Roborovski dwarf hamster: care and housing
The roborovski dwarf hamster is native to the desert regions of Mongolia. The hamster manages to survive there with little food. The roborovski dwarf hamster has been kept as a pet since the 1970s. This usually happens in pairs, because this hamster species is not a solo animal. In the wild they also live in pairs or groups of three to five animals. The roborovski is the smallest dwarf hamster species in the world that is kept in captivity. They are friendly animals that are not only nice to each other, but also to people. This hamster species is also known as the desert dwarf hamster or robbie for short. The rodent has a life expectancy of one and a half to two years old.
The roborovski dwarf hamster is a very small dwarf hamster. The animal does not grow larger than nine centimeters. The animal has a short wide head with large round eyes. The tail is about half an inch to one centimeter long and has a light coat. The hamster is characterized by its large erect ears.
The most common color of the roborovski dwarf hamster is brown-yellow with a white belly, a white muzzle and a white spot above both eyes. In winter the coat darkens. The animals have a softer and longer coat than other dwarf hamster species. This ensures a high cuddly factor.
There are also robbies with a white head, a white belly and a light brown back. These roborovski dwarf hamsters are known as “White Face.”
The robbies prefer to live in pairs or in groups. Are you considering a roborovski dwarf hamster as a hamster? It is best to keep them together in a couple, so that they do not become lonely. Those who do not want young can keep two males or two females together. It is not advisable to keep robbies in groups. Quarrels often break out, forcing you to take the hamsters apart.
The hamsters are active in the evenings, night and early morning. The animals live on the ground and do not like to climb. The robbies are known for their friendly nature. They don’t bite easily. However, they are not suitable as a stuffed animal for children, because they are very mobile.
Desert dwarf hamsters are house trained. They urinate in a certain corner of the loft. The poo is right through the enclosure.
The roborovski dwarf hamster is easy to house in a mouse or hamster cage. The floor area must be at least thirty by fifty centimeters. Smaller is also allowed, but then the loft must have at least one extra floor. Make sure the bars are close together. Otherwise, young robbies will escape from their enclosure. A glass container (for example an aquarium) is also sufficient to house the roborovski dwarf hamster.
Decor of the cage
Suitable bedding for the robbie consists of, for example, wood shavings or sawdust. Provide the roborovski dwarf hamster with a sleeping cage where it can retire. This can be a ready-made hamster house, but also a box, half coconut or a hollowed-out tree stump will do. Place hay or straw in the house, so that the animal can sleep well. Decorate the loft further with, for example, wooden pipes, rope or a stone.
The roborovki dwarf hamster likes to move. An exercise wheel is therefore a good investment. The running wheel must be at least ten to fifteen centimeters in diameter and must not produce any noise. The robbie is generally fond of the running wheel and sometimes shows compulsive running behavior.
Cleaning the loft
Cleaning the roborovski dwarf hamster’s enclosure depends on the number of animals you keep. With two robbies, it is sufficient to change the cage completely once a week. In that case, replace the bedding completely. The pee corner should be cleaned more often. Then place new wood shavings or sawdust here. Check the sleeping loft regularly for perishable food waste. If you clean the cage regularly, the stay will not stink.
The basis for the food for the roborovski dwarf hamster consists of hamster food. Choose a rodent food based on grain, millet, grass seeds and sunflower seeds. Do not overfeed the hamster. Otherwise he will only nibble on the tastiest things and he may lack nutrients.
In the wild, the robbies also eat insects for animal proteins. In captivity it is sufficient to occasionally feed mealworms, earthworms or buffalo worms. You can also choose to feed cat and dog kibble for much-needed animal protein.
Breeding is not always self-evident. Not every couple succeeds in producing offspring. Females usually give birth to their first young after winter. The babies must stay with their mother for at least five weeks. That is slightly longer than with other dwarf hamster species. A mother seal is pregnant for approximately 21 days.
It is difficult to determine what sex a roborovski dwarf hamster has. You recognize the difference by determining the distance between the anus and the sexual opening. In the males these openings are further apart than in the females. Males also have a scrotum.
Buy Roborovski dwarf hamster
The roborovski dwarf hamster is not for sale everywhere. In the Netherlands, a relatively small group of robbies breeds. The animals are offered at major animal events and specialized pet stores. Reliable breeders are active on internet hamster forums where they also often offer their animals for sale.