When you want to have a quiet and easy-to-care pet, you should pay attention to the Djungarian hamster. These cute little animals easily make contact, are friendly with humans and do not require complicated care.
The Djungarian hamster is also called the Siberian hamster and Djungarian. It belongs to the family of upland hamsters, which is represented by only 3 representatives. In nature, these animals live in Western Siberia, in the north-west of China, on the territory of Mongolia and Kazakhstan.
Campbell’s dwarf hamsters are very similar to the Jungariks. These two species can interbreed, resulting in hybrids. Such experiments are undesirable. Dzungarian males have a single gland, the work of which is responsible for creating a male smell. This gland is located below the abdomen, it often has the appearance of a bulge and may be covered with oily secretions.
Albinos among Djungarian hamsters are rare. In the wild, the Djungarian hamster changes its coat to white, which allows it to camouflage itself in the snow and hide from predators.
At home, this feature is rare. Domestic dzhungars have a low life expectancy. Usually it is about 2 years, only in rare cases a hamster can live 4 years.
From their close relatives, Campbell’s hamsters, dzhungars differ in softer and smoother fur. And also the transition from the forehead to the nose is smoother. The Dzungarian hamster also has a number of the following external characteristics:
- on the back there is a dark strip that runs along the entire ridge;
- the tail is small, almost imperceptible;
- the sole on all paws is shaggy;
- the head is rather large compared to the body, it has large black beady eyes;
- the shape of the body is rounded, the length varies between 7–10 cm;
- weight is in the range of 30–65 g;
- cheek pouches are roomy;
- Jungars grab food with their front paws, as marmots do.
The color of domestic Djungarian hamsters is very different from the fur coat that wild animals have. There are several options for the color of fur in domestic jungars:
- “standard” represented by brown fur with a gray tint, on the abdomen the fur is white;
- “sapphire” identified by gray fur with a bluish tint and white belly;
- “pearl” – this is a matte coat with a white color, which is diluted with gray intervals;
- “mandarin” represented by a light red color of a cream shade.
Conditions of detention
The white Djungarian hamster is a peaceful animal, which is not characterized by aggressive behavior. And yet, only one animal should be in the cage, regardless of gender. Dzungaria are territorial hamsters, therefore, in a limited space, they can show aggression towards each other. Fights can result in injury and even death.
Such a pet is ideal for home keeping, which is why it is so popular.
In order for the hamster to be healthy, please its owner and not become a source of problems, you need to know and observe some features of the content.
- To live, a jungarik needs a cage. It is undesirable to use an aquarium, since in such a design the ventilation is not good enough, and condensation may form on the walls. In such conditions, the hamster will feel bad.
Although the animal is small, the cage must be spacious. Even if you have one hamster, the bottom of his cage should still not be less than 30×50 cm.
- Hay, sawdust, special filler are placed on the bottom, intended for rodents, or shavings from trees, but not conifers. You can also use toilet paper, napkins without staining and paper towels as bedding. Vata is strictly prohibited to use.
- Jungars are prone to obesity, so they need exercise. To do this, it is required to place toys, tunnels, hammocks and a wheel with a diameter of more than 17 cm in the cage.
- Water procedures are contraindicated for these animals. But Djungarian hamsters are very fond of sand baths. Digging in the sand, the animal cleans its fur coat from crumbs and small debris. Regular sand baths help to get rid of the oily sheen on the coat and prevent the appearance of an unpleasant odor. Dzungaria are very clean.
For sand baths, you can use river or special sand, which is intended for chinchillas, and a ceramic or metal container.
- Dzungarians constantly grow teeth, which they need to grind down regularly.. For these purposes, you can place a mineral pebble, branches of fruit trees (but not cherries and apricots) or wooden blocks in a cage.
- These animals are nocturnal. For daytime rest they need a house. And also in the cage it is necessary to place a feeder, a drinking bowl and a toilet.
- The cage must be installed away from drafts and direct sunlight. And also it should not come into contact with wallpaper and curtains, as the animal will quickly gnaw them.
- The cage needs to be cleaned and washed regularly, the animal can get sick from unsanitary conditions. The same applies to food and water: they must always be fresh. The hamster can carry food into the house, you need to monitor this and clean up such caches regularly. After all, the food in the house can deteriorate, which will cause poisoning of the jungar. The feeder and drinker should not be washed with chemicals.
Pet stores have a wide variety of ready-made mixtures that are intended for hamsters. The diet should not consist of mixtures alone. For variety, you can make a number of products:
- grain crops (wheat, corn, sunflower seeds, rye);
- from vegetables, you can give carrots, pumpkins, cucumbers, zucchini;
- you should not get too carried away with fruits, sometimes you can offer your pet apples, bananas and apricots, but always pitted;
- from meat, you can choose only chicken and rabbit meat;
- boiled eggs (chicken, quail) can be included in the diet of jungars;
- cottage cheese should only be fat-free;
- from greens, you can give plantain leaves and lettuce.
Each hamster requires the selection of an individual diet that will match his preferences. The amount of food should be enough for a day. And you should always remember about the food that you can not give your pet:
- foods high in fat (butter, milk and cottage cheese with a high percentage of fat, veal, beef and pork);
- seasonings and spices, including onions and garlic;
- sweets and foods that can freeze in the cheeks of the animal;
- exotic fruits and citrus fruits;
- semi-finished products, including sausages;
- raw potatoes are also banned;
- watermelons and melons.
In captivity, dzhungariki breed well. For this, certain prerequisites must be met:
- the female must be older than 4 months, and the age of the male must exceed 3 months;
- pregnancy lasts about 3 weeks, during this period, protein food (cottage cheese, breast and boiled yolk) is necessarily included in the female’s diet;
- during pregnancy and until the end of feeding, the female should be at rest;
- before childbirth – approximately 2 days in advance – disinfection is carried out in the cage, including all accessories and toys;
- during the first 3 weeks, the cubs feed on their mother’s milk, during this period it is strictly forbidden to pick them up, since the young mother can abandon her children and even eat them.
After 5 days from the moment of birth, the cubs become calmer and stop squeaking. On the 7th day of life, the body of the babies is covered with wool, and after 10 days they begin to make their first movements and try soft food. Jungariks can be planted in a separate cage a month after birth.
This moment is worth paying attention to and approaching the process of choosing a name seriously. The nickname for a rodent should be simple and sonorous. Often the name is chosen according to the temperament, taste preferences of the pet or appearance. We have selected the most interesting and original variants of names for jungars:
- names for boys: Nut, Bagel, Fatty, Zhora, Cupcake, Pirozhulya, Baby doll, Ryzhik, Wales, Ruddy, Antoshka, Gray, Garfield, Black, Knight, Snowball, Umka;
- names for girls: Donut, Bun, Gourmand, Lady, Gadget, Seed, Crumb, Apricot, Toffee.
When buying, it is important to choose a pet that is good in all respects, To do this, you need to use the advice from professionals:
- it is best to buy a pet at the age of 5 to 6 weeks;
- the hamster should be moderately active;
- if the health of the rodent raises even the slightest doubt, then the purchase should be abandoned;
- the coat should be free of bite marks and bald patches, and it should also be clean and dry;
- eyes and nose should have a healthy appearance, without discharge and suppuration;
- near the anus, the coat should also be dry and clean.
All about Djungarian hamsters, see the video below.