Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Keep them apart!

Awww... Ain't it cute?

Hamsters are very popular pets in space-constrained Singapore. I have many friends who have/had hamsters. I used to own some hamsters too a few years back:

Photo of a photo taken with my favourite hamster, Xiaobai. Please do not mock my too thin brows. :x

Boy were we in for a shock! I wish I had seen this earlier:

Creative ad eh?

Yes! Hamsters are breeding machines! And many people simply do not separate the males from the females. As if that is not enough, hamsters sometimes cannot get along with one another and you have to further separate them. Infact mortality rate can be quite high. I think many of us have heard of how female hamsters might eat her young. My friend described it as "like chewing the head off a gummy bear". Probably because newborns are red.

Somemore when the babies are just borned, you should not go near the hamsters because the mother might be aggressive towards you or might protect her young by eating them (don't ask me... hamster logic). So we made the mistake of not dividing the hamsters according to their sexes and we paid the dear price of having to feed 22 of them at a time. Furthermore, hamsters are nocturnal and it might not be a good idea to place them in your room if you want a restful sleep.

Other commitments would include changing their bedding at least once a week, ensuring fresh water supply and a balanced diet. Bathing is not a must but some people cannot stand the smell of hamsters. I used to have one who loved to roll in his own pee. You can guess why we need to get hamster shampoo. You can also use this powder-sand for dry bath which doesn't come cheap however. Wah! This post starting to sound like a documentary. I just want everyone to know the responsibilities that come with having hamsters! Like what the ad says:

Sterilization cost $100+ per hamster and the chances of success are very low because they are tiny creatures. So the simplest way is to keep one hamster and shower it with all your TLC! :D

1 comment:

Hai~Ren said...

From what I've read, mother rodents may eat their young when disturbed, because in the wild if the nest is discovered, it's usually too late for the young. (Snakes and even larger rodents like rats are especially good at gaining access to rodent nests) From the mother's point of view, better to recoup your losses by getting back some nutrients and work towards raising a second litter elsewhere.

I like hamsters, but they seem to be quite ill-tempered. I've been bitten a few times. According to my experiences, hamsters are just mean-spirited, mice are extremely timid, guinea pigs are stupid. My best rodent experiences have been with rats (tame ones, of course); they seem much more intelligent.