Russian hamster: one of the few in the Cricetidae family that can be considered a companion animal. Among crested rats and white-tailed mice, among over 500 species, he, the Russian hamster, he deserved the okay. Yes, he can coexist amiably with us humans, in our homes, in our hearts. Small and soft, the Russian hamster he has conquered many and makes them beat every day, spinning on his wheel, tireless companion.
Russian hamster: name
The official name of the Russian hamster it is Phodopus campbelli, while informally it is also called Russian teddy bear, and, to be trusted, it comes from north-eastern Russia, from southern Siberia and central Asia, some subspecies are found in northern China where they can benefit from the very dry climate. Accustomed to certain temperatures, once in the house, with temperatures around 20 °, the Russian hamster stays awake all year.
No wonder, given that outside the bars it prefers steppe and desert areas, if not the real desert, how will it be wandering in the rooms of a house where life, people and vegetation sprout? We must try to create a habitat that stimulates our friend Russian hamster without intimidating and disgusting him. We'll see how, it's simpler than it sounds.
Russian hamster: origins
We begin to know him from his origins, or rather from his arrival in civilization, ours. The Russian hamster makes its debut in the western market, around the seventies, starting from England, to then become successful. Like so many rock bands. But the Russian hamster, is he a rock animal? Let's find out! And let's get in tune with him also by buying his fetish, which is punk rather than rock.
Russian hamster: characteristics
Whether it's from his rounded build with a very straight spine, proudly, it's from his light gray color, with shades of red and white belly and legs, it depends on the observer, but the Russian hamster it is well recognizable. To help even the less attentive, this rodent also carries a black stripe on the back that runs along the entire spine. As if he had been hit by a hijacker in its entire length, or almost 8 cm. A Russian hamster reaches a maximum of 10-12 cm.
Small, yes, these russian hamsters, and they often take advantage of it to try to escape. Nothing personal, let's not take it, but if they find a crack or a way to freedom ... how can we not understand them? The problem is that so the Russian hamster he becomes an easy prey, and not just the euphoria and enthusiasm that characterize him. Moreover, in fact, it also has a restless and curious character, and can be handled without too many problems, all this does not help.
Being docile is proper to Russian hamster which is therefore easy to breed. Here's a good little companion for kids too, just give them a few tips to prevent them from biting. It is true that it is not a rodent he is particularly inclined to make such gestures, but he is always a rodent: it is better to educate our little ones to what even small animals can involve, having a beautiful set of teeth.
We too, no longer small, it is good that we approach the Russian hamster with prudence, accustoming him to our presence without imposing it. Slowly, little by little, caressing him gently and without invading him, we can make him understand that we understand each other. And become playmates, wheel mates, sleepless nights. He, the Russian hamster, is a specialist in the small hours.
Of course, in fact, that then the Russian hamster it has the reputation of a lazy animal. Although when raised indoors, it does not hibernate, the Russian hamster remains a nocturnal animal. Being behind bars, he lives less. Compared to his wild brother, his life expectancy falls by half, from 4 to two years.
Another fixed, in addition to the small hours, is that of personal cleaning. Yes the Russian hamster he is quite a hygienist. He spends a lot of time washing and cleaning himself and it comes naturally to him to do his business in a corner of the cage. Better for us to clean it, right?
Clean, independent, awake, anarchist, sleepless: single character? No, it is not said, but if the intention is to also couple the Russian hamster, it is advisable to buy a pair from the beginning otherwise forms of aggression may occur. In general, as can be guessed, it is a solitary animal: met the companion to reproduce, then the Russian hamster it continues by itself, as a single, even if at each birth the female gives birth to 6 or even 12 babies. There are couples who reach 20, and then they separate without problems, at home, without too many regrets or feelings of guilt.
Russian hamster: nutrition
No guilt even about food: this Russian hamster he is omnivorous and the more varied his diet, the better he is. The ideal one is a mixture between the mix of pellets, food with calculated nutritional intake but without the opportunity to choose, and a more conciliatory intake of seeds and grains with additions of vegetables and fruit.
Especially in pregnancy and lactation, but in general they never hurt, animal proteins, to be taken through biscuits and treats for dogs every now and then, not frequently, but regularly. In the daily menu of Russian hamster there are also “breaks” based on fresh vegetables, such as carrots, cauliflower, apple, but always in moderate doses as well as bread and biscuits: never more than once a week.
The preferences of the Russian hamster they are for sunflower seeds, barley, oats, soy, wheat, while as far as fruit is concerned, he is crazy for grapes, cherries, apricots, apples, strawberries, pears, plums… understandable right? Vegetables are also very popular: the Russian hamster he eats all kinds of salads, without grumbling as many of us would do, and then he adds carrots, tomatoes, fennel without disdaining cooked vegetables.
An egg can also be added to the diet Russian hamster, but not more than once a week. This variation, like any other one has in mind to do, without the foods taboo for him, must be done in a moderate way, always proposing for the dry food, in order not to cause gastrointestinal problems in the animal. Serious problems with the teeth, however, can occur if they are neglected. Just make it available to ours Russian hamster untreated pieces or logs of wood and avoiding pine and cedar, thus giving him the opportunity to grind his teeth.
Russian hamster: cage
After the food, here is the accommodation: a cage. Even if the Russian hamster likes to go around, it is small and should be kept an eye on. Who then finds him at home? To make him feel at ease, even though he is aware of his captivity, it is better to choose a large and welcoming cage. And then position it well.
Well means in non-noisy places, since the Russian hamster has a very developed hearing, even the sense of smell is very sensitive, which is why I recommend not keeping it in the kitchen, even if we are excellent cooks. Very sensitive to changes in temperature, better not to subject ours Russian hamster in drafts and in any case provide him with a den in which to take refuge.
This means creating a corner where he can get "warm", simply using white toilet paper. It is the best, and in any case avoid the scented one or with inks, dyes and other additives, dangerous in the case of Russian hamster ingested some fragments. For other reasons, to be kept away from the rooms of the Russian hamster also fibrous materials such as cotton or wool: they could get tangled in the limbs. In the cage of the Russian hamster a series of accessories that are essential for him must find space. To pass the day and to let us spend it peacefully.
The cage of ours is very spacious, preferably on several floors Russian hamster he must have a bowl for feed and another ad hoc, better still, for fresh fruit and vegetables, placed side by side with the drinking trough that he manages himself. The wheel is inevitable - hamsters, Russian or not, love to run - better if associated with a lively path of external pipesEverything must be well ventilated and easy to clean. From this last point of view, the top for the Russian hamster would be a glass or plexiglass case, well ventilated.
Cage or bear, must have a bottom set up with newsprint, hay, straw, cat litter (there are also greens), corn litter, wood chips, always avoiding pine or cedar and toxic treatments. Clean and tidy as it proves to be russian hamster, we will require housekeeping of our hand twice a week.
Russian hamster: how to train it
Tidy, cute, affectionate, trainable: but do these rodents from Russia manage to make perfect little ones? No, they also have something to hide. Just look them in the face, or rather in the cheeks: they have some pockets to stock up on food in the nest and eat it calmly. In fact, the English name "hamster" derives from the German "hamstern" which means "to accumulate".
Another indiscretion is about their sexuality: it is gray ... So ... ban on the Fifty Shades which I don't know if applicable to rodents, the Russian hamster becomes sexually mature from the age of 2-3 months and tends to reproduce in early spring . So the time has come ...
If you liked this animal article keep following me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and… elsewhere you have to find me!
You may also be interested in our articleHouse mouse: breeds and price