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Chinese Hamsters

After keeping Chinese hamsters now for a number of years, I had recently decided to stop breeding them and not to replace my existing stock. The reason being that they are becoming extremely aggressive to each other. Also more and more people who buy pairs of Chinese as pets have to spilt them into singles as soon as they reach maturity.
However, I have recently purchased a book, The Encyclopaedia of Rabbits and Rodents by Esther Verhoef-Verhallen, which is an excellent book with lots of lovely photos. It was nice to see some different photos as most hamster books contain many pictures the same.

After reading the chapter on Chinese hamsters I was surprised to read that according to the author, one of the disadvantages of Chinese hamsters is that they are not particularly friendly towards their own kind and they have to live on their own just the same as Syrian hamsters do. She then goes on to say that they come into season every four days and should be mated in exactly the same way as Syrians.

Could this be the reason why, when they reach maturity they begin to fight, sometimes to the death. She says that because they belong to a different group of hamster, the long tailed hamster their characteristics are therefore different to the other dwarf species.

However, this does not explain how many people keep Chinese in colonies. Do they experience any problems with fighting?

I love my Chinese hamsters as they are so friendly and tame towards their human owners and I would like to hear other breeders comments.

Elaine Skidmore

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