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Hamsters                                              01759 371066
 

Hamsters are rodents from the family Cricetidae. There are several species kept as pets, more common is the Syrian hamster, which originated from hamsters bred in 1930 at the Hebrw Univerity in Jerusalem. They are also referred to as 'Golden Hamsters' as this was their original coat colour. However, today different coat colour variations exist, for instance grey, black and cinnamon.

Hampster

The other common hamster kept, is the Russian Dwarf hamster. More rare species that can be kept as pets are Roborovskis, Campbellis and Chinese, or Striped hamsters. The Chinese hamster has a longer tail than other dwarf hamsters and tends to be more aggressive to fellow cage mates, so is better housed alone.

Hamsters are nocturnal, solitary animals, and will hibernate if the room temperature is too low. Hamsters normally live for between 1.5 - 2 years, although the Chinese Hamster will live for up to 3 years. They reach sexual maturity at 6 - 8 weeks of age, and pregnancy lasts between 15 - 18 days. Litter size is normally between 5 - 9 young.

Hamsters require an omnivorous diet that consists of some animal protein, inverebrates, fresh vegetable material and seed. Most small animal mixes are low in protein, low in fat soluble vitamins, low in calcium and low in fatty acids. Feeding nothing but these mixes can cause nutritionally deficient, undersized animals. To meet the nutritional requirements you should supplement these seed mixes by also feeding:

* fresh fruit and vegetables

* vitamin and mineral supplements

* animal protein / table scraps.

Giving, table scraps, whatever you have been eating, provides variety and will meet all dietary requirements. Also ensure that you provide plenty of things for them to nibble as this helps to keep their teeth worn down.


 

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