Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Chinese Hamsters



Chinese Hamster Darwin

Today I am going to talk about something slightly different. Hamsters. Chinese Hamsters to be precise.
As you may or may not know, I have a lovely Chinese Hamster named Darwin. He is 3.5 years old and he has been a part of my life since he was a tiny baby.

Recently I have been noticing more and more Chinese Hamsters up for adoption - either on the SSPCA website (Scottish version of RSPCA) or in the re-homing section of Pets at Home. To see these lovely animals there breaks my heart. Personally, if I had the time and  the space, I would gladly re-home as many as possible, but sadly I do not (both Darwin & my Syrian, Mr Fluffles, keep me busy!).

To me, Chinese Hamsters make a wonderful addition to your family. They are intelligent and entertaining, but also extremely loving. Over time, they can become tame and trusting.However, I would say that they are more than likely best suited to a home without children as they can be quite shy. I know that if I make a loud noise in my flat, Darwin will run away and hide and I would imagine in a house with children, it would be quite noisy for a hamster.

Chinese Hamster Darwin

I have always kept Darwin on his own as after doing months and months of research prior to getting him, I discovered that they are solitary animals and will more or less hurt anything else in with them. I do know that a certain pet store will tell you that they are sociable with other hamsters, sadly they are not.

I feed both my boys my own mixture of hamster food. This includes normal hamster food with added extras. The things I add can include porridge oats, budgie seeds and seed mixes. As Chinese Hamsters are prone to diabetes, I limit sugary, pet shop bought treats to a strict minimum. To be perfectly honest, Darwin doesn't usually like these and much prefers the sunflower seeds I offer him or a millet stick on which he can pull off himself over sugary pet shop treats.

Chinese Hamster Darwin

When people think of hamster playtime, the first things that spring to mind tend to be either a wheel or a ball. Darwin doesn't like either. He has a flying saucer which he adores and will spend hours running on it. Instead of a ball, he has a playpen. This is simply a large plastic tub in which I will put lots of toys in it for him to play with. This can include egg boxes, tubes or a wooden barrel with holes in. I will also hide bits of food around the playpen for him to find.

Chinese Hamster Darwin

The things I love about Darwin:

He has learnt the noise of the sunflower seed tub opening and will wake up for treats.
He loves a good sand bath.
He is happy to snuggle up either in my sleeve or my hood for a cuddle.
He enjoys being in front of the camera and is quite capable of working a pose or two.
He doesn't like alfalfa bits and will quite happily put them to one side.
He enjoys building a fort type thing in his home.
He pouches sunflower seeds like they are going out of fashion.
He has the ability to melt people's hearts when they meet him. Considering my Mum was not a fan of dwarf hamsters before she met him, she now absolutely adores him and even has a nickname for him - DD!

Chinese Hamster Darwin

Chinese Hamster Darwin

I hope you enjoyed reading this different post. If you require any more information then Hamster Central is such an amazing resource for all Hamster related things. They have some really knowledgeable people on their forum which covers all breeds of hamster. Alternatively, if you have questions then leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them :).

Oh, I believe Darwin would like to give you all something for reading his post:



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