Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Front Page

Ads by Google

Go Back   Hamster Central > >


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-12-2019, 02:47 PM   #11
souffle's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Yorkshire, UK but my heart lies in Scotland!
Posts: 27,288
Default Re: Breeding Winter Whites

Yes there are plenty being bred and yes many of them do have good lives without problems but there are many many also that do have issues and many many that go unrecorded as having problems. They exist because people found out that hey it is possible to mix these two species and you get a variety of colours that make them more appealing to the pet market than the plain old brown things! Most hybrid animals like mules or ligers are infertile however somehow the dwarfs slipped through that net and they can actually breed so people just kept doing it and the market is there so they will continue to do so.
Small animals like these are inexpensive and sad though it is many owners who have one who becomes sick do not take it to the vets so genetic illnesses are not reported as frequently as they might. People eventually come to assume that they 'only have a short life' and are easily replaced for a few pounds rather than going and spending a lot on a vet bill for treatment.
The genetic pool in dwarves is quite small however it is also quite robust so a level of inbreeding in pure bred hamsters can be quite high however these animals are also monitored by the breeders and they would immediately stop a line showing evidence of any genetically inherited diseases. There are also wild caughts being introduced to widen the genetic pool in many countries.
The rodent farms will not be interested in this and ship them out at six weeks with no idea of how they fare and what happens to the lines and if they are throwing up ill hamsters and so it continues. I am glad that you appreciate the importance of breeding ethically.
I wouldn't let them have play dates. This is something that will stress them particularly the male and a constant 'dangling a carrot' in front of him will cause the release of stress hormones which have the same effect as stress in humans. It can shorten their lives. It makes them constantly search for the mate and try and escape. If they never meet they do get used to the scent of each other in the air and stop fretting. They can also be very quick to sneak in a mating which could result in pregnancy.
souffle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2019, 04:18 PM   #12
PM Fluffy for custom title
alpacassei's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Cornwall, UK
Posts: 1,112
Default Re: Breeding Winter Whites

Hybrids exist because humans wanted more colours of Russian Dwarfs and/or mixed up the two species since they look similar.

The average life expectancy of a hybrid in my experience is between 6 months and 1.5 years and most of them will die from diabetes or other genetic complications rather than old age. Red-eyed argentes and similar colours seem to have the worst life expectancies based on my observations.

Out of my 4 hybrids that have passed away, only Stephano passed of old age (and I nearly lost him to his allergies several times) at age 2. Francisco died most-likely of a genetic heart defect at 6 months, and Marcello and Mishka both died from diabetes complications at 4 months and 1.5 years). My current 3 are all healthy but they’re closely monitored for signs of illness and diabetes. From what I’ve read of others’ hybrids, my experiences are common.

Breeding mills dont care though, what matters to them is quantity over quality and sadly a lot of people consider hamsters to be cheap throwaway pets like goldfish
<3 Sunflower Custard, Bigfoot, Petal, Stormy, Flurry, Vanilla <3
Angel hamsters: Francisco, Marcello, Peppermint, Mishka, Stephano, Sundae, Peach <3
alpacassei is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2019, 06:22 PM   #13
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 15
Default Re: Breeding Winter Whites

Wow I never realised it was such a mine field Sorry you lost your hammies so young

Out of interest, how does one tell if the hamster dies of old age or heart disease or diabetes? I had a number gerbils when I was young and we were really lucky inasmuch as they all lived to a ripe old age of 4. But when they died, they just died. It’s not like they had a long stay in hospital with palliative care. Did you take them to the vests and have them diagnosed or a post mortem or something?

Both of ours seem to be in fine fettle. They’re happy and healthy and full of life and love. Are there particular symptoms I should be looking out for?

With regards to play dates. Sossij and Chungles have “been together” since Sossij was a baby. They have adjoining cages and so even now they are only separated by a cage wall. We regularly swap them round too so they are fully familiar with each other’s scent. We were obviously planning to mate them so everything has been working towards that end goal. As for causing stress, my observation would be that Chungles is utterly unfazed by Sossij. If anything she’s the one who is more hyper when they’re both up and about. When we’ve had them both together, he’s the cool one

And again I stress I’m not the expert when it comes to hamsters, but I would think it a real shame to have to split them up now. They’re friends.
Proud father to the Gerbil Horde
Gerbils: Nobby, Turkish, Rambo and Andrex | Duprasi: Shroomi | Robos: Terry, FlipFlop & Knuckles | Winter White: Mihnkeh | Campbells: CheaseyPeas | Syrian: SnorzyBear
RIP: Bob, Jeff, Chungles, Sossij, Achilles
Maestro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2019, 11:07 PM   #14
Dwarf whisperer
cypher's Avatar
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Wales UK
Posts: 24,305
Default Re: Breeding Winter Whites

With regard to hamsters dying of the things you asked about with diabetes you will see the symptoms before it becomes a life threatening condition & they will need special care with diet, there isn't a lot more that you can do but it does involve regular testing of urine & making changes depending on the results, some can go on for quite a long time & live comfortably others will die more quickly & for some quality of life can become so poor they may need to be PTS, other conditions may not be so easy to diagnose although .certain symptoms or behaviours will often indicate a certain condition & others can be diagnosed by your vet, hamsters generally slow down a lot as they age whether sick or not, eating habits may change & some will just go to sleep & not wake when it's their time others aren't so lucky, as with any animal you have to judge quality of life, pain, distress etc & act accordingly.

As far as play dates go you have been lucky so far but as hamsters mature even those that seem to get on well they can suddenly fall out & fight, this can happen at any time really, it's not natural for hams to be together anyway, they don't need each others company so it's better to be safe than sorry & keep them apart at all times, fights can result in serious injury or worse so better for your hams not to risk that situation arising.
Slave to Míriel, Zak, Calyanwë & Gusto.
Always loved, never forgotten, forever in my heart
T'ycor, Ziggy, Zephyr, Flynt, Mickle, Little Whisp, Zen, Zeki, Tinwë & Zylvan
cypher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2019, 11:24 AM   #15
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 15
Default Re: Breeding Winter Whites

Thanks for the info Cypher

I’d always understood that “normal” hamsters were solitary but dwarfs much more social and prone to living together peacefully. I guess that’s why you should talk to experts on specific hamster forums, eh

Thanks again
Proud father to the Gerbil Horde
Gerbils: Nobby, Turkish, Rambo and Andrex | Duprasi: Shroomi | Robos: Terry, FlipFlop & Knuckles | Winter White: Mihnkeh | Campbells: CheaseyPeas | Syrian: SnorzyBear
RIP: Bob, Jeff, Chungles, Sossij, Achilles
Maestro is offline   Reply With Quote

dad, babies, kids, birth, family, time, question, mum, thing, expected, litter, find, rare, expect, contradictory, future, area, manage, read, litters, shop, make, bought, whites, months

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Parts of this site powered by vBulletin Mods & Addons from DragonByte Technologies Ltd. (Details)
Copyright © 2003-2020, Hobby Solutions
All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:28 AM.