(Last Updated On: April 15, 2021)

The golden hamster or Syrian hamster, scientific name Mesocricetus auratus is a rodent belonging to the hamster subfamily, Cricetinae.

Syrian Hamster Profile

Their natural geographical range is proscribed to a small arid area of northern Syria and southern Turkey. Their numbers have been declining within the wild attributable to a lack of habitat from agriculture and deliberate elimination by people.

Thus, wild golden hamsters at the moment are thought-about susceptible by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

However, captive breeding packages are well-established, and captive-bred golden hamsters are sometimes stored as small home pets.

Syrian hamsters are bigger than lots of the dwarf hamsters stored as pocket pets (as much as 5 occasions bigger), and weigh about the identical as a sugar glider, although the wild European hamster exceeds Syrian hamsters in size. They are additionally used as scientific analysis animals all through the world.

In the wild, their inhabitants are taken into account as susceptible attributable to habitat loss. But captive-breeding packages have existed because the 1930s, each for science and pet commerce.

Thanks to their reputation as pets, diets specifically formulated for Syrian hamsters will be present in most pet shops, making {that a} simple part of their care. Plus, their housing would not take up that a lot house and is fairly easy to arrange and keep.

Sexually mature feminine hamsters come into warmth (estrus) every 4 days. Golden hamsters and different species within the genus Mesocricetus have the shortest gestation interval in any identified placental mammal at around 16 days.

Gestation has been identified to last as long as 21 days, however, that is uncommon and virtually all the time ends in problems. They can produce giant litters of 20 or younger, though the average litter size is between eight and 10 pups.

If a mom hamster is inexperienced or feels threatened, she could abandon or eat her pups. A feminine hamster enters estrus virtually instantly after giving birth and might grow to be pregnant regardless of already having a litter.

This act places stress on the mom’s body and infrequently ends in very weak and undernourished younger.

Syrian Hamster

Characteristics

The size of adult animals is around 6 in (15 cm) long, with a lifespan of two–Three years. Body mass is often within the range of 100–150 grams (3.5–5.3 oz), but Syrian hamsters from personal breeders will be within the range of 175–225 grams (6.2–7.9 oz).

Like most members of the subfamily, the golden hamster has expandable cheek pouches, which lengthen from its cheeks to its shoulders. In the wild, hamsters are larder hoarders; they use their cheek pouches to move meals to their burrows.

Their name within the native Arabic dialect the place they had been discovered roughly interprets to “mister saddlebags” because of the quantity of cupboard space of their cheek pouches. If meals are plentiful, the hamster shops it in giant quantities.

Behavior and Temperament

Hamsters are very territorial and illiberal of one another; assaults towards one another are commonplace. Exceptions do happen, often when feminine and male meet when the feminine is in warmth, besides, the feminine could assault the male after mating.

Even siblings, as soon as mature, could assault each other. In captivity, infants are separated from their mom and by sex after 4 weeks, as they are sexually mature at 4 to 5 weeks old.

Same-sex teams of siblings can stick with one another till they’re about eight weeks old, at which level they’ll grow to be territorial and battle with each other, generally to the loss of life.

Infanticide just isn’t unusual amongst feminine golden hamsters. In captivity, they might kill and eat wholesome younger because of the pups interacting with people, for any overseas scent is handled as a risk. Females additionally eat their lifeless younger within the wild.

Golden hamsters mark their burrows with secretions from particular scent glands on their hips, termed flank glands. Male hamsters specifically lick their bodies close to the glands, creating damp spots on the fur, then drag their sides alongside objects to mark their territory. Females additionally use bodily secretions and faeces.

Syrian hamsters have fame for being considerably nippy pets. However, this trait is often attributable to rare or improper dealing with.1 As long as you do not squeeze or jostle your hamster as you maintain it, it ought to study to be content with people dealing with it.

Syrian Hamster

These hamsters are one of the solitary animals within the wild, making them equally territorial. That means they need to all the time be housed alone as pets.

Sometimes younger hamsters tolerate cage mates for a short time. But as they mature, there is a good probability they will grow to be aggressive, even preventing the loss of life.

It’s additionally greatest to maintain some other pets within the family away out of your hamster, as they might harm one another.

Syrian hamsters sleep through the day and are lively at night.2 And whereas they’re typically quiet pets, their nighttime exercise would possibly maintain you awake you probably have their enclosure in your bedroom.

Certain hamsters can considerably adapt to their people’s schedule, however, you must by no means attempt to choose up a sleeping hamster. Odds are it’s going to chunk you. Instead, the early morning or night hours are a very good time to work together together with your hamster.

As pets, Syrian hamsters do not essentially type an in-depth bond with their house owners. But they usually will come as much as the facet of their enclosure in case you’re there, and plenty of will get pleasure from lounging in your fingers or in your shoulder.

Expect to spend just a few hours per week on feedings and sustaining your hamster’s habitat. After that, simply ensure you’re allotting a while every day to deal with your hamster to maintain it tame.

Syrian Hamster

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Syrian Hamster Food and Water

Feed your Syrian hamster a diet of nuts, grains, and seeds (that is usually what’s within the business meal blends) supplemented with fruit and veggies, akin to apples, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and pears.

And as a result of Syrian hamsters are omnivores (they eat crops and animals), provide the occasional hardboiled egg or feeder insect for an additional protein shot.

If you employ a business meals mix, the supplemental meals typically should not make up more than 10% of the hamster’s total diet. But seek the advice of your veterinarian for the very best amount and selection to feed, as this could differ primarily based on age and size.

Always maintain a bowl of meals within the enclosure, and discard uneaten meals after 24 hours. Hamsters usually prefer to graze, storing meals of their cheek pouches and stashing it someplace for later.

Your hamster would possibly even get up just a few occasions a day to eat after which go back to sleep. Whenever you are feeding recent meals, it is usually greatest to supply them within the night when your hamster is waking up from its slumber and able to eat.

Moreover, all the time present a clear source of water to your hamster that you just refresh every day.2 Many people choose to make use of water bottles, as a result, they’re straightforward to maintain sanitarily. But you can also use a shallow dish for water till your hamster learns to drink from the bottle.

Housing the Syrian Hamster

As a giant of an enclosure as you possibly can accommodate for a Syrian hamster is greatest, as this shall be its main house for the train. At minimal, the cage ought to be 1 foot by 2 feet and at the least a foot tall.

In common, you’ll have your selection of a cage that’s a wire on the top with a plastic base or a standard glass or plastic aquarium with a tightly becoming mesh top.2 The wire cages permit for higher airflow, although they provide much less safety towards drafts.

In the enclosure, embrace loads of hamster toys for enrichment. A train wheel that has a stable floor (not bars) is good, as this minimizes the danger of accidents.

Other choices embrace tunnels and bridges for hiding and climbing, in addition to wood chew blocks for dental hygiene. Also, add a nest or sleeping hut (pet outlets usually have a number of choices) in a nook of the enclosure.

Line the underside of the enclosure with a pair of inches of bedding. Paper or aspen merchandise is really useful. Don’t use cedar or pine bedding, because the sturdy scent will be dangerous to a hamster.2 Scoop out any moist spots within the bedding every day.

And change all of the bedding weekly as you scrub down your complete enclosure with cleaning soap and water.

Syrian Hamster

Syrian Hamster in the Wild

Following Professor Aharoni’s assortment in 1930, solely rare sightings and captures had been reported within the wild. Finally, to substantiate the present existence of the wild golden hamster in northern Syria and southern Turkey, two expeditions had been carried out throughout September 1997 and March 1999. The researchers discovered and mapped 30 burrows.

None of the inhabited burrows contained more than one adult. The team caught six females and 7 males. One feminine was pregnant and gave beginning to 6 pups. All these 19 caught golden hamsters, along with three wild people from the University of Aleppo, had been shipped to Germany to type a brand new breeding inventory.

Syrian Hamster as pet

Golden hamsters are popular as home pets attributable to their docile, inquisitive nature, cuteness, and small size. However, these animals have some particular necessities that have to be met for them to be wholesome.

Although some people consider them as a pet for younger kids, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends hamsters as pets just for people over age 6 and the kid ought to be supervised by an adult.

Cages ought to be an appropriate size, protected, comfy, and fascinating. If a hamster is continually chewing and/or climbing on the bars of its cage then it wants more stimulation or a bigger cage.

The minimal really useful size for a hamster cage is 450 sq. inches (2,900 cm2), of steady flooring house (though the source of this advice is unknown). These will be constructed from a plastic storage bin or a big glass tank.

The majority of hamster cages bought in pet shops don’t meet these size necessities. Hamster Society Singapore (HHS) recommends a minimal of 4,000 sq. centimetres (620 sq in) for Syrian hamsters, whereas Tierärztliche Vereinigung für Tierschutz (TVT) recommends giving them as a lot house as you possibly can and at minimal 100 cm × 50 cm × 50 cm (L × W × H) which is 5,000 cm2 (780 sq in).

Syrian Hamster

Reproduction

The observation of selective breeding of golden hamsters requires an understanding of their care, data about breed variations, a plan for selective breeding, scheduling of the feminine body cycle, and the flexibility to handle a colony of hamsters.

Variation

Often long-haired hamsters are referred to by their nickname “teddy bear”. They are identical to short-haired Syrians apart from the hair size and will be present in any coloration, pattern, or different coat sort out there within the species.

Male long-haired hamsters often have longer fur than the feminine, culminating in a “skirt” of longer fur around their backsides. Long-haired females have a lot shorter coats though it’s nonetheless considerably longer than that of a short-haired feminine.

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