The first friend of the child may not be a cat or a dog, but a fluffy dzhungarik. Caring for a Dzungarian hamster is not difficult at all, and the price of its purchase and further maintenance does not require burdensome financial costs. Having separated the “fuzzy” for some time from their daily routine, both the children and their parents will find a loyal friend who, with his mobility, will bring a lot of joy to everyday life.
The habitat of the Dzungarian hamsters
Before starting a furry rodent, many beginning livestock breeders are interested in the life of hamsters of the Dzungar hamsters in the wild in order to provide them with the closest possible natural conditions at home. Dzungarian hamsters are representatives of the dwarf species of rodents. In the wild, they live in the desert regions of Russia (in the Altai Territory and Western Siberia), in Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia. “Pussies” got their name from the province in the North-Western part of China – Dzungaria. Sometimes the Dzungarian hamster is called Sungursky, but it is one and the same species.
Dzungarian hamsters prefer a solitary life. Animals equip their homes in small burrows up to one meter deep with 4-6 entrances and exits and several "rooms" (bedroom, pantry, latrine). During the day, the “pussies” are covered, and at night they go in search of food. With pleasure they eat grass, seeds of various plants, insects, berries. In search of food, each hamster runs several kilometers during the night.
Appearance and colors of the Dzungarian hamsters
An ordinary adult representative of this species grows up to 10 centimeters in length and weighs about 50 grams. The body of the animal is covered with thick shorthair fur. The natural color of the fluffy consists of gray-brown tones with a pronounced dark strip along the entire spine, by which it is easy to distinguish a representative of this species from other breeds. On the tummy, the hair is lighter. Jungar hamsters have black eyes, shiny and slightly convex.
At home and in nurseries, several decorative species of pussies were bred. Dzungarian hamsters (see photo) can have “tangerine” (light brown, red or golden shades), “sapphire” (gray-blue) or “pearl” (white) colors.
Dzungarian hamsters are never black or albinos. If dishonest sellers try to sell rodents of this color under the guise of a Dzungarian hamster, most likely this is another species of dwarf rodents – Campbell’s hamster. The Dzungarian hamster in the photo and live looks very different. Dzungarian hamsters are not long-haired – only "Syrians" can boast of such a "fur coat".
The more unusual the color of the rodent, the less resistant it is to stress and adverse conditions. In particular, red-haired hamsters are the owners of the lethal gene, which is why it is not recommended to cross them with each other.
Maintenance and care
Since the Dzungarian hamster is not large, it can be kept in a glass aquarium. However, the fluffy will feel much more comfortable in a single-tier cage measuring 50x30x30 centimeters. It is necessary to equip a house for a rodent, install a running wheel, a feeding trough and a drinking bowl. Since hamsters do not like to swim, for hygiene procedures, they just need a container of sand.
It is important to remember that two (or more) Dzungarian hamsters get along badly on the same territory, can constantly fight, so it is advisable to separate them from each other. Accordingly, you will need more than one cage and more than one accessory for keeping rodents.
Food of Dzungarian hamsters
In addition to cereals, Dzungarian hamsters willingly eat juicy foods (fruits, vegetables, herbs, berries), nuts. Pet food should be balanced. From time to time, he can be given protein food (low-fat cottage cheese, boiled chicken breast, boiled liver), but in small quantities. Since the hamster loves not only to “eat up” food, but also to hide it on a “rainy day”. It is necessary to ensure that there are no perishable foods left in the cage that can lead to diseases of the pet and even his death.
Hamsters need to be fed every day. It is advisable to do this in the evening, when the “fluffy” wakes up, washed and prepared for his long “races”. And also every day you need to change the water in the drinker.
Cleanliness is the key to health
At least every three days in the cage of the pet must be removed. It is advisable to clean the remains of succulent feed, meat and liver in a timely manner to prevent their damage. And the litter can be changed to the extent of the appearance of accumulation of feces. Hamsters are pretty neat little animals that organize their own toilet corner in the cage. Accustom them to "go to the toilet" is not necessary.
General cleaning with a complete replacement of the filler and washing the cage is stress for rodents, so it is advisable to carry out such a procedure no more than once a week. Warm water with laundry soap needs to be processed all accessories: a cage, a running wheel, a house, toys.
Hamsters are very sensitive to permutations in their home, so it is advisable to put the house, wheel and feeder in the same places. Very sadly, the “pussies” are experiencing the loss of supplies that they instinctively accumulate in their homes. Therefore, when replacing the filler, it is possible to clean only products subject to spoilage, leaving the grains in their places.
Dzungarian hamsters have an independent character, so they are not very keen on communicating with their owners. In some cases, a worried “puss” can even bite the hand that feeds him. To wean a pet from such a habit, it must be brought up every day, taking it in your hands. But raising a pet once and for all will not work. If you do not communicate with him for 7-10 days, he will again become “wild”, and you will have to start the educational process first.
So that the fluffy neighbor does not bite, do not get it out of the house during daytime sleep, you can not lower it head down, corner it.
Diseases of the Dzungarian hamsters
Representatives of this type of rodent are sometimes sick. The most common disease of Dzungarian hamsters is diabetes. The disease develops from malnutrition, so you need to carefully monitor the diet of the pet.
Wet bedding and drafts can cause colds. In addition, from the owners of "fluffy" can catch colds. To strengthen the immune system, it is advisable for animals to give fresh lettuce and parsley.
The characteristic diseases of the Dzungarian hamsters are full-time diseases. At the same time, if cataracts can manifest closer to old age, then a young hamster can get sick with conjunctivitis, especially if its owner rarely cleans the cage.
The abundance of fatty foods increases the development of various tumors in rodents. The mechanism of their appearance has not yet been studied.
Sometimes fluffy animals suffer from skin diseases that are accompanied by hair loss or dandruff. Skin ailments cause stressful situations in which the pet finds itself, or the individual intolerance of a substance.
The animal can be injured when falling from a height, sticking a foot between the bars of the cage. Not a single pet is insured against dislocations and fractures.
Ticks and fleas cause parasitic diseases.
However, observing the principles of proper care and taking care of the cleanliness of the pet’s home, many diseases can be avoided. With caring owners, the pet will look cheerful and well-groomed. But if the behavior of the animal, the condition of its coat, refusal of food are evidence of a deviation from the norm, it is advisable to show the pet to the veterinarian.
Breeding Dzungarian hamsters
Dzungarian hamsters can bring offspring very early. They become sexually mature at 4-6 weeks from birth. However, in such early periods, “pussies” are best avoided, since early pregnancy can lead to the female dying during the first birth. Experienced breeders recommend a couple at the age of 6 months.
Unlike wildlife, where animals breed only in the warm season, at home, the offspring of Dzungarian hamsters can appear year-round. Pregnancy lasts 21-24 days. Newborn hamsters are born naked and with their eyes closed. In one litter there can be from 1 to 11 animals. Surprisingly, a day after the birth of the babies, their mother is ready for the next fertilization.
Pet care and maintenance are not burdensome. Giving “fuzzy” a few minutes a day, you can sincerely become attached to your pet, getting a loyal friend in return, who is interesting to watch, despite his “hostility”. The caring owners will have a happy life, and the cost of the hamster will fully pay off with the indescribable joy of communication.