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Old 08-27-2011, 10:22 AM   #11
samincittagazze
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Default Re: Stop! Thinking of getting a pet hamster? Please read first.

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Originally Posted by RCalabraro View Post
I let Tiberius run in his ball for at least an hour per night. I recently upgraded his habitat to give him more space and more mental stimulation. I like to take him out. He likes it when I handle him and let him run around outside of his cage, but I don't want him getting lost in the house.

Any advice on how I can give him more mental stimulation?

Thanks

Ron
Have you tried a playpen, Ron? I'm not sure how easily available they are to buy in the US, but you could probably make one. It's how my dwarfs get their run-about time, as otherwise I would lose them down the backs of my bookcases! Be sure to get one plenty high/with solid sides, else they may escape, especially Syrians.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:45 AM   #12
RCalabraro
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Default Re: Stop! Thinking of getting a pet hamster? Please read first.

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Have you tried a playpen, Ron?
I've seen these online. I was thinking of doing this. I could pen off a section of the living room carpet and put toys and tubes and stuff in it.

Ron
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:20 AM   #13
galaxymouse
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Default Re: Stop! Thinking of getting a pet hamster? Please read first.

Because we have a cat & children (2yrs 5 mo, 6 & a half yr & 10 yr) I have a locked rodent cupboard which has the small wire mesh doors on a wooden frame. It has 3 shelves & is well out of the way of sunlight. It is situated in the dining room so they can have quiet time & so can we!
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:17 AM   #14
StarlightSerenity
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Default Re: Stop! Thinking of getting a pet hamster? Please read first.

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Because we have a cat & children (2yrs 5 mo, 6 & a half yr & 10 yr) I have a locked rodent cupboard which has the small wire mesh doors on a wooden frame. It has 3 shelves & is well out of the way of sunlight. It is situated in the dining room so they can have quiet time & so can we!
Sounds like a great set up! 3 shelves? How are you going to resist getting three hamsters?? :P
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:31 AM   #15
galaxymouse
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Default Re: Stop! Thinking of getting a pet hamster? Please read first.

Well I have thought about getting a couple of dwarf hammys when Rhubarb moves out of his cage into a bigger one. The mice are gonna have a massive cage on the middle shelf.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:17 PM   #16
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Default Re: Stop! Thinking of getting a pet hamster? Please read first.

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German hamster forum members would argue against this...they prefer all hamsters to be kept on their own due to fighting. You can't always be there to split them up 24 hours a day. I'd be inclined to listen to their advice as I had two sisters who fought. One almost died from "bullying" they had LOTS of space so I didn't think it would be much of a problem but it was. Plus Germans seem to keep their hamsters in much better environments than we do do over here so I like to follow their advice.
Good point for discussion here as I am really confused with this one. I am German and recently watched a programme from my area where there is a rescue centre specially for dwarfs who ended up there mainly because they have been kept together and started fighting. The bites and other injuries looked awful so the thought of inflicting that on them seems really mean but when I see some of these forum entries there also seem to be a lot of dwarf hammies living happily together. I am considering getting dwarfs (or a dwarf) after the summer so I am unsure what to do. The cages they were showing were of very impressive size (they made hamster heaven look like a toilet roll) so I think they take their hamster care serious. Any advice? I suppose I could get two of the same gender with a spare cage just in case?
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:24 PM   #17
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Default Re: Stop! Thinking of getting a pet hamster? Please read first.

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Good point for discussion here as I am really confused with this one. I am German and recently watched a programme from my area where there is a rescue centre specially for dwarfs who ended up there mainly because they have been kept together and started fighting. The bites and other injuries looked awful so the thought of inflicting that on them seems really mean but when I see some of these forum entries there also seem to be a lot of dwarf hammies living happily together. I am considering getting dwarfs (or a dwarf) after the summer so I am unsure what to do. The cages they were showing were of very impressive size (they made hamster heaven look like a toilet roll) so I think they take their hamster care serious. Any advice? I suppose I could get two of the same gender with a spare cage just in case?
It can be done, but does take a lot of hard work and you really need to know your stuff to be able to notice warning signs etc.

You can only get two of the same gender, unless you want babies and must always have a spare cage available incase they have to be seperated.

Are you new to hamsters? If so, I'd say stick with a single ham. I've been a hamster owner for 16 months or so, been a member here for just a bit longer than that and I've picked up a load of information regarding keeping pairs but I don't feel remotely ready to own a pair or group.

Research obviously needs to be done no matter how many hamsters you get, or what breed they are but keeping a pair means that you need to do extra research on top of that. It's just best to get to know hamsters, on their own, in the flesh before getting a pair. You will then be much more capable of recognising problems between a pair.

It also costs double the amount - even if you only have one cage you still need to buy two of everything (wheel, bottle/bowl etc) and not having the extra cage is asking for trouble.

It can be very stressful as well, ask anyone here with a pair lol!

If you would like to know more about keeping a pair, just post in the Hamster Chat forum, there are a number of people here with pairs (and groups) who will be able to give you more advise than I can.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:30 PM   #18
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Default Re: Stop! Thinking of getting a pet hamster? Please read first.

If you get a pair you should definetly have a spare cage handy. I personally don't like to split dwarves from cagemates just incase they fight, so maybe find a rescue ham who already lives alone?
Then you get the ham and skip the pair/single debate completely because someone else made the choice for you. Plus you get a rescue ham which is always a plus
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:33 AM   #19
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Default Re: Stop! Thinking of getting a pet hamster? Please read first.

@njwilde: experiences with group housing vary wildly depending on which country you are in. On US/UK forums you'll see a lot of happy dwarf groups, Italian and Spanish forums are strictly solitary housing only - you'll be kicked off the forum if you even bring up the the topic of group housing and on German forums it used to be strictly solitary but is now moving towards a mixed approach (depending on the forum). Dwarfs are complicated - they are not that easily classifiable into "definitely social" like mice or rats or "definitely solitary" like syrians.

So, why is it different between countries? There are several reasons - eg. in the US there are many more campbell's dwarfs than winter whites (at least from what I see on forums) and there is scientific evidence that campbell's dwarfs are more social than winter whites. In Germany there are much more winter whites and very ww-like hybrids than campbell's. So it's not that surprising that in the US many more groups will go well while in Germany many groups will fall out - the worst of which will end up at the Hamsterhilfe. Also, there is other stuff to consider - eg. the sociality of a line. In the US and UK the lines of robos seem to be very social while in Germany the lines seem to be less social. I suspect that the lines in Italy and Spain are very unsocial, too, because otherwise the forums would not be that strict.

If you are in Germany I'd suggest getting a single WW/WW-like hybrid from a Hamsterhilfe as your first ham. If you get your hamster from such a rescue you have the advantage that they will be able to tell you whether the animal is shy or tame and it's guaranteed not pregnant (which happens a lot with pet shop hams). They always have a lot of young hamsters, too, because they take in pregnant hamsters or litters from people who bought a pregnant hamster.

When you have got some experience and want to have a group later on I'd get in contact with one of the few reputable campbell's breeders and get a group from one of them. Your chances of the group working well are much higher than with two pet-shop bought WWs.

I'm Austrian and currently have two groups of Campbell's (from a German line) but I also have two Campbell's who live solitary.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:18 AM   #20
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Default Re: Stop! Thinking of getting a pet hamster? Please read first.

Thanks a lot guys, this was really helpful Really really appreciated. I have had Syrian/Teddy hamsters since I was little but never dwarfs so it is like a new animal to get to know so I want to be as prepared as possible before I get one.

The differences is countries actually does make sense, Feldhamster, when you think about the breeding going on. Funny, though as it is a bit like humans from different countries, they all have different personalities
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