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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
But it’s not a dog... 2 are enough.

I have been thinking about getting another pet for a while and I just wasn’t sure which one to choose to suit my needs and lifestyle. After much thought, I’ve decided on a Russian hamster. I needed a pet that wouldn’t need too much care, as my health doesn’t allow it, doesn’t make noise (I sleep during the day) and is fun to watch. Russian hamsters are smaller than Syrians and their maintenance is easier so I chose them. Also they are cuter, I find.

I have researched breeders and decided on someone who’s farther away, but very good and who does a lot of socialization. The mom is having the babies soon and they will be ready for their new homes between 3 and 4 weeks old (this sounds so young compared to a dog).

I had a weird request, I’m sure she never had one like so. I asked to pick by temperament, and not by sex or color. And she agreed (let’s hope she doesn’t change her mind). I have first pick and will go pick my baby as soon as she says they are ready. I will pick the one that seems to be the most comfortable with me. The babies will be handled from day 10, and then every day. By kids and adults.

I’m taking great care in this venture because it is a 2-3 year commitment. Hamsters don’t live that long, but 3 years is long enough.

Through my research, I learned that there are rodent farms, the equivalent of puppy mills, who sell to pet store, and there are small scale, ethical breeders. There are also back yard breeders who breed anything to anything, just like with dogs.

If there is interest on this post, I will post pictures of the little ones.
 

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Oh my goodness this brings back memories of when I was about 10 years old and my younger brother and I would walk to the pet store (about 4 blocks from home) with all our money that we would save from turning in soda bottles at the grocery store (3cent refund per bottle) and buy a hamster for $1.00 ......(we had a hamster cage w/wheel given to us by a neighbor)...........we never had them very long as they always escaped in a few weeks. I do remember once we had two, who turned out to be a boy and a girl that had several babies and my dad had to build a small holding cage for the male because he ate some the babies...after that episode we were not allowed to have any more hamsters........ so we sold the hamsters to the pet shop for 30 cents each and then bought a tiny red slider turtle with our money plus our bottle money the next time! LOL! I look back now and laugh, but my Mom was a saint to clean the cages and then our turtle's plastic pond with the little plastic palm tree in it Remember those? hahaha!
Thank Goodness both my parents loved animals!
BTW..........you have to handle hamsters daily to keep them tame and their bites HURT! I've heard the Russians are more bitey too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh my goodness this brings back memories of when I was about 10 years old and my younger brother and I would walk to the pet store (about 4 blocks from home) with all our money that we would save from turning in soda bottles at the grocery store (3cent refund per bottle) and buy a hamster for $1.00 ......(we had a hamster cage w/wheel given to us by a neighbor)...........we never had them very long as they always escaped in a few weeks. I do remember once we had two, who turned out to be a boy and a girl that had several babies and my dad had to build a small holding cage for the male because he ate some the babies...after that episode we were not allowed to have any more hamsters........ so we sold the hamsters to the pet shop for 30 cents each and then bought a tiny red slider turtle with our money plus our bottle money the next time! LOL! I look back now and laugh, but my Mom was a saint to clean the cages and then our turtle's plastic pond with the little plastic palm tree in it Remember those? hahaha!
Thank Goodness both my parents loved animals!
BTW..........you have to handle hamsters daily to keep them tame and their bites HURT! I've heard the Russians are more bitey too.
What great memories ! Today hamsters are 20$-25$.

The robo’s and campbell’s are the ones who bite the most. I’m getting a Winter White hybrid (Campbell/Winter White, but many generations later, there are no more Campbells used, there haven’t been for a very long time, at least with good breeders). I think pet stores still do it, so maybe it explains the bitey ones. I used to have a dwarf hamster when I was young and he was bitey, which is why I want to choose based on temperament.

I wanted a purebred Winter White, but they are non-existent in many countries anymore, including Canada. There is a new breeder in Ohio, but she just started. And an established one in Ohio who says it’s very complicated to ship. So a hybrid it will have to be.

Maybe one day, if I really like having a hamster, I’ll pay 500$ to get a purebred Winter white...
 

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They must be cute. If you're home and don't mind the extra work, why not? I wouldn't like "bitey." But maybe like it was said, if you handle them a lot they'll get more accustomed.

I use to have pet rats and I liked them because they weren't bitey and they were calm and slow moving...just hung out on my shoulder when we watched tv. Then I got my kids each one rat.

And before that we had Guinea pigs...loads of them. That was back in NJ first when I was very young. My dad bred them...by accident. He got a "male" that had babies and on. It was quite the hobby. We had 22 of them at one time...loads of big cages and they got to out outside in big wire outdoor things so they could hang out in the grass during the day. They weren't bitey but they would sort of kick back with their feet sometimes and those nails! Yikes. Anyhow, have fun if you decide for sure to get this little creature. Sounds like you found a good place to get one.

There are all kinds of rodents that make good pets. They just don't make good wild visitors...at least rats and mice don't...never saw a wild hamster though.

Well, show us pictures. And have fun.
 

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They must be cute. If you're home and don't mind the extra work, why not? I wouldn't like "bitey." But maybe like it was said, if you handle them a lot they'll get more accustomed.

I use to have pet rats and I liked them because they weren't bitey and they were calm and slow moving...just hung out on my shoulder when we watched tv. Then I got my kids each one rat.

And before that we had Guinea pigs...loads of them. That was back in NJ first when I was very young. My dad bred them...by accident. He got a "male" that had babies and on. It was quite the hobby. We had 22 of them at one time...loads of big cages and they got to out outside in big wire outdoor things so they could hang out in the grass during the day. They weren't bitey but they would sort of kick back with their feet sometimes and those nails! Yikes. Anyhow, have fun if you decide for sure to get this little creature. Sounds like you found a good place to get one.

There are all kinds of rodents that make good pets. They just don't make good wild visitors...at least rats and mice don't...never saw a wild hamster though.

Well, show us pictures. And have fun.
I had rabbits, guinea pigs, syrian hamsters, dwarf hamster. But I was younger and didn’t really have the time or pay attention to try and build a real relationship.

I’m looking forward to doing that with this little being. If I don’t succeed, I am ready just to enjoy his presence, as I do with my fishes. But, coming from a breeder, it should make all the difference in the tameness.

I’ve watched many, many videos and the level of care is minimal. Besides feeding and giving water, you spot clean 2-3 times a week and do one full clean-up once a month. Cleaning the cage is very stressful for the hamster (because they lose their landmark) so you want to avoid it as much as possible. The rest is just handling your baby.

I’m a little worried about Beckie, she is such a predator... If she can’t be controlled around the little one, I will make sure they are never in contact.
 

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Wow...that's interesting how cleaning their cages can upset them so. Well, it sounds like you've learned a lot about these guys and have had lots of experience with all kinds of little rodent critters. Good luck.
 
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I too, have wonderful memories of having hamsters when I was young. After the hamsters I got a guinea pig that I hid in my college dorm - animals not allowed. Everyone in the dorm kept the secret and I always had numerous visits to my room.

Sounds like you really know your hamsters - hope that you will find much joy in your new little one.

Pictures?? YES YES YES
 

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I'd love to see photos! Are hamsters social animals? Or are they okay to keep alone?

I had two pet rats in my 20s - Mickey and Skipper. They were so smart and social. Really underrated companions. Mickey went missing once for two days, and I finally coaxed him out by running a bath, putting a big bowl of popcorn on the bathroom floor, and settling in for a nice long soak. Sure enough, he poked his nose around the bathroom door and I shut it behind him as he made his way over to the popcorn.

Months later, I found a little nest in the back of the drawer under my oven. He'd made it from some lint and other miscellaneous things, including a cigarette butt! I never smoked, so that tells me he ventured out of my apartment! Still makes me chuckle.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'd love to see photos! Are hamsters social animals? Or are they okay to keep alone?

I had two pet rats in my 20s - Mickey and Skipper. They were so smart and social. Really underrated companions. Mickey went missing once for two days, and I finally coaxed him out by running a bath, putting a big bowl of popcorn on the bathroom floor, and settling in for a nice long soak. Sure enough, he poked his nose around the bathroom door and I shut it behind him as he made his way over to the popcorn.

Months later, I found a little nest in the back of the drawer under my oven. He'd made it from some lint and other miscellaneous things, including a cigarette butt! I never smoked, so that tells me he ventured out of my apartment! Still makes me chuckle.
Hamster are solitary animals and they only regroup to feed and/or reproduce in the wild. In captivity, there is no challenge in finding food and reproduction shouldn’t be done randomly so they need to be kept alone.

Hope you get two so it won't be lonely.
I thought about having two before doing my research but it’s not possible. Even if they get along for a while, chances are they will fight, for whatever reason, and one will end up dead and the other one injured.

With Syrians you can’t even try it, it’s a sure loss. With russian dwarfs, some people still try it but the risk of death is very real and it’s not something I would do. These little critters thrive when living alone as long as their habitat is appropriate. I will get a bin cage for my little one, and there will be at least 6-8 inches of bedding to burrow snd make tunnels.
 

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Dechi, I love hammies! I had them and all the other rodents growing up and they rank pretty high at the top. I had Syrians, never dwarfs. They definitely had to be kept singly! I always got them young so I could tame them, and I made sure to wake them up CAREFULLY if they were sleeping, or better, wait until they were already up and active. The males seem to be sweeter than the females, overall, although one of my favorites was a female named Mandy.

The only thing I'd be concerned about is allergies--I can't have them for that reason, and I know you have allergies too. Is there any way you can spend time with one before you take the leap?
 

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... I thought about having two before doing my research but it’s not possible. Even if they get along for a while, chances are they will fight, for whatever reason, and one will end up dead and the other one injured...
Oh! They're like Betta fish. I used to want a tank of several males, they're so beautiful, but they'll kill each other.
 

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Dechi, I love hammies! I had them and all the other rodents growing up and they rank pretty high at the top. I had Syrians, never dwarfs. They definitely had to be kept singly! I always got them young so I could tame them, and I made sure to wake them up CAREFULLY if they were sleeping, or better, wait until they were already up and active. The males seem to be sweeter than the females, overall, although one of my favorites was a female named Mandy.

The only thing I'd be concerned about is allergies--I can't have them for that reason, and I know you have allergies too. Is there any way you can spend time with one before you take the leap?
Hmm, that would be difficult. They’re really small so I’m not expecting problems. I’ve had at least one dwarf and a few Syrians, many guinea pigs and a few rabbits and I was okay. Let’s hope I still am.

But, in the event I get to the breeder and start having problems, I would not take a baby even though I had a long road.
 

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Oh! They're like Betta fish. I used to want a tank of several males, they're so beautiful, but they'll kill each other.
Exactly ! I also have a Betta fish, and of course he lives alone. Well, not completely, he has a snail friend...
 

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Sounds fun! I had 2 hamsters growing up. It was fun to watch them run around the house in their little plastic exercise balls. The only thing I couldn't stand was the sound of the exercise wheel at night....I had to try out quieter wheels.
 

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Sounds fun! I had 2 hamsters growing up. It was fun to watch them run around the house in their little plastic exercise balls. The only thing I couldn't stand was the sound of the exercise wheel at night....I had to try out quieter wheels.
Yeah, in the old days we thought hamster balls were so cool ! Today they are not recommended, as it is very stressful for the animal (not enough air, bumps into walls, can get kicked and stepped on).

They now have «*silent wheels*» and those metal wheels, or any wheel with bars, are not recommended either, because the hamster can catch his foot in between the bars and get injured. Now the best wheels are made of solid material, either a good quality plastic or wood.

I’ve discovered hamster care has changed very much, and all for the better !
 
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