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Sunfire Hamster?


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#1 AmandaHW

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 06:47 AM

I bought a hamster for my son last week at Petco (and he is quickly becoming more my hamster) but I realize I knew nothing about hamsters before I bought him and I want to take care of him properly. I believe he is a dwarf based on his markings, but he was definitely larger than the other dwarves at the store. There is a picture below (and no I don't make it a habit of feeding him peanuts, I was just trying to get him to sit still long enough to get a picture for identification!) If he is a dwarf, will he be unhappy alone? Also, the cage the store recommended to me seems small and too simple, now that I am looking at everyone else's pictures and setup here. Any advice or information would be appreciated.
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Edited by AmandaHW, 04 July 2011 - 06:48 AM.





#2 princesshamster

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 06:57 AM

I don't know if he is a Dwarf or not but here are some answers to your other questions:

Is my cage too small? well it has less that 360 square inches of floor space then yes :D

Will he be unhappy alone? I don't think so but be sure you and your son give him lots of love :D

#3 Plushie

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 07:05 AM

There is no such thing as a Sunfire hamster. You have a hybrid, also known as a pudding, and it is a crossspecies of a Winter White dwarf and a Russian Campbells dwarf.

Dwarfs do fine alone and not all enjoy living with others anyways. If you guys are happy with him and can give him attention then there's no need for another friend.

He's super cute and fluffy and adorable though :D Hope you all have fun with him!

#4 Elli-Kodi'sMommy

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 08:00 AM

he is definetly a dwarf :) looks like a hybrid to me too. I would order some diabetes test strips, Hazel hamster, And most likely a bigger cage. ( We recommend a minimum of 360 sq in of floor space length times width)

#5 Christmas_hamster

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 09:24 AM

He looks pretty chubby, hehe. I would look into testing for diabetes though as recommended. Urine test strips (Bayers Ketodiastix are the ones that are usually recommended) are the safest and easiest way to test.

Peanuts aren't bad for them, though they do make nice treats. He's very, very cute. Congrats!

Most cages sold for hamsters, especially those sold in N.America, are often too small for hamsters. It's the same with other types of small animals too.

He should be just fine by himself, most dwarfs adapt rather well to it. :)

#6 Elli-Kodi'sMommy

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 09:30 AM

Also what bedding are you using? And he will need a 6.5 inch wheel preferably silent spinner.

#7 Mouse Potato

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 02:22 PM

Very cute! The colouration looks like a "pudding", so he's definitely a dwarf. :D

Dwarfs can live very, very happily alone. Some don't do well in groups and actually prefer to be alone! I keep a lone dwarf who was up for adoption because he hates living in a group - the idea of them being veery social animals is a little bit of a myth, not all of them are by any means. Your little one will do just fine on his own, give him plenty of love and he'll definitely be happy! =)

#8 AmandaHW

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 01:17 AM

Wow! Thanks so much.

Right now I am using Carefresh and feeding him Ecotrition Essential choice (I know it sounds horrible, but I did ZERO research and just went with what the sales person at Petco recommended).

I am definitely going to look into a larger cage. Right now he does a 6.5 inch wheel and he runs on that thing all night. I also bought two balls for him, but can't decide which is the correct size. The 5" looks too small, but the 7" looks too large. It says the 5" is for dwarf hamsters, though.

Another question: Would it be better to get him an aquarium and put a mesh top or try to find a cage? Most of the cages at the store are too small...I found one that was designed for larger animals, but the salesperson at Petco said the bars were not close enough together for a hamster (but to me they still seemed really close)

#9 Elli-Kodi'sMommy

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 01:25 AM

You could get an aquarium a 20 long or larger is recommended also a long cage is far better than a tall one. The 5 inch is for dwarfs the 7 inch is for syrians :) My dwarf cant actually move the 7 inch lol. Also in an aquarium you can watch him better :)

Your bedding is fine for him and I believe that diet is ok for syrians but not for dwarfs since they are diabetes prone you have to be careful what you feed. Hazel ( or Harry) Hamster is highly recommended for dwarfs just take out the corn corn flakes and pea flakes. It sounds like a lot to take out but its better than most other foods. My hamster is diabetes negative ( you should test monthly and its a urine test strip so just put them in a clean container and wait for him to pee ... if he doesnt after 15 minutes put him back and try again later) So I do let him have 2 mazuri hamster pellets daily. These do have sugar ( molasses and corn) in them so test before feeding them.

#10 Jaybee

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 06:27 AM

You can use either ball, I have the dwarf one and a bigger one, and my winter white can move both around. It's harder for them to maneuver on carpet than it is on the tile.
The best thing you could do since you already spent so much money on a store cage would be to make a bin cage out of a storage bin. It will save you a lot of money :)

#11 AmandaHW

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 08:45 PM

What's a bin cage?

#12 Christmas_hamster

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 09:25 PM

There's a thread about bin cages here: How do you make a bin cage? and another thread talking about the costs (along with some pictures) here: Bin Cage Costs.

#13 mikachewie

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 12:26 PM

Haha, I've had ... DIY cages, bin cages, aquariums, piece together cages (Ovo, Habitrail, Crittertrails...) and I've come to the conclusion that if you can't do a DIY cage (furniture) than a bin cage is the way to go, but that's just my personal opinion.

You can do it to look very nice (look at Azayles!) AND a 116qt is easily the recommended size (though bigger is always better, but it's up to you!). Also, the biggest thing for me? It was the easiest of ALL of them to clean. It takes about 5-10 minutes. All you do is put a plastic trash bag around the edge of the bin, dump bedding into it, put bin in shower, rinse bin out, wash bin, dry, wash toys, dry toys, add bedding, add toys, finished. It's not heavy-- which was a huge thing to me. 20G longs? I can't lift them up easily and they are awkward to clean out and then rinse. That's just my opinion though.

You can also get a 116qt. bin from Wal-Mart for $12. A cheap, easy solution!

Anyways, there are pros and cons to them all. I used to just leave the lid off on my Bin cages for my dwarfs since they were too small to get out anyways, but if you have other pets-- you HAVE to have a lid! However, mesh + utility knife (or dremmel tool) + nails are really cheap. The rest is patience.