How to Keep and Breed Hamsters IV
Pet World Visit
What is a Teddy Bear
“Teddy Bear” Refers to their Hair. Teddy bear hamsters have longer hair -- especially the males. Females have shorter hair than the males but certainly longer than regular hamster hair. Males look like little dust mops -- particularly when they first awaken, before they have a chance to groom themselves. Their hair goes every which way and usually has wood chips sticking to it here and there.
Long Hair Dominates. If one parent has long hair, the trait passes to the babies -- all of them if the parent was a full-blooded teddy bear. Half of them, if the parent was of mixed parentage. It’s a dominant gene, so occasionally you get short-haired hamster babies from teddy bear parents. You rarely see the reverse.
Smaller Litters. Long-haired hamsters usually raise smaller families. Maybe the longer hair makes it harder for the mother to feed the babies? In any event, you seldom see a large litter (12-14) of teddy bear hamsters. Treat your teddies the same as your other hamsters.
“Overgrown Teeth” Warning
Hamster Teeth Grow Continually. All rodents gnaw to keep their teeth ground down and therefore usable. Overgrown teeth will actually cause rodents to starve to death.
Rare Problem in Hamsters. Overgrown rodent teeth will actually grow so long they curl up and grow right back into the rodent’s jaw. This is very rare in hamsters, not so rare in rabbits and guinea pigs. If it happens to your rodent, it is easily fixed by snipping off the over-grown tooth portion with a fingernail clipper.
It Doesn’t Hurt. Your hamster won’t like being grabbed, held, and “operated on.” And he’ll kick and squirm. But once you snip off that tooth, he will thank you for it. You saved his life.
Hamsters – Beyond the Basics
Some people who get married and plan to have babies “to love and take care of” would be better off with a hamster.
Short Lives. Hamsters only live two years (which is still better than many marriages). You need very little to keep your hamsters alive and healthy:
You can keep them alive, happy, and healthy in bare minimum living quarters. In fact, commercial breeders rear their hamsters in very Spartan living conditions. Most pet hamster keepers prefer to provide something a little higher on the hog for their pets.
Wire Cages. For ease of handling and boxing new hamsters for our customers, we prefer 10-gallon aquariums (Yes, somewhat on the sparse side). But your selection of cages is nearly endless. You can choose from inexpensive wire cages that comfortably house a pair or for just a few dollars more you can find double deckers with an apartment on the second floor. Some of the latest wire cages belong to the “modular” class of cages that interconnect with other cages.
Modular Cages. Habitrail started it. Then Penn Plax came up with their Small Animal Modules. We also see discount store versions. All of these cages hook together via tubes through which hamsters cruise in the evenings. The more tubes you provide, the more your hamsters cruise. Your typical hamster jogs three miles per evening. Separate cages hooked together also allow quarrelsome individuals to find their own separate living quarters away from the rest of the herd. Most hamsters like to sleep heaped one on top another in a large pile.
live in burrows in the wild. The
modular cages use a tube design that exactly matches the size of their
natural burrows. They also
provide tiny footholds that make it easy for hamsters to climb to the
ceiling in these tubes. Regulars and dwarves take different size
tubes. By hooking enough
hamster tubes together, you can build a veritable hamster highway or
skyscraper. (And you won’t
even need a building permit.) We
convinced one of our former
More Info? Go to Hamsters V
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