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Old 01-08-2019, 01:04 PM   #1
pranjyboy
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Question new hamster ? in same room

hello everyone,
iv'e had my Syrian, Poko, for about 6 months and iv'e kept him in a DIY cage,with a floor space of around 2,500" squared. And at first i was quite scared and confused as to how to help him be more comfortable with me, as i am with him. but as time went on, we both became much more confident ! and as much as i love Poko, ive always thought of getting a pair of dwarves. I've done a bit of research on this , and i would easily be able to give them a large enough home.but one problem is that the only room i would be able to keep them is in the same room as Poko.

so i have a few questions :

1. can i keep both types of hamster cages in the same room ( not necessarily next to each other ) ?
2. what floor space is required for a pair ?
3. are they better suited in larger groups than 2 , or is 2 just fine ?
4. what other special requirements (unique to dwarves) will i have to be aware about , ( that differ from Syrians )?

thanks for any info !
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:53 PM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: new hamster ? in same room

Keeping different hamster species in the same room is fine, it shouldn't be a problem at all.

Dwarf hamsters generally do better alone, if you keep a pair then you would need to have a second cage ready from the start as they can fall out at any time & fight, often they will live together ok for a while but once they mature the need for their own territory will lead to fighting or at very least dominance behaviour which can be very stressful for them.
A single dwarf ham needs a space of about 80x50cm (not sure what that is in sq inches) but a pair normally do better in a smaller space as they have less to fall out over, unfortunately that does mean you can't provide the same amount of enrichment that you would for one dwarf, you need a cage with no levels or shelves, two of everything & houses with more than one entrance for a pair.

If you've never kept dwarf hams before I would really recommend just getting one.
Most things are similar to keeping a Syrian although you will need a dwarf specific food & you need to be aware they are prone to diabetes & need a diet with no sugars, treats with honey or fruits.
A sand bath is particularly important, more so than with Syrians.
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:10 PM   #3
pranjyboy
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Default Re: new hamster ? in same room

thank you cypher, for the info

originally for the first month i had kept poko in the ' large plastic hamster home' from pets at home, and then soon realized that it was too small for him ! im guessing that will do in terms of a back up cage. however, lets say they do fall out, and i put one in the smaller cage, how long would i keep them in separate cages until i can put them back ? and also i would probably make their cage myself, so what sort of dimensions would you recommend for 2 ? and lastly, if i were to just get the one dwarf, how big could their cage be ?
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:36 PM   #4
cypher
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Default Re: new hamster ? in same room

Once you've separated a pair you can never put them back together, they will just fight again & apart from the stress it causes them it can result in serious injury or worse if they're left together too long or you attempt to reintroduce them.
I keep all my Russian hams in cages like the hamster heaven or similar so around 80x50cm. If you want to make a cage the 145L RUB is quite a good size for a bin cage, I keep a Chinese in one of those.
I've never kept a pair I only know that people who have managed to keep them together for any length of time tend to use cages smaller than that.
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Old 01-08-2019, 03:21 PM   #5
alpacassei
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Default Re: new hamster ? in same room

It’s best to keep a single dwarf unless you’re VERY experienced. Russian dwarfs need a cage that’s atleast 70x40cm, same goes for a pair but it’s really much better to get a single hammie than a pair.

I have the Wham 133L bins for two of my hammies. They’re longer but narrower than the RUB but they’re a bit cheaper and still a good size. Russians love burrowing so you’ll want a cage or bin than can be filled with atleast 15cm of substrate but some prefer even more (Stormy has 25cm of substrate in parts of her bin!)

If you’re interested in actual cages, my favourites for Russian dwarfs are the Duna Multy (including the ‘Fun Large’ version), Maxi Duna Multy, Criceti 15, Grosvenor, and Ruffy 2. Tank style cages like the Multy’s can be better because they allow for deeper substrate but all of the cages mentioned have deep bases.
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: new hamster ? in same room

1. Yes

As you've got well used to having one dwarf hamster I can understand you wanting to have a pair. But if you want to do this it takes a lot of careful thought about cage set up to have the best chance of it working out -and always having to be prepared to separate them and have them in individual cages - so then, if you had a pair, you could end up needing three good sized cages. As said above, once separated they need to stay living alone.

An 80 or 90cm cage is a good size for a pair - big enough to fit two of everything in, but not so big it feels too open and exposed. There are varying thoughts on this and some people find much bigger cages are fine, but they are probably set up with a lot of enrichment (ie hardly any open floor space and filled with tunnels and houses and toys etc).

So a pair would be better than 3 or more because you need a wheel, house, water bottle etc for each of them - and the more you have, the more cages you need if they have to be separated.

The main thing with a pair, is they must be siblings - two brothers or two sisters - that have always lived together. Sometimes a Mother daughter pair or Father son pair - but siblings are best really.

And there must be no levels or shelves in the cage - as well as 2 or 3 of everything. Hamsters are by nature territorial and will claim a territory for themselves - so for example a shelf could be claimed as their own territory and fighting break out.

Likewise a house, or a wheel or a tunnel - which is why you need more than one of everything and tunnels need to be large enough that both can easily fit in at the same time (or one can guard the entrance and get territorial).

So at least two houses and houses need to have more than one entrance - so one can get out if the other one blocks the door. You can buy houses like that but the easiest way is to make one out of a cardboard tissue box/shoe box and cut doors in - 2 or 3 doors and one on top maybe.

They may snuggle up together, sleep together and only use one wheel or house but they need one each so they can always have a place to go if necessary so they don't fight over something.

Wheels - I've seen it recommended that if you have 3 wheels it's good. At least 2 though. And one of those wheels syrian sized so it's easy for them to run together i the same wheel. So a good combination would be an 8" open wheel, an 11" open wheel and a 6.5" flying saucer. Open wheels are better for pairs so they can get in and out easily without hurting themselves or getting trapped when they both try and get in and out (as opposed to the closed front wheels with the holes in).

They can then use them separately and together and have variety.

Larger tunnels like rat sized tubes will be big enough so they don't block an entrance.

They may live together well for some time and then fall out, which does happen often - especially when their hormones kick in as they grow up.

But there are people who have managed to keep a pair together for life. The cage set up is important. Two water bottles as well - and maybe scatter feed instead of using food bowls, but if you do use food bowls you need two of those as well.

Even to the point of not taking one out of the cage without the other one - always take them out together - or in a short time, the one left in the cage can get territorial and not accept the other one back.

Any signs of squabbling needs to be watched carefully as it can quickly develop into a fight and the fights can cause terrible injuries and maiming or death. And they may happen when you're not there or overnight. So at any sign of squabbling, monitor carefully and if it doesn't stop, then separate them.

You also need to watch out for bullying - if one starts to seem more dominant and the other hide away more, or one gets fatter and the other gets smaller (the fat one will be taking all the food and seeing the other one off!).

Cagewise for a pair, if you like the tank style, I think the maxi duna multy is good. Bin cage - agree with Cypher that the 145l rub bin is good (not too big, not too small).

Personally I prefer cages with front access. The hamster heaven (80 x 50) with all the tubes etc removed and blocked off, is good and plastic platforms etc removed. It may get a bit full with 2 or 3 wheels and a couple of multi entrance houses though.
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:28 AM   #7
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: new hamster ? in same room

145l rub bin 81cm x 62 cm max

Go Shopping - Really Useful Boxes - 145 litre Really Useful Box

Maxi duna multy (not cheap!) but a great cage and also suitable for one dwarf hammy if set up with lots of enrichment

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ferplast-Ma...axi+duna+multy

Hamster Heaven

https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/small...r_cages/197362

Marrakesch Terrarium (about 90cm by 44cm floor area) - lovely but v expensive!

https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/small...es_wood/437277

The Barney and Alaska cages are also great but are quite tall and there would be fall risks with no shelves. It is possible to reduce the height though by putting cardboard around the inside of the bars 2 or 3" high and filling the base with bedding up to the level of the cardboard ish - so there is less height. I would probably do that if I was to have a pair as I prefer cages and front doors. I couldn't get on with a glass tank at all - although a bin cage may be fine as you can make it how you want. And the maxi duna has a nice shape and very large top door and not too tall so access easier.

https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/small.../hamster_cages

The Zoozone 2 is a similar size and shape to the maxi duna and much cheaper, but the lid needs meshing to prevent escapes (bar spacing is wide about 2cm). However the door is supposed to be stiff and fiddly to use apparently.

https://www.jollyes.co.uk/zoo-zone-l...l-habitat.html

Wheels - the 6.5" silent spinner used to be the go to wheel for dwarf hamsters but it has had issues for a few years of not spinning properly due to a manufacturing change. There are various copycat type ones that might be ok (although can be flimsy) but otherwise there are no other 6.5" wheels and anything smaller is too small. However dwarf hamsters run really well in 8 or 9" wheels as long as they are free spinning wheels - ie the ones that spin well!

There is not much choice in the way of an open fronted 8" wheel other than the 8.5" comfort wheel (can be noisy) or the wood ones on zooplus (silent and spin really well but you would need to paint the wheel and cork running surface with plastikote enamel water based paint (pet safe) so they're wipe clean

2 x 21cm of these would be good, or 1 x 21cm and 1 x 28cm

https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/small..._wheels/609617

This is the plastikote - a small pot goes a long way - it's pet safe and virtually odourless and dries quickly but you need a couple of coats. I use a standard paintbrush half inch to paint it on. It comes in various colours as well as clear.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Plastikote-...stikote+enamel
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:39 AM   #8
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: new hamster ? in same room

If you did have a pair and had to separate them, you could leave one in the larger cage, and something like the Grosvenor cage or standard duna multy would be fine for the second one - although obviously if you have space for 3 larger cages that would be good too!
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:28 AM   #9
cypher
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Default Re: new hamster ? in same room

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
As you've got well used to having one dwarf hamster I can understand you wanting to have a pair.
The OP has a Syrian
Personally I think once you've had a single dwarf hamster it makes you even more aware that they're happiest living that way & don't need company of their own kind.
I can understand the appeal for people who don't have much experience & think a pair is really cute but it is also very stressful for both hams & owners!
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:13 AM   #10
mangoandmimi
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Default Re: new hamster ? in same room

Definitely agree with one dwarf especially if you’ve not kept them before. Just having a spare cage isn’t all that helpful if a fight does suddenly break out and you’re too late to the scene. No one can watch them 24/7.
The idea of a dwarf pair does sound very cute but it just isn’t in their best interests, there are other small animals which actually need company so you could consider those if you really do want 2 living together.

I understand that smaller cages - 80x50cm ish seems to house them better with less risk but it doesn’t make any sense really to have to limit both size and setup just to house a pair. That size is definitely on the small size for 2. It has been shown a number of times that a properly bonded pair (not that common it seems) would be fine in any sized cage and the ones that fall out due to the cage size weren’t even bonded to start with, so they’re just tolerating each other’s presence. It does sound reasonable as it’s difficult to imagine how space alone will cause fall outs. Obviously that would mean lots of pairs in smaller cages wouldn’t actually be bonded but are stuck in a small & simply set up cage so it just makes me think how’s it benefitting the hamsters at all really.
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