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Old 05-13-2019, 03:25 PM   #1
Angkeats
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Default Advice appreciated

Hello
I have recently rescued 2 male winter white hamsters with very little history known. One is grey and 69grams and one is white and 80grams. I am not sure if this is overweight or not as there is conflicting advice? They both use the wheel, have a big cage and eat a good quality food (4% fat).
I am not sure if I should be looking to reduce weight or the best way?
Also Flash is very fast and territorial. He's not used to being handled. Gordon is extremely tame and easy going. Flash doesn't like him smelling of me after I pick him up. They mostly seem to get on (sleep together, play together) but I worry as they are both at very different levels and this proves challenging in the taming process. I would not think they require separating as they don't fight.
Any help gratefully received.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:17 AM   #2
Shannonmcn
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Default Re: Advice appreciated

Overweight is hard to define in hamsters, since the quality of the breeding has a lot to do with the body size and therefore what a healthy weight would be and that's a complete mystery bag when it comes to pet shop hams who are bred completely indiscriminately.

If they are moving well, able to run on the wheel and don't have like, visible fat rolls I'd say they're fine. Similarly if they have a healthy coat, good energy levels and don't feel or look boney they're probably okay. Changes in weight are more significant than their steady bodyweight.

If one ham is more dominant, it will be getting the lion's share of the food. Even though they aren't fighting it can still be very stressful for pairs to be kept together, for both the dominant and non-dominant hams. If you separated them you might find the little one fattens up because he isn't having to let his brother eat first. You might also find the territorial one becomes a bit more friendly when he has his own space and isn't feeling like he has to defend it all the time.

One other thing with dwarf hybrids is the possibility of diabetes. You could get some ketostix off amazon and try and test their pee. It could explain why one is so drastically larger even tho they are from the same litter (presumably).

Last edited by Shannonmcn; 05-16-2019 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:30 AM   #3
mangoandmimi
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Default Re: Advice appreciated

To be honest I’d say 80g is very large for a winter white - he does sound over weight tbh and even the 69g one is on the large side. But without seeing them it’s impossible to say how bad it is.
What food are they on? That can make a huge difference. Maybe try them on the rodipet hybrid mix - I put my chubby robo on that and she slimmed down wonderfully. Ones like the burgess mix I’ve found can make them pile on weight quite quickly regardless of what the % breakdown says.
Final thing is - they are winter whites or have that colouring, and WWs really are quite solitary. Fights might not be happening now but there could well still be signs of dominance, but the fall out rate of WW pairs is so high and can be so sudden that most places now consider them a solitary species. So honestly I would be separating them now rather than later so you don’t run that risk. That way you can also monitor their weights better.
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Advice appreciated

Quote:
Originally Posted by mangoandmimi View Post
To be honest Iíd say 80g is very large for a winter white - he does sound over weight tbh and even the 69g one is on the large side. But without seeing them itís impossible to say how bad it is.
What food are they on? That can make a huge difference. Maybe try them on the rodipet hybrid mix - I put my chubby robo on that and she slimmed down wonderfully. Ones like the burgess mix Iíve found can make them pile on weight quite quickly regardless of what the % breakdown says.
Final thing is - they are winter whites or have that colouring, and WWs really are quite solitary. Fights might not be happening now but there could well still be signs of dominance, but the fall out rate of WW pairs is so high and can be so sudden that most places now consider them a solitary species. So honestly I would be separating them now rather than later so you donít run that risk. That way you can also monitor their weights better.
I have actually seperated them now as they had a fight and I can see from research it's (pretty) inevitable they will fall out.
Last night the larger of the two was far more active I do wonder now if he was bullied into the hut and not getting enough exercise, although I did see him on the wheel.
They were being fed "Bunny" Dwarf hamster mix and I had purchased the Burgess pellets which I integrated but will be looking to introduce Science Selective pellets also.
They do both look overweight unfortunately but they are getting good care now so hopefully that will improve.
Thank you for the advice
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Advice appreciated

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannonmcn View Post
Overweight is hard to define in hamsters, since the quality of the breeding has a lot to do with the body size and therefore what a healthy weight would be and that's a complete mystery bag when it comes to pet shop hams who are bred completely indiscriminately.

If they are moving well, able to run on the wheel and don't have like, visible fat rolls I'd say they're fine. Similarly if they have a healthy coat, good energy levels and don't feel or look boney they're probably okay. Changes in weight are more significant than their steady bodyweight.

If one ham is more dominant, it will be getting the lion's share of the food. Even though they aren't fighting it can still be very stressful for pairs to be kept together, for both the dominant and non-dominant hams. If you separated them you might find the little one fattens up because he isn't having to let his brother eat first. You might also find the territorial one becomes a bit more friendly when he has his own space and isn't feeling like he has to defend it all the time.

One other thing with dwarf hybrids is the possibility of diabetes. You could get some ketostix off amazon and try and test their pee. It could explain why one is so drastically larger even tho they are from the same litter (presumably).
Thank you I will look at doing a diabetes check.
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Advice appreciated

Separating them was a good call.

One thing I’d say is, you really do not need two pellet foods or even one for that matter. Bunny with added mealworms is more than adequate. They do thrive off variety and honestly I’d say both those pellets would actually take away from what the Bunny has to offer. A pellet here and there is fine but if you do wish to add pellets then I’d go with the SS over the burgess which is marketed toward a variety of small animals. Doesn’t make it very trustworthy at all since they all have different requirements.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: Advice appreciated

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Originally Posted by mangoandmimi View Post
Separating them was a good call.

One thing Iíd say is, you really do not need two pellet foods or even one for that matter. Bunny with added mealworms is more than adequate. They do thrive off variety and honestly Iíd say both those pellets would actually take away from what the Bunny has to offer. A pellet here and there is fine but if you do wish to add pellets then Iíd go with the SS over the burgess which is marketed toward a variety of small animals. Doesnít make it very trustworthy at all since they all have different requirements.
Ok fair enough. There is differing advice as some say they only eat certain parts of mixed foods and may leave the healthier stuff.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Advice appreciated

That is likely to be the case in a poor quality food with a lack of good variety. Providing a good mix nearly always eliminates that problem. Pellets might seem the 'easy' option to some people but it's always better to try and find a better mix instead of forcing them to eat what's there.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: Advice appreciated

Quote:
Originally Posted by mangoandmimi View Post
That is likely to be the case in a poor quality food with a lack of good variety. Providing a good mix nearly always eliminates that problem. Pellets might seem the 'easy' option to some people but it's always better to try and find a better mix instead of forcing them to eat what's there.
I was impressed with the content of this food, could not find anything to match it variety wise. Happy to keep feeding this and forget pellets.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: Advice appreciated

Yes it’s quite a good mix.

It is essential to add protein though to that mix if you’re not already, as it is lacking. Especially when they are younger. A few dried mealworms, shrimp, freeze dried chicken is fine.
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