Pine, cedar and wood shavings are highly dangerous!

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: New hamster what do I need.

Thanks I have him on carefresh and it's low one end of the cage and high so he can burrow the other. He has Rodipet dwarf hamster food (i bought it for my Roborovoski)I can't see sugar listed in the list with protein etc so is this Ok? He will get a mealworms daily as I bought them with the food. What sort of size cage would be ideal for him as I'll start looking I have a detolf for frost my robo but my son's room us too small for that. I have dried herbs for my gerbils that i coulf givte him so should they be given regularly or say once a week? He also has a flying saucer. I'm not sure of the size but I tho k it may be 8 inches.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:56 AM   #5
Isleofhamsters
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Default Re: New hamster what do I need.

I don’t think added sugar is a good thing but protein is a must.

A robo and dwarf should have at least 450 square inches of floor space in their cage. More is always better!

Don’t give hamsters herbs to often. Also, make sure you clean it out if he/she hoards it, as a rotten herb has a very powerful smell, and can poison your hamster. If you plan on putting the plant inside the cage, check that he won’t destroy it and he also doesn’t hate it. Also, trim it regularly so the smell isn’t over powering.

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: New hamster what do I need.

The Rodipet mixes are the best commercial mixes available in my opinion. They do a hybrid mix that’s lower in sugar but the regular dwarf mix is also fine as the sugars are all natural in the form of dried veggies.

The general minimum size for russian dwarfs is 70x40cm. My favourite Russian dwarf cages are the Ferplast Duna Multy (70x40cm) and the Ferplast Criceti 15 (80x5cm).
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: New hamster what do I need.

I hadn't realised there were hybrid mixes so I will order one today for him. I have found mealworms and shrimps for birds. Would the shrimps be ok for my hamsters? How do you work out the size needed in case I go for a homemade one? Is it length x height x depth?I've looked at the ones recommended with look great but have wire so o just wondered whether hamsters chew the wires. I had a gerbil who only had wires in her play pen. She chewed them and damaged her teeth so they wouldn't grow obviously i wouldnt want that to happen to Silver.Also do you need a playpen for them? Come to that should they be handled or not? I don't want to stress him out. Thanks
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: New hamster what do I need.

Mealworms and shrimp for birds are fine!

You want to measure length x width (ie 70cm is the lenngth and 40cm is the width). As long as the cage is a suitable size with an enriching setup, they wont bar chew.

Most Russian dwarfs like to be handled though males sometimes prefer to be left alone but every hamster is different. You can use a playpen but its best not to use a wired one since they can easily climb out
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Old 08-09-2019, 11:55 AM   #9
Mollysfriends
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Default Re: New hamster what do I need.

Good point about the playpen. I'm taking it a large cardboard box would be ok if high? I will give silver a shrimp tonight to see of he likes it. The mealworm gets eaten.so I'm presuming these will too. When I get a bigger cage what sort of things would be good to keep him happy. I'm presuming a wheel and sandbath but would he need tubes? Also any advice on taming apparently he keeps biting my son after taking a treat. Thanks
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Old 08-09-2019, 03:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: New hamster what do I need.

Tubes are best avoided as far as the plastic ones go. They trap humidity and can cause breathing problems or even respiratory infections, and they also easily get blocked up with substrate which makes the problems even bigger. Even with holes and using larger plastic tubes, these problems don't go away.
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