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Old 03-21-2019, 08:53 PM   #1
Curly
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Default Winter White?

Hi
Just wanted to know if anyone thinks my hamster is a Winter White or not?
https://ibb.co/ckLhH4H
I was told by a breeder that he is a Winter White but I'm not sure.
Thank you
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:46 AM   #2
souffle
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Default Re: Winter White?

It's hard to tell from the pic but he doesn't look particularly like a WW. I'd say you have a Hybrid hamster unless the breeder has a pedigree showing pure WW breeding in which case I would be querying that colour!!

Last edited by souffle; 03-26-2019 at 04:21 AM.
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Old 03-22-2019, 06:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: Winter White?

Definitely a hybrid (part WW part Campbells) which means he’s more than likely bred fron pet shop stock so I’d avoid that breeder in the future. Winter Whites are chubbier with more rounded faces. Purebred WWs also dont have the black fur gene, thats a Campbells and Hybrid only gene
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Winter White?

That's a Campbells; Winter whites don't come in black. If you want to get technical, you could likely assume it's a hybrid... i mean, it's of no significant importance for pet purposes (so i dont tend to bother, unless it's literally a 50/50 split between the two; personally, I just call them Campbells or Winter Whites, depending on physical attributes), but it's very unlikely to be a purebred (especially knowing she came from an unethical breeder; given that they misidentified a species who has very distinctive traits). But yeah; campbells, or campbell hybrid - whichever you prefer.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Winter White?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmmaAndChester View Post
That's a Campbells; Winter whites don't come in black. If you want to get technical, you could likely assume it's a hybrid... i mean, it's of no significant importance for pet purposes (so i dont tend to bother, unless it's literally a 50/50 split between the two; personally, I just call them Campbells or Winter Whites, depending on physical attributes), but it's very unlikely to be a purebred (especially knowing she came from an unethical breeder; given that they misidentified a species who has very distinctive traits). But yeah; campbells, or campbell hybrid - whichever you prefer.
No matter the percentage, they’re still a hybrid. Unfortunately being a hybrid is of significance sonce they’re a lot more prone to illnesses such as diabetes, tumors, heart defects, etc due to the poor breeding and hybridisation and so you need to be more conscious of their health and diet than you would with a pure WW or Campbells
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Winter White?

I agree with alpacassei, sometimes certain genes will dominate & hybrids can appear more like one species or the other but it is only appearance, breeding hybrids cannot produce a WW or Campbells so better to just recognise what they are. Lovely little hams but they can have more problems that it's good to be aware of.
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Old 03-26-2019, 03:03 AM   #7
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Default Re: Winter White?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpacassei View Post
No matter the percentage, they’re still a hybrid. Unfortunately being a hybrid is of significance sonce they’re a lot more prone to illnesses such as diabetes, tumors, heart defects, etc due to the poor breeding and hybridisation and so you need to be more conscious of their health and diet than you would with a pure WW or Campbells
I respectively disagree. To my knowledge, there is no significant health implications associated with hybrid hamsters that being told the animal is a hybrid and nothing more would allow you to avoid; certainly not to the extent that it's of any significant importance. All dwarf species (purebred or not) would be at risk of diabetes if fed an inappropriate diet; some are more prone genetically, but again, this is not a factor that depends on whether the animal is hybridised or not.

As far as everything else you mentioned; there is not a single ounce of a proof to suggest that this is (or is not) an issue with hybridised hamsters. Yes; some hybridised species can have atrocious health issues - hybridisation can also be beneficial for others, because of genetic diversity. It's not documented (as far as I'm aware) in hamsters; we really cannot say how much more frequent (if more frequent) these health issues show up in hybrids than purebreds. You can't say "they’re a lot more prone to illnesses" because you don't know that, so you can't state this as a fact; unless you do have sources to back up your info?... In which case I would love to see them, and I think everyone would!

Hence why as far as pet hamster go, i label the hamster Campbells or WW depending on physical appearance (while making the owner aware that it's most likely a hybrid, just because). and that's how i'll continue to approach the matter. It's the same way I will reply to a Syrian, Chinese, or robo hamster thread identifying the individual as a x species, without going into health issues that may arise from a hamster with unknown lineage.

Last edited by EmmaAndChester; 03-26-2019 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 03-26-2019, 04:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: Winter White?

It’s only Campbells and hybrids that are diabetes prone* but in purebred Campbells the risks of developing diabetes is significantly lower due to better breeding and genetics. Unfortunately diabetes isn’t necessarily caused by a poor diet, in the majority of cases it’s genetic (type 1, I beloeve?). A good diet can help manage the symptoms and delay onset but it won’t prevent diabetes. When owning a hybrid, it’s important to be aware of this risk so you recognise the symptoms and begin treatment sooner. I also believe it’s important to inform people before they buy a hamster what the health risks are for each species depending on whether they’re hybridised, pet store bred, ethically bred, etc so that they can make an informed decision.

Most of my research comes from my own experiences as well as those of other owners/l, rescuers and breeders, I can compile a list of evidence and research to back this but I’ll make my own thread as I don’t want to continue derailing this one.

I also want to make it clear that I have nothing against Russian dwarf hybrids or their owners, I have/had owned 7 in total. They’re amazing pets still and, along with WWs and Campbells, are of my favourite ‘species’ of hamsters.

*Chinese hamsters are also diabetes prone but they’re no longer classed as dwarf hamsters.
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Old 03-26-2019, 04:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: Winter White?

I think we'll have to agree to disagree; I'm not convinced that lumping all campbells and winter whites into one category as "russian dwarfs" is of any significant (or even minor) helping to a pet owner. For breeding, yes; it's important to know the animals lineage, for obvious reasons. Pet purposes?... eh, I'm not convinced. I honestly think it's lazy haha. Someone - who has literally no intention of breeding their hamster - posts either a WW or RCD and asks what species it is, and 99% of the response are "russian dwarf" - when most of these hamsters have very clear physical attributes of one species in particular. To be perfectly honest, when I see a hamster who is either very clearly at least mostly winter white or campbells (appearance wise) labelled as a "russian dwarf" by someone... I'm going to assume that that person can't tell the two species apart, and is taking the lazy way out of identifying them.

Just to be perfectly clear; I am not denying that it's important to inform folk of health issues that are often associated with pet store purchased/Back yard bred individuals; i am not against that at all, for nor any of the dwarf species nor syrians. What I am against is spreading of information for which there is no evidence to support; such as the suggestion that hybrids are "100%, without a doubt" more prone to health issues than than any other average, pet store hamster when (again, to my knowledge at least) there is no study done supporting this. To further complicate things; breeders in europe often label WW and RCD lines are pure after x number of generations; so many "purebred" winter whites and campbells often do have some degree of hybrid blood. This is why, personally anyways, I think folk are getting too excited over the term hybrid and see absolutely nothing wrong with labelling a hamster as x or y (or z, if it's neither obviously one or the other), depending on physical features.

I have nothing against purebred or hybridised animals. I've had 10 (assumed) hybrid dwarfs over the years, and similarly have 3, lovely purebred rabbits; so i'm not trying to make it seem like hybrids or better than purebreds or vice versa haha. I'm just saying that, in my opinion, the term hybrid is... overused?... for lack of a better word, and has a lot of fear-mongering attached, in the hamster world at least - when there's no proof to say that hybridised individuals are any more unhealthy than the average hamster.

I know it's not really relevant to this topic or whatever, but since it's been brought up; Chinese hamsters are dwarf hamsters. It's a very misconception that theyre not. Unless things have changed in the last 1-2 years, they are true dwarf hamsters.
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Old 03-26-2019, 06:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: Winter White?

Thread closed for moderation.
Please stay on topic when answering questions.
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